Over the past weekend, Police forces in Idaho arrested a group of 31 members from an organization known as Patriot Front after they were found inside a U-Haul vehicle found in Coeur d’Alene close to an LGBTQ Pride event this past Saturday.
These arrests came in the wake of a tip call to police officials that reported a group of men sporting shields while dressed in military garb, as reported by Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White.
“It is clear to us based on the gear that the individuals had with them, the stuff they had in their possession, the U-Haul with them along with paperwork that was seized from them, that they came to riot downtown,” stated White as part of a recent news conference.
Reportedly, the group was wearing shirts sporting the Patriot Front logo, which is a group that has been reported by the Associated Press as being called a “white supremacist group.” The website for the group states, “Our people, born to this nation of our European race, must reforge themselves as a new collective capable of asserting our right to cultural independence.”
“Many of those arrested were wearing logos representing Patriot Front, which rebranded after one of its members plowed his car into a crowd of people protesting a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017, killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens,” as reported by The Washington Post.
BREAKING: Authorities have stopped this Uhaul and detained approximately 20 people. They all have the same type of clothing on. Truck was stopped about 1/8th mile from the pride event. We’re working to get more info from police. @KREM2 pic.twitter.com/bez1msBz45
— Kyle Simchuk (@KyleSimchuk) June 11, 2022
“The group’s founder, Thomas Ryan Rousseau, was among those arrested, according to jail records. Like the others, Rousseau was arrested on a charge of criminal conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor. The arrestees were held on $300 bail,” stated the report.
The traffic stop, and subsequent arrests, were made just outside of the North Idaho Pride Alliance’s Coeur d’Alene Pride in the Park event.
“It appears they did not come here to engage in peaceful events,” stated Bob Norris, the Sheriff of Kootenai County.
Those arrested included residents from at least 11 states, which included Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia, and Arkansas, as stated in the report. The arrested suspects are slated to appear in court this coming Monday.
This “Pride in the Park” event was originally advertised as a “family-friendly, community event celebrating diversity and building a stronger and more unified community for ALL,” and is slated to go on as scheduled.
“North Idaho Pride Alliance will not be responding to media or communication requests on Sunday, June 12th, and will follow up per our capacity,” stated the organizers for the event via a Facebook post that went out on Sunday.
“We are deeply grateful to law enforcement agencies who were present and professionally responded throughout the day to keep our community safe,” the statement went on. “We thank the many Pride in the Park vendors, volunteers, performers, partners, supporters, sponsors, and event attendees for their role in ensuring a safe event for ALL by joining us yesterday in the spirit of love, kindness, and inclusion.”
This past Tuesday, a terror alert was officially sent out from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding potential concerns of violence. The warning stated that the pending abortion ruling from the Supreme Court and the current tensions about the surging illegal immigration problem along the U.S.-Mexico border. along with many other controversies.
“Some domestic violent extremists have expressed grievances related to their perception that the U.S. government is unwilling or unable to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and have called for violence to stem the flow of undocumented migrants to the United States,” stated the Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin in its alert.