Idaho police arrested 31 members of a group called Patriot Front after being found in a U-Haul vehicle near an LGBTQ Pride event in Coeur d’Alene on Saturday.
The arrests followed a call to police reporting a group of men carrying shields and dressed in military clothing, according to 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,” White said during the news conference.
The group reportedly wore shirts with Patriot Front logos, an organization that the Associated Press has described as a “white supremacist group.” Its website 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,” The Washington Post reported.
“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,” the report added.
The traffic stop and arrests were made near 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,” Kootenai County Sheriff Bob Norris said.
Those arrested included residents from at least 11 states, including Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia, and Arkansas, according to the report. The men are expected to appear in court on Monday.
The “Pride in the Park” gathering was advertised as a “family-friendly, community event celebrating diversity and building a stronger and more unified community for ALL.” It continued as scheduled.
This is an excerpt from The Daily Wire.
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