Messages: Officer fed info to Proud Boys leader
— A police officer frequently Washington provided Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio with internal information about law enforcement operations in the weeks before other members of his far-right extremist group stormed the U.S. Capitol, according to messages shown Wednesday at the trial of Tarrio and four associates.
A federal prosecutor showed jurors a string of messages that Metropolitan Police Lt. Shane Lamond and Tarrio privately exchanged in the run-up to a mob’s attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Lamond, an intelligence officer for the city’s police department, was responsible for monitoring groups like the Proud Boys when they came to Washington for protests.
Less than three weeks before the Jan. 6 riot, Lamond warned Tarrio that the FBI and U.S. Secret Service were “all spun up” over talk on an Infowars internet show that the Proud Boys planned to dress up as supporters of President Joe Biden on the Democrat’s inauguration day.
Justice Department prosecutor Conor Mulroe asked a government witness, FBI Special Agent Peter Dubrowski, how common it is for law enforcement to disclose internal information in that fashion.
“I’ve never heard of it,” Dubrowski said.
Tarrio was arrested in Washington two days before the Capitol attack and charged with burning a Black Lives Matter banner taken from a historic Black church during a protest in December 2020. He was released from jail before the riot and wasn’t in Washington on Jan. 6.
In a message to Tarrio on Dec. 25, 2020, Lamond said Metropolitan Police Department investigators had asked him to identify Tarrio from a photograph. He warned Tarrio that police may be seeking a warrant for his arrest.
Later, on the day of his arrest, Tarrio posted a message to other Proud Boys leaders that said, “The warrant was just signed.”
Before the trial started in January, Tarrio’s attorneys said Lamond’s testimony would be crucial for his defense, supporting Tarrio’s claims that he was looking to avoid violence. Mulroe said Lamond has asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
Tarrio’s attorneys have accused prosecutors of bullying Lamond into keeping quiet by warning the officer he could be charged with obstructing the investigation into Tarrio, a Miami resident who was national chairman of the Proud Boys. Prosecutors deny that claim.
Sabino Jauregui, one of Tarrio’s attorneys, said other messages show Tarrio routinely cooperated with police and had provided Lamond with useful information. Jauregui said prosecutors “dragged (Lamond’s) name through the mud” and falsely insinuated he is a “dirty cop” who had an inappropriate relationship with Tarrio.
In a statement Wednesday, Schamel said Lamond’s job required him to communicate with a variety of groups protesting in Washington and his conduct “was appropriate and always focused on the protection of the citizens of Washington, DC.”
A federal prosecutor showed jurors a string of messages that Metropolitan Police Lt. Shane Lamond and Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio privately exchanged in the runup to a mob’s attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.