A Washington, D.C., police officer has been placed on leave for his alleged improper contacts with Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of the far-right Proud Boys.
D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III announced the suspension of Shane Lamond, a lieutenant officer in the Metropolitan Police Department’s intelligence branch, telling reporters Wednesday that the investigation, which is being conducted by his department, the Department of Justice, and FBI, was “ongoing.”
In an interview with the Washington Post, Tarrio denied any relationship with Lamond that went beyond Lamond’s role as “a liaison officer for when we held rallies.”
It appears Lamond’s official role tasked him with monitoring events on Jan. 6. Reporting by The Daily Beast found that Lamond “was copied on a series of emails and conference call invitations related to the planning” of the pro-Trump rally held at the Ellipse on Jan. 6, 2021.
The Proud Boys have long enjoyed what appears to be a cozy relationship with police. In 2019, a member of the far-right group fist bumped D.C. police officers. A 2019 rally held by Chicago chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police drew members of the Proud Boys, as well as members of the American Identity Movement and American Guard. In 2020, Proud Boy members mingled with police officers at a party held by a Philadelphia police union chapter. When Proud Boys assaulted counterprotesters in two separate instances in 2016 and 2018, police charged the counterprotesters who were attacked with assault.
The incident also brings up more questions about the rise of extremism within law enforcement ranks. A Right Wing Watch report found that 15 law enforcement officers—some actively employed by law enforcement entities, and some retired—have been charged with federal crimes involving the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The Washington Post identified another two officers, father and son, who joined the Proud Boys in attacking the Capitol.
In August, the Chicago chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police lent their support to one of those officers charged with federal crimes, Karol Chwiesiuk, arguing that he should have his firearm owner’s ID returned to him—a requisite of remaining a cop.