Idaho officers are getting death threats over the arrest of 31 men who police said were planning to riot at a Pride event in Idaho over the weekend.
The men, all believed to be part of the white nationalist group Patriot Front, were taken into custody on Saturday after police in Coeur d’Alene received a tip from a concerned citizen who spotted the group cramming into a U-Haul with riot gear.
Speaking during a press conference on Monday, Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White offered more details about the incident, saying that the “investigation process is ongoing” and police are still working on “linking body-camera videos with individuals who were arrested.”
White also said that as of Monday morning, officers had received 149 calls about the incident, and about half of them were from “individuals in our community who are happy to give us their name and tell us that they’re proud of the work that we did.”
“And the other 50% — who are completely anonymous, who want nothing more than to scream and yell at us and use some really choice words — offer death threats against myself and other members of the police department merely for doing our jobs,” he said.
“Those people obviously remain anonymous and don’t tell us where they are from, although we had a call as far away as Norway,” White added.
Mayor Jim Hammond also spoke during the press conference, reassuring residents that Coeur d’Alene is — and will continue to be — a welcoming place.
“We are not a city who wishes to bring any hurt upon anyone … We are not going back to the days of the Aryan Nations,” he said referring to a now-disbanded white supremacist hate group that had its headquarters in Idaho.
“We are passed that and we will do everything we can to make sure that we continue to stay past those kinds of problems,” he said.
Patriot Front is a white nationalist group that broke off from Vanguard America, another white supremacist group, in the aftermath of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. in August 2017. It’s designated as an extremist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The men arrested came from at least 12 different states, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.