Dozens of members of the white supremacy group Patriot Front were arrested just outside of an Idaho LGBTQ+ “Pride in the Park” event on Saturday, June 11.
The group was found hidden inside of the back of a U-Haul with riot gear. All of the members were dressed in matching ensembles made up of khaki pants, dark blue shirts, light brown hats and white balaclavas hiding their faces. They also wore arm patches and logos identifying themselves as members of the neo-fascist group.
Coeur d´Alene Police Chief Lee White stopped the moving truck and arrested the people involved before they could reach the event after police received a tip that “it looked like a little army was loading up” into a U-Haul earlier that afternoon.
White confirmed the arrests in a news conference, adding the authorities were also able to find “operations plans”, shin guards and shields in the back of the truck.
“It is clear to us based on the gear that the individuals had with them, the stuff they had in their possession and in the U-Haul with them, along with paperwork that was seized from them, that they came to riot downtown,” he continued.
White also noted the suspects were identified as coming from all over the United States, including: Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia, Arkansas, and one from Idaho, and all had ties to the same white supremacy organization.
Patriot Front is widely described as a “white nationalist hate group” that was started after the “Unite the Right” rallies in Charlottesville back in 2017.
All 31 people were charged with “conspiracy to riot.” Their arraignment is scheduled for Monday, June 13.
“Law enforcement really came through today, and I think this is a really important message and also a healing message that’s needed in this country,” Jessica Mahuron, the outreach director at the North Idaho Pride Alliance, said per NPR. “I know that a lot of law enforcement members actually had to delay their vacations and this was stressful on all throughout the city.”