Police Thwart White Supremacist Riot At Pride Event
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White told reporters that 31 individuals affiliated with the group were arrested and charged with conspiracy to riot.
The group had traveled from all over the country to incite chaos during the LGBT+ event, White said. They came from states like Texas, Utah, South Dakota, Arkansas, Oregon, and Virginia. Law enforcement quickly thwarted the group’s plans, he said, thanks to “one concerned citizen.”
“We received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who reported that approximately 20 people jumped into a U-Haul wearing masks, they had shields, and ‘looked like a little army,’” he said.
“They had shields, shin guards, and other riot gear with them, including at least one smoke grenade,” White said, adding that paperwork including an apparent “operations plan” had also been found in the group’s U-Haul.
Video from the scene showed members kneeling in the grass, their hands zip-tied behind their backs, as counter-protesters jeered and shouted “losers!”
Approximately 20 members of the group wearing trademark balaclavas, blue shirts, and khakis were kneeling as police officers stood around them. Members of the group had their masks removed before being placed in police vans.
“It appears they did not come here to engage in peaceful events,” Kootenai County Sheriff Bob Norris said.
White said law enforcement had received information ahead of the Pride event about “several groups planning to disrupt today’s activities.”
The event was one of the biggest Pride in the Park events in its six-year history. Despite growing tension and backlash, several attendees said it was their first Pride because of COVID-19.