WASHINGTON – A D.C. police lieutenant warned Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio that a warrant for his arrest had been signed ahead of his arrest, according to evidence presented in federal court Wednesday during the sedition trial of five Proud Boys.
Prosecutors in the high-profile trial showed messages between Tarrio, one of the five defendants, and Metropolitan Police Lt. Shane Lamond, suggesting Lamond kept Tarrio in the loop about the police department’s investigations into him and other Proud Boys.
In Dec. 18, 2020 messages between Lamond and Tarrio, Lamond asked whether Tarrio called in an anonymous tip claiming responsibility for burning a Black Lives Matter after a Trump rally, taken from a historic Black church. Tarrio responded that he did “more than that” and had posted it on his social media.
Those messages were followed by several empty messages from Tarrio, which prosecutors say indicate the messages have been deleted.
But the same day, Tarrio messaged other members of the Proud Boys to say he “got the jump on the narrative” for the banner burning, which would make it challenging for MPD to bring a “hate crime” enhancement against him. He attributed the information to his “contact at DC Metro.”
“This stays in here,” Tarrio told the other Proud Boys, using colorful language in the rest of the message to disparage the law to reinforce his point.
On Dec. 25, 2020, Lamond told Tarrio that MPD’s criminal investigation department had the officer identify Tarrio in a photo he posted to Parler, which showed Tarrio kneeling next to a Black Lives Matter banner that Tarrio burned.
“They may be submitting an arrest warrant to the U.S. Attorney’s office,” Lamond, an intelligence officer for the force, wrote to Tarrio.
Days later, on Dec. 30, the pair talked on the phone for about 14 minutes. The same day, messages between the Proud Boys indicated that they knew Tarrio faced arrest.
And on Jan. 4 – the day Tarrio ultimately was arrested – a system message in the chat between Tarrio and Lamond showed the settings had been changed so they would self-destruct. Tarrio told members of the Proud Boys’ Ministry of Self Defense leaders’ chat the same day that the “warrant was just signed.”
Tarrio’s arrest prior to the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol
Tarrio was arrested and charged with destruction of property upon entering Washington, D.C. limits for setting fire to the Black Lives Matter banner. He was also charged with possessing a “high capacity feeding device,” when arrested while in possession of two high-capacity firearm magazines.
The Miami Proud Boy was on the phone with a USA TODAY reporter when he was arrested. The call was interrupted by loud sirens and Tarrio joked that “They’re for me.” He asked the driver of the car he was riding in to pull over and told the reporter, “Here’s something to write about,” before hanging up the call.
From Proud Boys to police: the ties between Enrique Tarrio and Shane Lamond
The relationship between Tarrio and Lamond extended beyond the days before his January 2021 arrest, prosecutors said.
In November 2020 messages between the pair, after that month’s Million MAGA March, Lamond informed Tarrio that Metro police “cut (his) guy loose” because a victim could not be located.
Ahead of the Dec. 12, 2020 Million MAGA March, Lamond told Tarrio that “antifa” would be staying at Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House, asking Tarrio whether he should “let our uniformed officers know that or keep it to myself?”
FBI Special Agent Peter Dubrowski, the government witness who introduced the evidence, told the jury it was not typical for law enforcement to inform civilians affiliated with an arrested individual whether that person had been “cut loose” or to defer to civilians on matters of law enforcement.
Defense may call Lamond as witness
Mark Schamel, an attorney for the officer, told the Associated Press in December that Lamond was placed on administrative leave by the police force in February 2022.
Defense attorneys for Tarrio indicated in court filings they intend to call Lamond as a witness in the Miami Proud Boy’s defense. But Lamond plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination if called to the witness stand after prosecutors warned the officer he could be charged with obstructing the investigation into Tarrio, the attorneys say.
Tarrio’s attorneys have accused the Justice Department of trying to bully Lamond into keeping quiet because his testimony would hurt their case. Prosecutors have vehemently denied that charge.
The Proud Boys face trial for sedition and other charges in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
Contributing: Will Carless, Associated Press
Story Credit: usatoday.com