Washington D.C. police lieutenant indicted for tipping off, obstructing investigation into convicted Proud Boys leader

On Friday, the former supervisor of the Intelligence Branch of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department’s Homeland Security Bureau was arrested on charges that he obstructed an investigation into the leader of the Proud Boys militia group and “prolific” FBI informant Henry “Enrique” Tarrio in the lead-up to the January 6 coup.

Lieutenant Shane Lamond of Stafford, Virginia, a 24-year veteran of the police department, is also facing three counts of providing false statements to US attorneys investigating his close relationship with Tarrio. Lamond was arraigned on Friday. After entering a “not guilty” plea, he was released after prosecutors did not even request to detain him.

Washington Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Shane Lamond departs federal court after pleading not guilty to obstruction of justice and other charges, Friday, May 19, 2023, in Washington. [AP Photo/Patrick Semansky]

If convicted on the obstruction charge, Lamond faces a minimum of three years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. Each count of providing false statements carries with it a possible five-year sentence for a theoretical, but highly unlikely, 45-year maximum sentence.

In the indictment, US Attorney Matthew Graves alleges that Tarrio and Lamond communicated at least 500 times using cloud-based messaging services, including Google Voice, Apple iMessages and Telegram. From February 10, 2020 through July 4, 2020, Lamond and Tarrio used Google Voice to exchange 56 messages and hold five phone calls; from August 20, 2020 through December 12, 2020, the pair used Apple iMessage to exchange 294 texts; and from July 3, 2020 through December 17, 2020 they used Telegram to exchange 79 messages using a “private chat function.”

On November 7, 2020, the same day Biden was declared the victor of the 2020 election, Lamond commiserated with Tarrio: “Hey brother, sad, sad news today. You all planning anything?” Tarrio responded, “Yep.”

That same day, Lamond warned Tarrio, “Need to switch to encrypted. Alerts are being sent out to law enforcement that [Social Media Website] accounts belonging to your people are talking about mobilizing and ‘taking back the country.’ Getting people spun up. Just giving you a heads up.”

Significantly, beginning on December 18, 2020 through January 4, 2021, the latter being the day Tarrio was arrested for bragging about burning a stolen Black Lives Matter banner on his social media account, the pair used Telegram to exchange 145 messages with self-destruction timers. The indictment notes that “at least 101 of these messages were destroyed.”

Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio rallies in Portland, Oregon, Aug. 17, 2019 [AP Photo/Noah Berger]

Many of the Telegram messages that were not destroyed were previously entered into the Proud Boys trial and are cited in the indictment of Lamond. Notably, the indictment alleges that the two exchanged messages and phone calls over a nearly two-year stretch that began in July 2019 and continued for several days after the attack on the Capitol, confirming the close relationship between the fascist militia groups like the Proud Boys and police departments across the country.

Two days after the attack on Congress, Lamond wrote to Tarrio, “Of course I can’t say it officially, but personally I support you all and don’t want to see your group’s name or reputation dragged through the mud.”

According to the indictment, US attorneys questioned Lamond on his relationship and the information he passed along to Tarrio on June 2, 2021. During that questioning, Lamond lied repeatedly to attorneys, including about the number of times he talked to Tarrio about January 6 and the character of the conversations. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee waited another eight months before he generously placed Lamond on paid administrative leave in February 2022. Last month, Contee announced that he was resigning as Metropolitan chief of police and taking a job to be an assistant director at the FBI.

Earlier this month, Tarrio and three of his top lieutenants, Joe Biggs (another FBI informant), Ethan Nordean and Zachary Rehl, were convicted of seditious conspiracy, along with several other felonies, for their actions in furtherance of Trump’s coup.

Convicted Proud Boy, former US Army sergeant and InfoWars correspondent Joe Biggs.

During the trial, Tarrio’s defense lawyer, Sabino Jauregui, and federal prosecutors presented text messages exchanged between Tarrio and Lamond demonstrating that while Tarrio would occasionally provide information regarding Proud Boys activities to the intelligence officer, to a much greater extent it was Lamond who was passing confidential and privileged information to the leader of the violent militia group. This included locations of alleged “antifa” and Black Lives Matter protesters, as well as information concerning possible investigations into Tarrio and other members of the Proud Boys.

In the Proud Boys trial, FBI Agent Peter Dubrowski, under questioning from prosecutor Conor Mulroe, commented on messages exchanged between Tarrio and Lamond. This included a December 11 message in which Lamond asked Tarrio, after telling him where alleged “Antifa” protesters were, if he wanted to keep that information to himself or share it with “other uniformed officers.” Dubrowski did not agree with Mulroe, that it was “typical” for a police officer to defer to a source in this manner.

In addition to giving Tarrio and his brown shirts a green light to assault left-wing and anti-police violence protesters, the trial revealed that Lamond told police investigating the burning of the BLM banner that it was not a hate crime because the Proud Boys are not racist. This was because, according to the Lamond, there are some “Blacks and Latinos” in the group.

In another message revealed during the trial, Lamond assured Tarrio that the burning of the banner was “not being investigated by FBI though, just MPD.”

Prior to Tarrio’s arrest on January 4, 2021, Lamond tipped Tarrio off, giving him and his subordinates ample opportunity to delete incriminating messages.

Refuting the notion that the attack on Congress was unforeseen, on December 19, the same day that Trump called for a “wild protest” in D.C., Tarrio informed Lamond, “I will be in DC on the 6th of January.” The indictment claims that Lamond “did not disclose that Tarrio ... had previously made comments about attending events in Washington DC on January 6.”

After Tarrio informed Lamond he would be in D.C. on the day of certification, the veteran police officer and leader of the right-wing militia group would conduct several more phone calls and exchange dozens of messages over Telegram at the same time Trump and his co-conspirators sought to overturn the election. However, a majority of these messages between Tarrio and Lamond are missing because on December 22, 2020, Lamond, followed by Tarrio one minute later, changed his message setting to “self destruct” five seconds after being viewed.

While Lamond is only being charged with obstruction and providing false statements, there is every reason to believe he was an accessory to the plot to overthrow the government. Nor is he the only police officer within the D.C. and Capitol Police departments, as well as the rest of the police-military-intelligence apparatus, that supported Trump’s coup.

The messages once again demonstrate that the reason Trump’s coup nearly succeeded was not due to the strength, numbers or prowess of Trump’s militia elements and fanatics but to the support this tiny fraction of the population received from the ruling class and its security apparatus.

That these charges are only coming to light after the completion of the Proud Boys trial, and more than two years after Trump’s coup, is a testament to the ongoing cover-up of the January 6 attack by both big business parties and their adjuncts in the state and capitalist media.

The narrative of the “one-man coup” advanced by the January 6 Select Committee in its cover-up “Final Report” on the attack has been further exposed as lie. This lie is aimed at cloaking to the working class the support Trump’s coup had, and retains, within the US state.

Far from warning workers of the danger of fascism, President Joe Biden, as he has since the day of the attack, continues to seek “unity” with his “Republican colleagues” to carry out their shared agenda of austerity at home and expanding war abroad.