The entire month of June is chock-full of events celebrating and rallying the LGBTQ+ community, with Salt Lake City, Utah having its own Pride Festival last weekend.
This year, after nearly three years of minimized gathering levels due to the pandemic, the month of Pride is expected to bring with it large crowds and heightened political engagement, The Washington Post reported.
This weekend, the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho was not only the location of a Pride event on Saturday, it was also the site of an arrest of 31 members of a white supremacy group, according to The Associated Press. Six of the men that were arrested are from Utah, per KSL reporter Ashley Imlay.
What is Patriot Front?
The men were members of a white nationalist organization called Patriot Front, and traveled to Idaho from at least 10 different states, including Utah, NPR reported.
According to the booking jail log, the six Utah members of Patriot Front have been identified as Jared Michael Boyce, 27, of Springville; Branden Mitchell Haney, 35, of Kaysville; Cameron Kathan Pruitt, 23, of Midway; Alexander Nicholai Sisenstein, 27, of Midvale; Dakota Ray Tabler, 29, of West Valley City; and Nathaniel Taylor Whitfield, 24, of Elk Ridge, according to an Idaho jail booking report, KSL.com reported.
The Anti-Defamation League, or ADL, is an organization that describes itself as being “the leading anti-hate organization in the world” that combats “all forms of antisemitism and bias, using innovation and partnerships to drive impact.” ADL describes Patriot Front as being “a white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them, and no one else,” according to the ADL website.
The 31 members were packed into a U-Haul truck and wore similar outfitting, including masks and shields, and possessed a smoke grenade, per NBC News.
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said in a statement, “I have no doubt in my mind, they were coming downtown to riot,” The New York Times reported.
The police became aware of the group after getting a tip from a local resident, who reported that they had seen dozens of men with gear getting into a large truck, according to BBC News. Chief White also said in his statement that the tipster described the men as having “looked like a little army.”
Each of the 31 men were arrested and charged with the misdemeanor of conspiracy to riot, per ABC News.
Police forces were aware of and prepared for possible riots, and are in contact with federal law enforcement officials regarding the matter, according to NBC News.