A police officer was arrested Friday on charges he lied about leaking confidential information to a leader of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group and obstructed an investigation after group members destroyed a Black Lives Matter banner in the nation's capital.
An indictment alleges that Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Shane Lamond, 47, of Stafford, Virginia, warned former Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio that law enforcement had an arrest warrant for Tarrio related to the banner's destruction.
Tarrio was arrested in Washington two days before Proud Boys members joined a mob in storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Earlier this month, Tarrio and three other group members were convicted of seditious conspiracy charges for what prosecutors said was a plot to keep then-President Donald Trump in the White House after he lost the 2020 election.
A federal grand jury in Washington indicted Lamond on one count of obstruction of justice and three counts of making false statements. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Friday.
Mark Schamel, an attorney for Lamond, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment. Schamel has previously said that Lamond's job was to communicate with a variety of groups protesting in Washington, and his conduct with Tarrio was never inappropriate
Lamond, who supervised the intelligence branch of the police department's Homeland Security Bureau, often contacted Tarrio about Proud Boys' planned activities in Washington. Prosecutors say the two men communicated at least 500 times across several platforms over a period nearly a year and a half.
Lamond began using the Telegram messaging platform to give Tarrio information about law enforcement activity around July 2020, about a year after they started talking, according to prosecutors. By November of that year, he was talking about meeting Tarrio during a night out.
In December 2020, Lamond told Tarrio about where competing antifascist activists were expected to be. Lamond, whose job entailed sharing what he learned with others in the department, asked Tarrio whether he should share the information Tarrio gave him about Proud Boys activities, prosecutors said.
Jurors who convicted Tarrio heard testimony that Lamond frequently provided the Proud Boys leader with internal information about law enforcement operations in the weeks before other members of his group stormed the Capitol.
Less than three weeks before the Jan. 6 riot, Lamond warned Tarrio that the FBI and U.S. Secret Service were “all spun up” over talk on an Infowars internet show that the Proud Boys planned to dress up as supporters of President Joe Biden on the day of the inauguration.
In a message to Tarrio on Dec. 25, 2020, Lamond said police investigators had asked him to identify Tarrio from a photograph. Lamond warned Tarrio that police may be seeking a warrant for his arrest.
Later, on the day of his arrest, Tarrio posted a message to other Proud Boys leaders that said, “The warrant was just signed.”
Text messages introduced at Tarrio’s trial appeared to show a close rapport between the two men, with Lamond frequently greeting the extremist group leader with the words “hey brother.”
For the trial, Tarrio’s attorneys wanted to call Lamond to testify to support claims the Proud Boys leader wanted to avoid violence, but were stymied by his lawyer's contention that Lamond would claim Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
Michael Kunzelman, Lindsay Whitehurst And Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press