Thirty-one people were arrested Saturday in Idaho on suspicion of conspiracy to riot near an LGBT Pride event.
The 31 individuals arrested by Coeur d’Alene police were believed to be members of the white nationalist group Patriot Front, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The charge is a misdemeanor in Idaho, but all but one of the suspected would-be rioters were from out-of-state, KXLY reported.
The Pride flag is reflected in the glasses of a self-identified white nationalist that came to protest at the LGBTQ+ community’s “Pride in the Park” event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, June 11, 2022. Jim Urquhart/NPR#photojournalism https://t.co/I8j0x1Iehu pic.twitter.com/1yj6kULIYu
— Jim Urquhart (@jimurquhartpixs) June 12, 2022
The police were alerted about the potential riot by a citizen who reported the group around 1:40 p.m. local time Saturday, Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said at a press conference later that day. White said that he and his team were able to arrest those allegedly involved on probable cause due to the equipment the individuals were carrying, which he indicated included shields, shin guards, masks and other riot gear.
The concerned citizen who called in the report said that the individuals looked like a “little army” and were getting into a U-Haul in a downtown hotel’s parking lot, the WSJ reported. The U-Haul was stopped ten minutes after the report was received, and authorities found some of the equipment carried the Patriot Front name and insignia, the outlet continued. (RELATED: Disney To Create More Gay Content For Children)
The suspects hailed from states including Texas, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Arkansas, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon and Virginia, according to police, WSJ reported. They are expected to appear in court Monday, KXLY noted.