WASHINGTON — A Metropolitan Police Department lieutenant who supervised the intelligence branch of the Washington, D.C., police was indicted this week, charged with tipping off former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio about a pending warrant for his arrest just ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Tarrio, the former chair of the Proud Boys, was recently found guilty of seditious conspiracy in connection with the Capitol attack, along with other members of the far-right group. Tarrio was not in Washington on Jan. 6 after his arrest in connection with the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner, as he was banned from the city by a judge the day before the attack.
Shane Lamond, 47, was indicted on one count of obstruction of justice and three counts of making false statements, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said Friday. A federal grand jury charged Lamond with obstructing the investigation into the burning of the banner Dec. 12, 2020, when the Proud Boys were roaming the streets of Washington for a pro-Trump event.
Between July 2019 and January 2021, Tarrio and Lamond communicated "at least 500 times using cloud-based messaging services, including Google Voice, Apple iMessages, and Telegram, an encrypted messaging application," the indictment said. They sent approximately 145 messages using a secret chat function on Telegram that causes messages to disappear, the indictment charged, adding “at least 101 of these messages were destroyed.”
Lamond was in communication with Tarrio about the banner investigation and advised Tarrio that he told another unit within the police department, trying to convince them that the Proud Boys weren't racist, the indictment said.
"I told them you are made up a lot of Latinos and blacks so not a racist thing. If anything I said it's political but then I drew attention to the Trump and American flags that were taken by Antifa and set on fire," Lamond wrote in a message contained in the indictment. "I said all those would have to be classified as hate crimes too."
Lamond sent a similar message to an official with the U.S. Capitol Police, also cited by the indictment, saying that he'd told his colleagues that if they charged Tarrio with a hate crime, they'd have to charge what he called "Antifa hate crimes." (There's no federal law that makes politically motivated attacks a hate crime, but Washington law does allow for a sentencing enhancement if a locally charged crime can be proven to be based on the "political affiliation of a victim.")
While on a flight from Miami to the Washington area Jan. 4, 2021, Tarrio relayed information he received from Lamond about his pending warrant to another person, the grand jury said. Tarrio was arrested when he arrived in Washington the same day.
After the Jan. 6 attack, Lamond and Tarrio continued communicating, with Tarrio telling Lamond he thought he "could have stopped this whole thing," meaning the Capitol attack, in another message cited by the indictment.
Lamond said Jan. 8 that he hoped that none of the Proud Boys would be arrested, according to the indictment.
"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," he said in that message.
Lamond will be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui on Friday.