Credit: Darrow Montgomery/file

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Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Shane Lamond was arrested Friday on one count of obstruction of justice and three counts of making false statements to federal investigators related to his communication with Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the Proud Boys, a violent, misogynist group rooted in White nationalism.

According to the indictment, Lamond regularly texted and spoke with Tarrio between July 2019 and January 2021 about the groups’ planned activities in D.C. As head of MPD’s intelligence branch, part of Lamond’s job was to gather information about protests. Text messages, including those on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, reveal their relationship went further than that, according to the federal indictment.

Throughout December 2020, for example, Lamond was in regular communication with Tarrio regarding the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner that was hanging on Asbury United Methodist Church, a historically Black church in D.C. Tarrio admitted to his involvement in the crime on social media on Dec. 17 (and later pleaded guilty). Lamond then updated Tarrio about the progress of law enforcement’s investigation into the matter and eventually alerted him that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, according to the indictment.

“Just a heads up, CID had me ID you from a photo you posted on [social media website] kneeling down next to the BLM banner so they may be submitting an arrest warrant to the US Attorney’s Office,” Lamond texted Tarrio on Christmas Day 2020.

Lamond also describes in texts to Tarrio and another person how he talked MPD investigators out of charging Tarrio with a hate crime.

“I’ve been talking to CID about it,” Lamond texted Tarrio Dec. 18, when Tarrio asked if the department would “make a stink of it.” “They wanted to know what I know about your group and if I think you all are racist. 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. I said all those would have to be classified as hate crimes too.”

During their December 2020 communications, Lamond and Tarrio used the encrypted chat function. At one point, after Tarrio texted Lamond a screenshot of a message he received from an MPD detective investigating the banner burning incident, Lamond “changed the settings of his encrypted chat with Tarrio on Telegram so that future messages would delete 5 seconds after the recipient opened them,” the indictment says.

Then, on Jan. 4, Lamond changed the chat settings so messages would disappear 10 seconds after the recipient read them. The indictment does not say what Lamond texted, but moments later, Tarrio texts another person: “Warrant was just signed.”

The indictment says Lamond did not tell MPD investigators he had given Tarrio information about their investigation, nor did he alert them to admissions Tarrio had made about his involvement in the banner burning.

Lamond and Tarrio also exchanged texts about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. On Jan. 7, Lamond texted: “Looks like the feds are locking people up for rioting at the Capitol. I hope none of your guys were among them.” When Tarrio denied that they were involved, Lamond responded, “Great to hear. Of course I can’t say it officially, but I personally support you all and don’t want to see your group’s name or reputation dragged through the mud.”

Tarrio and three other members of the Proud Boys were recently convicted in D.C. of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the insurrection. Prosecutors in that trial suggested that Tarrio’s arrest for burning the BLM banner fueled the Proud Boys’ anger at law enforcement and contributed to their actions on Jan. 6, the Washington Post reports.

In June of 2021, when investigators with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. started interviewing Lamond about his communication with Tarrio, he “knowingly and willfully made several false and misleading statements to them,” the indictment says.

Asked whether MPD’s plan was to arrest Tarrio without notifying him or to get him to turn himself in for the banner burning, Lamond falsely told federal investigators, “I know that I didn’t, you know, inform him that he had an arrest warrant,” according to the indictment.

Lamond also persistently mischaracterized his conversations with Tarrio. He told investigators that he tried to get information “without tipping him off to the MPD investigation.” Asked whether Tarrio would “fish” for information, Lamond falsely said, “No, not really. He never really asked me questions about, like, you know, what we were doing or anything. It was more, you know, one-sided with just him telling me, you know, what their plans were.”

Lamond’s attorney, Mark Schamel did not immediately return a phone call but has previously said his client was simply doing his job in communicating with Tarrio.

An official statement from MPD says Lamond was placed on paid administrative leave in February 2022 and that its internal affairs division conduct its own investigation.

“Details related to [Lamond’s] improper conduct will be made available during the court proceedings,” MPD’s statement says. “We understand this matter sparks a range of emotions, and believe the allegations of this members [sic] actions are not consistent with our values and our commitment to the community.”