An Idaho police chief says he's been getting death threats since authorities arrested dozens of white nationalists near a Pride event

  • Thirty-one men linked to a white supremacist group were arrested outside of a Pride event Saturday.

  • They wore insignias identifying them as being linked to Patriot Front.

  • The Coeur d'Alene police chief said his department has been receiving hate calls since the arrests.

An Idaho police chief said his department has been receiving hate calls after arresting 31 individuals believed to be affiliated with a white supremacist group near a Pride event over the weekend.

"I think it's my impression so far that the majority of the supportive things that we're receiving is from members of our community," Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Lee White told reporters at a press conference Monday. "We obviously have the hate groups from outside that are giving us their opinion as well."

White said that the department received nearly 150 calls after Saturday's arrests — 50% of which were praise from the community.

"The other 50% who are completely anonymous and who want nothing more than to scream and yell at us, and use some really choice words, offer death threats against myself and other members of the police department merely for doing our jobs," White said. "Those people obviously remain anonymous and don't tell us where they are from, although we had a call as far away as Norway."

The 31 individuals were arrested on Saturday after a concerned citizen reported seeing a group of masked men loading riot gear into a U-Haul near a Pride event.

Police officers guard a group of men, who police say are among 31 arrested for conspiracy to riot and are affiliated with the white nationalist group Patriot Front, after they were found in the rear of a U Haul van in the vicinity of a North Idaho Pride Alliance LGBTQ+ event in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, U.S. June 11, 2022 in this still image obtained from a social media video.

White said at a press conference on Saturday that the men were armed with "shields, shin guards, and other riot gear with them, including at least one smoke grenade," and were wearing insignias for Patriot Front.

The Southern Poverty Law Center described Patriot Front as "a white nationalist hate group that formed in the aftermath of the deadly 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, of August 12, 2017."

White said all of the men were charged with a misdemeanor count of conspiracy to riot.

At his Monday press conference, he added that the biggest lesson for law enforcement is that "one concerned citizen can prevent something horrible from happening" and, as a result, "we likely stopped a riot from happening downtown."

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