A Washington, D.C. police lieutenant has been suspended with pay during an investigation into potential ties to the Proud Boys, the right-wing street gang.
The extent of the lieutenant’s ties to the group, if any, are unknown, but concerns brought to the Metropolitan Police Department were significant enough for Police Chief Robert J. Contee III to place the department employee on administrative leave.
The Washington Post subsequently reported on the identity of the lieutenant and the focus of the investigation.
In a brief press conference Wednesday, Contee did not identify the subject of the investigation, referring to them only as “a member of the Metropolitan Police Department.” Nor did he detail the concerns that were brought to the department.
However, Contee said that “based upon my review of what we know so far,” the issues raised were serious enough to suspend the officer and involve the Department of Justice.
“The concerns that were brought to our attention, again, were serious enough for us to collaborate with our federal partners,” he said.
The Post filled in some detail, based on an interview with the prominent Proud Boy Enrique Tarrio and four unnamed law enforcement officials familiar with the case.
The suspended lieutenant is Shane Lamond, a 22-year law enforcement veteran and a member of the MPD’s intelligence branch, the Post reported. TPM was unable to reach Lamond for comment Thursday.
The Post’s sources said there was evidence suggesting communications between Lamond and Tarrio, a prominent member of the group and its longtime leader, though he announced last year that he’d be stepping down from that role.
Tarrio described Lamond to the Post as a “liaison officer” for the Proud Boys, who Tarrio would contact in advance of planned Proud Boy rallies and marches in D.C.
Notably, Tarrio also claimed that Lamond would tell him the location of counterdemonstrators during marches.
Last month, Tarrio was released from jail in D.C. after serving a four-month sentence for burning a historically Black church’s Black Lives Matter banner. Tarrio was arrested for that offense two days before the Jan. 6 Capitol attack — an attack for which many Proud Boys members later faced charges themselves.
Asked Wednesday if the Justice Department’s involvement was related to its investigation of Jan. 6, Contee said “We are looking at all of that. Nothing is off the table right now.”