The left will go to extremes - shamefully. Seattle police exchanged detailed fake radio transmissions about a nonexistent group of menacing right-wing extremists at a crucial moment during 2020 racial justice protests, an investigation by the city’s police watchdog group shows. The radio chatter about members of the Proud Boys marching around downtown Seattle, some possibly carrying guns, and then heading to confront protesters on Capitol Hill was an improper “ruse,” or dishonest ploy, that exacerbated a volatile situation, The Seattle Times reported. That’s according to findings released Wednesday by the city’s Office of Police Accountability (OPA).
The Proud Boys is a far-right extremist group with a reputation for street violence and with several members - including one from a Seattle suburb - who have been charged with terrorism over alleged actions related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The ruse happened June 8, 2020, hours after the police department abandoned its East Precinct and as protesters were starting to set up the temporary zone that was later called the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP. The officers who participated described a group gathering by City Hall and delivered reports such as, “It looks like a few of them might be open carrying,” and: “Hearing from the Proud Boys group. … They may be looking for somewhere else for confrontation.”
Social media posts warning about the Proud Boys group by people monitoring police radio transmissions caused alarm in the protest zone.Though some people in the zone may have brought guns regardless of the chatter, the ruse “improperly added fuel to the fire,” Office of Police Accountability Director Andrew Myerberg concluded. The June 8 radio chatter was part of an approved “misinformation effort” that police leaders knew about, according to Wednesday’s closed-case summary by Myerberg, which is now under review by police department leaders for disciplinary rulings. Fabricating the group of Proud Boys violated department policies, Myerberg determined.