BOISE, Idaho (AP) – The mayor of Idaho’s largest city has launched an investigation to determine whether a police officer whose ties to a white supremacist group became known after he retired violated the rights of residents during his 22 years with the agency Has .
Boise Mayor Lauren McLean launched the investigation Monday after The Idaho Statesman reported that former police captain Matthew Bryngelson appeared under a false name on the American Renaissance Conference speakers’ list. The Southern Poverty Law Center says the conference attracts Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.
McLean said the investigation will also look at whether Bryngelson or others used agency resources to “promote racist ideologies.”
McLean announced the investigation Monday while addressing leaders and city officials during a negotiation meeting between the city and the Boise Police Department union. She said she expects cooperation from the police and the union.
“For those in the Boise Police Department, if you cannot or will not cooperate fully and honestly, I suggest now is the time to leave,” she said. “And honestly, it’s time to retire because the people of Boise depend on you to protect and serve them.”
The newspaper also reported that Bryngelson appeared to have blogged under a pseudonym about the time in his police career when he “became aware of black people’s violent tendencies.”
Bryngelson did not return phone or text messages from the newspaper.
The Boise Police Department released a statement Monday pledging to fully cooperate with the independent investigation.
“In light of the recent revelations about a former member of the BPD Command Staff, the Boise Police Department states unequivocally that there is no place for racist ideology, hatred, bigotry or behavior among members of the Boise Police Department, and we publicly condemn this in the strongest possible terms.” “, it was said.
The department said it had informed its members that it would “take swift action against anyone who might harbor similar feelings”.
Boise Police Cpl. Denny Carter, a union member, said union leaders support the investigation. The union has about 240 officers and non-commissioned officers.
“We’re going to work wholeheartedly together, and I think you’ll find that the citizens of Boise deserve the trust they have, minus that ex-officer taint,” Carter said. “We support the mayor in her beliefs and her actions, and we want to 100% denounce his actions.”