SALT LAKE CITY — Among the evidence police took from Patriot Front members Saturday in Idaho was a planning document for antagonizing people, according to a police affidavit.
A police officer wrote the document was taken from Thomas Rousseau, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as founder of Patriot Front, a white supremacist group. The document discussed Patriot Front being in Coeur D’ Alene, Idaho, during the gay pride rally “to raise a voice against the moral depravity which permits events such as this to take place.”
The document also discussed “checkpoints,” “observation windows,” “backup plans” and using “smoke,” the police officer wrote. The court papers say a smoke grenade was found on one of the 31 men arrested Saturday.
Six men with Utah addresses were among those arrested. As of Wednesday afternoon, five had been formally charged with a misdemeanor count of conspiracy.
“It's not particular to Utah,” said Michael Edison Hayden, investigative journalist at the Southern Poverty Law Center, “and nobody needs to be particularly scared of Patriot Front being in Utah, because they're all over the country.”
“In areas where people vote consistently conservative or along Republican lines, they try to appeal and try to recruit people who may be looking for something more, who may be basing their, their views exclusively on resentment.”
How should friends and family respond to individuals in the Patriot Front or espousing its views?
“It’s worth having a talk with them,” Hayden said.
“Because some of the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that they believe some of the views that they have on race, are very easily correctable."