Last weekend the Omaha Police Department threw themselves a party because they were sad about the Black Lives Matter movement calling out racist police violence. In addition to the 500 or so average Joe Racists who showed up (nowhere near the 2000 reported by organizers of the event), the Nebraska Proud Boys also showed up with their matching outfits and Nebraska Proud Boys flag.
The Omaha World Herald dutifully reported this rally as a kumbaya police-are-good-guys get together interrupted by the violence of … chalk … and made no mention of the presence of the violent far-right incel group, the Proud Boys. It was only after citizens asked the Omaha World Herald why they didn’t include this information that the OWH decided to look into it and write an article loudly proclaiming the Proud Boys as “uninvited guests.” And when asked about the Proud Boys, Omaha Police Officers Association President Sgt. Tony Conner claimed he had never heard of the Proud Boys before the rally. (This same Sgt. Conner also called Senator Tony Vargas a “two-bit politician” when Senator Vargas called out the unlawful violence aimed at peaceful protestors in Omaha during the ongoing rallies and marches for justice and equality.)
Conner’s claim to naïveté is absolutely unbelievable considering the Proud Boys have been labeled a hate group by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the group made national headlines when two members received prison time after attacking and brutally beating protestors after a speech by head incel Gavin McInnes in Manhattan in 2018. Deputy Police Chief Scott Gray speaking on behalf of the Omaha Police said he had “heard of” the national group but was not aware of a local chapter, even though local Proud Boys were outed two years ago by local antifascists. You know the OPD obsessively follows all the local antifascist accounts, so either the Omaha Police Department does not care enough about violent far right groups to pay attention to them, or they are so close that they have to claim ignorance. Basically the OPD is either incompetent, or lying liars who don’t want to narc on their buds. As for Hal Daub, who was a guest speaker at the event, he said “My attitude is: the less we pay attention to them, the better.” Because ignoring hate groups is how we beat the Nazis, right?
In Salem, Oregon, a cop was caught on film telling armed Proud Boys to be “discreet” so he didn’t have to arrest them for breaking curfew as they menaced BLM activists. In Philly, Proud Boys showed up at an official FOP afterparty after a “Back the Blue” rally like the one held in Omaha, and the cops there claimed they “didn’t notice them“. In this video, you can see a member of the Oregon State Police flashing the white power sign at a Proud Boy.
The OPD claiming ignorance about this group is laughable at best, and a coverup of their close ties to the group at worst. How long before photos of an off duty OPD officer in his Proud Boy uniform surface?