Journalist Mark Ames believes that the Reuters article claiming that Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio is a prolific informant for law enforcement could have implications for the storming of the United States Capitol earlier this month, which led to the arrest of at least five of the group's members.
"Gotta assume about half Proud Boys are really Shy Government Informants/Provocateurs, based on what we've learned about other far-right groups," he tweeted.
"Another reason why cops go light on them — they're colleagues after all. Raises obvious questions about Jan 6."Tarrio helped authorities prosecute over a dozen people in cases linked to human smuggling, gambling, and drugs, Reuters reported. He has allegedly not acted as an informant since 2014.
The publication also noted that Tarrio was arrested in early January not long after he arrived in Washington — just two days before the Capitol riots. He was charged with burning a Black Lives Matter banner and possessing two high-capacity magazines and was ordered to leave the city.
Possible links between Proud Boys and law enforcement have surfaced in the past. Per the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago police department launched an investigation last year into Officer Robert Bakker's purported links to the group after leaked chat logs appeared to show him communicating with members and organizing meet-ups.
A Wall Street Journal investigation previously claimed that Proud Boys were "key instigators" in the riots that were at the "forefront" of many of the crucial moments the day the Capitol was stormed.
Outside of the Proud Boys, members of the far-right extremist group Oath Keepers were arrested for allegedly planning and coordinating the storming of the Capitol.In a piece for The Intercept, Arun Gupta claimed that the police are complicit in Proud Boys activity.
"Police complicity and politicians' inaction have allowed groups like the Proud Boys to stage violent spectacles again and again," he wrote.
Gupta pointed to internal documents that were obtained from the Portland police department that suggested they see the far right as "much more mainstream" than the left. Notably, text messages revealed that a police lieutenant coordinated with Joey Gibson — the leader of the right-wing militant group Patriot Prayer — on the activities of left-wing militant group Antifa during street fights.
Elsewhere, the police allegedly let Patriot Prayer members go after they discovered them with loaded guns on a garage rooftop that overlooked an August 2018 protest. Purportedly, the officers did not inform anyone — including Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who also serves as the city's police commissioner — for two months.