Boise Mayor launching investigation of retired police officer's participation in white nationalist conference

Matt Bryngelson
Posted at 11:35 AM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 14:18:53-05

BOISE, Idaho — Boise Mayor Lauren McLean announcedMonday she is launching a full investigation of retired BPD officer Matt Bryngelson after learning of his participation in a conference over the weekend.

On social media, McLean stated Bryngelson participated in a "white nationalist" conference and that he also had ongoing contributions to "racist dehumanizing propaganda" while a sworn officer in the department.

Southern Law Poverty Center states the conference host, American Renaissance was founded by Jared Taylor in 1990, and it's, "a self-styled think tank that promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites — although in hifalutin language that avoids open racial slurs and attempts to portray itself as serious scholarship."

Bryngelson retired as a captain for BPD in August after nearly 24 years with the department. He was listed under a different name as a speaker at the American Renaissance conference which took place in Burns, Tennessee Nov. 18-20.

According to the website's 'About Us' tab, American Renaissance states, "We also believe that whites, like all racial groups, have legitimate interests that must be defended. The defense of those interests is white advocacy. We seek to advance only those interests that we recognize and would defend for all other racial groups. We seek no advantages as whites — only the expression of preferences for our own people and culture that are taken for granted by people of other races but denied to us."

Matt Brygelson
Retired BPD Police Captain Matt Brygelson listed as a speaker at the American Renaissance conference under a different name.

“Our community deserves a police department worthy of their investment and trust; BPD staff who work day in and out to live up to their commitment to protect and serve and find themselves as morally outraged as I am at the racist, dehumanizing propaganda spouted by at least one of their coworkers deserve to know that we have their backs,” McLean said a statement.

The Idaho Chiefs of Police Association also issued a statementSunday evening condemning the alleged actions and comments of the former police Captain.

“ICOPA is extremely disappointed and disgusted with the actions of former police captain Matt Bryngelson,” Chief Roger Schei, ICOPA President said. “The ICOPA membership stands firmly against the hatred portrayed by Matt Bryngelson and others who recite these disgusting beliefs. ICOPA works diligently to serve our communities, and we condemn the hateful words of Bryngelson, which create a divide between the communities we serve and our police officers. There is NO place in this noble profession for people who hold the beliefs of people like Bryngelson, and we want to assure the communities we serve that we will not stand for such racism and hatred.”

McLean said the investigation will be conducted through an independent investigator with deep experience in this type of investigation.