BOISE, Idaho — Police unions, departments and associations across the state have spoken out, condemning a former Boise Police Department Captain’s participation in a questionable conference over the weekend.
The conference host, American Renaissance has been designated as a “white nationalist hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Boise Mayor Lauren McLean is launching a full, independent investigation into the former captain and the entire department. On Twitter, McLean also deemed the event as a “white nationalist conference.”
“The overriding feeling on this is shock,” BPD Union, also known as The International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local #486, Public Information Officer Brian Holland said.
The BPD Union representing about 240 officers say they were shocked to find out about Bryngelson’s ties to the conference and affiliate views.
“We don’t adhere to those views,” Holland said. “This is somebody not representative of our union, but we understand it's still representative of the police, and yes it is very difficult today as a police officer to gain trust in general. It has a ripple effect but we can't allow one person to guide or change what we know are our principles.”
On Monday, McLean announced the investigation during a public meeting. She stated after the investigation, it will be made clear the extent to which this is or is not pervasive within the department.
“For those in the Boise Police Department, if you cannot or will not cooperate fully, I suggest that now is the time to leave, and it’s time to leave the profession,” she said.
We firmly denounce the comments he made about our community members, officers, and the public at large and remain dedicated to serving and protecting our community. We refuse to allow the intolerable views of one person to affect our relationship with the community.— Boise Police Union Local 486 (@IBPO486) November 21, 2022
“I combat the Mayor's statement painting the whole department with a broad stroke of what the City of Boise and the people of Boise deserve. This is a captain retired who was promoted by her chief, who was not a representative of the union. We as a union felt that the Mayor's comments were a negative comment toward the police department as a whole,” Holland said. “We do not believe in the ideologies that were put out. We would hope that one person wouldn’t dictate that for us but we will continue to be a consistent force out there.”
McLean said the investigation will be conducted through an independent investigator with deep experience in this type of investigation.