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By the way Chief Lee White of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department is acting, you’d swear he just prevented a mass shooting in a preschool using only psychic abilities and a roll of tape.

But that’s not what White and his force did. Instead, on Saturday they arrested 31 guys who were found to be in possession of nothing other than a single smoke bomb and a plan to make noise throughout the city.

Each individual was charged with one misdemeanor, “conspiracy to commit riot,” based on the fact that the men involved were dressed in distinguished uniforms of khaki pants and blue t-shirts, plus some of them had shin guards and shields. There were no guns nor ammunition, but they did have some kind of document spelling out a plan to march in a line through a downtown park and agitate passersby.

The intent was to align in “a column forming on the outside of the park, proceeding inward, until barriers to approach are met,” according to The New York Times, and “once an appropriate amount of confrontational dynamic has been established the column will disengage and head to Sherman [Ave.].” In other words: Show up, irritate pedestrians, and then leave.

It’s certainly annoying and offensive, but since when did that require two press conferences from the police chief and fire-alarm coverage from The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and on and on?

Ah, that’s because this wasn’t just anybody. This wasn’t Black Lives Matter or Antifa. It was the Patriot Front, a group made up of “white nationalists.” That’s why we’re supposed to believe this was so important. They were white racists and, as we’re told by the FBI and the media over and over again, that’s the greatest threat to the country at the moment.

It’s not because anyone was hurt or that there was even any evidence that there was a specific plan of assault. They had no weapons.

Admittedly, anything can be a weapon, but generally speaking, a shield is meant to defend, not attack. And Chief White said there were regular attendees “walking around the [Pride] event with long guns and handguns and bear spray and all kinds of things like that.” That’s perfectly legal for them to do in Idaho, but it was apparently the shields police were concerned with.

The police report from the arrest says that it was “likely the intent” of the group to “incite physical confrontation and cause disorder,” and “use violence and/or the threat of violence to disturb the public peace.”

Again, it’s not that that’s not serious, but consider the hostage situation the entire nation faced (and continues to face) through the summer and fall of 2020 when violent Black Lives Matter riots were raging in every major city. “Mostly peaceful,” we were assured. In the case of Coeur d’Alene, nothing happened, and in addition, White said plenty of activist groups were in the city at the same time, opposed to and in support of the Pride event, including the left-wing Antifa and the right-wing Panhandle Patriots.

A member of the Panhandle Patriots group is even on video ahead of time saying they planned to go “head to head” with the Pride organizers and attendees. “Damn the repercussions,” he said. “Stand up, take it to the head, go to the fight.”

Okay, so why was there a major arrest of an unaffiliated group that had nothing but a single smoke bomb? (Which, by the way, would have had minimal effect outdoors.)

White said his department is even working with the FBI on this matter involving misdemeanor charges. (Hmm… where have we seen that before?)

This is an important story. Not because “white nationalists” are involved. But because for curious reasons, the FBI is.