Boise Mayor Lauren McLean announced in a scathing press release that she would launch an investigation of the Boise Police Department. The mayor's release follows a social media report involving a retired Boise Police Captain who was one of many who filed complaints against former Boise Police Chief Lee, who was asked to resign after a damning report from Channel 7.

The mayor declined to investigate Mr. Lee despite numerous complaints and the well-documented case of Mr. Lee applying a choke hold on a fellow officer resulting in that officer being injured. Mayor McLean is telling the public that this case is so important that she and her 'independent investigator' will determine the credibility of the Boise Police Department. She is showing us her priorities with this public prosecution of her police department.

Let us be clear, racism and white supremacy has no place in our culture. However, in America, we are innocent till proven guilty, even in the age of social media. Multiple law enforcement agencies have condemned the actions of Matt Bryngelson.

One must ask the question, did he break the law? Do we forget that America was founded on free speech in this rush to judgment? That a pornographer (Larry Flint) took his case up to the US Supreme Court to win the right to say offensive things? Police officers are called to a higher standard than most of us and should be held accountable.

Mayor McLean should also be held accountable for her horrible decision to hire Ryan Lee. Where is the independent investigation of McLean and Lee? Let's take a look at here statements regarding this case. We will do our best to give you the highlights.

I am launching a full investigation into the actions of retired officer Bryngelson, and the department generally. That this officer served in this department for two decades is appalling; we must ensure the public that the actions taken by this department were forthright and determine if this issue is pervasive within the department.

This is serious. 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.

We will conduct an investigation through an independent investigator with deep experience in this type of investigation. The community, City Council, and my office deserves to know if any BPD resources were used by Bryngelson, or others in the department, to advance racist ideology; to determine if there were those whose rights were violated within our community, and within the department. We will know, after this investigation, the extent to which this is pervasive within the department, and we will act accordingly.

We agree with the mayor that these allegations are serious, and the public must trust their police department. On the other hand, the Boise Police Department has been put through the wringer due to the mayor's hiring of Mr.Lee. If Channel 7 hadn't broken the story, Mr. Lee would still be running or ruining the department.

How often did police officers seek help from their mayor, who gave them the Heisman by protecting Mr. Lee? Was the mayor's actions complicit with Mr. Lee, or was she incompetent in protecting the police officers she now seeks to investigate?

Boise Mayor Tells Police Officers To Quit

And for those in BPD: if you cannot or will not cooperate fully and honestly, I suggest that now is the time to leave this department. And honestly, the profession. The people of Boise rely on you to protect and serve them. The people of Boise deserve better.

Everyone should trust that they will be treated fairly. We can’t expect that one would be able to trust that someone who perpetuates such blatant racism, while serving as an officer, would be able to treat those he reviles so deeply in a fair way. In the way that members of our community – any community – deserve and expect.

We should have mentioned that the police are negotiating with the city for a new employment contract.

Boise Police React To Mayor's Call Out

In light of recent revelations concerning a former member of BPD Command Staff, the Boise Police Department unequivocally states there is no room for racist ideologies, hatred, bigotry, or behaviors among members of the Boise Police Department, and we publicly condemn such in the strongest possible terms. 

We find the actions and words of former BPD Captain Bryngelson relating to persons of color in our department and in our community to be offensive and troubling. We have communicated internally to all members of this agency in any capacity, that if anyone shares these types of thoughts, feelings, values, or ideologies – this department, and this line of work, is not for them. As a department, we commit to taking swift action with anyone who may harbor similar sentiments.

To be associated with an organization such as the “American Renaissance,” is unconscionable for a member of this agency. We must unitedly stand against hate and resist discrimination of any kind.

As a city and a community, we will address this. We share the concerns of Mayor McLean and the Boise City Council and will welcome and fully cooperate with an independent investigation to begin rebuilding a trusting relationship with each other and the public. We know that it will take the efforts of every one of us to gain the trust lost through these actions by a former member of our department.   

We will continue to update you on this story at it develops.

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