BOISE, Idaho — More backlash from local law enforcement tonight against a recently retired Boise Police Captain. This comes one day after Mayor Lauren McLean said she's launching an independent investigation into Matthew Bryngelson, and the entire Boise Police Department.
Bryngelson was scheduled to speak at the American Renaissance Conference this past weekend. An organization called The New Century Foundation puts on the conference, a group the southern poverty law center designated as a white nationalist hate group.
Bryngelson also wrote anti-Black articles under the pseudonym Daniel Vinyard for American Renaissance while he was a high-ranking BPD officer.
Meanwhile, he was also hosting a podcast for BPD where he interviewed refugee, LGBTQ+ and Asian-American liaison officers.
KTVB spoke with two officers: Past President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Treasure Valley Lodge #11, Joe Andreoli, and the BPD Union Public Information Officer Brian Holland. The BPD's union is also known as The International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local #486.
Both were quick to condemn Bryngelson and what they call his "racist views."
They said they're "extremely shocked" a former member, someone they knew for years, had this side to him.
Leaders with the union and the FOP urge their members to fully cooperate with any investigation and be transparent. They said the goal is to get to the bottom of this and find out whether other bad apples are rotting in the BPD.
When asked about how something like this changes public opinion on the BPD, Andreoli said that they now have an uphill battle to regain the trust of their communities.
"I've never seen, in my career, something hit so close to home," said Andreoli. "I've always thought of this as being a bigger city problem or an east coast problem or somewhere not in Boise."
Andreoli went on to say that there are people who support the police and realize that 99.9% of them are doing the right thing. However, he said that there's also a certain population that will never trust them, no matter what they do.
"It's the people that are on the fence or in the middle that I think we've probably lost with this," said Andreoli.
He continued that if they are able to salvage a relationship that it will be from the police that are working the streets and doing a good job. That way they can prove that they are who they say they are.
Andreoli said he doesn't know how this went undetected for so long and said that Bryngelson likely rose through the ranks because he's smart.
He said that he's never seen it affect the way Bryngelson policed but Andreoli thinks Bryngelson's two-decade-long career with BPD should be scrutinized. That way, they might figure out if anything he did was racially motivated.
Both Andreoli and Holland do not think any other officers in BPD agree with Bryngelson's racist beliefs. Holland also echoed that he never saw this coming.
"The union represents rank and file officers and sergeants, not command staff, so Bryngelson was not a member," said Holland. "I'm a person of color. I'm a Black man and I never saw any of that whatsoever."
Holland furthered that he did not see any type of racist behavior in any way, shape or form.
"Quite honestly, I saw the opposite," said Holland, "but again, I can only go back to what is seen in the publications and the associations or memberships and in the writings. And like I said, it speaks for itself."
When KTVB asked Holland if he thought this sort of white nationalist mentality is pervasive in the BPD or if he had seen any type of this behavior, he said not at all.
"I don't believe it's pervasive and haven't seen it," said Holland. "I've been around for a very long time and I have not seen that type of behavior in any policing."
Holland also said the department will come through this by staying consistent and policing ethically and professionally to continue to earn Boiseans' trust.
Bryngelson was featured in a KTVB investigation this past Sep. as one of nine officers who filed complaints against former Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee.
After KTVB's story - the mayor asked the chief to step down.
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