Proud Boys may have sought revenge against police at Capitol siege: report

A new report notes that at least one member of the Proud Boys was motivated by a desire for revenge against police in his participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

Ethan Nordean, who goes by the alias Ruffio Panman, reportedly shouted at police through a bullhorn, saying: “You took our boy in, and you let our stabber go.” The statement was a reference to the arrest of Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and the dismissal of charges against a man accused of stabbing four people at a Dec. 12 pro-Trump rally. 

Proud Boys and other far-right protesters argue with police during a protest against COVID-19 restrictions on New Year’s Day in Salem, Oregon. Police declared the event unlawful and dispersed protesters with impact munitions and flash bang grenades after the group refused to leave downtown. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

At that gathering, Tarrio, 36, burned a Black Lives Matter sign at a Black church. He was arrested for that crime when he arrived back to Washington D.C. in advance of the Capitol siege attempt. 

The charging papers against Nordean, which were filed by the FBI and published by The Washington Post, noted that he solicited donations on Parler in late December, where he reportedly wrote: “Anyone looking to help us with safety/protective gear, or communications equipment it would be much appreciated, things have gotten more dangerous for us this past year, anything helps.”

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In the papers, the FBI alleges that Nordean posted an interview with another man allegedly stabbed in the incident on Dec. 12, a talk that happened on his podcast, “Rebel Talk with Ruffio.” That man said: “We (the Proud Boys) are looked at almost like the soldiers of the right-wing. People are looking to us to lead the way… we will gladly step up and take our place where they want us. This stuff is real. We are in a war.” 

In that same interview, Nordean opines that “The police are starting to become a problem.” He added that “we’ve had their back for years.” 

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Several men who identify as members of the Proud Boys have been arrested after the insurrection at the Capitol. The report notes that since Jan. 6, Tarrio has called for a “halt” of their group participating in any more marches. 

The Washington Post revealed last week that Tarrio became a law enforcement informant in 2013, according to a 2014 Miami federal court transcript. He is said to have turned informant after he was arrested on federal fraud charges related to a diabetic test strips scheme. His past connection to the FBI and local police was revealed by the former prosecutor in his case.

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