Crime

Secrets of Colorado Racist Busted in Idaho Pride Parade Riot Plot

The booking photo of Nathan Brenner and a screen capture from a leaked Patriot Front video showing in which Brenner appears.
Three Coloradans were among the 31 people arrested on June 11 for their roles in an alleged plot to cause a riot at a Pride parade in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. This trio includes Nathan Brenner, a 26-year-old from Louisville, who can be seen conducting training exercises with members of the white supremacist Patriot Front hate group in leaked video footage made public earlier this year by Unicorn Riot, a progressive nonprofit news service that says it "engages and amplifies the stories of social and environmental struggles from the ground up."

In January, the site identified the person now known to be Brenner as "Ben CO," a regional director for the Patriot Front based in Colorado. A Unicorn Riot archive includes "hundreds of thousands of messages from white supremacist and neo-Nazi Discord chat servers after Charlottesville," including dozens from Ben CO. In one example from last December, he wrote: "We look badass stoically marching through the nerve center of this evil empire that suppresses us, while our detractors follow impotently hurling their petty jeers and insults. Our online engagement looks tremendous, putting our message out in front of hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. Many cucked retards are revealing themselves to be such as knowledge of us ripples outwards."

During a June 11 press conference, representatives from the Coeur d'Alene Police Department and the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office provided background on the busts, as well as the arrestees named in this KCSO log, including Brenner and the two other Coloradans: 23-year-old Thornton resident Conor Ryan and Forrest Ranking, a 28-year-old from Wheat Ridge. Law enforcement officials said the cadre was traveling in a U-Haul that contained riot gear and at least one smoke grenade.

Also inside were arm patches and hats emblazoned with the logo of the Patriot Front, whose website proclaims: "Our people, born to this nation of our European race, must reforge themselves as a new collective capable of asserting our right to cultural independence."

"They came to riot downtown," said Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White.

See the press conference below.
The Patriot Front has been active in Colorado in recent years. In June 2019, for example, representatives from the organization placed its stickers on multiple businesses with openness and inclusivity at the core of their philosophy, such as BookBar, at 4280 Tennyson Street; an activist was stabbed while  attempting to remove one of the stickers near the Goodwill branch at 21 South Broadway.

Among the most prominent neo-Nazis active in Colorado has been William Scott Planer, who was arrested in 2017 for putting an anti-Semitic sticker on a synagogue shortly before being taken into custody on assault allegations in California. Planer was among those who took part in Patriot Front drills carried out "in a public park in Grand Junction, CO as children play soccer in the background" in October 2021, Unicorn Riot divulged in a report from the leaked media files. "At some points, they appear to have difficulty discerning right from left. Patriot Front members seen in these drilling videos include ‘Calvin CO‘, Patriot Front regional Network Director ‘Ben CO.’ and ‘Wilson CO,‘ aka William Planer, a well-known violent neo-Nazi involved in incidents where anti-racists were beaten and stabbed. Planer is also a former member of the defunct neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker Party."

Planer's presence in one of the videos caught the attention of the Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists, who tweeted a brief clip showing the directionally challenged members at the Grand Junction park in January. But Brenner can also be seen front and center, wearing a white long-sleeved shirt.
Click to access all 39 videos of the training event in Grand Junction, where the participants practice marching, the fireman carry, pushups and the two-man carry.

Brenner and the thirty others arrested in Idaho were each charged with a single count of conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor. All have been released on bond and are scheduled to be in court today for arraignment.