A retired police captain in Idaho has been discovered to have had ties with white supremacist groups during his tenure with the Boise Police Department.
Matthew Bryngelson, whose 22-year career in law enforcement ended with his retirement in August, appears on the speaker list of a conference organized by American Renaissance, a website that promotes white supremacist views.
Bryngelson, who was set to present a talk entitled “The Vilification of Police and What it Means for America,” was listed under the pseudonym Daniel Vinyard, the name of a neo-Nazi character in the 1998 film “American History X.”
Bryngelson’s involvement in the conference drew attention online after Twitter user Molly Conger posted a thread about it over the weekend.
[the entire thread that follows contains discussion of the white supremacist belief that black people are biologically predisposed to commit violent crime, including screenshots of essays & a video clip of an interview espousing those views]
— molly conger (@socialistdogmom) November 19, 2022
The conference webpage described Bryngelson as “a retired, race-realist police officer with 30 years of experience, including gang enforcement, SWAT, and narcotics detective.” The entry shows a photo of Bryngelson wearing his police uniform.
Bryngelson also reportedly authored posts in which he noted the time in his police career when he “became aware of the violent tendencies of Blacks.”
The group’s website also had an hour-long video in which Bryngelson, as Daniel Vinyard, is interviewed by American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor. Although posted in September, the video is date-stamped May 8, when Bryngelson was still a captain. The video can no longer be seen on the site.
During the interview, Bryngelson tells Taylor that Black perpetrators commit crimes “the sound human mind can’t even comprehend … let alone carry them out.”
He also argued that the killings of Black men by police officers could have been avoided had they complied with authorities.
In September, Bryngelson was one of the officers who filed a complaint against former Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee. The Asian American officer, who had earlier been investigated over accusations he hurt an officer during a restraint demonstration, was asked by Boise Mayor Lauren McLean to resign shortly after.
“I was torn because I was so dedicated to the city and the community and the 110 or so officers that I was the captain over,” Bryngelson told KTVB. “But I just couldn’t physically do it anymore. It was ruining my life.”
Bryngelson’s involvement with white supremacist groups coincided with the time he served as the host of the BPD’s weekly podcast “The BPD Beat,” in which he interviewed other officers, civilians and community members.
“BPD Beat” episodes ranged from the department’s support of LGBTQ Pride events to its cooperation with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
In a statement posted on Monday, the BPD condemned Bryngelson’s actions and remarks toward persons of color “in our department and in our community” as “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,” the statement read. “As a department, we commit to taking swift action with anyone who may harbor similar sentiments.”
On Sunday, Mayor McLean posted a tweet announcing she was aware of Bryngelson’s involvement with white supremacist activities, which she deemed “racist, dehumanizing propaganda.”
This weekend, I learned of retired Boise Police Department officer Matt Bryngelson’s participation in a white nationalist conference and his ongoing contributions to racist, dehumanizing propaganda.
— Mayor McLean (@boisemayor) November 20, 2022
“The fact that such an individual could serve in the department for two decades is appalling,” McLean wrote. “The people of Boise deserve a police department worthy of their investment and trust, and we are launching a full investigation accordingly.”
Mayor McLean announced on Monday that a full investigation of Bryngelson will be initiated.
Featured Image via Boise Police Department