City Government

Is Probe Of Ex-Boise PD Capt. Warranted?

The GUARDIAN has been silent for several weeks because there is not much to write about that isn’t depressing.
This posting probably is no exception, but we feel compelled to offer a slant that seems to be overlooked by some legacy media.

Former Boise Police captain Matt Bryngelson touched off a firestorm when he became a poster child for a racist group based in Tennessee following his August retirement.

In the midst of contract negotiations with the police union, Mayor Lauren McLean made a statement condemning racist attitudes and launched an “independent investigation” into the Boise PD. She has apparently hired an outside investigator to handle the probe.

Here is what we know:
The revelation that Bryngelson had connections to the racist group took about everyone–especially members of Boise PD–by surprise. The GUARDIAN talked to former chiefs, union members, and others who all professed to have been “blindsided” and repulsed by what has been revealed.

There seems to be major concern that the mayor has ignored the recently created OFFICE OF POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY for the second time in recent months.

Previously she had been advised to place former Chief Ryan Lee on admin leave during an investigation into Lee’s use of force during a training incident that caused injury to an officer. She refused the advice, but later ended up terminating Lee. Bryngelson was one of the officers who had filed complaints against Lee.

The GUARDIAN can’t help but agree with BPD officers who note the alleged racist activity of Bryngelson should be of no concern to Boise officials since he is no longer a member of the department. From what we have seen, his public comments are despicable, but protected by the First Amendment right to free speech. In short, with no prior complaint and the fact he is not a public employee, there seems to be little cause to launch an investigation. Free speech, no matter how vile, is not a crime.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Boise resident
    Nov 22, 2022, 3:52 pm

    Don’t let Mayor McLean turn this Bryngleson situation into some sort of vindication for Ryan Lee just because Bryngleson was someone who went public with his complaints about Lee. Bryngleson’s criticisms of Lee were not race-based in any way and there’s no indication that the MANY others who also had valid complaints against Lee were doing so due to anything having to do with race. Lee was a poor leader and a horrible chief that crushed morale at BPD. McLean knew this well before Bryngleson and others made their complaints public. McLean owns the Lee fiasco 100% and voters need to hold her responsible if she runs for re-election next Fall.

  2. YES! “Bryngelson was one of the officers who had filed complaints against Lee.”
    Most free speech may be legal but bias police work is NOT.

    “Blindsided” Ha! More like surprised he got caught. I nailed it in September with I’ll suspect there is a large cadre within BPD that is opposed to __any chief ‘NOT LIKE THEM’. I’ll suspect that group targeted Chief Lee.

  3. His comments were an outrage, but I’m not sure why the guy’s former employer is investigating him. They going to try to fire someone who already quit moths ago? This is especially ironic from a mayor who still works with Lisa Sanchez, a city council member who said she didn’t have kids because she feared that “white people” would abuse or kill her child. Change the word “white” to “black” and explain how what Sanchez said is any different from Bryngleson’s comments.

  4. Boise Lawyer
    Nov 22, 2022, 10:13 pm

    The first amendment argument is silly, Dave, he did these things while an employee of Boise and he did some of them while wearing a BPD uniform. Everyone has a first amendment right to be an ass, but not necessarily at work.

    “Investigation” can mean a lot of things. The public would be apoplectic if the response from the city was “no investigation needed because he doesn’t work here anymore,” particularly because all the poor conduct here happened while he was a sworn officer for our city. I know I would be.

    An investigation into how that happened and what must be done to prevent it in the future is the right thing to do.

  5. The editorial notes that everyone was caught unawares of the officer’s apparent racist beliefs. Unless an allegation of past racist behavior surfaces, there is nothing to investigate.
    It is also difficult to determine whether a lesson can be learned from this. How does a department better screen applicants or watch current employees for undesirable beliefs without overreaching proper inquiry. Will the government require all potential and current employees to tender all current and past email and social media accounts for deep-dive exploration? If so, shouldn’t the City Council and Mayor be subject to the same standard?
    Watch for behaviors and patterns of behavior. If nothing is seen, do not assume that there is something secret that needs to be investigated.
    In the matter at hand, it seems that a person was competent at a job (promoted to captain) but had a belief that is adjudged deplorable by most. The belief was kept secret and, as far as anyone currently knows, was inconsequential to the performance of the job. How common is that condition in the population at large?

  6. Well, I guess I know how a conversation I was pretty interested went. Makes me sad there is so much resistance to having independent oversight…

    So, to be clear, Bryngleson is entitled to his own views. Probably not the best idea ever to express them while wearing a BPD uniform, because that runs into two problems: with his command position, it risks being seen as department policy, and it also casts aspersions on the BPD as a whole. I *know* many of my personal views are in conflict with my employer, so I make sure to not share them at work or while wearing anything that identifies where I work.

    I see no harm in checking back through the cases Bryngleson worked (other than the expense) to make sure his views didn’t color/inform his conduct when he was part of the department. To be clear, I only think this is OK because of the consequences in our society that come as a result of being arrested.

    I find the views repugnant, but it’s his right to hold them. I just want to make sure no one was harmed if he was unable to separate his personal and professional lives.

  7. Is the city going to interview the Chief of Police that promoted Bryngleson to the rank of Captain? That would be former Chief Lee.

  8. Your Librarian
    Nov 23, 2022, 1:43 pm

    So this is not depressing to the editor?
    Business as usual?

    Who are the Boise police officers agreeing with the editor, this should be of no concern?
    The investigator should start with those officers.

    Focusing on the Mayor doing the right thing instead of the real issue?
    A terrible post.

    Maybe it is time for the editor to finally retire without an investigation.

  9. Some of ya all don’t watch enough crime TV. Did he and others have any common denominator in cases? A LEO that comits perjury or is found to be a criminal in any other context taints all previous cases and many are overturned. He was swat too. The name he used is not just accidental. Racist trash patrolling your streets for law and order. For sure there are others in boise police that tolerated his bad behavior and illegal predujuice. No way it is just 1 person. Ya all in boise must be ignorant to think it is 1 person. 29 years. It is systemic.

  10. Wow, CSI has jumped from personal opinions held to bad behavior committed by Bryngleson . Let’s keep the discussion limited to facts and not imagination. No complaints filed in 20 years alleging racist treatment of the public or fellow employees. It seem as if the Mayor wants McCarthy type of hearings with current employees to be followed up by a “Star Chamber” with her as the final arbiter of acceptable thinking. If the city is having trouble recruiting people to be officers, her treatment of the current officers without any evidence of wrongdoing certainly will not help.

  11. western guy
    Nov 25, 2022, 3:02 pm

    Haven’t read the prior 10 posts yet, but must respond to the Guardian owner relating to the (allegedly) racist beliefs of the former police Captain: Yes, that individual’s comments now are directly related to his actions while employed by Boise City.

    And for all his co-workers to assert they were ‘blindsided’ for the past 20 (?) years, i doubt seriously this Captain was totally silent about his beliefs. Or he was a tremendous actor.

    So, avowed racist police officer in a leadership capacity? Who’da thought.

  12. Concerned Neighbor
    Nov 26, 2022, 7:17 am

    The vast majority of racism today is led by BLM against asians and caucasians. Institutionalized racism is alive and well against – again, asians and caucasians. The last major holdouts of “white supremacy” ended several decades ago. Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a leftist PAC that slanders political targets.

    Bryngleson wrote about the left’s attacks on police and the left’s constant lies. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. His statistics are accurate. He’s no longer part of BPD. His opinions are his own. End of story. Yet another mole hill made into Mt Everest by the Lying Left and Marxist McLean.

  13. Boise, not Portland
    Dec 19, 2022, 6:06 pm

    Interesting to lay out the timeline of events here:

    * Mayor McLean hires Ryan Lee outside the normal hiring protocol for such an important hire

    * Mayor McLean, a few years later, then fires the very person she handpicked to lead the BPD

    * Subsequent to the firing of Ryan Lee, the Mayor is not willing to release the OPA report to the public that details (hopefully) the very reason she fired him in the first place

    *Next, she fires the head of the OPA who was in charge at the time of the creation of the OPA report on Ryan Lee, which report presumably led to his firing; to many, the rationale given for the firing of Jesus Jara sounds like he was fired for doing his job

    * Next, Mayor McLean hires an out of state law firm for $500k or so to run an investigation into whether the BPD is (or was) racist owing to the beliefs of the former Chief who retired some time ago.

    Not exactly sure how all of these events are connected, but I hope someone out there is trying to “connect the dots” here.


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