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Independent investigators hired to look into ex-Boise Police captain's behavior while still on the force

Mike Bromwich sits at a table with a mic in front of him, his hand crossed.
Lead investigator Mike Bromwich introduces himself to the City of Boise Council Member. He and his team will be looking into retired officer Matthew Bryngelson time on the force following revelations he had ties to a white supremacy organization and expressed racist views while still employed by BPD.

In November, retired Boise Police Department captain Matt Bryngelson used a pseudonym to spout racist beliefs online while he was working as a police officer. He was also found to have ties with a white nationalist organization.

The City of Boise has now hired an investigative team to look into his conduct.

At a Strategic Planning Council Meeting on Tuesday, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean introduced the independent investigators who will look into whether Bryngelson’s racist views impacted his policing.

“The focus is: Did racist or white supremacist views infect the behavior of police officers?” said lead investigator Mike Bromwich. “Not whether they held those views privately, not whether they expressed those views privately, but whether they infected the work of the department through enforcement practices, through traffic stops, through arrests without probable cause, through abusive conduct with members of minority communities here.”

Bromwich added his team would reach out to current and former members of the Boise Police Department for comment and a website would be launched to gather feedback from the public.

“It's critical that members of the community that feel they have seen evidence that is related to our investigation, that they feel free to come forward and provide that information to us,” he said.

“Is there a possibility that it happened the other way around?” asked Council Member Lisa Sánchez, the only person of color on the City Council. “Maybe this individual is infected by the people who work for the City of Boise.”

“My concern is that we scapegoat one department when we may have issues that permeate our entire organization. It's not one individual who does that,” she added.

Bromwich couldn’t say how long the investigation would last. His team will issue a final public report which will include methodology, findings and recommendations for moving forward.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.

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