On Sunday, May 16, 2021, the City of Des Moines made national news when the Los Angeles Times published a big cover story about Proud Boy Ethan Nordean, written by Los Angeles Times Seattle bureau chief and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Read.

Entitled ‘He led the Proud Boys in the Capitol riot and shamed his town,’ the feature story includes interviews with Ethan’s father Mike Nordean, as well as social media and other online comments made over the years by locals.

Here’s an excerpt:

Dozens of merchants here on the shore of Puget Sound received a letter in August of 2019 decrying the rise of far-right extremism in America — and its arrival in their town.

“Here in our own community, a prominent seafood restaurant on Marine View Drive has a connection with the Proud Boys,” it said.

The organizers of the mailing — who left out their names and the name of the restaurant because they feared retribution — enclosed a sign that read “Hate has no business here” for businesses to post in their windows.

Few did, but word was spreading in Des Moines.


NOTE: This story may be behind a paywall, but can be read for free here: