SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — A mother for one of the Utah men arrested for conspiracy to riot at a Pride event in Northern Idaho over the weekend is speaking out in an attempt to get him out of the white nationalist group Patriot Front.
The mother, Karen Amsden told 2News she does not support her son Jared Boyce’s beliefs or choices, and that she was devastated to learn of the reason for his arrest.
“A little thing popped up on my phone about these guys being arrested, and I just knew in my heart he was part of it,” Amsden said.
She said after he bonded out of jail and showed up at her home in Springville.
"I was hoping and praying that maybe this arrest would be something that would change his attitude,” she said, but instead she’s worried it did the opposite. “They feel justified in what they did and he intends on being part of Patriot Front.”
Amsden told 2News she asked him after his arrest to choose between his family and the group, and if his choice was the latter that he needed to move out, which she said was tough.
"I don't think people are entitled to go and provoke other people and incite a riot. I don't believe that. There are peaceful ways to get your points across,” she said.
Amsden said she’s been open with her son about her concerns with his beliefs for years.
“I remember at first when he started going down this rabbit hole, it started with he was a Holocaust denier and blaming the Jews, and bought into all this conspiracy stuff,” she said. “At first, I thought it was kidding when he was talking about the Holocaust not being real. I thought that, but there really are people that believe that” she said.
Amsden said it’s been humiliating and heartbreaking seeing her son’s name in headlines over what happened in Idaho, saying she raised him better.
She’s felt hopeless at times not knowing where to turn to for support.
“Who do you tell? Who do you go talk to you know, like,’ Oh, my son's you know a white supremacist, neo-Nazi You don’t want to talk about it to other people because it's just it's so crazy,” she said.
She said through the years she’s lied awake at night searching for answers but feels this is rock bottom.
“I have tried to be a good mom, and I don't know what to do. And I don't want to give up on him, you know?”
In speaking out, Amsden said she’s received several messages from families and individuals who say they’ve experienced similar things with loved ones.
“Some people have reached out and if it helps anybody, then that's a good thing. And gosh, if it helps Jared get kicked out of the group that would even be better, but I don't know. He'll probably hate me for it,” she said.
Jared’s arraignment is scheduled for August. Amsden said she does not plan to attend. She also shared she is glad someone reported the group to police.
“A lot of people I guess are saying ‘they hadn’t done anything yet, so why did they get arrested?’ but they intended to do something,” she said. “I think it’s awesome a concerned citizen called, and they were able to stop it before it even happened.”