The decision to ask CDH to adjourn the meeting was based on growing concern about the police department’s ability to effectively maintain public safety. BPD had increased staffing levels to have additional resources at CDH. BPD was also handling a significant crash with potentially life-threatening injuries that occurred in the hour before the meeting started, as well as other calls throughout the city. BPD then had to send resources to CDH board members’ homes. At the time, we did not know how many protestors were involved and at how many residences. While most of the crowd in front of CDH was peaceful, BPD was aware of a few protestors who had indicated that they wanted to force their way into the building and cause further disruption. BPD is aware of the challenges that come with addressing a group of 25 to 50 people in a crowd of a 300 or 400. It’s very resource intensive and increases the danger for everyone involved. Meanwhile, inside the building, CDH trespassed one person after that person refused to follow CDH rules. Officers attempted to gain voluntary compliance from that person, but the subject refused to leave and was placed under arrest by a representative of CDH for misdemeanor trespassing. BPD took custody of the citizen’s arrest and took the subject to the Ada County Jail.
Concerning the crowd in front of the building, BPD had to balance the interests of CDH, with crowd management best practices and people’s first amendment rights. BPD had concerns that the podium, the speakers and other amplified noise would continue to add energy to the crowd, but it was not necessarily criminal. Adjourning the meeting was the safest and timeliest way to deescalate the situation.
Officers closest to the homes of the impacted board members were immediately dispatched to those homes. When they arrived, the protestors were no longer on scene, but officers did locate evidence (witnesses, chalk, videos) that they had been there. Based on citizen complaints, BPD worked to identify the individuals and began seeking warrants to charge them with disturbing the peace. Due to the recent State vs Clarke decision, officers cannot arrest someone for a misdemeanor charge that they did not witness. In this case neighbors in the area were willing to sign the complaint which allows us to seek a warrant. We worked overnight to complete the investigation and get the affidavits before a judge early this morning. The warrants are for Disturbing the Peace. We are actively searching for those three individuals to serve them on the warrants. Our focus is always on public safety, we are an apolitical entity.
We have also received questions about vandalism at the Anne Frank Memorial. We do not have any information indicating that it is connected to the protests Tuesday night. Officers responded to the vandalism report around 9am on Tuesday. Sometime late Monday night into early Tuesday morning an unknown suspect or suspects placed nine stickers with swastika symbols on several areas on the Anne Frank Memorial. The stickers were immediately removed. Investigators are currently reviewing surveillance video and the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to call dispatch at 208-377-6790 or Crime Stoppers: at 208-343-COPS (2677), www.343COPS.com, or leave a tip using the “P3 Tips” app for your mobile device..
We take all instances of hate and hate messaging seriously. Recently we were part of an investigation with our federal partners to arrest several individuals with ties to Neo-Nazi ideology. We are committed to ferreting out individuals who would sow hate in our community and seek to cause harm. We are as strongly committed to solving this incident at the Anne Frank Memorial.
Regarding people who have strong political opinions, our government is designed so there is an appropriate and civilized way to engage in that communication. Those people who wish for some sort of tumultuous confrontation or to be disruptive in the process are fundamentally undermining the democratic process and the engagement of the community in the administration of government. We would ask those people who wish to have their political concerns addressed to do it in a manner that comports with civility and decency and the expectations of our community.
We have also received several questions asking why we didn’t arrest anyone for stalking, harassment or trespassing. Each of these charges require a specific set of circumstances. While someone may not agree with someone else’s behavior and find it morally wrong, we can only charge a suspect under the laws we have. We work very closely with our legal team during these scenarios to investigate, watch video, follow up and work to hold people accountable where we can.
Harassment laws in Idaho fall under two categories, telephone harassment and malicious harassment, which targets someone because of their race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin.
To charge someone with stalking we must be able to show a pattern of behavior.
As stated earlier, to charge someone with trespass, the property owner must ask the individual to leave and then sign a complaint against the person if they refuse.
As stated earlier, to charge someone with disturbing the peace, there must be a signing party other than police.
The City of Boise’s public health order, and enforcement strategies, focus on trespassing laws and business licenses.