Black Lives Matter protest, counter-protests unfold in Boise Tuesday night

Posted at 3:45 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 16:30:44-04

UPDATE (2:25 p.m.): The Boise Police Department has provided an update on arrests made from the generally peaceful protests Tuesday. One adult male was arrested on a charge of Resisting and Obstructing after he jumped over the barricades marked with police line do not cross tape.

One adult female reportedly pointed a firearm at people in a crowd, according to a release from BPD. The investigation will go to the prosecutor's office for review of charges.

One juvenile was detained for battery and released to parents. One juvenile was detained for disturbing the peace after jumping out of a vehicle and attempting to start a fight. That juvenile was also released to their parents. One juvenile was cited for Minor in Consumption of alcohol.

One juvenile was reported to have committed a possible batter on another person in the crowd. The report is being routed to the prosecutor's office for review of charges.

Boise Police said in a release that they thank everyone who peacefully exercised their first amendment rights. The department also thanked the Meridian Police Department, Idaho State Police, Nampa Police Department, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Ada County Paramedics and Boise Fire Department for their assistance.

UPDATE (8:30 a.m.): The protests at both Boise State University and City Hall dispersed relatively peacefully, but police did have to step in at times. The department set up barriers Tuesday morning to keep demonstrators separate and safe, as they exercised their first amendment right.

Police Chief Ryan Lee addressed the media around 9 p.m. with an update.

"Officers did intervene in several tense situations," said Lee. "Through their interventions, we were able to de-escalate and return things to a peaceful state. I would like to say we appreciate those who chose different venues to express their opinions. It made the crowds much more manageable in size for those who want to exercise their first amendment rights."

Two people were arrested for hopping police barricades and two others were detained on assault charges.

UPDATE (6:20 p.m.): The BLM rally at Boise State University dispersed around 5:45 p.m. Around 100 people had gathered at B Plaza on BSU's campus by 4:30 p.m.

UPDATE (5:45 p.m.): A large crowd of counter-protesters marched from the capitol to City Hall. Many are holding American flags, chanting "USA!", and carrying signs that say "All Lives Matter."

Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter Boise is gathering at Boise State in an "anti-racist" rally, calling to defund the police and ICE. Boise Police are on scene.

UPDATE (4:50 p.m.): Boise Mayor Lauren McLean put out a statement after Chief Lee provided an update on what the Boise Police Department is doing to prepare for tonight's protests. McLean says everyone has the right to peacefully assemble and protest, but violence of any kind will not be tolerated and those who incite it will be held accountable.

"This is an important day for the future of our city. I, along with Boise City Council, have heard your calls for a transparent process when it comes to city business. At tonight’s 6 p.m. city council meeting we have several agenda items to address that include the opportunity for Boiseans to provide their input, including the proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget. I welcome all Boiseans to review the agenda for tonight’s meeting and participate virtually," said McLean in a written statement.

You can watch the council meeting on the City of Boise's YouTube page. If you plan to testify on the budget, you can find more information on how to do that here.

ORIGINAL STORY: Coming up tonight is a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, which has switched to a different location after a large group of counter-protesters attended the last one. The Boise Police Department says they are concerned that it could happen again, mentioning at least one group from outside Ada County.

According to the Black Lives Matter Boise account, the protest is being held at the B Plaza on the Boise State University campus. The protest was originally going to take place at City Hall.

Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee held a short press briefing at 3:30 p.m. to discuss the department's plan for the protests. Chief Lee reiterated that there will be multiple police officers near City Hall to respond to acts of violence or destruction of property. BPD is adjusting their plans to the change of location for the Black Lives Matter protest.

Chief Lee addressed several rumors of suspicious activity that they are looking in to. There was a suspicious package reported at Main and 9th, which was determined as not a danger to the public but BPD will continue to look into it. Boise Police has no confirmation of bricks being placed around town, after social media rumors.

Chief Lee urges people to be cautious about what they see on social media and other online platforms.

"It sounds like there is some sort of effort going on to spread misinformation about what is happening already in Boise," Lee said. "We do encourage people to report graffiti and any suspicious behavior. Call dispatch and describe what the graffiti says and it's location. Call 911 for emergencies and 208-377-6790 for non-emergencies."

More information and updates will be posted throughout the night on Boise Police's Facebook and Twitter accounts. Idaho News 6 has crews in Boise and this article will be updated throughout the night.