Boise Mayor and Acting Police Chief hold joint statement on public safety, Black Lives vigil

Posted at 3:50 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 19:26:22-04

BOISE, Idaho — A peaceful vigil is planned in downtown Boise Tuesday night on the Statehouse steps. Prior to the event, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean and Acting Police Chief Ron Winegar appeared together, showing solidarity and support for peaceful protests. She and Winegar both talked about the first amendment and the desire to maintain a safe event while ensuring freedom of the press, freedom of speech and the right to assemble.

"I am asking you. We are asking you, residents of Boise to be peaceful to honor the life and legacy for those whose lives are lost and to be respectful not only today but in the days to come," said Mayor McLean. "We have tough conversations as a community and Nation."

"There were some tense moments. There were some altercations that developed but I am thankful and proud to the folks that are here in Boise who were able to contain themselves and able to express themselves without resorting to violence," said Acting Police Chief Winegar. "That is what we ask of all of our citizens and all of those who would attend tonight and we look forward to everybody being able to express themselves freely and not have it boil over into those tensions that lead to violence."

The event begins at 8:30 p.m. on June 2. Organizers want participants to understand this is a vigil, not a protest, rally or riot. Organizers ask you to wear a mask and plan to social distance.

Battery powered tea light candles will be provided but please feel free to bring your own. Open flames are not allowed on the Capitol steps.

The full remarks from Mayor McLean and Acting Police Chief Winegar are below.

I know these are hard times, Boise. And I know we are all hurting, especially members of the Black community. The unjust and inhumane death of George Floyd brings pain and suffering not only to his family, but to people throughout our community and country whose lived experience includes centuries of racism and oppression.

I call on us all to renew our commitment to racial justice, and recognize that we must hold ourselves, our leaders and public servants to high standards. Boise is a welcoming city. We welcome and value those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color whose perspectives enhance and enrich our community. We stand with members of our community and our country. Boise stands with you and supports you.

It’s so important that we honor the life and legacy of those who have lost their lives because of racism in our country. We recognize that recent events, including the death of George Floyd, pushes many of us to come out and peacefully assemble. George Floyd’s family issued a statement yesterday calling for peace, and asking for prayers for his family.

Together with the Boise Police Department and the community organizers who are leading tonight’s vigil, we are asking you, Boise, for peaceful, respectful voices today and always. When we act in violence against each other, we are hurting our entire community, especially people of color who call Boise home. How does this honor the legacy of George Floyd?

As a city, and on behalf of the organizer’s for tonight’s event, we ask that if you attend the Black Lives Candlelight Vigil tonight at the Idaho State Capitol at 8:30 that you come in peace and with respect to honor the life and legacy of those lives lost to racism. The organizers are also asking us, with the health and safety of our entire community, to maintain six feet distance and please wear face coverings.

We want you to assure the community that your health and safety are our top priority.
Mayor Lauren McLean
Boise Police Officers have protected and supported those exercising their First Amendment rights on the streets in Boise for decades. This weekend and last night Boise Police were at the Idaho State Capitol not only to support and protect everyone’s right to speak but to listen to their messages, as well. Meeting the challenges of our future is written into our Guiding Principles.

We ask again that you honor what’s been outlined in the event description by organizers and attend with only the intention of peaceful mourning. In the days, weeks and years ahead we will be reaching out to more and more members of our community, as we work to make sure Boise is a place where people not only are safe but feel safe as well.
Chief Ron Winegar