"Justice For Jack" advocates speak in Adams Co.

Posted at 12:14 PM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-09 19:28:22-04

“Justice for Jack” advocates appeared at a meeting with Adams County Commissioners to urge officials to put pressure on the Idaho Attorney General to release details on the fatal shooting of Jack Yantis.

The Facebook group that is made up of more than 1,500 people sent out an e-mail explaining that the meeting was to urge commissioners, “how serious the situation is in the hearts and minds of people everywhere.”

Claire Cox read the following statement to the commissioners:

"Etymology of "justice" from justice (n.) Look up justice at

mid-12c., "the exercise of authority in vindication of right by assigning reward or punishment;" also "quality of being fair and just; moral soundness and conformity to truth," from Old French justice "justice, legal rights, jurisdiction" (11c.), from Latin iustitia "righteousness, equity," from iustus "upright, just" (see just (adj.)).
Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until 
it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. ["The Federalist," No. 51]
Meaning "right order, equity, the rewarding to everyone of that which is his due" in English is from late 14c. The Old French word had widespread senses including also "uprightness, equity,
vindication of right, court of justice, judge." In English c. 1400-1700 sometimes also with a vindictive sense "infliction of punishment, legal vengeance." As a title for a judicial officer, c. 1200. Justice of the peace first attested early 14c. To do justice to (someone or something) "deal with as is right or fitting" is from the 1670s. In the Mercian hymns, Latin iustitia is glossed by Old English rehtwisnisse.

I am not really asking for "Justice For Jack" today. The sad truth is only our merciful Lord can offer that to Jack now. I seek answers for those who are still here, for Jack's family, for this community, for myself, but mostly for Brian Wood and Cody Roland. They have become the focal point of much anger, and their lives cannot move forward until this report is released. Over the weekend, a different report was released. It was an "Attempt To Locate" an apparently distraught Brian Wood. The document indicates Mr. Wood had, among other things, threatened to shoot people. As he is an FBI-trained sniper, the idea that he was running loose for at least 2 days with no warning to any residents here, not even the Yantis family, seems like reckless disregard for this community by Sheriff Zollman.

Brian got on facebook and claims the story is false, that the man who created the document was fired for it. If that is true, it would have been wise to tell the community about it directly rather than wait for someone to leak it to the press. If it is not true, Brian is clearly in need of help. He cannot get help so long as his life is in limbo, waiting with the rest of us for the truth to be told. Whether the report is true or false, Sheriff Zollman's judgement must be questioned. I understand a desire to see the deputies unharmed, but to leave the rest of the people living here at risk is the gross dereliction of duty. To know a false report was filed and to choose to keep that information from the public until is is leaked set Brian Wood up for the position where he is left to defend himself from slander to a community that is already fearful and justifiably lacks faith in our local law enforcement. I urge the Commissioners to call for an investigation into Sheriff Ryan Zollman and his dangerously poor handling of the Yantis case.

I am beyond weary of being called a "cop hater" for wanting answers. I am not a cop hater. I once considered Brian an ally. It has been many years since our paths crossed, but at the time I personally saw him step up and stand up for the Constitution, for liberty, for "justice for all."

I ask you to consider the wives of Cody and Brian. The burden they bear is great. I have met both women. It has been years since I saw MacKenzie, but she stood beside Brian for the same principles the day we met. Tyanne I only recently bumped into. She is my neighbor and seems to be a very sweet young woman. Whatever their husbands did, they are guilty of nothing except loving them. I want them to see justice, I want them to be able to move about this county without fear. I want that for all of us.

Many people see life as a series of choices between right and wrong, I see life as a series of choices between love and fear. When this happened, I did not know any of the Yantis family. I have met many of them over the past six months, and what they have been through can only be described as "living hell." The way this case has been handled from start to finish has left everyone in this county afraid, and it is well past time that we are given the answers we need to put aside our fears and be free to love our neighbors again.

Justice is not vengeance, Justice is love. Brian Wood and Cody Roland need truth and Justice, perhaps more than the Yantis family. This entire county needs answers. Withholding the findings of the investigation delays justice and keeps everyone in fear. We ask the Attorney General to release the findings without further delay. As our County Commissioners, we ask you to join is in this request. I am well aware that your families have been torn apart by this incident. The Justice For Jack group has been peaceful and patient, but every law enforcement agency available to us appears unwilling to address our grievance. No matter what we believe, no matter who our friends or enemies are, the way to mend the rifts, the way to restore love is a journey that begins with truth and ends with JUSTICE."

Following the meeting, Adams County Commissioners agreed to send the letter to the Idaho Attorney General's Office, who is currently investigating Yantis' death following an initial investigation conducted by Idaho State Police.