ADA COUNTY, Idaho — After protestors, local leaders react today to the disruptive behavior that forced Boise Police to shut down last night's Central District Health meeting shortly after it started.
People gathered at the public health location and board member's homes to protest and express their feelings about the revised public health order draft that was supposed to be voted on during last night's meeting.
BPD says the behavior was mostly peaceful, but protestors were banging on objects and creating a lot of noise. Ultimately one person who refused to leave the premises after trespassing was placed under arrest and taken to the Ada County jail.
BPD says because other units were responding to regular patrol activity and a potentially fatal car accident. They feared the situation could have gotten out of control.
"We had concerns about the police resources that we had on station as well as the ability to call in other resources. That ability to maintain public safety without a violent confrontation was diminishing if someone were to seek that confrontation," Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee said.
Lee said earlier today that three active warrants had been issued in connection to the group who showed up at representative and Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo's house.
Governor Brad Little issued a statement over Twitter about the incident.
(1/2) The actions of protestors at the private residences of public officials is reprehensible. It is nothing more than a bullying tactic that seeks to silence. Our right to free speech should not be used to intimidate and scare others.— Brad Little (@GovernorLittle) December 9, 2020
(2/2) There is no place for this behavior in Idaho. I urge calm among Idahoans so we can get through the pandemic together, stronger.— Brad Little (@GovernorLittle) December 9, 2020
Boise Mayor McLean also addressed the situation during a press huddle this afternoon.
"Everyone has a right to protest. I've said that countless times. I said that every evening that people have been in front of my own house, but there is a limit to what is acceptable, to what is okay," McLean said.
In a statement Lachiondo released on Facebook, she said, "I am sad. I am tired. I fear that, in my choosing to hold public office, my family has too-often paid the price."
Lee, who ultimately shut down the meeting due to safety concerns, says this type of behavior is unacceptable.
"Those people that wish for some sort of tumultuous confrontation or to be disruptive to the process are fundamentally undermining the democratic process and the engagement of the community and the administration of government. I would ask that those that wish to have their political concerns addressed do it in a manner that can conform with a matter of civility and decency and the expectation of our community," Lee said.
Lee says that additional resources and police partners are necessary for the meeting to occur successfully.
"Part of it also is a conversation with CDH about what we need from them to be a partner for them in helping to provide police service for them to ensure that it is a peaceful and orderly meeting. We need them to be mindful partners in that space so we can move forward," Lee said.
CDH says when the next meeting is determined, they will provide information through their social media and website. They also said they appreciate the words of concern they have received following last night's meeting.