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Boise State Public Radio News is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Some Boise Anti-Mask Protestors Will Be Cited For Trespassing

Heath Druzin
Boise State Public Radio

Some anti-mask protestors who showed up at multiple downtown businesses this past weekend will get trespassing citations from the Boise Police Department.

Groups of protesters last Saturday visited several downtown Boise businesses and threatened legal action against owners following local city and health department orders to wear masks.

Visits were documented in videos protestors posted on social media; some confrontational, others more cordial. Boise Police said they received 19 calls from concerned businesses visited by protestors Saturday, but did not detain any protesters or issue any citations that day.

Police spokeswoman Haley Williams said this week the department will issue trespassing citations to a couple individuals from that group, but that those citations have not yet been issued as the investigation continues.

The Idaho Legislature voted to increase penalties for trespassing in 2018. A first offense carries a $300 fine (increased from $50) if no property was damaged. Repeat violators can face steeper fines and prison time.

Williams said three other individuals have been cited for trespassing in the last several days after refusing to leave local businesses when asked because they weren’t wearing masks. Those citations were not connected to Saturday’s protests.

Businesses must be willing to sign a trespassing citation for one to be issued.

Williams said Boise Police have not issued any citations for not wearing a mask.

Idaho’s constitution allows health districts and local governments to issue legally-binding directives like mask orders during times of crisis.

Follow Troy Oppie on Twitter @GoodBadOppie for more local news.

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