Mayor Lauren McLean said in a press release that “malicious forces” plan to incite violence Tuesday night during a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Boise. The new chief of police said his department is ready to protect protesters and their First Amendment rights.
Amid rising concerns, the Boise Police Department explained its safety plan for the rally during a Monday press briefing. Counter protesters have also announced a gathering at Boise City Hall.
Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee said the police department has received information that people are threatening violence at the rally Tuesday night and has safety concerns for the people who will be there.
“The mayor has been receiving some concerning and threatening threats and this has added to the need to provide additional planning and staffing for this event to protect our elected officials but particularly the mayor as well,” Lee said.
He said there will be a large number of officers on the scene to protect protesters’ First Amendment rights, and their physical safety.
“We are trying to ensure constitutional liberties are able to be exercised without being interfered [sic] and that people are physically safe. It’s going to require a pretty robust police presence, I don’t think the typical Boisean has seen in their downtown core. That’s unfortunate, but I want the public to understand why.”
Lee said after the last protest at City Hall earlier this month, citizens told him that they want more of a police presence at future events to ensure safety for people and property.
“We have heard loud and clear from the last protest at city hall that the public wants more of a police presence and swift action to violence and the destruction of property to ensure safety and peace and tranquility in our city.”
In the news release, Mayor McLean urged Boiseans not to come downtown Tuesday night. She said, “as a mother, I am asking you to keep your children at home. And, as someone who loves this city dearly, I’m asking you to stand with me in rebuking tactics that will tear us apart.”
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