One of the advocates of a movement urging Idahoans to disobey the governor’s stay at home order has been arrested at a protest in Meridian.
Forty-year-old Sara Brady, who’s affiliated with the anti-vaccine groups Idahoans for Vaccine Freedom Health Freedom Idaho, was arrested at Kleiner Park in Meridian Tuesday afternoon.
As a video posted to Facebook by a fellow protester shows, police had asked Brady and others gathered at the playground several times to leave. After telling the officer to arrest her, she turned her back to him while putting her hands behind her.
“Do it,” she said.
The video has seemingly since been deleted, as has the Facebook group where it was posted. A portion of the video showing the arrest has surfaced on other social media channels.
— Brad Bigford, NP (@mursebigford) April 22, 2020
Brady was booked into the Ada County Jail Tuesday evening. Technically, it wasn’t for violating the governor’s order, but instead for trespassing on a closed playground. Both crimes carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
A local prosecutor will determine if any charges will be filed.
Brady and several families were staging what the Idaho Freedom Foundation has called a “playdate protest” over Gov. Brad Little’s stay-at-home order.
Her arrest appears to be the first in a state that’s been hesitant to enforce the order over the past month, though at least one citation was issued last week.
On Friday, Rathdrum Police in north Idaho issued the misdemeanor citation to Christa Thompson after she and her husband continued to hold a yard sale after being warned multiple times over several days that it violated the governor’s order.
An attorney for Thompson disputes that, saying she was initially told by Rathdrum Police that a yard sale was allowed.
Some businesses not deemed as “essential” are beginning to reopen in violation of the order, like Middleton Fitness. Slick’s Bar in Nampa also plans to reopen Saturday, saying “we truly do not care if you disagree” with the decision in a Facebook post.
The friction among protesters, business owners and state officials sets up a potential showdown with police agencies, which have varied wildly on how they’ve enforced the order.
Boise Police, for example, has said they won’t cite or arrest someone for doing so. Others, like Idaho State Police, have yet to issue any citations.
Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.
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