Meridian, Idaho Arrest of Mom in Front of Kids at Park Sparks Protests

By Faye Higbee

Even people in conservative Idaho are balking at the stay-at-home orders of their governor.  A 40 year old mother named Sara Brady was arrested at Kleiner Park in Meridian, Idaho on April 21 for trespassing after she refused to leave the park with the other people that were there as a organized protest. (The Blaze)

There were other areas of the park that were open, apparently. But the parents took their children to the playground area, which the city closed due to the virus. They reportedly tore down the sign and police tape showing that part of the park was closed and went in anyway.

Screenshot via Conservative Firing Line

 

In the videos you can hear people argue that the park is a public park, which it certainly is.

Meridian Police released this statement, which read, in part:

“After receiving several calls to Ada County Dispatch, Meridian Police responded to Kleiner Park on April 21 2020 at around 3:50PM. Upon arrival, officers saw that metal signage and caution tape announcing the playground closure due to COVID-19, was removed.

Additionally, officers observed numerous individuals gathered on the closed playground area. Officers informed those gathered several times that the play structure was closed, and that they were welcome to utilize other areas of the park if they chose. After being told to leave the playground multiple times, forty (40) year old Sarah BRADY of Meridian refused to leave and was arrested for one (1) count misdemeanor trespassing. 
 
Meridian officers made several attempts to help BRADY adhere to the rules. She was non-compliant and forced officers to place her under arrest to resolve the issue. She was arrested for trespassing.”

Governor Brad Little’s “stay-at-home” order  specifically says that “outdoor activities” are legal.  Kids generally don’t “social distance,” however, especially on playground equipment. Protests are growing across the nation. People don’t like having their freedoms crushed.

Essential activities from the Governor’s order:

(iii). To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in Section 8.j., such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running

…8.j. For purposes of this order “Social Distancing Requirements” includes maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands….

…9. The Director requests that the Sheriff and the Chiefs of Police in the State of Idaho, and the Idaho State Police ensure compliance with and enforce this Order. The violation of any provision of this Order constitutes an imminent threat to public health.

Within minutes after the arrest of Sara Brady, a protest erupted at Meridian City Hall, according to Idaho News.com. When the news station caught up with Sara, she said she felt singled out by police because no one else was arrested. She said she was not on the playground equipment. She did, however, argue with police, which you can hear in the videos above. She stated that she may have asked “too many questions.”

Screenshot via cbs2

The incident quickly went viral nationwide. Based on the Governor’s order that violations were an “imminent threat to public health,” Meridian police likely felt backed into a corner and had to make a choice. Wasn’t the best one, judging from the uproar.

Featured photo: Screenshot via cbs2 of protest at Meridian city hall

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