Local news. Locally owned.

‘Physical confrontation is wholly inappropriate:’ New Boise PD chief sworn in after heated clash

Regence Blue Shield of Idaho

Wednesday at Boise City Hall, Mayor Lauren McLean swore in new Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee.

Lee formally takes the job one day after a Black Lives rally on the steps of Boise City Hall met with confrontation from a group of counter-protestors organized by the “Idaho Liberty Dogs” group, according to Idaho Press reporter Tommy Simmons. KTVB reports shoving, fistfights, and angry exchanges of words. The station’s reporter, Misty Inglet, said she was spit at during the event, and the perpetrator yelled “fuck the media.”

The Idaho Statesman’s Ximena Bustillo reports online video showed “at least one counterprotester had SS Bolts, which are common white supremacist/neo-Nazi symbol, tattooed to his arm.” The Statesman’s report said another counterprotester had the SS bolts on their clothing, and that she observed someone yelling racist epitaphs.

Boise Police made no arrests, but council member Holli Woodings urged members of the public who were “battered or assaulted” should contact BPD.

Lee sworn in after heated protest, counterprotest

Early Tuesday, McLean addressed the heated situation in a written statement.

- Story continues below ads -
ICCU Idaho
The Sundance Company

“Peaceful protest was the goal of the protesters who gathered – to speak their truths and call on us as leaders to take action,” McLean said. She noted that the BLM group has held peaceful protests in recent weeks.  “Last night’s gathering would have been similar if not for the efforts to intimidate, and potentially incite additional violence, by counter protesters. I condemn those who showed up in our community under the guise of ‘protection’ and instead intimidated, shouted epithets and white nationalist slogans, and in some case physically assaulted protesters. There is no room for this in our city.”

During the swearing in ceremony for Lee, neither McLean nor the new chief addressed the events directly. Media members were told McLean would not make a further statement and that Lee would not take questions.

However, Lee did answer questions from journalists. For the most part, Lee said he needed to get up to speed on the events, and noted he was not formally in the chief’s role until today.

“I’m a firm advocate of free speech,” Lee said. “I’m going to examine the events of last night. I’m sad to see that happen. I’ve got to look through all the events and look at what we did do and what we could do better.”

BoiseDev asked him if he had a message for the groups gathered last night.

“As a police chief (I am) neutral politically. We are not concerned at the speech but I do have issue with the conduct,” he said. “Some of the conduct I saw on the news is reprehensible. Physical confrontation is wholly inappropriate.”

The Idaho Press reports some of the BLM protesters last night criticized during speeches Lee’s role in handling protests in Portland in his former role with the Portland Police Bureau – including clashes the far-left and far-right. The paper said the activists felt some in the Portland department became too friendly with supremacists.

Love our stories? Get them delivered straight to your inbox each afternoon. Plus, support BoiseDev's independent journalism.

Popular

Micron continues large-scale revamp of Boise campus with latest project

Boise-based Micron Technology continues its large-scale revamp of the Boise campus. A newly-issued building permit shows the tech. giant...

With competition coming, Sparklight cuts prices & data caps — for some users

Last week, we told you about Sparklight's decision to restart data caps and overages charges after a break during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related

Boise considers provision to ‘clawback’ tax freeze in future years, may provide additional tax rebate

The City of Boise signaled it will freeze tax rates this year, for the first time in at least sixteen years. ...

1-on-1 with Boise’s mayor: Recall, Black Lives Matter, policing, COVID, the economy and more

Thursday, BoiseDev publisher Don Day sat down with Boise Mayor Lauren McLean for a taping of our podcast. We scheduled the...
Holland and Hart

Latest

Country, news, public radio got listeners’ attention during spring radio ratings

The twice-yearly ratings for Boise's radio stations hit the streets late last month. For the second ratings period in a row, they...

Mother-daughter owned Meridian business stays afloat with live social media sales

By Karen Lehr / Idaho News 6 The coronavirus pandemic is forcing many...

Housing and health: Saint Al’s partners with LEAP to help create more affordable housing in Boise

Saint Alphonsus Health System and LEAP Housing Solutions have partnered up to create a land trust. LEAP, an...

With demand booming, another industrial project set for Nampa

The Treasure Valley's industrial park boom continues. Adler Industrial announced it would build a new park for industrial users...

Brewery starts to go statewide with large new expansion set to open

Last September, BoiseDev told you about the Warfield in Ketchum’s expansion plan. The two-year project is almost complete.

Micron continues large-scale revamp of Boise campus with latest project

Boise-based Micron Technology continues its large-scale revamp of the Boise campus. A newly-issued building permit shows the tech. giant...