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An excited Idaho health official had to abruptly leave a Zoom meeting where they were voting on a local mask mandate after his 12-year-old son called to say dozens of armed anti-mask protesters surrounded his home and banged on the door.
Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo tearfully interrupted the online meeting of the Central District health board Tuesday night, saying the anti-mask protesters were outside his home.
Lachiondo, who was in her office at the Ada County Courthouse, initially excused herself so she could call the police.
She interrupted again moments later saying that she had to run home to be with her son.
“My 12-year-old son is home alone right now and there are protesters banging on the door,” he said.
I’m going home and I’ll make sure he’s okay.
Another board member, family physician Dr. Ted Epperly, told the meeting that the protests “were not under control in my house either.”
Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo (top right) tearfully interrupted the Central District health board meeting Tuesday night, saying anti-mask protesters were outside her home +5
Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo (top right) tearfully interrupted the Central District Health board online meeting Tuesday night, saying anti-mask protesters were outside of his house.
The Boise Police Department later confirmed that anti-mask protesters had gathered outside the homes of at least three board members, as well as the health department building, while the meeting was taking place.
The group of armed protesters gathered in front of Lachiondo’s home banged buckets, used air horns, blew loud sirens and other noises, and shouted on the sidewalk.
Lachiondo, who was in her office at the Ada County Courthouse
Lachiondo, who was in her office at the Ada County Courthouse, initially excused herself so she could call the police. She interrupted again moments later saying that she had to run home to be with her +5 son
Lachiondo, who was in her office at the Ada County Courthouse, initially excused herself so she could call the police. She interrupted again moments later saying that she had to run home to be with her son.
The board was expected to vote on a four-county mask mandate in Idaho’s most populous region.
Public health officials abruptly ended the meeting shortly after Lachiondo left to run home.
The decision to end the meeting came after Boise Mayor Lauren McLean and the Boise Police Department chief of police said that the intense protests outside the health department building and the homes of the board members, threatened public safety.
Central District Health Director Russ Duke interrupted the meeting to inform the board members of the mayor’s request.
I got a call from the mayor. It appears that she and the police are requesting that we stop the meeting at this time due to the intense level of protesters in the parking lot and concern for police and staff safety as well as the protesters who are in some of our board members . “Homes right now,” Duke said.
The Boise Police Department later issued a statement on Twitter saying they were requesting a postponement of the meeting “in the interest of public safety.”
‘Our first priority is to maintain security and public order. Officers are monitoring the crowd and responding to reports of additional incidents in the city, ” the department wrote.
Boise police were forced to create a barrier to keep anti-mask protesters from entering a meeting at the Central District Health offices on Tuesday
Police arrested a woman at the Central District Health building after officers said she refused to follow CDH rules. The police department also released a statement saying officers were seeking arrest warrants on suspicion of disturbing the peace for some of the protesters who went to the homes of the junta members.
Lachiondo later addressed the controversy in a series of tweets, saying protesters accused her of ‘tyranny and inner shrinkage’.
I wasn’t actually inside the house: I was calling from my office at the Ada County Courthouse. But my two young children and my mother (who was taking our dog for a walk) were. And as many of you saw last night, my son called me crying at the beginning of the meeting.
‘I’m sad. I’m tired. I fear that by choosing to hold public office, my family has paid the price too often. Although I was born and raised in Idaho, more and more I don’t recognize this place.
“There is an ugliness and cruelty in our national rhetoric that is reaching a fever pitch here at home, and that should concern us all. And above all, the current trajectory of the virus terrifies me. ”
Idaho Governor Brad Little has repeatedly urged Idahoans to wear masks but has refused to issue a statewide mask mandate, leaving that decision up to the regional boards of health.
He condemned the actions of the protesters in the houses of the members of the junta.
‘The actions of the protesters in the private residences of public officials are reprehensible. It is nothing more than an intimidation tactic that seeks to silence. Our right to free speech must not be used to intimidate and scare others, ‘Little tweeted.
‘There is no place for this behavior in Idaho. I urge calm among Idahoans so that we can overcome the pandemic stronger together. ‘
The protest at the health building was organized, at least in part, by a multi-state free group called People’s Rights. The group was created by Ammon Bundy, a outspoken opponent of mask mandates during the coronavirus pandemic who gained national attention and fueled the so-called ‘patriot movement’ after leading gun battles on his father’s ranch in Nevada in 2014 and at a wildlife refuge in the east. Oregon in 2016.
Members of an anti-vaccination group called Health Freedom Idaho also attended the protest. It was not immediately known if Bundy attended the Boise protests Tuesday night.
The governor declined to respond when asked by The Associated Press if he still felt it was appropriate to leave contentious decisions on mask mandates to local boards, which are largely made up of non-medical professionals.
Instead, Little’s spokeswoman Emily Callihan said Little “will continue to support local leaders who, in consultation with medical experts, make difficult decisions to protect our citizens against COVID-19.”
He also noted the governor’s state orders that require physical distancing at gatherings, limit public and private gatherings to 10 people (except for religious or political events), require patrons to be seated in bars and restaurants, and require masks at meeting venues. long term care. .