Idaho Dispatch

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Press Release: Idaho sues to stop encampment on Capitol Annex

By • March 15, 2022

The following Press Release was sent out by Gov. Brad Little. Note: Press Releases sent out by elected officials do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little announced today his administration and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden filed a lawsuit Monday to stop illegal public camping and the associated health and safety violations taking place on the Capitol Annex in downtown Boise.

Governor Little directed the Idaho Department of Administration to seek an injunction today on behalf of the State of Idaho. The filing seeks to have the court enter an order enjoining individuals from camping on state property near the Capitol.

“Idaho will not tolerate public encampments and destruction of public property. Idaho is not San Francisco, Portland, or Seattle, where public officials have engaged in failed experiments to permit and encourage public camping disguised as protests. 

“What started here as a gathering of loosely affiliated individuals has escalated into dangerous health and safety violations. This lawsuit is the next step in our deliberate, careful strategy to address a highly complex situation involving state statutes, case law, and the First Amendment while ensuring the state meets its obligation to protect public health and safety. 

“I am grateful to our law enforcement officers who have conducted welfare checks and enforcement actions with integrity by treating these very vulnerable members of our community with respect and connecting them with valuable resources to help address mental health and substance use disorders in many instances,” Governor Little said.

Individuals started gathering on the state property located at Jefferson and 6th streets in Boise in mid-January. Since then, there have been a growing number of violations and dangerous conduct requiring increased calls for police service and enforcement action, including multiple instances of violence; drug abuse and distribution; the presence of hypodermic needles and bags containing human feces and urine; soiled clothing; vomit covered tents; rotting food; abandoned property; garbage; and fire hazards.

Central District Health inspected the area and determined it to be a public health and safety hazard.

Since mid-January, the Governor’s Office, Attorney General’s Office, Idaho Department of Administration, and Idaho State Police have been working together closely to address multifaceted legal implications and ensure proper enforcement actions while educating individuals at the site about resources available in the community.

Governor Little said public camping on the Capitol Mall is inexcusable and unnecessary because there are free resources for the homeless immediately available in the community, including shelters that provide safe, secure overnight shelter where individuals suffering from mental health or substance use disorders can access valuable resources.

One of those shelter resources is the Boise Rescue Mission where according to Rev. Bill Roscoe, CEO, there are plenty of open beds.

“We have open beds at both the River of Life Men’s Mission and the City Light Home for Women and Children in Boise. Contrary to rumors, we are not a ‘high barrier’ shelter and we offer safe, clean shelter, three meals daily and many programs and services all designed to help people recover from homelessness. We will welcome anyone who comes to our door needing assistance,” Roscoe said.

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Tags: Attorney General, Brad Little, Capitol Mall, Encampment

10 thoughts on “Press Release: Idaho sues to stop encampment on Capitol Annex

  1. Wonder if Idaho could expand the lawsuit to included Child Protective Services and the Meridian Police Department for Child Endangerment?

  2. The campers showed up when the Interfaith shelter was rejected by the planning commission. Its an orchestrated event. Blame Interfaith.

  3. This should have been addressed within the first 24-48 hours of encampment! DoLittle finally finds the balls to take care of the issue, now that he can make a spectacle of it? Typical Rino, adding things “he’s fixed”, which should have never happened in the first place, to his arsenal for his re-election campaign.

    And now that he’s allowed this type of stupidity to happen, you can bet it will become a norm. These people who are camping out know he’s weak-kneed and will only take action if it suits his campaign. Who wants to bet that if he’s re-elected, this happens all over again and nothing will be done about it unless DoLittle sees a way to make himself look good?

  4. Abit too late ? Your damn right we are not San Fran or Filthy piggish Portland , or sloppy Seattle. This should have been done long ago. However, I’m grateful it’s happening now.

  5. Interesting that this has to be done ‘by the book’, but no book is needed regards Baby C ………………

  6. If the camping is “illegal” ,then why not send in the state Police and clean them out? Why pay for a lawsuit? Why take the time? Ineffective / defective governor.

  7. Rather than my tax dollars going to a lawsuit, I would much rather my tax dollars go to the Boise Fire Department who, every morning surrounds the encampment and turns on the fire hoses full blast. Then have the another department my tax dollars pay for (City Works?) clean up and haul away the trash.

    Our governor has the mindset and/or is controlled by others with the mindset that runs Portland, San Franciso, and Seattle (and DC, and….). He provides us with yet another example to send him back to the potato farm this November. He’s about as useful as the “campers” are….

    1. And if Brad was so concerned, he should just use those emergency powers he’s so fond of and clear the encampment out NOW. All clean by sundown today if he really wanted to. And don’t sunset those emergency powers, Brad–you know, just like you do with covid.

      But no: he wants the issue, just like all other addle-brained politicians do:

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