Boise, Idaho: Protest over police funding ended in multiple assaults, Vagos MC members spotted

A Black Lives Matter protest outside Boise City Hall on Tuesday regarding funding for police escalated when counterprotesters, several of whom were armed, began assaulting people, victims said.

One of the people assaulted was Joe Evans, who said he attended the rally to listen to what speakers and attendees had to say. Evans, who is running for Congress in District 1 as a Libertarian, said he was attacked by three men.

Evans said he formed part of a barrier between unarmed Black Lives Matter supporters and the riled-up counterprotesters. His arms were interlocked with the people to his left and right, he said.

In a video that he and several other people shared on social media, men can be seen punching Evans in the back of the head and neck. Two were wearing Vagos Motorcycle Club vests. Evans said three people beat him for about 15 seconds. Evans didn’t fight back and stayed interlocked with the people at his sides, he said.

Evans said he was surprised by the number of people who came to confront the Black Lives Matter supporters.

“The dialogue didn’t surprise me, I’ve heard it before at other rallies,” he said. “But ‘heil Hitler’ was new. What was said didn’t surprise me. The volume of people present was surprising to me.”

Evans said many of the counterprotesters were armed and “some couldn’t resist patting their sidearms.”

“Outlaw bikers and neo-Nazis are beating on members of their community and (counterprotesters) want to tout being the sheep dog,” Evans said. “Instead, they stood back and let it happen.”

Evans said the Black Lives Matter protesters were there to “address legitimate grievances,” while some of the counterprotesters attended to look for a fight or provoke protesters.

“Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are absolute rights as humans and citizens of the United States,” Evans said. “And when you show up en masse, you aren’t there in the best interest in of the United States, promoting freedom of expression.”

Evans said he filed a police report Wednesday about the assault on him.

Boise Police said Thursday that there are multiple investigations underway with several charges possible, most of which are misdemeanors. BPD is also aware of videos on social media where the people involved have not reported the incidents to police.

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Source: Idaho Statesman by RUTH BROWN