Mother arrested for breaking into playground with children to protest against lockdown

Parents using Idaho playground told to move on before one was arrested for breaking lockdown measures

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 22 April 2020 15:13 BST
Idaho mother arrested for playground anti-lockdown protest with her kids

An Idaho mother who allowed her children to use a playground was arrested for violating a city-wide ban on using park equipment.

The mother of two, Sara Brady, was arrested and charged with one count of misdemeanour trespassing, the Meridian Police Department (MPD) said in a press release on Tuesday.

According to the report, police officers arrived at Kleiner Park, in Meridian, Idaho, following “several calls to Ada County Dispatch”.

Video from the scene showed a number of parents and children using an enclosed playground area, in an apparent violation of state-wide social distancing orders.

Ms Brady confronted police officers who asked her to leave the playground, and claimed that parents — some of whom had captured video of the incident — were not trespassing.

But according to the MPD statement, “officers saw that metal signage and caution tape announcing the playground closure due to COVID-19, was removed”.

Ms Brady asked officers whether they would “arrest everyone for not social distancing over there”, while pointing to people off camera.

“Officer, you don’t want to do that”, a woman is heard saying as the 40-year-old mother was hand-cuffed by police. “Her kids are here! Her kids are here? What is going to happen? Who’s got her kids?”

Mothers gathered around MPD officers in a second video as they walked Ms Brady away from the scene.

One woman is heard yelling: “As a person, does this make sense to you? As a person — not as a police officer, as a person — does this make sense to you?”

The MPD statement added that “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.”

Ms Brady later told Idaho News that she felt singled out. "I wasn't the only person standing on the park. I definitely wasn't playing on the playground equipment. I wasn't swinging, never touched them. But yeah, I do feel like I was singled out and maybe it was because I asked too many questions."

Local media reports suggested on Tuesday that the group of parents had planned the incident as a protest against coronavirus lockdown measures.

“There are a BUNCH of us taking our kids to Kleiner Park in Meridian today at 3pm to tear the tape off the playground. ANYONE can join us, kids or no kids, let’s take a stand!”, read the social media post shared with TheBlaze news.

Meanwhile, another video of the arrest uploaded to Facebook and YouTube had been named ‘Gestapo in America Arrests Mom and Kicks Kids off the Playground’.

Demonstrators arrived at Meridian City Hall within hours of Ms Brady’s arrest to protest the actions of the MPD.

It comes as President Donald Trump has encouraged protests against coronavirus measures in a number of states

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