By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
Attorney General Raúl Labrador has filed a motion to dismiss the trespassing charge against Sara Brady, who police arrested in 2020 in a city park.
Meridian Police arrested Brady in April 2020 when officers claimed she didn’t comply with police orders while visiting a closed public park.
The city of Meridian had closed Kleiner Park in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in response to Gov. Brad Little’s stay at home order. Only fields and walking areas remained open. Police alleged they asked Brady to leave, and she refused to do so. The motion quotes Brady telling an officer to arrest her for being at the park after a conversation between Brady, the officers, and others who were at the playground.
Brady has always maintained her innocence.
Because of a conflict of interest, Ada County prosecutors initially referred the case to the Attorney General’s Office under former Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.
In a news release from Labrador’s office on Thursday, he stated the decision to dismiss the misdemeanor came as a “unanimous decision from prosecutors assigned to the case.”
The office stated there were no allegations that Brady harmed any person or property and the “evidence, itself, makes it clear that is far from certain that any reasonable jury would convict her.”
“The State does not condone Brady’s belligerence with law enforcement, but her unwarranted belligerence was not part of the factual basis for the charge against her,” the motion says. “And she has publicly apologized to the Meridian Police Department for that portion of her behavior.”
The news release said the state had already expended more resources than normal for a misdemeanor case.
“We know Idahoans have been dealing with significant government overreach. This case should never have been prosecuted,” Labrador said in the news release. “It has been a profound waste of precious taxpayer resources. Going forward, we will focus the people’s resources on prosecuting child exploiters and other serious criminals – not mothers who take their kids to the park.”
In the early days of the pandemic, Labrador, as a chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, was critical of the governor’s stay-at-home order and other municipal pandemic restrictions.
On Nov. 8, at the GOP Election Night Party at the Grove Hotel, Brady attended wearing a red gown that read “Vote Labrador.” Brady, wearing the dress, and Labrador are seen together posing in photos on her Facebook page.
Idaho Reports asked Labrador’s office for comment on the photos. As of 2 p.m. Thursday, Labrador had not yet responded. We will update this story when he does.