Thousands attend vigil at Idaho Statehouse in Boise
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Thousands of people attended a vigil in front of the Idaho Statehouse to protest the killing of George Floyd in a largely peaceful demonstration.
Organizers of the Black Lives Matter Candlelight Vigil on Tuesday evening said the intention was to remember black Americans killed in recent years, many by police.
“If your intention is not one of reflection and not one of mourning, this is not the space for you,” co-organizer Jessie Levin told the crowd.
Boise Mayor Lauren McLean and acting Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar had earlier asked that people taking part in the event remain peaceful.
Similar but smaller gatherings took place in other parts of the state, including Ketchum, Hailey, Twin Falls, Sandpoint, Idaho Falls and Rexburg.
Another organizer of the Boise vigil, Boise resident Tai Simpson, said healing was the purpose of the gathering.
“We’ve lost so many hundreds of lives in Idaho and across the country at the hands of police violence and police brutality that it’s important we stop to recognize that we’re all connected in community,” she said. “When one of us dies, a part of each of us dies.”
Floyd died on May 25 when a white Minneapolis officer pressed his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck for several minutes.
After the vigil in Boise ended about 10 p.m., tensions rose between protesters and counter-protesters who remained past midnight or who arrived after the vigil. But police reported no arrests, injuries or damage to property in the area.
Idaho State Police and the Boise Police Department kept apart the groups who shouted at each other, one chanting “George Floyd” and “black lives matter,” and the other responding with “all lives.”