Eleven protesters, including former Rep. Henry Kulczyk, R-Eagle, were convicted this week of resisting and obstructing an officer when they tried to physically block the city of Boise from removing a Ten Commandments monument from a remote spot in a city park last March. The monument since has been relocated to a high-profile spot outside a church, directly across the street from the state Capitol.
The protesters were warned repeatedly by police that they would be committing a crime if they didn’t move, and some moved. But the 13 opted to refuse to move, and be arrested. Two pled guilty earlier; a Boise jury unanimously convicted the remaining 11 on Wednesday. Eight of them were sentenced to 25 hours each of community service. The final three asked for delays in their sentencing.
Despite the repeated warnings from police, the protesters told the court during their trial that they never intended to be arrested. Afterwards, an angry Brandi Swindell told KBCI-TV, “We have a mayor and city council prosecuting their own citizens. They are punishing us for peacefully standing up for what we believe is right.”
The protesters could have faced maximum sentences of up to 6 months in jail and up to $300 in fines for the misdemeanor offense.