The snails pace investigation into the death of Adams County Rancher Jack Yantis is contrary to a national trend among the nation’s law enforcement officials. Keeping facts from the citizens (and media) only leads to speculation, rumors, and anger.
State Police and the Attorney General say it could take six months to learn the facts.
Yantis is the rancher who was killed by Adams County sheriff’s deputies at the scene of a traffic accident November 1 which involved a collision between a car and a black bull owned by Yantis. Yantis was called to the scene by the sheriff’s dispatch. He had a rifle (logically to put down the bull).
After he was shot by one or both deputies, his wife, Donna Yantis, suffered a heart attack and was handcuffed during the chaos. She survived and was taken to a Boise hospital where she is recovering.
Sheriff Ryan Zollman told a town hall meeting Tuesday in Council that each deputy was wearing a “body camera” and at least one of the patrol cars had a dash camera. He claims to not know if any of the cameras were activated and turned over all evidence to the Idaho State Police which is the lead agency investigating the incident with the Attorney General acting as “special prosecutor” on behalf of Adams County. Someone needs to show the video if it exists, or reveal that no cameras were activated. Silence only foments distrust.
In the past year the nation has been rocked by violence in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore Maryland, and Cleveland, Ohio after citizens died at the hands of police. We have noticed a trend recently of immediate action on the part of law enforcement officials when they are aware of obvious misconduct by officers.
While there is no racial involvement in the Adams County case, the longer it takes to reveal facts, the shorter tempers get to be.
Rather than hide behind, “We cannot release information, names of officers, or comment on an open investigation,” top cops around the nation are jumping quickly on incidents like a deputy smashing a school girl to the floor for not surrendering a cell phone (NC), marshals shooting a six-year-old boy (LA) or coppers assaulting college kids for being noisy (AL).
While we will not speculate on specifics of the Yantis case, release of certain facts could serve to cool tempers without jeopordizing a potential defendant’s right to a fair trial. When the investigation is completed it will probably boil down to PERCEPTIONS. What was in the mind of the parties at the time of the incident? Release of statements, and reports by all involved could answer the question of perceptions…the sooner the better.
Turns out there are others, across the political spectrum who agree with sharing the evidence, according to the Idaho Reporter
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