No Charges For Boise Top Copper

No charges will be filed against Boise’s top copper, Ryan Lee, following an investigation by Idaho State Police and the Clearwater county prosecutor into a “training incident” involving a choke hold.

The officer who was allegedly injured has filed a tort claim against the city of Boise. That civil action is yet to be resolved.

The Clearwater County Prosecutor’s Office will not file criminal charges against Boise Chief Police Ryan Lee after reviewing the investigation results of a briefing incident. The investigation was conducted by the Idaho State Police and reviewed by the Clearwater County Prosecutor’s Office.

“I believe this investigation has been taken as far as possible,” says Clearwater Prosecutor Clayne Tyler. “I recommend at this point in time against filing a criminal charge.”

It is standard protocol for an outside agency to review potential criminal conduct, and Idaho State Police investigated the incident. Detectives interviewed the victim, Chief Lee, witnesses and gathered evidence. Due to the potential conflict of interest in working with the City of Boise, Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts requested Clearwater County Prosecutor’s Office review the investigation and provide a charging recommendation.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Practical person
    Aug 31, 2022, 3:15 pm

    That’s good.

  2. Eamonn Harter
    Aug 31, 2022, 8:02 pm

    Well of course not! You didn’t think they would ever bring charges against the hand picked chief of Herroner’s praetorian guard, did you?

  3. Sour grapes. That is all.

  4. Nothing to see here move along.

  5. Boise Lawyer
    Sep 2, 2022, 10:18 am

    From what I read there was conflicting evidence that, taken together, was insufficient to support a conviction. So, the independent prosecutor declined to move forward. Good. That’e exactly how it’s supposed to work.

  6. There’s clearly a double standard in the Idaho criminal justice system. Lee’s case won’t be prosecuted even though, as Tyler writes, “I will note that this was a very difficult decision, as I feel probable cause exists to support a felony criminal charge of aggravated battery, but have reservations as to the State’s ability to prove the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.” How do we know what the ability is to prove an offense unless it goes to trial? Isn’t that the purpose of a trial? Guilty verdicts should never be guaranteed to prosecutors before a trial. This case should have been handed over to a grand jury to decide.

    Charges were however filed against Aaron Von Ehlinger, and a guilty verdict obtained by the state, despite the paucity of evidence! How can we allow this to happen? Even if there were no evidence in the case against Lee, they could have easily won a guilty verdict against him given the right combination of a dishonest, vicious prosecutor, lying news media, and a jury of low intelligence, easily swayed by emotion.

  7. Bubba is right. With a grand jury 12 members of the community would make the decision to go to trial instead of a single prosecutor. At the very least a grand jury could give an indication of what 12 citizens thought of the Chief’s actions that resulted in the neck injury. Now we wait for the non-disclosure civil settlement from the city of Boise and the Mayors office.

  8. We should be more disgusted that a public servant that gets injured, in training, on the job thinks it is okay to sue you and me?

  9. western guy
    Sep 5, 2022, 8:43 am

    If the Chief’s Portland allegations/reports were credible, why didn’t the Boise HR vetting process unearth them?

  10. Frank,
    The incident happened in briefing per the article. Briefing is a short meeting where officers get assignments, info etc. for the day before heading out on patrol. It appears the officer believed the chief acted negligently and as a result caused an injury. If this was a citizen who believed an officer had acted negligently and caused an injury, said citizen has every right to sue. Officer doesn’t lose his rights simply because he is a public employee on duty. Negligent doesn’t always equal criminal and vice versa. The criminal prosecution doesn’t appear to be moving forward but the civil case will now decide if the chief was negligent civilly.

  11. Warren Tyler
    Sep 7, 2022, 12:53 pm

    I think this reporting is skewed based on The Statesman’s article which goes into a lot more detail. I think the point in the article that is important is that the PA believed there was evidence of battery…. Read the full Statesman article as it is insightful and goes into more (proper) detail.

  12. “No charges will be filed against Boise’s top copper, Ryan Lee, following an investigation by Idaho State Police and the Clearwater county prosecutor into a “training incident” involving a choke hold.”
    Simpleman my response was based on what was in print in the above article?

  13. Frank,
    I think that is why “training incident” is in quotes. The original articles indicate it was in briefing and not during normal defensive tactics training. It also appears to have been a somewhat spontaneous decision on the part of Chief Lee to conduct the “training”. Hands on training, especially when it involve neck restraints, is usually done during formal training in a mat room with certified instructors. Officers warm up, know what is going to be demonstrated or practiced and techniques where serious injury is a possibility, are highly controlled. Based on what has been reported previously, none of those safeguards were in place. My humble prediction is the City will pay on this one and we are unlikely to see an actual civil trial.
    I might add- supervisors going hands on with subordinates outside of formal training- never a good idea.
    And not just in the police world.

    EDITOR NOTE–We agree on all counts. However city will probably avoid a trial and settle for cash payoff. Word on the street is city HR has finally decided to “investigate.”

  14. What's the rest of the story please
    Sep 23, 2022, 6:15 pm
  15. Simpleman, it appears you are wrong. The investigation reveals the demonstration was in response to a patrolman’s questions of if we can’t do a chokehold what can we do? duh! So the chief demonstrated on the nearest person. Hold my gun and watch this. It worked. Seems officer Kirk Rush got bent out of shape and felt “embarassed” by being restrained in the exact manner a citizen might get restrained. A week later he decides to file a claim. One of the witnesses declined to give a testimony in fear of relation. Retaliation by who? If true, the chief is gone. If not true, the gang in favor of exciling the chief is going to retaliate? That is definitely believable. I’ve watched enough movies. D chief is fine, Boise coppers and the system are the worry: I got your blue back. That does not include us citizens.

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