Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Idaho State Police Lewiston Mega Load Press release

August 30, 2011
Captain Lonnie Richardson
Idaho State Police Region Two-Lewiston

On August 26th, the first true Mega Load was escorted by the Idaho State Police on US-95 through Moscow in route to Canada. A large number of people lined the streets within the City of Moscow both in opposition and support of the Mega Load. Some individuals chose and were allowed to temporarily protest the movement of the load by sitting down on US-95. After some time was allowed for the sit down protest, an order to disperse was given. We appreciate those who acknowledged and followed the dispersal order. Unfortunately, as the result of their failure to disperse and leave the roadway, six individuals were arrested for Assembly to Disturb the Peace and Refusal to Disperse after receiving repeated warnings to move.

The Idaho State Police fully recognizes, acknowledges and is sworn to uphold the constitution including an individuals 1st Amendment rights, and the Idaho State Police will not interfere with the rights of an individual to peacefully assemble and protest until it becomes a matter of public safety. Allowing the temporary sit down protest during the inaugural Mega Load transport on US-95, has afforded the opportunity for those interested to voice their protests in that manner. The Idaho State Police now asks those that choose to protest during future movements of Mega Loads on US-95, to do so from the safety of a sidewalk or roadside outside the right-of-way. The Idaho State Police has no desire to arrest anyone for exercising their rights. However, prospectively, those who choose to not comply with officers; directions to not interfere with the movement of any vehicle on a highway, by walking or sitting on the highway or otherwise entering or remaining on the highway after being instructed to move, will immediately be physically removed from the roadway and arrested.