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Ada County Prosecutor's Office calls off meeting with Black Lives Matter organizers after social media post

"We cannot allow our professional decisions to be the result of bullying or intimidation," the prosecutor's office posted.
Credit: Ada COunty Prosecutor's Office

BOISE, Idaho — Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts has called off a meeting with Black Lives Matter Boise representatives planned for Friday after she says the group alluded to vandalizing the prosecutor's office if their demands were not met.

"We agreed to meet in good faith because as members of the community and in our roles as representatives thereof, we want to hear the views and voices of community members," the prosecutor's office posted on Facebook. "However, we cannot allow our professional decisions to be the result of bullying or intimidation."

At issue is a social media post on the BLM Boise Instagram account, which references recent destruction at the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office by demonstrators protesting the death of  Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, who was shot and killed by Salt Lake Police officers in May.

RELATED: Protests in downtown Boise wind down after a largely peaceful night

"We meet w/ @ada_county Prosecutor Jan Bennett tomorrow," the post reads. "We will take action, if action is not taken."

The Instagram Story was still up as of Friday morning.

The post included a photo of red paint splashed over the sign outside the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office. According to the Deseret News, protestors broke multiple windows and spread paint on the building and the area outside, causing about $200,000 in damages. 

The district attorney, the Salt Lake City mayor, and several police officers also received direct threats, according to the newspaper.

RELATED: Boise Police arrest man on battery charges in connection to fighting at City Hall protest

The Ada County Prosecutor's Office wrote they spotted the BLM Boise post, "which appears to threaten the same here if an unidentified list of demands is not met," on Thursday afternoon, and elected to call off the meeting.

"We were initially contacted by BLM Boise in June and agreed to a meeting based on their representation of their interest in establishing lines of communication. However, given the post by BLM Boise, that meeting no longer seems advisable," the prosecutor's office posted. "That post shows the vandalism and damage done to Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office and alludes to the same type of conduct occurring here. We have confidence that our community will engage in peaceful conversations and will not be incited to violence in this manner."

When reached for comment, Black Lives Matter Boise sent an article about the benefits of ending drug prohibition and a message calling for Bennetts to step down as prosecutor. 

"Republican/GOP ada_county PROSECUTOR JAN BENNETTS MUST RESIGN," the message reads. "We recognize the importance of working with stakeholder(s) so we reached out to her office. We had a meeting with Jan Bennetts scheduled (since June) for today, our intention was to discuss the decades of research that go against her methodological approach to crime & criminality. Bennetts is now refusing to meet with BLM Boise. Our initial request would be to stop prosecuting small marijuana possession charges and build on dialogue from there about the decriminalization of illicit drugs, as it fuels mass incarceration."

RELATED: Black Lives Matter Boise relocates Tuesday's planned protests away from City Hall

We had a meeting with Black Lives Matter Boise scheduled for the aft... ernoon of July 24. On the afternoon of July 23, we were made aware of the BLM Boise post below, which refers to extensive vandalism and violence at the Salt Lake County prosecutor's office, and which appears to threaten the same here if an unidentified list of demands is not met.