While Sara Brady may not be a recognizable name among many American households, the video of her arrest most assuredly is.
Two years ago, during the early weeks of the 2020 Covid lockdowns, a video went viral of Brady getting arrested by local police after the Idaho resident allowed her children to play on the city of Meridian’s Kleiner Park playground, which was closed as a result of Covid restrictions. After warning Brady and other parents present that they needed to vacate the area, police officers proceeded to arrest Brady, much to the dismay of the other parents.
“He is arresting her for being on a public playground,” one witness said in a video documenting Brady’s arrest.
Following her detainment, the Meridian Police Department charged Brady with trespassing for failing “to adhere to the rules [in these] trying times.”
The incident also sparked the launch of protests supporting Brady, which were held outside the locality’s city hall.
“You don’t expect when you take your kids to a playground and you’re just simply trying to redress an officer for a grievance of a playground closure to end up in an arrest. I never went there that day and anticipated that,” Brady said in an interview with The Federalist.
While the arrest of the Idaho mother of two was outrageous to begin with, what’s even more abhorrent is that Brady is still currently being prosecuted by the office of the state’s Republican attorney general, Lawrence Wasden.
After spending about $25,000 on four sets of lawyers, Brady was finally given her day in court last Tuesday when oral arguments were heard following two years of her trial repeatedly getting delayed due to Covid restrictions. During the Sept. 20 hearing, Brady’s attorney, Seth Diviney, made the motion to have the trespassing charges against Brady dropped and issued “some arguments about the constitutionality of the charges, and whether or not they involve free speech.”
“It’s exhausting to go two and a half years, that’s a really long time to fight the state of Idaho, who has unlimited resources, and can continue to prosecute this indefinitely,” Brady said. “Our family has been through so much. We’ve been doxxed, we’ve been harassed, we’ve had [Child Protective Services] called on us simply for me taking my kids to a playground. And knowing what we know now about Covid and all the falsehoods that have been perpetrated on the American people, the fact that they’re still prosecuting me just adds insult to injury.”
According to Brady, her case is being prosecuted by Ken Jorgensen, who, in addition to representing the state in the trial, is one of Wasden’s deputy attorneys general.
“I just knew if they [were] making it such a big deal for me to take my children to a playground, I had to hold strong and I ha[d] to keep going to the end, because at the end of the day, I didn’t do anything wrong,” Brady said.
Wasden did not return The Federalist’s request for comment about why his office has continued to prosecute Brady, especially given the widely known, scientific data showing the low transmissibility of Covid outdoors, the failure of lockdown-style policies, and the extremely low risk Covid poses to children.
Led by Republican Gov. Brad Little, Idaho instituted some of the most illogical Covid policies among Republican-led states. On March 25, 2020, Little issued a statewide stay-at-home order, which forced government-deemed “non-essential” businesses to close their doors, including “bars, nightclubs, gyms, recreational facilities,” and “entertainment venues,” among others.
But Little’s horrid Covid mismanagement didn’t stop there. In January 2021, the GOP governor released a statement decrying efforts by the Idaho legislature to end his Covid emergency declaration, saying it was “critical in order for Idaho to receive federal assistance” and that the idea that the order “somehow shuts down Idaho or takes away your rights” is a “myth” and “patently false.”
Moreover, Little previously attempted to guilt-trip Idahoans into getting the Covid shot by claiming the jab is the “best shot at keeping kids in school.”
“Our students need to be able to learn in their classrooms with their teachers and peers. We can give our kids the best chance at a normal school year if more Idahoans choose to receive the vaccine,” he said in an August 2021 statement. “To those friends and neighbors of ours waiting to receive the vaccine, the time to get the vaccine is now — when our students are going back to school. We can minimize or eliminate disruptions in the delivery of education, as well as sports and extracurricular activities during this school year, if more Idahoans choose to get vaccinated.”
Other nonsensical Covid-related actions taken by the Idaho governor include the vetoing of legislation earlier this year that would have barred most private businesses from mandating the coronavirus jab for their employees.
“Idaho should be one of the most conservative states [in the country] if not the most conservative … but I think Covid really brought out the true colors of our supposed-Republican leaders,” Brady said. “I truly believe if I was in Florida, [Gov. Ron] DeSantis wouldn’t be putting up with this. I don’t think I’d be being prosecuted.”
According to Brady, neither Little nor anyone else from his office has ever contacted her regarding her arrest or ongoing prosecution.
Little did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment about whether he supports the prosecution against Brady or whether he has ever taken any action or encouraged Wasden to have his office drop the case against Brady.
Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood
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