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Protest starts after Idaho woman arrested at closed playground

CBS News logo CBS News 4/22/2020 CBSNews
a group of people standing in front of a building: There were protests at  Meridian City Hall after Sara Brady (inset) was arrested and charged with one count of misdemeanor trespassing. © Provided by CBS News There were protests at Meridian City Hall after Sara Brady (inset) was arrested and charged with one count of misdemeanor trespassing.

An Idaho woman was arrested Tuesday after police say she was violating city orders by trespassing on a city playground that was closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. CBS affiliate KBOI-TV reports that 40-year-old Sara Brady, of Meridian, was arrested and charged with one count of misdemeanor trespassing.

Following Brady's arrest, which was captured on social media, there were protests held at Meridian City Hall, KBOI reported. Station KTVB reported that roughly 100 people protested.  

"I feel like I was singled out because I was the only person that was arrested," Brady told KBOI. "I wasn't the only person standing on the bark. I definitely wasn't playing on the playground equipment. I wasn't swinging, never touched them. But yeah, I do feel like I was singled out and maybe it was because I asked too many questions."

Meridian police said they told a group of people gathered on the playground that they could move to the other areas of the park. KBOI reported. The playground was wrapped with caution tape and signs indicated it was closed due to COVID-19.  

Police said they made several attempts to get Brady to follow the rules and she refused to comply.

"These are very trying times and the Meridian Police Department supports the public's right to assemble for peaceful protest, however the right does not include damaging public property or ignoring closures of City property and facilities," MPD said.

KBOI reports there were counter-protesters present at the protest at Meridian City Hall, including Jamsey McRoberts.

"I came here today to stand against the fact that people were gathering," McRoberts said. "I want cities to open up. The governor, the mayor, the president, and everybody else should know that by social distancing we can still have normal lives."

Protesters continue to gather nationwide, demanding an end to "stay-at-home" orders. Some governors are taking steps to ease the restrictions, even as coronavirus cases and deaths rise.  

Idaho has recorded more than 1,750 coronavirus cases and at least 48 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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