A mom is the newest topic of conversation after a video showing her getting arrested while at a playground with her children went viral. The mom, later identified as Sara Walton Brady, was at the playground with her kids despite knowing the public area was closed due to stay-at-home orders placed in Idaho in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to BuzzFeed, Brady wasn’t at the park just so her kids could get some outside time after being cooped up in the house for several weeks. Instead, allowing her kids inside the closed community park was part of a protest.
As BuzzFeed reported, “Brady is an anti-vaccine activist with connections to several far-right groups in Idaho. She was participating in an organized protest on Tuesday against the governor’s stay-at-home order.” According to the Idaho Statesman, she’s best known for moderating a Facebook group called, Idahoans for Vaccine Freedom.
The group of people who were at the park that day removed the caution tape police had previously placed around the park, indicating that the public was not permitted to use the park at that time. And although Ashley Everly claimed that Brady “was compliant and told her kids to exit the playground,” she was arrested anyway.
According to the Facebook post, the mom “went to the officer to ask questions about what we were allowed to do and what his actions would be. The police officer gave her an ultimatum after she asked a question, and told her to get off the playground in 5 seconds and started counting down. He could have walked with her to the grass and none of this would have happened,” Everly claimed.
Mom Arrested for Bringing Her Kids to Closed Playground in Protest of Idaho’s Stay-At-Home Order: ‘I’m Going to Fight This’
However, as the Idaho Statesman reported, Brady wasn’t complaint and contrary to what Everly claimed on Facebook, refused to leave. As the newspaper reported, the mom “was noncompliant” and despite “being given many opportunities” to leave, she refused to do so.
Police revealed that despite the caution tape, the group of parents used the playground anyways. And when they arrived to ask the parents and their children to leave, the group reportedly began to question why the playground was closed in the first place.
As a result of that, Brady was arrested on one count of misdemeanor trespassing. She has since been released from the Ada County Jail. According to the police statement, they received several calls from other concerned citizens before arriving at the park to shut the gathering down.
Police said along with the removal of the caution tape, the metal signs indicating that the playground was closed until further notice was also removed. “These are very trying times, and the Meridian Police Department supports the public’s right to assemble for peaceful protest,” the statement read. “However, the right does not include damaging public property or ignoring closures of city property and facilities.”
After the protest at the playground was broken it up, the Idaho Stateman reported that it continued in front of City Hall. “I’m going to fight this,” Brady said to the crowd after being released. “I was in a public park I pay taxes on.” Brady is expected back in court on May 29.