NEZPERCE - The Lewis County Sheriff's Office has issued a reminder regarding the planned protest at their office in Nezperce on Saturday, August 1. The protest is in response to an officer involved shooting that involved 52-year-old Sean L. Anderson, of Idaho County, and multiple deputies from the Lewis County office, a deputy of the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, and a Nez Perce Tribal Officer. The statement reads:
"As a reminder for the rallies taking place in the City of Nezperce tomorrow. We would once again like to ask that all individuals taking part remain respectful of each other’s views, rights, private property, barricades, and signage for restricted areas. We have had a dialog with the organizers of both groups coming to our city, and both have pledged to remain peaceful during their time in our community. Once again, if you are not planning on taking part in the day’s activities we ask that you avoid the area, due to the increased activity and law enforcement presence. We wish all involved a safe day as they express their respective views."
According to Idaho State Police, the incident began with a traffic stop early in the morning of Saturday, July 18, when a Lewis County Deputy stopped a driver on Highway 12 at approximately 2:47 a.m. The driver initially stopped for the deputy but he then drove off which began a pursuit. Other local agencies, including a second Lewis County Deputy, an Idaho County Deputy and an Officer with the Nez Perce Tribal Police assisted in the pursuit. The driver, later identified as 52-year-old Sean L. Anderson, of Idaho County, eventually stopped in a residential area outside of Ferdinand in Idaho County where Anderson is accused of using a shot gun and firing it in the direction of a Lewis County Deputy after which the officers returned fire. None of the officers were injured. Anderson was treated at a Spokane hospital and released last Thursday to Spokane Police to await extradition.
The protest is being led by Mr. Anderson’s supporters and those of Ammon Bundy. Bundy, who led the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, is promoting the August 1 "Justice Rally for Sean Anderson" on his Facebook account. In a video message, Bundy accuses the Lewis County Sheriff's Office of not having sufficient cause to initially pull over Anderson, and suggests that officers fired shots on Anderson first, and that Anderson was only firing his weapon in self defense.