NEZPERCE, ID - The Lewis County Sheriff's Office has issued a statement regarding a planned protest at their office in Nezperce on August 1. "The protest is in response to an officer involved shooting, involving two deputies from our office, a deputy of the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, and a Nez Perce Tribal Officer," says the statement.
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 Lewis County Sheriff's Office says misinformation being spread about the upcoming protest, including that it is being led by Black Lives Matter and Antifa. "In reality the protest is being led by Mr. Anderson’s supporters and those of Ammon Bundy. To our knowledge neither BLM, nor Antifa have any relation to this protest. Furthermore it does not appear that this protest is being organized by either group," says the LCSO statement.
Ammon 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.
"Lewis County Sheriff’s Office supports citizens constitutionally guaranteed rights including that of peaceful protest/counter protest. We also are extremely grateful to the community for their continued support of our office. We do however ask that those on either side of the issue do so in a peaceful and lawful manner. During the protest on 8/1 there will be clearly marked barricades around our office as we must guarantee the continued security of our jail facility. Please do not move past these barricades unless asked to by a deputy," reads the Sheriff's Office statement.