Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Group still seeking justice one year after rancher killed by deputies

The 4-foot-high, 8-foot-wide sign is impossible for drivers on U.S. 95 north of Council to miss. Its three words in white letters are set against a bright red background and planted on the hillside of the Yantis family ranch: Justice for Jack. Almost immediately after rancher Jack Yantis was shot and killed by two Adams County sheriff’s deputies last Nov. 1, divisions arose in the rural county in west-central Idaho. Some people defended the deputies. Others called the killing of Yantis murder. The shooting received national attention at a time when police-involved shootings have divided communities around the country. Idaho State Police investigated the death for seven months before state and federal prosecutors announced in July that there wasn’t enough evidence to charge either deputy. That settled the criminal investigation but not the controversy.A citizen group that formed shortly after the shooting to support the family, Justice for Jack, was stunned by the July announcement, though members contend the truth about the shooting will eventually emerge and with it, justice. As news of the shooting and the subsequent investigation spread across the country, Justice for Jack’s membership grew, most of it through social media. Today it claims more than 3,400 members in Idaho, the nation and abroad — about equal to the population of Adams County. It was already dark shortly before 7 p.m. that Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, when deputies Brian Wood and Cody Roland shot Yantis on U.S. 95. A car driven by a Nampa couple had struck one of Yantis’ bulls. County dispatchers had called Yantis, 62, at home to tell him to take care of the injured animal. He went to the road with his rifle to euthanize it. The deputies said Yantis held his rifle in a threatening manner and refused commands to lower it. They shot him 12 times...more

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