Charges have been dismissed against Sara Brady, a Meridian woman who went to a closed play ground in April 2020 and asked police to arrest her.
According to online records on the iCourt Portal website, Brady’s criminal case has been closed and her cash bond has been exonerated.
The news comes on the heels of new Idaho Attorney General Raul Labrador moving to dismiss the charges last week, a decision that drew headlines throughout the region.
Brady was one of several parents who took their children to a playground at Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park, which had been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brady and others argued with Meridian police officers about the constitutionality of the decision. She then turned, put her arms behind her back and asked the officer to arrest her.
Brady was charged with misdemeanor trespassing.
"We are grateful the judge has agreed with our motion to dismiss the charges against Sara Brady," Labrador said in a statement to the Idaho Press. "It validates the unanimous recommendation by all prosecutors assigned to the case which the Attorney General took seriously. We agree with the court, dismissal serves the ends of justice."
Tensions were high throughout the state and country. A few days before Brady was arrested, a protest against Gov. Brad Little's stay-at-home order drew hundreds of people.
Brady's arrest also set off protests in front of the home of the Meridian officer who made the arrest.
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In moving to dismiss the charges, Labrador, who took over as attorney general at the start of this year, is distinguishing himself from former attorney general Lawrence Wasden, who in 2020 defended Little's authority to issue a stay-at-home order.
"This case should have never been prosecuted. It has been a profound waste of precious taxpayer resources," Labrador said in a news release. "Going forward, we will focus the people's resources on prosecuting child exploiters and other serious criminals—not mothers who take their kids to the park."
Conversely, Labrador's move drew criticism last week from Meridian Mayor Robert Simison and Meridian Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea.
"We certainly hope this is not the type of political grandstanding we should expect coming out of the Attorney General's Office moving forward," Basterrechea said at the time. "We are supposed to be a nation ruled by law, not a nation ruled by politics."
Brady supported Labrador during his campaign for attorney general. In a Facebook post in August, she wrote he was her "favorite soon-to-be Attorney General." She wore a red dress promoting Labrador to the Idaho GOP election night party in November. She did not donate to his campaign, according to the Secretary of State's website.
Other politicians have expressed their support for Brady. In 2020, then Rep. Dorothy Moon said it was ridiculous to spend taxpayer dollars to put Brady in jail. Moon is now the chair of the Idaho Republican Party.
In a statement to the Idaho Press, Brady said that her trial was canceled twice and that the legal process felt like a punishment to her.
"My defense has cost my family thousands of dollars," she said. "I never should have been arrested that day for standing in an area of the park that was open and charges should have been dropped years ago."