• Witness says Jack Yantis was killed “needlessly.”
By Victor Thorn —
Many police officers have been unjustly maligned by members of the leftist corporate media, the Obama administration, and extreme racist groups like Black Lives Matter. However, instances do occur where law enforcement officers act egregiously, and when these types of appalling deeds take place, it’s this newspaper’s responsibility to expose them.
One such event happened on November 1, when two Adams County, Idaho sheriff’s deputies shot and killed 62-year-old rancher Jack Yantis on U.S. Highway 95 North.
To fill in the details of this senseless murder, on November 16 AMERICAN FREE PRESS spoke with an Idaho resident close to this case. The person only agreed to be interviewed if the name was withheld from publication.
The source began: “On November 1 at nearly seven o’clock in the evening, rancher Jack Yantis was sitting down with his family for dinner. Around this time, a family friend notified them that one of their bulls had escaped and was struck by a vehicle on nearby Route 95. Immediately, Mr. Yantis hopped on his ATV to see what help he could give to the prone animal. Meanwhile, his nephew, Rowdy Paradis, drove a skid-steer loader to the scene in order to shine its headlight on the situation.”
The source continued: “Mr. Yantis intended to put the bull out of its misery, but before he could do so, two deputies began riddling the animal’s body with bullets from their pistols and semiautomatic rifle. All this firepower didn’t kill the animal, though, and once Yantis reached the scene, he received a rifle from his wife.”
A November 7 article in the Idaho Statesman picks up the story from there: “Jack Yantis was standing about four feet from the bull, aiming his rifle at the back of the bull’s head. His back was to the two deputies.”
Inexplicably, however, one of the deputies approached Yantis, took hold of his shoulder, spun him backwards and grabbed the rifle’s scope, according to Paradis. It is unknown whether Yantis’s rifle accidentally discharged, but one deputy opened fire on Yantis, followed by his partner.
On November 10, at a town hall meeting attended by 300 of the city’s 800 residents, Sheriff Ryan Zollman released the deputies’ names, Cody Roland and Brian Wood. Zollman initially refused to release the names due to death threats against both the deputies and himself.
The officers—one of whom was named in a federal civil rights lawsuit that was eventually settled out of court in 2011—are on paid leave while the Idaho State Police conducts an investigation.
A Federal Bureau of Investigation case into the shooting has also been opened and the family, who has retained an attorney, has stated they intend to pursue claims against the sheriff’s department.
With Yantis struck by shots to his chest and stomach, AFP’s source filled in the rest of the story.
“Donna Yantis, Jack’s wife, saw her husband lying on the highway, bleeding,” the source said. “But when she rushed to help him, both deputies threw her to the ground. They did the same to Yantis’s nephew, Rowdy Paradis, and then proceeded to handcuff them. Mrs. Yantis was so traumatized that she suffered a heart attack. Even worse, Mrs. Yantis claimed that these officers refused to call 9-1-1 as her husband bled to death on the highway.”
Mrs. Yantis later told the Statesman: “[Officers] threatened me and my nephew. They threw us on the middle of Highway 95, searched us, handcuffed us, and wouldn’t let us take care of Jack.”
Just as sickening, the Yantises’ family bull remained alive during the fracas, for the earlier shots inflicted by the officers hadn’t killed it. Neither deputy bothered to do what Yantis originally intended, namely to end the bull’s suffering after being impacted by the SUV.
Paradis remarked: “The bull ended up lying there for two hours, suffocating in his own lung blood because they shot him in the gut.”
Despite these tragic circumstances, AFP’s source provided a ray of optimism: “Attorney Gerry Spence, who assisted Randy Weaver’s family at Ruby Ridge, has come to Donna Yantis’s aid.”
Paradis summarized this blatant overreach of authority by telling the Statesman: “Law enforcement should be trained to deescalate situations. In this case, I stood 10 feet away and watched two deputies escalate a situation and needlessly kill a man.”
Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and author of over 50 books.