Boise man was killed by police after injuring K9 dogs. Now, family plans to sue - East Idaho News

Boise man was killed by police after injuring K9 dogs. Now, family plans to sue

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BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — On an early January morning, police found Jeremiah Gaver wandering in Boise, “covered in a tarp and holding a cane, looking over fences into the backyards of homes,” according to a January news release from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.

The situation quickly escalated. Police released K9 dogs. And officers fatally shot the 37-year-old man, who had stabbed the dogs and refused to drop his knife, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Now, Gaver’s father, Peter, has notified the Boise Police Department and Ada County Sheriff’s Office of his intent to sue with tort claims against the agencies. The claims were filed in early May and obtained by the Idaho Statesman through public records requests.

Peter in the claims accused the officers who fatally shot his son of committing “homicide.”

“Allegedly (Jeremiah) did not comply with their demands to tell them who he was or what he was doing, which then resulted in the police taking his life,” he wrote in the claim against Ada County. “My son … received multiple gunshot wounds by law enforcement.”

The Boise Police Department and the Ada County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment for this story, citing pending litigation. The Boise Police Department identified Camron Johnson, an eight-year veteran of the agency, as one of the officers who fired at Gaver. The Ada County sheriff’s spokesperson Lauren Montague declined to identify the deputies involved in the shooting and said the agency won’t release names until the investigation is complete.

Police that day used K9 dogs, a bean-bag rifle and tasers to try to subdue and arrest Gaver, who tried to run away, stabbed the dogs and refused officers’ demands to drop the knife he was holding, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Four sheriff’s deputies and one Boise police officer ultimately fired their weapons at Gaver, who was declared dead at a hospital hours later.

At a March protest for victims of police shootings, Gaver’s sister, Anna Carstensen, called for the body-camera footage to be made public and said the narrative of the shooting was a “one-sided tale.” Treasure Valley law enforcement agencies don’t release body-camera footage or reports on police shootings until the investigations are finalized, typically a monthslong process.

Carstensen declined to comment for this story. The Statesman also reached out to Gaver’s father for further comment.

The Ada County Critical Incident Task Force, which is composed of five law enforcement agencies, gets activated for any police shooting occurring in the county, and one of the outside agencies is tasked with investigating the incident. The Meridian Police Department conducted the investigation into Gaver’s shooting and provided its materials to the Owyhee County Prosecutor’s Office, Stephany Galbreaith, the police department’s spokesperson, told the Statesman.

The Owyhee County Prosecutor’s Office will review the materials and determine whether the officers were justified in shooting Gaver.