By KEITH RIDLER
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Angry, maskless spectators forced themselves into the Idaho House special session on the coronavirus pandemic Monday, shattering a glass door, rushing into the gallery that had limited seating because of the virus and forcing lawmakers to ask for calm in a crowd that included a man carrying an assault-style weapon.
After some people shoved their way past Idaho State Police, Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke allowed the gallery to fully open as long as the crowd stopped chanting and was respectful.
“I want to always try to avoid violence,” he told The Associated Press later. “My initial reaction of course was to clear the fourth floor. But we had room for at least some more.”
He said he was more disappointed than surprised at the violence.
“I think we’re better than that,” he said. “I think that Idahoans expect more out of their citizens.”