After judge dismisses case, Boise woman sues Idaho State Police for wrongful arrest

Avalon Hardy was arrested during an abortion rights protest and charged with felony battery in 2022. In January, an Ada County judge dismissed her case.

By: - June 28, 2023 3:55 pm
Idaho State Police parked in front of the Idaho State Capitol building in Boise

Four days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe. v Wade, Avalon Hardy attended an abortion rights protest at the Idaho State Capitol with her mother where she was later arrested. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Six months after an Ada County judge dismissed battery charges against her, a Boise woman is now suing Idaho State Police troopers for wrongfully arresting her. 

The lawsuit traces back to June 28, 2022 or four days after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade when Avalon Hardy, a Boise woman, attended an abortion rights protest at the Idaho State Capitol with her mother.

While walking through a crowd of hundreds of abortion rights and anti-abortion protesters, Idaho State Police troopers arrested Hardy on a felony battery charge, and she spent that night at the Ada County Jail without bond. 

In January, Ada County Judge Michael Dean acquitted her case for the battery charge during the first day of what was supposed to be a jury trial. 

“I simply cannot find that there’s sufficient information to go to the jury,” Dean said, according to the Idaho Statesman.

Six months after her acquittal, Hardy is now suing ISP troopers Michael Kish, Troy DeBie, Kyle Card and Steven McClain for wrongful arrest and imprisonment, according to a press release from the Wrest Collective, Hardy’s legal representative. 

Hardy is also suing the ISP troopers for federal civil rights violations, including excessive force, malicious prosecution, deliberate fabrication of evidence, and retaliation for exercising First Amendment rights to free speech.

According to the lawsuit filed in court, Hardy had come into contact with an officer in the crowd during the protest, but prosecutors could not prove it was a felony and thus the charge against her was amended to a misdemeanor. 

Kish, who according to the lawsuit stood in the middle of anti-abortion and abortion rights protesters, only intervened to hold Hardy back from others. 

“As Ms. Hardy brought water to her mother, state troopers suddenly grabbed her wrists, yanked her arms behind her back, handcuffed her, and arrested her,” the complaint said. “The troopers then intentionally, and unnecessarily, led Ms. Hardy through a horde of hostile anti-abortion counter-protesters.”

According to the complaint, her arrest separated her from her six children and prevented her from managing her business.

Hardy, who was born and raised in the Treasure Valley, is heavily involved in the local Black community. According to the lawsuit, Hardy is an organizer for Boise Juneteenth events and is the owner of a small Boise hair salon, Beautiful Creations. At her salon, she gives free haircuts to people experiencing homelessness and collects donations of hygiene products for families.

With her lawsuit, Hardy is seeking relief, including compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and a jury trial.


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Mia Maldonado
Mia Maldonado

Mia Maldonado joined the Idaho Capital Sun after working as a breaking news reporter at the Idaho Statesman covering stories related to crime, education, growth and politics. She previously interned at the Idaho Capital Sun through the Voces Internship of Idaho, an equity-driven program for young Latinos to work in Idaho news. Born and raised in Coeur d'Alene, Mia moved to the Treasure Valley for college where she graduated from the College of Idaho with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and international political economy.