Police Abuse

State Investigates Why Cops Killed Idaho Rancher Who Was Trying to Put Down a Bull

It is not clear how a traffic accident escalated into Jack Yantis' death.


Yantis family

Idaho State Police and the Idaho Attorney General's Office are investigating the puzzling shooting of 62-year-old rancher Jack Yantis by Adams County sheriff's deputies on November 1. The shooting followed a traffic accident in which one of Yantis' bulls was injured, but it remains unclear exactly how that incident escalated into Yantis' death.

The Idaho Statesman reports that Yantis—whose ranch is on U.S. Highway 95 about six miles north of Council, a tiny town two hours from Boise—got a call from the Adams County Sheriff's Office around 6:45 p.m. One of Yantis' bulls had been hit by a car on the highway. "Its rear leg was shattered by the collision," the paper says, and it "started charging people at the crash scene."

Rowdy Paradis, Yantis' nephew, said that when he arrived at the scene of the accident he found the bull lying in the grass near the driveway of the ranch. Yantis told Paradis to get a rifle so he could put the bull out of its misery, but meanwhile the two deputies at the scene opened fire, wounding the bull but failing to kill it. When Yantis pointed his rifle at the bull's head to end its suffering, Paradis said, a deputy grabbed him from behind, spun him around, and grabbed the rifle. The rifle may have gone off during the scuffle, and both deputies opened fire, killing Yantis.

Yantis' wife, Donna, who had a heart attack after witnessing the shooting, confirmed her nephew's account in a video recorded at the hospital. After the shooting, she said, the deputies "threatened me and my nephew, Rowdy Paradis, threw us on the middle of Highway 95, searched us and handcuffed us, and wouldn't let us go take care of Jack." The deputies would not let anyone euthanize the bull either. "The bull ended up lying there for two hours," Paradis said, "suffocating in his own lung blood because they shot him in the gut."

It is unclear what provoked the scuffle or the shooting, although it seems reasonable to assume that Jack Yantis was upset about the way the deputies had treated the bull, which he had raised and tamed. "Law enforcement should be trained to de-escalate situations," Paradis said. "In this case, I stood 10 feet away and watched two deputies escalate the situation and needlessly kill a man."

The deputies are on paid leave as the investigation of the incident proceeds, and so far they have not publicly told their side of the story. Supporters of the Yantises are raising money for them on GoFundMe and plan a "peaceful protest" this Saturday, the day before Jack Yantis' memorial service.

[Thanks to Tim Beck for the tip.]

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  1. I’m so glad that all the police made it home safely.

    And that, apparently, small town cops are just as authoritarian and scared as their big-city counterparts.

  2. The deputies are on paid leave as the investigation of the incident proceeds, and so far they have not publicly told their side of the story.

    Their union lawyer is scouring the law history books to find out just which version of “I was in fear for my life and those around me” they’ll use as a defense.

  3. The HuffPo comments can be summed up with one word: Good!


    They sure love the cops when they’re shooting white ranchers.

    1. Not clicking that.

      1. Paul Lebow
        Well, my heart goes out to the bull, the slightly injured deputy, and the folks in the Subaru.
        Like ? Reply ? 18 ? Nov 2, 2015 6:31pm

        You’re welcome!

      2. Do click it. It explains a lot. The story’s being reported there as having been a “shootout”. There’s such a disagreement over the facts, it’s hard to blame mere commenters.

      3. Dont click that. OMG the people are moaning about the (*@#&$@ Bull

    2. This certainly lends more credence to the idea that the left doesn’t actually give a shit about police violence, so long as it happens to white people as much as black people.

      1. How “profoundly progressive” of them.

  4. War on cops escalates.

    A contagion of disrespect for authority.

    1. Sarcasm, I presume?

      1. Jerk, I’d prefer the word sardonic, or mordant. Maybe caustic.

  5. I’ve had exactly two interactions with cops while I was visibly armed. Both were with rural police officers (in California no less). one was grateful that I was willing to let them enter my property and was willing to walk it with them and check the outbuildings at night when there was a murder about a half mile away…which was the first murder in that town in well over a decade. The other was curious if I had been shooting dogs or pigs that had been fucking up fields of newly-planted pistachio and orange trees.

    Rural cops are usually smarter than these dumbasses were. I’d not be surprised if there ends up being some bad blood between these cops and this rancher that goes back a while.

  6. While Paradis was getting the skid loader, the deputies started shooting at the bull. At least one of them had a semiautomatic rifle, perhaps an AR-15, an adaptation of the military M16.

    “They opened up with their pistols and their M16s … before Jack got there,” Paradis said. “That’s an inhumane deal. … This is a 2-ton Angus bull that’s pissed off, he’s hurt and psychotic. … It was blazing down there and it sounded like World War III on this bull, because they got him charging at everyone again.”

    Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/…..rylink=cpy

    So the chickenshit cops blazed away and weren’t able to kill it. Probably because they were just too chickenshit to walk up and shoot it once in the head.

    Looks like the rancher wasn’t such a fucking pussy though.

    Donna Yantis had walked the rifle to her husband. Jack Yantis was standing about 4 feet from the bull, aiming the rifle at the back of the bull’s head.

    Who to believe? The cops where were to fucking chicken to just walk up and put the bull out of its misery, or the family of a guy who knew how to deal with livestock? Hmmm…..

    1. From that article:

      Meanwhile, the bull was still alive, slowly bleeding out on the roadway. Family members asked the deputies to put it down to end its suffering. No one did.

      “The bull ended up lying there for two hours,” Paradis said, “suffocating in his own lung blood because they shot him in the gut.”

    2. So the chickenshit cops blazed away and weren’t able to kill it. Probably because they were just too chickenshit to walk up and shoot it once in the head.

      Think any of this footage will make it into the “Why you can’t stop a car with your sidearm.” training video?


  7. Let’s ask Suave. We’re the cops’ actions “profoundly conservative” or were Yantis’s?

    1. Were. Stupid autocorrect.

    2. picardfacepalm.jpg

    3. So is this going to be the next meme where yokeltarians with diaper rash fail hilariously to mock a Reason writer by willfully misconstruing something that was completely clear in the original context?

      1. Yeah, Hugh. That’s exactly what’s happening. I’m a real fucking yokeltarian.

        No, maybe Robby is so stunted in his intellect that the only word he could think of was “conservative” to describe something that’s not really all that conservative, or hasn’t been in the last four or five decades.

      2. Perhaps the most astonishing thing about these students’ censorious actions is how profoundly conservative they are. By communicating an expectation that their master or president protect them from unsightly Halloween costumes, or promise them no more hurtful words will be said at their expense, students are essentially calling for a return to campus life under in loco parentis. They reject not merely a free and open campus dialogue, but adulthood itself.

        So you’re saying that Suave was clear in his original context that rejecting a free and open dialogue, and adulthood itself, is “profoundly conservative”? And that that’s a correct assessment?

        If you believe that about conservatism, you’re profoundly retarded.

        1. Well you do realize that he wasn’t using the term conservative in the political sense, right? I mean, that’s the first thing we should be absolutely clear about.

          1. If we’re going to “be absolutely clear” about that then maybe he should have made himself absolutely clear. This is a political site after all.

            1. I guess Robby assumed people would be able to glean what he meant by conservative from reading what he wrote in context and either applying their knowledge of vocabulary or looking up the word. Which I will admit was a pretty dumb assumption on his part because we know he reads these comment threads.

              1. I posted his entire paragraph above and critiqued it. Show me where I’m wrong.

                1. ‘Conservative’ in its most fundamental sense refers to a worldview which is suspicious of change or prefers traditional social orders over new ones. Robby is arguing that by wanting their university to coddle them like helpless children, these students are embracing the doctrine of in loco parentis, which was the status quo in education for the century-plus prior to the 1960s.

                  It also works if you take ‘conservative’ as it refers to risk aversion.

          2. Furthermore, he couldn’t be more wrong if he’s taking a swipe at conservatism in a social sense. Central authority is a tenet of the progressive thought and philosophy. It’s not conservative socially at all.

            1. Mommy and daddy authority is pretty fucking conservative though.

              1. Really? Because I was raised conservative and I can tell you that self reliance and thick skin was drilled into me from my infancy.
                The kids I remember with helicopter parents were the ones whose parents worked at the union plants around town and wanted everything equalized by a central power.

              2. Mommy and daddy authority is pretty fucking conservative though.

                Even if that’s the case, with “honor they mother and father” Christian conservatives, creating surrogates and giving them godlike powers to act in parents’ stead is very far from conservative. It’s quite progressive, actually. And it started to a great extent in the New Deal and Great Society programs designed to engineer a parent-state.

                I’m sorry, but Suave was simply wrong.

                1. And he wasn’t even clever in his “conservative” conflation.

  8. Well, goddammit, if a farmer just starts shooting bulls, who knows if he might just start shooting pigs as well? I can understand a barnyard animal being somewhat concerned about the farmer’s actions, and it’s not like a barnyard animal has the intellectual capacity to understand the situation. Barnyard animals are all primitive instinct and lizard brain stimuli.

    1. Barnyard animals are all primitive instinct and lizard brain stimuli.

      You mean they’re…progressives?

  9. I’m guessing these deputies – even when they are cleared and you know they will be – will have to move to another state. I’m way too confident that some of the other ranchers in that community might pop one of them if they stick around.

    The other good news is that Adams county only has 3K people in it. That means that the settlement that this family gets will end up actually being noticeable to the taxpayers. I’m sure this sheriff isn’t going to win re-election.

  10. Why did the cops even have their guns out? What possible reason could they have for even being there after they called Yantis to the scene? Are they unaware of how ranching works?

  11. “Law enforcement should be trained to de-escalate situations,” Paradis said. “In this case, I stood 10 feet away and watched two deputies escalate the situation and needlessly kill a man.”

    They intentionally escalate situations because their want an excuse to kill someone. That’s why they seek out the job.

    1. their they

  12. “The bull ended up lying there for two hours,” Paradis said,”suffocating in his own lung blood because they shot him in the gut.”

    What kind of fucking idiot thinks the proper way to euthanize an animal is to shoot it in the gut?

    1. Dude, they’re cops. Their goal is to inflict the maximum amount of suffering as possible.

    2. You would think an Idaho LEO might have some familiarity with hunting.

      1. It’s common to shoot deer in the lungs.


        1. A bull is huge compared to a deer. Hell, it’s huge compared to an elk. A rancher would never take a heart/lung shot to euthanize an animal. Brain shot, and with a bullet heavy enough to penetrate the skull. They would have been far better off using their service weapon, probably chambered for a .40 S&W. Using 5.56 FMJ was cruel and stupid.

    3. The coppers are trained to spray and pray at center mass, whereas hunters and ranchers know that shooting a critter center mass, unless you are very lucky, will mean hours of trailing a wounded animal while it bleeds out. Nope a wise hunter aims carefully at something vital before firing.

  13. Why do I look at this stuff first thing in the morning?

  14. Now we sign the violence inherent in the system.

  15. None of this would have happened if the cops hadn’t employed the Me, Myself and Irene method of putting a cow down.


  16. Per my brother in Boise, the ISP is doing another routine whitewash and cover up, I mean, “investigation”. Video has already been “lost”….

  17. We’ve gone from the government claiming a monopoly on violence to the government claiming a monopoly on everything. Once the police show up, I guess no one but the police is allowed to do anything–including putting a bull out of its misery?

    This guy was killed for trying to put a suffering animal out of its misery and the police not being able to handle someone else using a rifle in their presence. I wonder if he offered to let them use the rifle themselves?

    I bet he did. My bet is that he offered to let them use the rifle themselves to put the bull out of its misery, and they refused, so he took it upon himself to shoot the bull over their objections. And then they shot him for discharging a weapon in their presence while being visibly agitated with them for their stupid cruelty–technically enough to justify shooting the rancher in self-defense.

    But if he offered to let them shoot the bull and they refused, in my mind, that changes everything. No one should be killed by the police for trying to show mercy to a suffering animal, and if the police refused to shoot the bull with the rifle themselves, and left him no choice but to stand by and watch an animal suffer, then the police had no right to then turn around and shoot him–if they knew why he was using the rifle. The police had mens rea if they knew.

  18. How can the law justify making someone choose between standing by and doing nothing while an animal suffocates in its own blood–or being killed by the police? The police shouldn’t be able to willfully force someone to do something that justifies shooting them–and then claim they shot in self-defense. If the rancher pointed the rifle at them, then that’s one thing. If he offered to let them shoot the bull themselves and they refused, that changes everything. Subsequent to that, if the rancher merely pointed the rifle at the bull and they shot him before he could point the rifle at the police, then that’s on the police.

  19. How can the law justify making someone choose between standing by and doing nothing while an animal suffocates in its own blood–or being killed by the police?

    They’ve been doing it that way a long time, Ken. Remember when Mayor Calvo of Berwyn Heights, MD had the police raid his house and shoot his dogs? IIRC, it took one of them about 1/2 an hour to bleed out, while Calvo and his mother in law were handcuffed right next to the dog. Not hard to think what would have happened if Calvo had ‘resisted’ them by trying to treat the animal.

  20. I agree with the previous comment. These Barney Fife knuckleheads may be wise to find employment outside of Idaho. Ranchers do not take kindly to mistreatment of livestock, or ranchers.

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