Car reservation

Idaho sheriff faces calls to resign after allegedly pointing gun at church teens

Local officials in Southeast Idaho are calling on Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland to resign after allegedly pointing a pistol at members of a church youth group and shooting their leader with a car by the hair.

Rowland later told investigators he was concerned about the “Drunk Indians” on the neighboring Shoshone-Bannock Fort Hall reservation.

Tribal leaders condemned Rowland’s language as racist.

Sheriff Craig Rowland faces criminal charges for allegedly pointing a pistol at members of a church youth group in Bingham County, Idaho.

Bingham County Sheriff’s Office

On November 9, children in Blackfoot, Idaho, were going door-to-door, leaving anonymous thank-you messages for community members.

After the children tried to stick a note on Rowland’s door, he then confronted them and stopped their church leader’s car, allegedly getting fat and threatening them with a handgun.

According to the local pressRowland also allegedly grabbed the driver of the car by the hair and pulled her out of the vehicle.

Rowland, 62, has since been charged with aggravated assault and battery as well as a misdemeanor charge relating to the presentation of a lethal weapon.

He is expected to file a plea in a court appearance on Wednesday.

The confrontation began to gain national attention over the past week after an affidavit was released by the Idaho state attorney general’s office.

According to investigators, Rowland told them he was concerned about members of the Shoshone-Bannock tribal community.

“I’ve been doing this job for 36 years, I’ve seen drunk Indians driving down my cul-de-sac, I’ve seen drunk Indians come to my door,” Rowland said, according to the affidavit. “I live right next to the reserve, we have a lot of people from the reserve around us who are not good people.”

Tribal chiefs condemn sheriff’s comments as “racial slurs”

Last week, the leaders of the Shoshone-Bannock condemned what they described as “racial slurs.”

“We call on Roland to officially step down as sheriff and issue a public apology,” said Tribe President Devon Boyer. in a report posted on Facebook.

Shoshone-Bannock officials said none of the children or adults involved in the Nov. 9 incident were tribal members.

In a separate statement, Bingham County District Attorney Paul Rogers also called on Roland to step down.

“I hope our current sheriff will again consider resignation as an option to allow Bingham County to begin the healing process,” Rogers said.

Members of a local police support group, the Fraternal Order of the Police, Snake River Lodge, issued a statement saying that it “may be in the best interest of the community for Sheriff Roland to step down”.

Other local officials condemned Rowland’s “disparaging” language and alleged behavior, but did not call for his resignation.

Sheriff’s office promises to strengthen ties with tribal community

In A declaration Posted on Facebook, the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office did not directly address the allegations against Chief Rowland.

Instead, department officials have promised to strengthen ties with the tribal community.

“All valuable relationships are based on mutual respect, trust and trust,” the statement said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To learn more, visit