Shocking moment plainclothes feds shoot disabled homeless man, 39, out of his wheelchair as family files lawsuit claiming it was out of revenge because they refused to leave public land in Idaho where they were camped
- Bodycam footage shows federal agents shooting a wheelchair-bound man 11 times without identifying themselves in Idaho in May
A homeless man who was left paralyzed after a group of plain clothes federal officers shot him 11 times as they tried to arrest him and his family for overstaying on public land is suing officials for $50 million.
The shooting, which occurred in May 2023, was recorded on one of the officer’s body cameras in Payette National Forest, 50 miles from the Oregon border.
The clip shows officers arresting Brooks Roberts’ brother, Timber, and holding him close to the disused school bus where the brothers lived with their mother, Judy, in the Idaho wilderness.
Timber, 35, calls out for help and just seconds later, Brooks, 39, appears on the screen, in a wheelchair and holding his arm out towards the officers. The footage then moves as officers duck for cover.
From there, 11 shots can be heard, all from guns of the federal agents. In the aftermath, Brooks can be heard apologizing and telling the officers that he did not know they were cops. His lawyers say that one of those bullets is now lodged in his spine permanently.
The shocking moment a plainclothes officer shot a homeless disabled man was captured on bodycam footage
Brooks Roberts, 39, was shot 11 times in the incident, and is suing for $50 million
The officers do not identify themselves to Brooks. The shooting saw him hospitalized for five months. He was released in September. He is now paralyzed from the waist down and uses diapers.
The shooting part of an elaborate sting operation which saw two of the officers approach Timber and say that they needed help with their RV. When he came to help, they attempted to arrest him.
‘I thought he was being carjacked and that they either could have stabbed or shot him. I thought they were carjackers,’ Brooks told local news station KTVB7.
In the shocking footage, Brooks can be heard telling the officers: ‘I’m sorry, I thought my brother was being attacked. I didn’t know you guys were cops.’
Brooks was permitted to be armed under Idaho’s open carry laws.
At the time of his arrest, Timber was wanted on disorderly conduct charges.
In an interview with the Idaho Statesman, the family’s lawyer said that they had been forced to live off the grid in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘Federal police officers planned in secret to arrest this homeless family on minor misdemeanor offenses by preying on their good graces. Officers knew that the family would help two people that they thought were stranded motorists,’ family attorney Craig Durham told The Intercept in September.
‘It’s a shame that in the wealthiest nation on earth, our federal government will expend so many resources to hassle a homeless family, botch an arrest so badly, and permanently injure someone, rather than just help them find a place to live,’ he went on.
The clip shows officers arresting Brooks Roberts’ brother, Timber, and holding him close to the disused school bus where the brothers lived with their mother
The shooting part of an elaborate sting operation that left, although the officers did not immediately identify themselves
Brooks and his family were left homeless by the Covid-19 pandemic and were living in rural Idaho
When the situation escalates, the bodycam footage shows the officers unleashing a barrage of bullets at the homeless man
Lawyers say the family is seeking $50 million due to pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life and trauma.
The family began battling hard times in 2020 when Judy lost her job while recovering from a car accident and Brooks was injured while working at Walmart, forcing him to regularly use a wheelchair.
According to the Idaho Statesman, Judy had provided for her two sons who suffered from mental problems and never graduated high school.
The hard times saw them resorted to living on public lands after they were told that there was no space in emergency shelters.
In 2021, Judy was forced into a double amputation after her feet froze thanks to living cold floor of the school bus. This forced Timber, who had been living with a woman, to move back to the school bus.
During their time living on public land, they regularly quarreled with law enforcement. Officials allege that Timber once told law enforcement that the home was booby trapped and that trespassers could be majorly injured.
A local resident, Randy Hickman, of McCall, Idaho, told KTVB that Timber once threatened him with a knife.
‘I see a guy standing outside my vehicle. He wants something, I don’t know what it is. So, I open the door, get out and say what do you need?,’ Hickman said.
‘He walked back over to a Chevy pickup […] and picked up a knife off the tailgate,” he added. “He shook the knife and started back toward me. That made it pretty easy for me to see I needed not to be here.’
The homeless man and his family are seeking $50 million dollars due to pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life and trauma
This past May, authorities decided to move on the Roberts family as multiple misdemeanor charges were filed.
All three have agreed with prosecutors to plead guilty and will not face any further jail time.
There are around 2,000 homeless people in Idaho. Rules state that people can only stay on state land for 14 days and then have to move 25 miles away, waiting four weeks before returning to the original spot.
The family said that the complied with that order until they ran out of places to go.
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