Last November, Jack Yantis was enjoying an evening with his family at his ranch in Idaho, when he got a call saying that one of his bulls had been hit by a car. When he arrived on the scene, two Adams County Deputies were already there. An altercation ensued between the deputies and Yantis, because he aimed his rifle at the bull to put him down, but wasn’t pointing the gun in a safe direction. When one of the deputies tried to stop him, Yantis attempted to strick him with the rifle, so both deputies shot him dead.
His family however, had a different version of those events. They say that the police tried to put the bull down themselves and failed miserably, leaving the poor animal dying in the road. When Yantis pointed his rifle at the animal, one of the deputies grabbed him, swung him around, and tried to take the rifle from him. That’s when both deputies shot him (and those aren’t the only damning details that put the deputies in a bad light). All of the witnesses agree that the shooting was completely unjustified.
Now state and federal prosecutors have decided not to charge either of the deputies. Apparently there was insufficient evidence to assign guilt to either party. According to federal prosecutors, “It is not enough to show that the officer made a mistake, acted negligently, acted by accident or even exercised bad judgment.”
And one of the biggest reasons why the evidence was inconclusive, is because absolutely nothing was recorded by the police. The dash camera for their vehicle wasn’t turned on, one of the body cameras was powered off, and the other didn’t have any memory left. So it’s the word of two deputies against four witness, who prosecutors say have conflicting accounts. Unfortunately, we’ll probably never know what really happened to Jack Yantis.