A local group has been formed by Boone Tidwell and Flint Flesher to protect Park County citizens from outside rioters and looters, and negative economic effects they said these people could wreak on supply chains outside the county, specifically between now and the Nov. 3 general election.

“With the sole objective to be prepared in a worst case scenario,” Tidwell said. “We see it as preparing a multitude of assets to allow the Basin to thrive in case things go south.”

In Tidwell’s presentation to the Park County commissioners at their meeting Tuesday, he said it was not out of obligation, but professional courtesy, to let them know what they have been developing. He said he has been keeping Park County Sheriff Scott Steward abreast of their activities, and also communicated with him and Cody Police Chief Chuck Baker extensively leading up to the local protest last June 7, to provide law enforcement back-up.

The group of what Tidwell describes as a collection of “like-minded people” got its start working the perimeter of City Park at the Protest Against Racism on June 7. Tidwell said the members continued their communications afterward, and have decided to carry forward many of the actions that took place at the event along with a new economic focus.

Tidwell said many of the members had heard reports of outside forces planning to come to Cody to cause havoc at the rally, drawing alarm from specifically many in the local business community. Rioting occurring in connection with a protest held in Casper and other locations infiltrated with outside provocateurs throughout the country shortly before the Cody event also caused concern among the group that such acts might take place here.

Tidwell said members of the quickly organized 60-person membership set up intelligence gathering efforts and surveillance outside town for buses coming in, and monitored downtown Cody and the courthouse.

Although there was no credible evidence of outside malevolent forces leading up to or at the event, Tidwell and Flesher did not regret the actions they took.

“There could have been an occasion for disruption and violence,” Tidwell said.

Flesher said their members were on horseback, concealing and carrying firearms.

“We were not going to provoke anything,” Tidwell said. “We were there to assist the local community.”

There were also individuals operating independently from their group who were standing both in the park and across the street with weapons exposed. Flesher said they politely approached these people in the park and asked them to conceal their weapons and move to the periphery.

Flesher said a few abided by this request but certain people could be viewed with guns exposed on the park lawn throughout the entire event.

To differentiate themselves from these independent actors, Tidwell’s group wore pink armbands.

The commissioners had no objections to the actions the group is taking, and commissioner Lee Livingston commended their efforts. He and his son, Wes Livingston, were part of the mounted patrol on June 7.

Tidwell said although they view Park County Homeland Security Director Jack Tatum as an “asset,” they had not yet been in communication with him about their work.

“The big kicker – he is a federal agency (employee),” Flesher said.

Although Tatum is considered a county employee who reports to Steward, his department receives significant grant funding from the federal government.

What is it?

The group has no name and although Tidwell used the term “militia” multiple times to describe the group during the meeting, he said he doesn’t want it to be considered that.

“It’s a word that’s been bastardized by propaganda and other things,” he said.

Tidwell and Flesher said the National Guard is not a militia and referred to article 17 of the Wyoming Constitution in justification for their organization. The article specifically provides for organized militias, but also states a militia must be commissioned by the governor. Unorganized militias are allowed, and consist of, “all persons liable to serve in the militia but not commissioned or enlisted in the organized militia.”

“We are in support of the silent majority,” Tidwell said.

Flesher said their organization is made up by retired and former law enforcement, military and security staff in the local community who they said have the right to make citizens’ arrests if necessary. Tidwell is a former police officer from southern California.

A concern Tidwell heavily emphasized during his presentation was of food and materials becoming cut off from Cody if protests and riots continue to wear on, and they are looking for people with expertise on economic and food supply expertise in their organization.

Protests have escalated in recent weeks nationally with violence occurring in Portland, Seattle, Austin, Texas, Sioux Falls, S.D. and Aurora, Colo. Flesher said he has been in communication with friends who served as defense forces at Denver and Billings protest events.

“We don’t expect that to come here but it has the potential,” Tidwell said.

Although they were vague on details as far as what they would do to solve supply chain and isolation issues, Tidwell said they are reaching out to local agriculture leaders to prepare.

Flesher and Tidwell said they have no criticisms for the organizers of the June 7 protest and view that as having been a successful event. Melissa Maier, organizer of the event, was present at last Tuesday’s commissioner meeting but did not speak.

In a Facebook thread connected with Tidwell and Flesher’s group, there were disparaging comments made about the protest’s organizers following the event. Flesher said he deleted these comments and all following responses made.

“That didn’t need to be out there,” he said.

Flesher said those interested in joining their group can contact him at (307) 272-1401, or Tidwell at (307) 250-4372.

(27) comments

Freecitizen

1st Amendment - Good

2nd Amendment - Bad

Uh-huh

Right

6FUresident

Someone has been spending the lockdown watching old westerns.

It's 2020. It's Wyoming, not Minneapolis.

Rioters are not coming to Cody. Stop the drama.

If there are any that think they are rioters a loud BOO will send them running home to mommy

barbed wire bliss

Hmmmmmmmm....maybe not such a bad idea. Local armed vigilantes running this town and keeping us all safe. Think of all the money this town will save. Thanks to the local Cody armed militia, maybe now we can defund the Cody PD and the Park Co Sheriff's Dept.

KeepWyomingGr88

Very good. Keep these degenerate rioters out of our state.

KeepWyomingGr88

Very good, thanks for doing this! Keep the protesters out of our neighborhoods. Our kids already have enough white guilt from social media echo chambers and public education teaching a one-sided view of history.

Mjolnir76

A locally sanctioned vigilante group huh? Think twice because many of us will resist be intimated by brown shirt nationalist of any kind.

pbg10

How often have our law enforcement officers been in involved in controlling armed protesters whose sole purpose is to destroy? Extra help might not be such a bad idea.

SomeOne

Good question, how many? Please provide a list of the most recent occurrences.

Gunrunner Auctions

Outstanding in all respects. We fully support your preparation. You group did an outstanding job during the protests back in June with the outriders and armed citizens. Well done. Not one citizen or business was disturbed - unlike other communities. In Casper the protestors laid down in the street and blocked commerce after they marched through the business section - not so in Cody. They had one hour to speak their piece and then they dispersed and the outsiders left Cody. No problems. Rioting or any disruption in Cody will NOT be tolerated and I appreciate your group for assuring us it could never happen. In these times (and before) one cannot be too prepared. That is the Wyoming way. That is the American way.

P Demoney

Maybe the soccer moms, little kids, and elderly didn't feel like rioting that day?

pcwyoming

Thank you so much Boone et al., for your bravery, freedoms, nationalisms, intimidations, intelectualisms, freebaseisms, intelisms, firearmisms, and patriotisms! Certainly without all you're isms we face such a cataclysim. Also where do y'all find the time for such important work!?[alien][pirate][thumbup]

gus

Pure intimidation not protection. Do something meaningful with your lives.

Whatsup

great job 👍 my friend until people understand what you're doing they should probably just shut their mouths it doesn't matter what they say they don't know what was said in that commissioners meeting when you talk to him they don't know what the chief of police has told you they don't know what the city mayor is told you they don't know what the governor is told you I commend your my friend

Joseph Gargery

Let's see... a vigilante group with no rules or accountability, who will use deadly force to enforce their own version of justice. What could go wrong? The worst part is that they are sanctioned, or at least tolerated, by our local government. In the unlikely event something were to happen in Cody such as a riot, I will place my trust in professional law enforcement to handle appropriately. The humorous part is that several of these spaghetti western wannabees are not even from Cody. Raising the question of who are the actual outside agitators?

XMonkey

A man on horseback with an American flag, wanting to help offer safe haven to other citizens... Epitomizes what's so good about Cody and Wyoming, where there are still people, like those who came home from horrible wars, who respect the flag and what it stands for, and who honor God and country, and who have a sense of morality and understand that freedom does not mean license and a sense of selfish entitlement - the very things that are destroying this country. Keep it up, guys, and thanks for doing what you're doing.

Fox Blue River

$100 says these are the people not wearing masks in the grocery store and gay marriage was the most important political issue to them last election.

Whatsup

I'll take you up on that hundred dollar bet and those are fighting words my friend

Whatsup

Get your hundred bucks out no checks cash only

Jodilynne

My thoughts exactly.

Daves Warm Nuts

Good golly, Thank you! I can not express my heart felt gladation that you all are doing this for our community! If I may, I would encourage you and your team have posts out by the Caramel Youth Camp, to protect us from all of that fake news coming from Canada/Montana and other posts outside of Shoshoni. One going Casper way and the other coming this way, just because. Don't bring any shelter to any of the posts, because you will be identified right off, just sit out there like you are doing nothing because that is what you are doing. I feel so safe!

P Demoney

Golly, I feel safer already. These are the folks who think John Wayne's characters were nonfiction.

okthen

I'm pretty sure you have an inflated sense of importance. Other than that, be honest, you're just cheerleading for the Trumpster.

old rancher

What has happened to the community? What has happened to our little town of Cody? We have well trained and supplied law enforcement. Between Cody, Powell and Meeteetse there are more than enough lawmen to protect us. Really protect us! A lot of the law enforcement are military trained.

Citizen arrest? This scary and intimidating.

Hash

What's happening is citizens are finally taking responsibility for the protection of the community. The US Supreme Court has made it clear that law enforcement agencies are not required to provide protection to citizens so we all must take some responsibility for our own safety.

DeweyV

A perfect rebuttal to the abject paranoia being edified here, the lyrics to the classic Buffalo Springfield song " For What It's Worth " . You all know the tune, so sing along now: There's something happening here

What it is ain't exactly clear

There's a man with a gun over there

Telling me I got to beware

I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound

Everybody look what's going down

There's battle lines being drawn

Nobody's right if everybody's wrong

Young people speaking their minds

Getting so much resistance from behind

It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound

Everybody look what's going down

What a field-day for the heat

A thousand people in the street

Singing songs and carrying signs

Mostly say, hooray for our side

It's s time we stop, hey, what's that sound

Everybody look what's going down

Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep

It starts when you're always afraid.....

Yancy

Seriously. It must be miserable to live your life in complete paranoia.

F1ve4

Dewey you are spot on with the words of that song

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