Amy Johnson was in the Ada County Jail and didn’t know what she’d done.
Two days earlier, Johnson had called a friend to pick her up from work. She has bipolar disorder and felt a manic episode coming on. Colors were getting brighter. Her thoughts ricocheted from one thing to another. She couldn’t sleep.
Her friend and boyfriend were ready to help her through it — with written instructions Amy had given them in case this ever happened. But instead of getting well at a psychiatric hospital, the 41-year-old university employee was arrested. She could face up to six years in prison.
“I’m feeling terrible right now. I break down in tears every time I have to talk about it,” Johnson said. “… Every time I go to court or every time I think about this charge, [it’s a reminder that] someone thinks that I’m a bad person because they’re charging me with this and that I need to pay a penalty for this.”
Johnson is one of hundreds of Idahoans charged under a law passed in 2014 making battery against health care workers a felony.
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Audrey Dutton, Idaho Statesman
January 20, 2018