Quantcast
Connect with us

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy violated law in 2014 armed standoff: prosecutor

Published

on

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his followers were not legally protesting when they took part in a 2014 armed standoff that galvanized militia groups challenging U.S. government authority in the America West, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Bundy and three co-defendants, including two of his sons, are accused of conspiring to use threats of force to prevent a court-ordered impoundment of Bundy’s cattle, which the government said had trespassed on federal land after he refused for 20 years to pay his grazing fees and assessments.

ADVERTISEMENT

Acting U.S. Attorney for Nevada, Steve Myhre, said in his opening statement to the jury that Bundy and the other men failed to comply with court orders set in 1998 and 2013 that Bundy must surrender his cattle if he would not pay grazing fees and obtain a permit to operate on federal land.

“These events were not protests,” Myhre said Tuesday. “A protest sends a message peacefully.

“It is a crime to impede … an enforcement officer as they execute an order of the court,” he added.

Prosecutors have argued the armed gunmen were using force and intimidation to defy the rule of law.

Answering Bundy’s call for help in the standoff, hundreds of followers – many heavily armed – descended on his ranch near Bunkerville, Nevada, about 75 miles (120 km) northeast of Las Vegas, in April 2014, demanding that his livestock be returned.

ADVERTISEMENT

Outnumbered law enforcement officers ultimately retreated rather than risk bloodshed, and no shots were ever fired.

But the dispute marked a flashpoint in long-simmering tensions between right-wing activists and the government over federal control of public lands in the West.

Defense lawyers have argued that the Bunkerville defendants were exercising constitutionally protected rights to assembly and to bear arms, casting the 2014 showdown as a patriotic act of civil disobedience against government overreach.

ADVERTISEMENT

Defense attorneys were scheduled to make their opening statements later on Tuesday in a trial expected to last through February.

Standing trial with Bundy, 71, are his sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and a fourth defendant, Ryan Payne, a Montana resident linked by prosecutors to a militia group called Operation Mutual Aid.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cliven and Ammon Bundy wore red prison uniforms on Tuesday in court, while Ryan Bundy and Payne dressed in civilian clothes.

Ammon and Ryan Bundy, along with five other people, were all acquitted in a separate conspiracy case last year stemming from the 2016 armed takeover of a federal wildlife center in Oregon.

(Additional reporting by John L. Smith in Las Vegas; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Michael Perry and Lisa Shumaker)

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Take her out!’ Leaked audio purportedly catches Trump demanding firing of Marie Yovanovitch

Published

on

Continue Reading

Commentary

Republicans’ phony impeachment outrage can’t conceal their deep-seated anxiety

Published

on

When you watch a trial, whether you're on a jury yourself or on the couch in front of the TV, the prosecution's presentation always seems airtight — until you see the defense. So I don't want to say at this stage that the House managers in Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial have made their case. But seriously, it's hard to see how the president's team can plausibly explain away this behavior. Their only choice will be to admit that all the evidence is true and tell the American people that it was perfect.

This article was originally published at Salon

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Viral video shows bystander confronting irate woman over her racist ‘speak English’ meltdown

Published

on

A video showing a woman's racist tirade on a bus last month is going viral. As Western Mass News points out, the man who filmed the video says the woman became irate when she overheard two people speaking a language other than English.

At one point during the video, a man on the bus spoke up to confront the woman.

"I love every country, but when they come to America, it would be nice if they spoke English. That’s not racist," the woman says.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image