News / USA

    US Law Enforcement Surrounds Refuge After Violent Standoff

    FILE - The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon has been occupied by demonstrators since Jan. 2, 2015.
    FILE - The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon has been occupied by demonstrators since Jan. 2, 2015.
    Ken Bredemeier

    Law enforcement officials had surrounded the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday after a violent confrontation the day before with protesters who had been occupying the wildlife refuge in the northwestern state of Oregon for nearly a month.

    U.S. authorities on Tuesday killed one protester and arrested eight others who had been demanding that control of the federal land be turned over to local officials.

    Harney County Sheriff David Ward told reporters he was disappointed that the confrontation "ended badly" with the shooting, saying, "It didn't have to happen."

    Ward and other authorities vowed to end the siege peacefully at the refuge, where one demonstration leader said another five or six people remain.

    These photos provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office show eight people involved in the occupation of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, who were arrested Jan. 26, 2016. Top row, from left, are Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier and Shawna Cox. Bottom row, from left, are Joseph Donald O'Shaughnessy, Ryan Payne, Jon Eric Ritzheimer and Peter Santilli.
    These photos provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office show eight people involved in the occupation of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, who were arrested Jan. 26, 2016. Top row, from left, are Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier and Shawna Cox. Bottom row, from left, are Joseph Donald O'Shaughnessy, Ryan Payne, Jon Eric Ritzheimer and Peter Santilli.

    Protest leader Ammon Bundy and several of his followers were headed to a community event away from the refuge headquarters Tuesday when the shooting occurred as police stopped their vehicle at a checkpoint. Bundy was among those arrested, with a  rancher from the southwestern state of Arizona, Robert Finicum, killed during the confrontation.

    Authorities said those arrested will face charges they conspired to impede U.S. authorities from carrying out their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.

    For much of the time since the standoff started in early January, law enforcement officials have kept a low profile near the refuge, mindful of protests in years past that sometimes ended in large-scale violence.

    The protesters originally took over the Malheur refuge to protest the jailing of two local ranchers who were convicted of arson. But the Malheur protest continued even after the ranchers were imprisoned peacefully.

    Some residents near the refuge had called for authorities to end the protest. They said that they, too, oppose federal control of the remote lands, but also objected to the refuge takeover. Some of the protesters who seized the site came from other states.

    Bundy and his brother Ryan, who also was arrested, are the sons of anti-government Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. The elder Bundy was involved in a high-profile 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights.

    The refuge standoff began Jan. 2 when Ammon Bundy led a group of supporters in seizing the site.  They complained about the way the federal government manages the land it owns and called for transferring it to local control.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jake from Albuquerque
    January 29, 2016 3:22 AM
    If you want to see what kind of people live where in the US, just walk in to a local drinking establishment, with a fake badge, and yell: "I'm from the federal government!! I'm here to help you out!!"

    Anywhere I've lived (except for Seattle!), knives would be thrown, and guns cocked at such a statement.

    In those parts, Obama is the face of evil, socialist corruption. Government 'badgers' are simply his arm into NORMAL people's lives.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    January 27, 2016 4:48 PM
    The Obama justice department seems to have authorized use of deadly force against the peaceful white demonstrators who didn't launch violent protests or violent riots against anybody or anything, and who's right to demonstrate seems not to be protected by the constitution?

    [but], the Obama justice department refused the local law enforcement agencies permission to use any force whatsoever against black violent protesters and black violent rioters, (by saying it was their constitutional right to protest), even though the black violent protesters assaulted hundreds of civilians and police and caused over a billion dollars in damage, [and then], the Obama justice department threatened law enforcement agencies with civil rights violations for using any type enforcement not approved by them? .. Why does one group have constitutional rights to violently protest and riot, when the other group doesn't have any constitutional rights to peacefully demonstrate? .. is that justice?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora