All those involved in what was known as the “Oregon Standoff” were found not guilty on all charges by a federal jury on Thursday, following a 41-day occupation of a vacated wildlife reserve in Malheur County, Oregon, as a protest of the federal government’s tyrannical and unconstitutional abuse of state lands it has taken from the states and the people over the years.
The jury found that leaders of the group Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan Bundy, as well as five co-defendants were found not guilty of conspiring to prevent federal employees from doing their job through intimidation and were also found not guilty of stealing government property and of gun charges on a federal facility.
Oregon Live reports that things got physical in the courtroom after Bundy attorney Marcus Mumford was attacked by six U.S. Marshals for arguing that Ammon Bundy should be set free following the ruling. The Marshals reportedly wrestled the attorney to the ground and tasered him, which without video of the event, we must assume to be an act of tyranny:
The coda to the stunning verdict, undoubtedly a significant blow to federal prosecutors, was when Ammon Bundy’s lawyer Marcus Mumford argued that his client, dressed in a gray suit and white dress shirt, should be allowed to walk out of the court, a free man.
U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown told him that there was a U.S. Marshal’s hold on him from a pending federal indictment in Nevada.
“If there’s a detainer, show me,” Mumford stood, arguing before U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown.
Suddenly, a group of about six U.S. Marshals surrounded Mumford at his defense table and grabbed on to him.
“What are you doing?” Mumford yelled, as he struggled and was taken down to the floor.
As deputy marshals yelled, “Stop resisting,” the judge demanded, “Everybody out of the courtroom now!”
Mumford was taken into custody, a member of his legal team confirmed.
Ammon Bundy’s lawyer J. Morgan Philpot, said afterwards on the courthouse steps that Mumford had been arrested and a taser had been used on him. That could not be independently confirmed.
Rick Koerber, who helped in Ammon Bundy's defense decried use of a stun gun in a federal courtroom against Mumford pic.twitter.com/J60WaQHLRF
— Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) October 28, 2016
People were elated outside the courtroom following the ruling, as you can see below:
Ammon Bundy tweeted in January that the group was performing civil disobedience in the same vein as Rosa Parks:
We are doing the same thing as Rosa Parks did. We are standing up against bad laws which dehumanize us and destroy our freedom.
— Ammon Bundy (@Ammon_Bundy) January 6, 2016
As we wrote about in January:
Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution outlines how much land the federal government is allowed to own and for what purpose. It outlines a need for a federal capital (Washington, D.C.) and allows for the government to possess lands to administrate and maintain a military presence. It reads:
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
The federal government claims roughly 85% of all land in the Bundys’ home state of Nevada for themselves. According to the Congressional Research Center, the federal government claims for themselves 53% of Oregon’s land. While it is certainly reasonable to allot land for federal facilities such as military bases, how can the federal government pretend that claiming ownership of the majority of land in Western states is anything short of outright federal tyranny?