In America, if you're a family of white ranchers who take the law into their own hands and conduct an armed takeover of federal property, you are acquitted of all charges because we have no domestic terror problem in America.
A federal court jury on Wednesday acquitted anti-government militant leader Ammon Bundy and six followers of conspiracy charges stemming from their role in the armed takeover of a U.S. wildlife center in Oregon earlier this year.
Bundy and others, including his brother and co-defendant Ryan Bundy, cast the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a legitimate and patriotic act of civil disobedience. Prosecutors called it a lawless scheme to seize federal property by force.
In an emotional climax to the trial in U.S. District Court in Portland, Ammon Bundy’s lawyer, Marcus Mumford, was tackled to the floor by U.S. marshals as he became involved in a heated verbal exchange with the judge over the terms of his client’s release.
The verdict came hours after a newly reconstituted jury, with an alternate seated to replace one panelist dismissed over questions of bias on Tuesday, renewed deliberations in the case. Jurors previously had deliberated over three days.
The 12-member panel found the Bundy brothers and their four co-defendants – three men and a woman – not guilty of the most serious charge, conspiracy to impede federal officers through intimidation, threats or force.
So Ammon Bundy walks for this. Meanwhile, non-armed, peaceful protests of the federal government are met with National Guard troops.
Police in North Dakota began clearing a group of Native American and environmental protesters from an encampment near an oil pipeline construction site on Thursday in a move that could escalate tensions in a standoff that has lasted several months.
The police moved in on the protesters camped on private property near the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline about 11:15 a.m., according to a statement from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.
Police were also removing roadblocks set up by the demonstrators, but Donnell Preskey, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, said protesters had lit some blockades on fire.
Law enforcement used a sound cannon in a effort to force protesters to move, Preskey said by telephone. There had not been any arrests on Thursday and the number of protesters at the site was unknown, Preskey added.
Something tremendously wrong in this country when it comes to being a person of color who believes your government can be very, very incorrect at times. But if you're an armed white guy, well...you are acquitted.