OREGON — A federal judge on Friday, January 22nd denied bond for Ammon Bundy and other members of a group that occupied a federal wildlife facility in Oregon.
So far 11 people have been arrested — 10 in Oregon and one in Arizona — and none has left jail.
Four members of the protest group remain inside the refuge. In a YouTube video posted Friday, a man said they would leave when they and all defendants were pardoned.
In a Portland courtroom on Friday, prosecutors said the defendants were a flight risk and posed a threat to the community because they supported armed resistance to the federal government.
“By its very nature, this offense demonstrates a remarkable inability on the part of all charged defendants to follow the law and thus comply with the terms of court-ordered supervision,” the government’s memorandum in support of pretrial detention said.
‘I do love this country’
Bundy stood in court and told the judge why he and others took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon in early January.
“I do love this country very, very much,” he said, according to CNN affiliate KPTV. “I love the people in it. And my only goal from the beginning was to protect freedom for the people.”
But Judge Stacie Beckerman denied bond to Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne, Dylan Anderson and Jason Patrick, Oregon public radio reported.
She granted bond to Joseph O’Shaughnessy and Shawna Cox, but prosecutors appealed, the public radio station said. Another hearing will be held Tuesday. No hearings have been held yet for Pete Santilli, Brian Cavalier and Duane Ehmer, the station said.
FBI releases video of shooting
The nearly monthlong armed occupation of the wildlife refuge, a protest of federal land policies, began to crumble on Tuesday when seven other occupiers were arrested on a desolate stretch of highway.
During the traffic stop, law enforcement officers shot and killed LaVoy Finicum, one of the protest group’s most prominent members.
The occupiers said Finicum had his hands in the air when he was shot.
A law enforcement official told CNN that officers opened fire when Finicum reached toward his waistband, where he had a gun.
Greg Bretzing, the FBI’s special agent in charge in Oregon, said Thursday that Finicum reached his hand toward a pocket on the inside of his jacket, at least twice, before he was shot. Finicum had a loaded handgun in that pocket, Bretzing said.
On Thursday, the FBI released video apparently taken from an aircraft that shows the shooting.
“We know there are various versions of what occurred during this event: most inaccurate, some inflammatory. To that end, we want to do what we can to lay out an honest and unfiltered view of what happened and how it happened,” Bretzing said.
“I want to caution you that the video does show the shooting death of LaVoy Finicum. We realize that viewing that piece of the video will be upsetting to some people, but we feel that it is necessary to show the whole thing unedited in the interest of transparency.”
‘They just want to separate us’
In a video posted on YouTube on Friday, a man said the four would not leave until the government pardoned everybody who has been charged. The Oregonian identified the speaker as David Fry.
“They just want to separate us and get us all home so they can pick us off one by one at our houses without being stuck together as a group with guns,” the man said.
Sean Anderson, one of the occupiers who remains, told CNN he is there with his wife and two others.
They want the FBI to let them walk away and return to their home states without being arrested or confronted, Anderson said.
If the occupiers, whom he calls his “fellow patriots,” do not get assurance of an unimpeded exit, they are prepared to hold their ground, he said.
“No one here wants anyone to be hurt or die, but I am not afraid to die,” Anderson said.
‘Do not use physical force’
Ammon Bundy has urged the remaining protesters to “turn yourselves in and do not use physical force.” He asked the holdouts to use the national platform they have to “defend liberty through our constitutional rights.”
All the defendants face a federal felony count of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.
Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Cavalier, Cox and Payne were taken into custody Tuesday night. O’Shaughnessy and Santilli were arrested Tuesday in Burns, about 30 miles from the refuge.
On Wednesday, Patrick, Ehmer and Anderson were arrested in Oregon.
“All were in contact with the FBI, and each chose to turn himself in to agents at a checkpoint outside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge,” an FBI statement about the Wednesday arrests said. “The arrests were without incident.”
An 11th person was arrested in Arizona.
According to charging documents, a source told a Harney County officer the group had explosives, night vision goggles and weapons, and that “if they didn’t get the fight they wanted out there they would bring the fight to town.”
How much longer?
Now 28 days into the occupation, the question remains: How much longer?
Ammon Bundy and others started out protesting the sentencing of Dwight Hammond and his son Steven, ranchers who were convicted of arson on federal lands in Oregon.
But a January 2 march supporting the Hammonds led to the armed occupation of the refuge, with protesters decrying what they call government overreach when it comes to federal lands.
In telling the remaining occupiers to go home, Bundy said their fight now rests in the courts.
“We need to step back. Somebody died yesterday,” attorney Mike Arnold told reporters Wednesday. “Mr. Bundy wants everybody to remember that somebody died, and this is not just about him right now.”