If they were black protesters, the Malheur occupation trial would not have ended in the acquittal of all seven protesters; some critics are saying.
Many people are fuming on social media and in the comments section of websites upon learning that Ammon Bundy, his brother, Ryan Bundy, and five of their followers will serve no jail time for what many consider as a long list of crimes.
On January 2, led by the Bundy clan, a group of armed men and women took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. The members of the group, which is part of the sovereign citizen movement, claimed that they were taking action in support of the farmers in the area.
The Bundys are famous for fighting against the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that they believe are stealing lands. The takeover lasted more than 41 days, and it cost the state of Oregon more than $100,000 per week.
During the occupation, gunfire was exchanged between law enforcers and a protester, Robert “LaVoy” Finnicum, who was armed and was killed while resisting arrest.
Native tribes grew angry after they learned that Bundy and his followers had destroyed precious maps and artifacts that were stored in the building. Despite the damages they caused inside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the charges brought against the men – they stood in front of Judge Anna J. Brown to learn that they were not guilty.
Loud cheers and applause erupted as the verdicts were being read. However, before the verdicts were announced, a very dramatic scene occurred, Ammon Bundy’s lawyer, Marus Mumford, started screaming at the U.S. District Judge after she revealed that he was the subject of a pending indictment in Nevada.
Mumford got into a fight with six U.S. Marshals, who eventually tased him. Mr. Mumford said before being escorted out of the courtroom that it was a victory for all Americans. He stated:
“They’re deceiving you. It’s the government that picks and chooses the rules it’s going to comply with.”
Ryan Bundy’s wife, Angela Bundy, said after the trial:
“I knew that what my husband was doing was right, but I was nervous because the judge was controlling the narrative. But they saw the truth. I am just so grateful they saw it.”
Robert L. Salisbury, a lawyer, for one of the protesters, stated:
“The government was not here to find the truth. This case is about people wanting to be heard, and they’re just frustrated with our government.”
Almost 100 people gathered outside of the courtroom with flags – including one on a horse singing “Praise God. Praise God.” Many have been bashing the verdict online claiming that white privilege is the reason why the protesters got away. One person said:
“If you are Black, you will not live to make it to court.”
“Wear a hoodie…Death
Walk through Wal-Mart with a toy….Death
Play in the park with a toy gun…. cops arrive… 3 seconds later …. Death.”
A commenter said:
“And Kaepernick is receiving death threats for “taking a knee” during the National Anthem.”
Supporters of the Bundys say that the outrage is unjustified.