All seven defendants from the case that grew out of the 41-day standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge were found not guilty by a jury in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday.
Reactions to the not guilty varied widely depending on the person’s outlook on the standoff, the Oregonian, reported. Some claim the verdict encourages those who might choose to occupy government facilities with the use of force. Others looked at the verdict as a victory for civil rights.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) tweeted that she respected the jury’s decision, but, “The occupation of the Malheur Refuge by outsiders did not reflect the Oregon way of respectfully working together to resolve differences.”
Statement regarding the Malheur Refuge Occupation trial: pic.twitter.com/4vViyzrLD7
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) October 27, 2016
Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby traveled to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year and actually went into the facility and met with the occupiers. Following is a video interview he shot from inside the facility:
The debate following the jury’s deliberation continued with some supporting the jury’s decision and others taking exception.
#oregonstandoff – Good for the jury, good for the people!
— Tom Kawczynski (@tomkawczynski) October 27, 2016
This not guilty verdict sets a terrible precedence. There will be more armed takeovers of public spaces by white militias. #oregonstandoff
— Christie Koehler (@christi3k) October 27, 2016
— Deplorable Dennis (@Dennis_QH3) October 27, 2016
— Isabela Feiras (@WeeNyaffffs) October 27, 2016
Breitbart Texas reported on the end of the raid in January when one person was killed and a second person sustained non-life threatening injuries during a law enforcement raid on the facility.
The FBI and the Oregon State Police began an “enforcement action” to bring a number of people into custody who were associated with the armed standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. One of the people who was sought in the probable cause action was killed. Another person was injured and transported to an area hospital where he was later arrested, according to an FBI press release obtained by Breitbart Texas at the time.
The arrested individuals include:
- Ammon Edward Bundy, age 40, of Emmett, Idaho
- Ryan C. Bundy, age 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada
- Brian Cavalier, age 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada
- Shawna Cox, age 59, Kanab, Utah
- Ryan Waylen Payne, age 32, of Anaconda, Montana
Earlier that month Breitbart reported:
On Jan. 2, a protest occurred in Burns, Oregon, amid mounting tension over the case of Dwight and Steven Hammond. Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, said they lit fires on federal land in 2001 and 2006 to reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their property from wildfires. The two were convicted three years ago and served time — the father three months, the son one year. But in October, a federal judge in Oregon ruled their terms were too short under U.S. law and ordered them back to prison for about four years each. A group of armed protesters broke away from the event in Burns and traveled 30 miles south to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Their demands included the freeing of the jailed ranchers and that the wildlife refuge be turned over to local control.
The trial lasted for five weeks. The Oregonian reported that three of the defendants represented themselves during the trial.