The leader of an armed occupation of federal land in Oregon urges remaining protesters to go home a day after his arrest and the death of a supporter. Rough cut. (No reporter narration.)
Oregon occupation leader urges end to standoff
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: The leader of a month-long armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon on Wednesday (January 27) urged remaining protesters to leave the site and go home, a day after his arrest and the death of a supporter.
Ammon Bundy, who was taken into custody with several members of his group at a traffic stop along Highway 395, north of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon, urged federal authorities to let his comrades leave the compound without being prosecuted.
“First, I want to address my beloved friend LaVoy Finicum. LaVoy is one of the greatest men and greatest patriots I’ve ever seen. His love for this country ran deep through the blood he gave yesterday, and I mourn for him and I mourn for his family,” Bundy said in a statement read by his attorney, Michael Arnold, following a court hearing.
“I’m asking the federal government to allow the people at the refuge to go home without being prosecuted. To those remaining at the refuge, I love you. Let us take this fight from here. Please stand down,” Arnold read from the statement, repeating, “Please stand down.”
A total of eight occupiers had left the compound by late on Wednesday and three were arrested, the FBI said in a statement. It was unclear how many people remained inside the refuge.
The member of Bundy’s group who was killed was identified by activists as Robert LaVoy Finicum, a rancher who acted as a spokesman for the occupiers. Bundy’s brother, Ryan, was wounded during the traffic stop.
On Wednesday night, residents of Burns, Oregon, held a candlelight vigil in honor of Finicum.
The protesters were each charged in U.S. District Court in Portland with conspiracy to use force, intimidation or threats to impede federal officers from discharging their duties.
The defendants were ordered held without bail until a detention hearing set for Friday (January 29).