Ammon Bundy arrested 2nd time at Idaho capitol building in less than 24 hours
(CN) — Ammon Bundy, an anti-government activist who participated in the well-publicized 2014 armed standoff with federal agents in Nevada — and would go on to lead his own similar standoff in Oregon two years later — was arrested for the second day in a row at the Idaho State Capitol after reportedly refusing to comply with orders to leave the property.
Bundy, 44, was forcefully removed from the Idaho Statehouse Wednesday morning after state police issued him a trespass notice he reportedly refused to comply with — a removal that comes less than a day after he was taken from the Idaho Senate chamber on Tuesday and charged with trespassing and resisting officers.
Police report that after being given the notice, Bundy remained uncooperative and refused to leave. According to reports, police then physically removed him to a nearby stairwell, placed him in a wheelchair and wheeled him to a nearby police vehicle.
It was not made immediately clear why Bundy was placed in a wheelchair during the arrest, as he did not appear to be injured and responded to reporters’ questions while being taken away.
Refusing to walk on his own or move his legs, however, largely falls in line with what transpired during his Tuesday arrest. Ever since the Idaho Legislature and Republican Governor Brad Little called in a special legislative session on Monday, one intended to address a series of coronavirus-related bills, Bundy has been involved in protests and demonstrations at the capitol building.
The protesters, some of whom were armed and unmasked, pushed past federal officers on Monday and shattered a glass door in an effort to fill the galley above the legislative session.
The galley was originally restricted to social distanced seating guidelines, but quickly became packed with protesters after Idaho’s Speaker of the House yielded and allowed them to fill virtually every seat.
This continued on Tuesday, when chaos forced officials to clear a hearing room located at the Capitol building. Bundy and others were seated in the hearing room when police attempted to clear it, and after being told to clear out, Bundy and two other individuals reportedly refused.
This caused police to cuff and remove Bundy from the property, wheeling him off in an office chair after he seemingly declined to walk out on his own.
After consultation with Governor Little and state leaders, Bundy has been barred from entering the Capitol building for a period of one year.
These protests are nothing new for Bundy, however. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in earnest earlier this March, Bundy and other members of the far-right “Patriot Movement” have protested a series of public health safety measures, such as mask mandates, in and around the Northwestern United States.
Bundy also voiced his strong opposition for Idaho’s stay-at-home order earlier in the pandemic, with Bundy offering to provide a “legal and political and physical defense” for those who, according to Bundy, felt like they were being unfairly forced to comply with Idaho’s efforts to combat a deadly virus outbreak.
Bundy, as well as his father Cliven Bundy, initially forced their way onto national headlines after a 2014 Bundy family standoff in Nevada against federal agents. The standoff began after a decades-long dispute between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management over unpaid grazing fees and eventually ended with the federal agents backing down after a hotly contested standoff on Bundy’s property.
This would be followed two years later by another standoff, this one led by Ammon Bundy himself, in which armed demonstrators occupied the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, an occupation that sought to protest federal ownership of land that demonstrators believed should be locally owned.
The 2016 standoff resulted in one militant killed, a series of indictments and lengthy court battles.
One such legal battle recently came to a head when a U.S. Circuit judge quashed efforts to continue prosecuting the Bundy ranching family after one such prosecution effort resulted in a mistrial after a dispute over withheld evidence.
Despite numerous efforts by prosecutors, and some convictions being leveled against Bundy cohorts, all trials of members of the Bundy family have either ended in mistrials or acquittals.