FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2016, file photo, Ryan Bundy, center, one of the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, walks through the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore. (AP)

#CrimingWhileWhite: Twitter users angry about Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy not guilty verdict

The Bundys got away with it


Matthew Rozsa
October 28, 2016 4:28PM (UTC)

Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the right-wing militants who last winter engaged in an armed takeover of a federally owned wildlife sanctuary in Oregon, were acquitted Thursday.

The militants, along with five co-defendants, were all found not guilty of federal conspiracy and weapons charges in their trial. Team Bundy had insisted that they were merely protesting the federal government and did not pose a threat to the general public, a contention with which the jury apparently agreed.

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After the verdict was announced, Ammon Bundy's lawyer Marcus Mumford made a scene when he demanded that the judge free his client immediately. Marshals allegedly had to use a stun gun on him to subdue him.

Ammon Bundy and company took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2, and stayed there until they were arrested more than a month later. They argued that the federal government should hand over the public lands they control to the individual states. They chose Malheur as their target because of a federal land arson case that was pending there for two ranchers — both of whom were unaffiliated with the Bundys and did not seek their assistance.

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Much has been made about the double-standard separating how the Bundys were treated from the countless African Americans who are met with regular violence by law enforcement, often for much lesser offenses. Indeed, although Black Lives Matter and other non-white protesters are frequently arrested for non-violent demonstrations, the wealthy and white Bundy clan was able to carry out an armed takeover of a federal building, control it in a standoff for six weeks, and then ultimately get away with their crime.

Oddly enough, despite their zealous anti-government rhetoric, the unfair double-standard separating how white protesters and non-white protesters are treated seems to have eluded the Bundys. Twitter seems to have noticed this as well.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Ammon Bundy Cliven Bundy Oregon Oregon Standoff Ryan Bundy Video

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