Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Harney County officials reject call to resign and to detain, kick out FBI

Harney County officials on Tuesday rejected a resignation call from the Pacific Patriots Network and also said they have no authority to detain FBI officials or agents involving in the fatal shooting of LaVoy Finicum or to kick out the FBI, as also demanded by the group.
Here's the full text of the Harney County news release:
The Harney County Court is aware of a “Letter of Intent” issued by the Pacific Patriots Network (PPN). That letter demands a response, but it is unclear from whom the response is requested and to whom the response should be provided.
The County Court issues the following statement.
The PPN grieves “Immediate detention by investigating agency of the FBI special agent in charge along with all agents and LEO involved in the shooting death of Lavoy Finicum. A first hand eyewitness account in conjunction with the FBI released video presents reasonable probably cause for arrest while the investigation take place.”
SB 111 was passed by the 2007 Oregon Legislature. It has been codified as Oregon Revised Statues 181A.775 to 181A.815. These statutes require that any use of deadly physical force by a police officer which causes the death of a person be investigated.
The Deschutes County Major Incident Team is investigating the circumstances of the incident. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office is the lead agency on this investigation assisted by detectives from the Bend Police Department, Redmond Police Department and Oregon State Police.
Due to the importance and complexity of such investigations, we anticipate the investigation will continue for several days to weeks. Harney County District Attorney Tim Colahan has transferred review of the investigation to Malheur County District Attorney stating that, "In the interest of transparency and to prevent any perceived conflict of interest, it is appropriate to have a district attorney with no prior involvement review the investigation. I have requested Malheur County District Attorney, Dan Norris, review the investigation and make a decision regarding the appropriate use of deadly physical force."
PPN’s second grievance “Immediate removal of all militarized FBI personnel and equipment from Harney County. All State and County Law Enforcement officers are not included and requested to stay and assist in the process to keep the peace. We are requesting that the remaining occupants at the National Wildlife Refuge be dealt with by local and State law enforcement with the assistance of federal negotiators.”
Neither the Harney County Court nor the Harney County Sheriff has the authority to remove the FBI from activity on federal lands within Harney County, particularly in light of the continuing occupation of a federal facility. The recommendation of use of a federal negotiator is being followed.
PPN’s third grievance is “Immediate resignation of Judge Steve Grasty, Sheriff David Ward, County commissioner Pete Runnels, and County commissioner Dan Nichols.”
All four individuals decline this request.
Earlier story:
While Ammon Bundy, a leader of the monthlong takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, has urged from jail that the last four occupiers leave, his father, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, is claiming "possession" of the refuge "on behalf of Harney County and U.S. citizens."
In a notarized notice sent Monday by certified mail to Harney County Sheriff David Ward (with the governor and president copied in), Cliven Bundy, whose 2014 standoff with the federal government over grazing fees drew national attention, claims he is speaking on behalf of "the People of Harney County and also We the People of the citizens of the United States."
Bundy said they "give notice that we will retain possession of the Harney County Resource Center (Malhaur National Wildlife Refuge)," a misspelling of Malheur.
"Remove all federal and state policing agents out of Harney County," Bundy advised -- but he also had a request of the sheriff.
"Place a Harney County sheriff guard post at the entrance road of the Harney County Resource Center stopping all from entering or exiting, for a time," he added.
Las Vegas TV station KLAS tried to talk to Cliven Bundy by phone on Monday night but was told he's only taking calls from militia members. The woman who answered also didn't know if he would be going to Oregon to take part in the occupation...more

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