Bundy Tells Ore. Occupiers to 'Go Home,' Arrests Follow

It isn't clear if any protesters remain at refuge
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2016 6:44 AM CST
Bundy Tells Ore. Occupiers to 'Go Home,' Arrests Follow
Police officers block a road leading to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore.   (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)

Another eight protesters have left the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, including three now in FBI custody. On Wednesday, militia leader Ammon Bundy—one of eight protesters arrested Tuesday after a deadly shootout—released a statement through his lawyer telling all protesters to stand down. "To those who remain at the refuge, I love you. Let us take this fight from here," it read. "Go home and hug your families. This fight is ours for now, in the courts." Bundy also asked that the federal government "allow the people at the refuge to go home without being prosecuted." However, police announced late Wednesday that three men voluntarily surrendered at a checkpoint outside the refuge and were arrested. Another five people were stopped but released, reports the Guardian, noting it isn't clear if any protesters remain.

Bundy also paid tribute to Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, shot and killed by authorities on Tuesday, calling him "one of the greatest men and greatest patriots I have ever seen." Police now say Finicum failed to surrender during a traffic stop as the protesters headed to a community meeting. A source tells CNN that Finicum's vehicle sped off, then hit a snowbank. Finicum was asked to surrender and was shot as he reached toward his waistband, where he had a gun, the source says; the occupiers say Finicum was shot with his hands up. "Multiple agencies put a lot of work into this to put the best tactical plan that they could to arrest them peacefully," the Harney County sheriff tells the New York Times. "It didn't have to happen. We all make choices in life. Sometimes our choices go bad." A bail hearing for Bundy and other protesters is set for Friday. (Read more Oregon stories.)

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