By Harold Pease, Ph. D
Reports have been surfacing in the non-establishment press of a prison beating of Ryan Bundy by three guards charged with his care. His wife Angie had to take to the radio to get attention to the beating. Apparently Ryan still had a bullet in his arm placed there on January 26, eight months prior, by FBI agents while he was approaching their roadblock in the Oregon arrest. The driver having been fired upon left his truck with hands held high with the intent to surrender to the officers. He was shot dead. The only witnesses were the officers and those they arrested.
Eight months later, on August 9, Ryan was awakened at 5:30 a.m. and told of an impending court hearing. No advanced warning. The story as told by Angie, on the Bryan Hide Show, follows. “You have court.” “You have to come.” “Where are you taking me?” “Can I at least go upstairs and tell my brother what is going on so at least someone knows where I am?” They would not allow him to call his attorney or anyone. Ryan was escorted up the stairs to his brother Ammon. “They are taking me somewhere,” he told him. “They say to court.” “I just want you to know should I not come back.”
As Ryan turned to go back down the stairs the deputy shoved him. He grabbed the stair railing breaking his fall. Two other deputies coming up the stairs began beating on Ryan from below. Ryan’s injuries consisted of a dislocated wrist, broken thumb, and head bruised and cut open. Ammon viewing the attack began banging on his cell door attempting to bring attention to it so that there would be witnesses. Ryan was escorted to a cell in the court building across the street in Portland and left for the remainder of the day in solitary confinement. There was no court, as asserted by the officers.
It is possible that the prosecution wanted the evidence of the bullet received while Ryan was approaching the FBI roadblock removed, with no witnesses other than themselves, because they then could contest the vehicle being fired upon prior to the roadblock. According to Angie they would not allow pictures of the procedure and no paperwork regarding the removal would be given him. His refusal to agree to the “secret surgery” was the probable reason for the beating.
Ammon was able to get a call to his wife who phoned Angie Bundy, and she was able to get the word out to others. The resultant flood of concerned calls was believed to have stopped the so-called secret court hearing. Angie is uncertain whether Ryan received any medical treatment for injuries sustained by the deputy beating.
An in house hearing of the altercation was held August 12 with an employee of the jail serving as judge. Ryan was not allowed to give his side of the story. No attorney was present. No independent or outside source was provided. Cameras were everywhere but officers claim no footage existed of either the beating or the hearing.
Ryan was sentenced to a month in “segregation,” otherwise known as solitary confinement. His trial for initial imprisonment was to begin Sept. 7, but he was to remain in “segregation” until Sept. 17, making preparation especially difficult. It is a 24-hour per day lockdown with only 15 minutes a day to phone his family or shower or to do any other necessities. Angie did not mention whether he was allowed to contact his lawyer during solitary confinement.
Most Americans were sympathetic to the Cliven Bundy Nevada Standoff of April 14, 2016, when the federal government intentionally slaughtered Bundy cattle and proceeded to roundup and remove another 300 to 400 free ranging on public land managed by the Bundy’s for generations—even before the Bureau of Land Management (1946) existed.
For most that sympathy did not follow when Clivan’s two sons Ryan and Ammon decided to assist Dwight and Steven Hammond, father and son, in a similar confrontation with the BLM in Oregon for which they had completed their sentences. A year after their release both were rearrested, reconvicted and re-incarcerated because the federal government did not like the ruling of their own federal judge. The Hammons’ returned to prison peacefully but their neighbors were angry at the injustice.
The Bundy’s, having appreciated the support of the hundreds that had joined them in their previous attempt to protect their multi-generational use of land in Nevada, came in support of the Hammond’s. They soon found themselves in leadership positions in the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by Oregon ranchers on January 2. They mistook this action as supportive of getting back to the Constitution.
The nation viewed the Nevada Standoff as a defensive nature, an American family defending their home and property from federal tyranny. The takeover and occupation of the Refuge facility, although not inhabited at the time, was viewed as an aggressive act. The Randy Bundy trial begun Sept. 17, 2016, will decide the penalty for that aggression but it is difficult to justify the pre-trial Bundy beating by the Oregon Sheriff Department. We hope that exposure to this travesty will bring the sheriffs’ to justice. No one should be beat while under the care of the law.
Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.