Americans keep hearing that law enforcement killing unarmed African Americans with impunity is perfectly acceptable because they have stressful jobs; not because apartheid is rampant in this so-called equal society. Of course, civilized human beings can hardly understand why law enforcement cannot give unarmed people of color the same treatment they afford heavily-armed white people, but they likely cannot comprehend racial animus either. On Thursday in Oregon where armed insurgents stormed and seized federal government property, the county sheriff displayed law enforcement’s predilection to aiding and abetting federal criminals escape arrest and prosecution because they are white instead of gunning them down; or at least arresting them.
Even though criminal Ammon Bundy has led a blatantly illegal armed occupation of a federal building in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, when Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward met with the insurgency’s leader on Thursday he did what any typical American law enforcement officer does; he gave Bundy a warm handshake. There is absolutely no justification for the sheriff not fulfilling his sworn duty to uphold the law by arresting and handcuffing Bundy on the spot; except that he is a white guy with a gun, believes in “the constitutional sheriff,” and is at war with the United States of America. If the Bundy insurgents had been Black, they would have been massacred by now, the sheriff would be a hero, and everything would be back to normal.
It would have been bad enough if the incompetent sheriff had only failed to arrest Bundy for seizing federal property and threatening to “kill law enforcement officials who dared to intervene,” but that was not Ward’s only dereliction of his sworn duty. Ward did have the foresight to refuse to meet with the Bundy’s insurgents at “their militia’s headquarters because he was mindful of a tall watchtower manned around the clock with armed shooters” waiting to kill any approaching law enforcement officers.
Some people determined that Sheriff Ward’s actions were admirable for attempting to deescalate the situation and avoid unnecessary loss of life, but he went far beyond simply calming the armed insurgency. The sheriff reached out to Bundy to ask the armed militia to abandon their occupied federal building “headquarters” and quietly leave the area as if nothing had happened. Ward even pledged to Bundy that “no armed protester would be arrested by law enforcement.” Sheriff Ward also admitted that neither Bundy nor his little militia “were not asked to come unarmed” to the meeting with law enforcement; a meeting that was filmed for posterity. It must have been important for the sheriff to demonstrate to other insurgents around the nation that exactly like the Bundy standoff in Nevada, law enforcement is sincere about not doing their jobs and are determined to help the armed militia and Bundy escape without being charged with “any crime.”
Sheriff Ward told Ammon Bundy that he would provide the armed criminals with adequate protection and a safe escort out of the state without risk of arrest or prosecution because apparently the sheriff thinks the insurgents have not “committed any crime.” Ward then asked Bundy nicely if he would “go back and kick it around with your folks;” as if the armed insurgents were just innocent tourists being besieged by the nasty feds.
For his trouble, dereliction of duty, and offer to aid and abet the federal criminals’ escape without arrest, Sheriff Ward was given a stern lecture on the Constitution; something neither Ward nor Bundy seem to understand. Of course, Bundy subscribes to the anti-government “constitutional sheriff” idea that all authority to interpret and enforce “their idea” of what the Constitution says lies with each county sheriff. It is curious that Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward on one hand says the Bundy insurgency needs to learn about the Constitution, and yet unilaterally offered a band of armed criminals safe passage and an escort out of the state without being charged with a crime. A real sheriff would have handcuffed and arrested Ammon Bundy immediately and carted him off to lockup like the armed anti-American criminal he is.
It is beyond refute that the primary reason Ammon Bundy traveled from Arizona all the way to Oregon and summoned an armed militia to threaten law enforcement and seize and occupy federal property is because the last Bundy standoff resulted in no-one being charged with a crime. Now that the Harney County sheriff has promised Bundy and his insurgency will get a safe escort out of the state “without being charged with any crime” Bundy felt comfortable announcing that his band of criminals rejected the sheriff’s offer and “planned to remain at their ‘headquarters’ indefinitely.”
This latest law enforcement abomination is just further proof that America is becoming a lawless nation on par with Yeomen, Somalia and ISIS-occupied Iraq and Syria. If law enforcement is not sending a heavily-armed military force to assail innocent unarmed African American demonstrators, they are actively protecting armed white criminals and pledging they will provide safe passage without being charged “with any crime.”
After the kind offer to aid and abet the armed criminals, and taking a lecture on the Constitution, Ammon Bundy and Sheriff Dave Ward got into their respective vehicles and went their separate ways. For Bundy it was back to the insurgency’s headquarters with assurance they had not committed a crime. For Sheriff Ward it was likely back to determine how to interpret the Constitution in a way that helps anti-government insurgents escape prosecution and arrest because they are armed white guys law enforcement is unwilling to arrest when given the opportunity to actually fulfill their sworn duty.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.