On Sunday, the Logandale, Nev.-based Moapa Valley Progress reported that Dave Bundy, son of rancher Cliven Bundy, was arrested while taking photographs of his family’s cattle that are being rounded up by federal agents. According to the report, Bundy was violating an arbitrary "First Amendment" zone that had been established by federal agents. Worse yet, federal agents also deployed snipers against the man.
“He was doing nothing but standing there and filming the landscape,” Ryan Bundy said of his brother Dave. “We were on the state highway, not even off of the right-of-way. Even if they want to call [the area that we were filming] federal land; which it’s not; we weren’t even on it. We were on the road.”
“They also had four snipers on the hill above us all trained on us. We were doing nothing besides filming the area,” Ryan added.
Bundy also said federal agents told them they had no First Amendment rights except in the areas so marked.
"The BLM has established two fenced areas near the City of Mesquite, that they have designated as free speech areas for members of the public to express their opinions," the Progress said.
Officers ordered family members to leave immediately, but Bundy apparently didn't obey fast enough and was reportedly set upon by agents.
“He was filming and talking on the phone, I don’t know to whom,” Ryan said. “It happened pretty fast. They came down on him hard and had a German Shepherd on him. And then they took him.”
Ryan said he stayed and witnessed the entire incident.
“I told them that I was not going to engage them and that I just wanted to take my brother with me. But they were pushing, pushing, pushing! So I did stay there long enough to witness the whole thing, about 10 feet away from me,” he told the Progress.
BLM officials said little about the arrest, only telling the Progress that an arrest had been made.
“An individual is in custody in order to protect public safety and maintain the peace,” BLM officials said in an email. “The individual has rights and therefore details about the arrest will not be disclosed until and unless charges are filed.”
Ryan told the Progress Sunday he still doesn't know what charges have been leveled against his brother.
“They mentioned some code over their loudspeakers. I don’t know what it was, but it was something or other federal code. That is what they arrested him on, was that premise," he said.
Making matters worse, Bundy says the family has nowhere to go for assistance.
“We don’t have any policing representation,” he said. “Our local police will not respond. The County Sheriff will not respond. NHP will not respond.”
Bundy's father, Cliven, had reportedly called for help, but was told to get off the phone or face arrest, the Progress added.
The incident is the latest in an ongoing issue involving a crackdown on some 600,000 acres of federal land the Bundy family says has been in their family for generations
Watson said the roundup is designed to protect the habitat of a desert tortoise the government says is endangered.
Some fear the dispute could turn into a Ruby Ridge-style violent standoff because Bundy has said he is prepared to become a martyr for what he perceives as a constitutional stance against tyranny.
Watson also said the story, which so far has remained local, threatens to re-ignite "resentment over big government and a federal bureaucracy increasingly trampling on the rights of the American people to be left alone."
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