The arrest came after a shootout in Oregon which claimed one life on Tuesday.
A protester was fatally shot and two others were arrested in Oregon after a confrontation between the members belonging to an armed group, and law enforcement authorities. The situation occurred on Tuesday after a month long occupation of a federal wildlife reserve by the same protestors. The FBI released a statement in which it said that there were gunshots after a car was stopped by officials near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The leader of the protest Ammon Bundy was within the car. Robert LaVoy Finicum, a rancher and the acting spokesman for the protesters was killed in the ensuing gunfight.
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation were setting up a perimeter on the night of Tuesday around the refuge. Some protesters were still holding out within the perimeter demonstrating their disapproval of the control of large chunks of land by the federal government.
Jason Patrick, an occupier who is still holding out within the refuge told Reuters by telephone that he and his remaining people would stay there until their grievances were properly addresses. He was obviously very upset at the death of one of his associate at the hands of the law enforcement officials.
The takeover of the refuge at Malheur in Oregon began on January 2 as an aftermath of the flare up of the Sagebrush Rebellion. It is a conflict spanning decades over the government control of large chunks of territory in the West. Protesters were saying that their actions are in the defense of the constitution.
The agents of the FBI stated that they had a probable cause in arresting Finicum who had earlier stated to a news networks that he would prefer death over detention.
The leaders of the protest Ammon Bundy as well as four other members of the group were taken into custody after the shootout that occurred on Highway 395 in Oregon.
Another person, 50 year old Peter Santilli was also arrested in connection with the same case. The FBI has stated that Peter Santilli is a journalist and was live streaming events from inside the refuge.
Two separate arrests were also made in Arizona and Oregon relating to the same case bringing the total number of detained to eight.
All the arrests have been made under the federal charges of conspiracy to use force, intimidating, and threatening federal officers.
The protesters, on the other hand, compared Finicum’s death to the shooting of Tamir Rice by Police in 2014. Rice was an unarmed boy of 12 years who was shot and killed by police officers outside a recreation center in Cleveland. No charges were brought against the police officers.
The protestors alleged that the government can kill anyone without impunity. However, they were unable to present a clear plan of action in case the law enforcement agencies tried to break into the refuge.
A local newspaper in Oregon reported that Bundy was going to a community meeting in John Day where he was supposed to be the guest speaker, when his car was stopped by the FBI.