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Case Against Cliven Bundy, Sons Ammon and Ryan, Dismissed Due to Prosecutorial Misconduct

Case Dismissed Against Cliven Bundy Sons Prosecutor Misconduct

Multiple felony charges against Cliven Bundy, his sons; Ammon and Ryan, and Ryan Payne have been dismissed by a federal judge in Las Vegas, due to prosecutorial misconduct.

Earlier today (January 8th, 2017), a federal judge in Las Vegas threw out multiple felony charges against Cliven Bundy, his sons; Ammon and Ryan, and Ryan Payne due to prosecutorial misconduct during and prior to two previous trials, which had previously ended in mistrials (the first as a result of a hung jury).

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U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning that the charges cannot be refiled by prosecutors. The Bundys and Payne were all four facing felony charges of threatening a federal officer, carrying and using a firearm and engaging in conspiracy and potentially decades in prison. Those charges resulted from the “Bunkerville Standoff” against the Bureau of Land Management and other members of federal and local law enforcement back in 2014.

Judge Navarro ruled that the Federal Government had violated disclosure requirements by withholding evidence that could be beneficial to the Bundys’ defense. Under the Brady Rule, prosecutors are required to provide any such information to defendants. As a result Navarro declared that “the court finds that the universal sense of justice has been violated” and therefore a fair trial could not be conducted.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

Despite the mistrial, federal prosecutors argued in a legal brief filed Dec. 29 that they didn’t willfully withhold evidence from the defense and they still planned to press ahead with another trial.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Steven Myhre wrote in his brief that the government shared 1.5 terabytes of information and noted it was “by far, the largest review and disclosure operation in this [U.S. attorney’s office] history.”

Myrhe also argued the government needed to protect some witnesses from leaks that might lead to threats, so it “culled the database with witness protection in mind.”

“Unprecedented database volume and witness concerns aside, the government never let these obstacles stand in the way of diligently working to fulfill its discovery obligations,” he wrote.

But defense lawyers for Payne — Renee Valadares, Brenda Weksler and Ryan Norwood — argued in their Dec. 29 briefing seeking to dismiss the case that government “failed to accept responsibility for any of its failure to disclose evidence” and the withholding of evidence was “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct.”

“The government’s irresponsible and, at times, false proffers to this Court as well as its dismissiveness toward the defense inspires no confidence in the prospect of fairness,” they wrote. “A dismissal is necessary to remedy the constitutional violations, to preserve the integrity of this court’s processes, and to deter future misconduct. Anything short of a dismissal is tantamount to condoning the government’s behavior in this case.”

In October 2016, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, along with five others, were all acquitted by a federal jury of charges relating to the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

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Harassed by Madison Township, OH Police for Driving Down a Street

The following post was sent in, via the CopBlock.org submission page, by a reader named Ryan. It details a an incident in which he and his family were harassed by two (and possibly a third the next day) officers from the Madison Township (Ohio) Police Department, apparently for driving (or being suspected of driving) down a public street.

Ryan asked that we not use his full name to preserve his anonymity and also stated, “Please don’t publish my email as I don’t want my information getting into the hands of the officers of this department to cause additional harassment.” (We actually never publish the emails of people submitting posts.)

Date of incident: December 3, 2015
Officer Involved: Badge #59, Officer Spencer
Department Involved: Madison Township Police
Contact Number: 440-428-2115

As a way of relaxing at the end of the day, I like to drive around my township to clear my mind. I follow all traffic laws and stay away from certain areas for personal reasons.

On 12/3/15, my family and I had two court appearances (all non-criminal). We finished our appearances and decided to go back to our township and get lunch. I had a friend text me to say they were on one of the side streets walking. Even though I had my family in the car, I decided I would go pick them up and drive them home.

35After turning onto Madison Ave., I headed east and turned north onto Ansonia Road. I had noticed an officer turning down the road after I had gotten past a few streets onto Madison Ave. When I turned down the road that my friend had said they were on, the officer, Badge number 59 (I don’t know his name), flew up behind me and turned on his light bar.

I stopped, rolled my window down and had my license and concealed carry permit hanging out the window. I was not carrying that day, but I did notify to try to put the officer’s mind at ease.

He proceeded to ask me if I had turned out of a driveway that was on the corner of the road. As he was asking me this, another officer (Officer Spencer, no badge number given) pulled up in front of me. At this point, both officers’ vehicles had me boxed in.

I informed the officer that I was unaware of what he was talking about and asked for clarification. He said that it looked like I had pulled out of a driveway at the corner of Ansonia and Madison. I told him no, and that I was looking for a friend. I also informed him that my family and I were going to the park to eat our lunch.

The officer proceeded to tell me to get the hell out of there that they had work to do. I was approached two days later by another officer of that department and asked what I was doing in that area. When I told him why I was there, he told me that I was lying in so many words. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had problems with the officers of this department. I think now is the best time to begin holding them accountable for the lack of professionalism.

– Ryan