Standoff Sheds Light on Conservative Sheriffs Group
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The actions of two rural Oregon sheriffs during an armed standoff at a national wildlife refuge were striking: one worked with federal officials to end the siege while the other questioned the FBI's authority and offered words of support for the occupiers.
Sheriff Dave Ward of Harney County, where the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is located, cooperated with federal and state police, urging standoff leader Ammon Bundy and his followers to stand down. In Grant County, to the north, Sheriff Glenn Palmer called the occupiers "patriots."
Palmer is a member of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, a group which believes the federal government overreaches on gun control and other issues. Critics say the group's views are outside of the mainstream.