Time: Wed Oct 01 05:51:49 1997
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Date: Wed, 01 Oct 1997 05:27:13 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Ruby Ridge Court Update - A/P (fwd)

>This article may not get a lot of coverage in the newspapers 
>so I am posting it here.  Thre are some very important points in this 
>and with the current status of 'persecution' against Kevin Harris this 
>of events needs to be known far and wide.  Perhaps some of you can furnish
>this to the Bonkers Ferry persecutor.
>Jackie Juntti
>... from the LA Times - A/P story...
>the URL for you to go direct to is:  http://www.latimes.com/
>   Friday, September 26, 1997 
>Court Blasts FBI Actions at Ruby Ridge                
>By HENRY WEINSTEIN, Times Legal Affairs Writer                
>A  federal appeals court in San Francisco on Thursday excoriated the FBI 
>for the conduct of its agents during the deadly August 1992 siege at Ruby 
>Ridge, Idaho, saying the "shoot to kill" policy that agents used was "a 
>gross deviation from constitutional principles and a wholly unwarranted 
>return to a lawless and arbitrary Wild West school of law enforcement." 
>In a unanimous decision written by Los Angeles Judge Stephen Reinhardt, 
>the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the special rules that led to 
>the death of the wife and 14-year-old son of white separatist Randy 
>Weaver and the severe wounding of their friend Kevin Harris "violated 
>clearly established law, and any reasonable law enforcement officer 
>should have been aware of that fact." 
>A three-judge panel reached these conclusions while rejecting the 
>contentions of 13 FBI agents and U.S. marshals that they were entitled to 
>qualified immunity for their conduct at Ruby Ridge. 
>The decision Thursday in Harris vs. Horiuchi paves the way for a 
>$10-million civil rights case filed by Harris against the agents to go to 
>trial unless the ruling is reversed by a larger panel of 9th Circuit 
>judges or the U.S. Supreme Court. None of the attorneys for the agents 
>returned telephone calls seeking comment. Justice Department and FBI 
>officials declined to comment. 
>The siege began when U.S. marshals seeking to apprehend Randy Weaver on a 
>weapons charge came upon Harris, Weaver, his son Sammy and the family dog 
>Striker at the intersection of two roads near the Weaver property, 
>according to the 9th Circuit. A marshal shot and killed the dog, 
>prompting Sammy to fire at the marshal. Soon thereafter, another marshal 
>shot and killed Sammy and in an ensuing gun battle, U.S. Marshal Michael 
>Degan was shot and killed. Not long afterward, a team of FBI 
>sharpshooters from the agency's Hostage and Rescue Team arrived at the 
>area, and the next day one of them, Lon T. Horiuchi, shot and killed 
>Weaver's wife. 
>There continue to be disputes about what happened at Ruby Ridge, 
>including sharp disagreements among FBI officials about who was 
>responsible for changes in the agency's normal shooting policies that 
>resulted in the death of Vicki Weaver and the couple's son. 
>Normally, the hostage team operates under the FBI's standard rules of 
>engagement, which provide that "an FBI agent may kill a person with whom 
>he or she comes into contact only when the person presents an immediate 
>risk of death or great bodily harm to the agent or another person." 
>However, as Thursday's decision emphasized, a group of FBI and Marshals 
>Service officials created special rules for Ruby Ridge after the Aug. 21, 
>1992, shootout just a day before Vicki Weaver was shot.
>The special rules provided that "any armed adult male observed in the 
>vicinity of the Weaver cabin could and should be killed." No FBI official 
>has ever been willing to accept responsibility for the change in policy. 
>On Aug. 22, after being told to follow the special rules by Richard 
>Rogers, the head of the Hostage Team, several members of the team took 
>positions on a hill overlooking the Weaver cabin, according to the 
>decision joined by Judges Sidney Thomas of Montana and John W. Sedwick of 
>A few hours later, Weaver, his daughter, Sarah, and Harris walked out of 
>the cabin and headed for a shed to prepare Sammy's body for burial, 
>according to the 9th Circuit. Soon thereafter, Weaver was shot by FBI 
>sniper Horiuchi. 
>Weaver and the others began to run back to the cabin. As his wife held 
>the door open with one hand and held their infant daughter, Elisheba, in 
>her other arm, she was shot in the head and killed instantly. The bullet 
>passed through her and hit Harris in the upper arm and chest. 
>...On Thursday, the 9th Circuit panel said that "examining Horiuchi's 
>actions from the perspective of a reasonable law enforcement officer 
>faced with the need to make on-the-spot decisions, it is plain to us that 
>his actions were not objectively reasonable." 
>The judges added: "Horiuchi and his fellow officers were safely ensconced 
>on the hill overlooking the Weaver cabin. No threatening movement was 
>made by Harris with respect to Horiuchi or anyone else, even after 
>Horiuchi shot Randy Weaver." 
>Harris and Weaver surrendered after spending eight days in the cabin 
>following the shootout. In 1993, a federal court acquitted them of 
>murder, conspiracy and other charges related to Degan's death, while 
>convicting Weaver of unrelated firearms charges. 
>Times staff writers Robert L. Jackson and Ronald J. Ostrow contributed to 
>this story. 
>  Search the archives of the Los Angeles Times for similar stories. You 
>will not be charged to look for stories, only to retrieve one. 
>Copyright Los Angeles Times   
> .......end of paste........... 
>I ask each of you this.  Do you stand on Principle or do you stand on
>.... Jackie Juntti 8/97

Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine
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