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Harney County Residents Relieved But Still On Edge


Several residents of Harney County told OPB they were happy that law enforcement arrested eight occupiers.

Several residents of Harney County told OPB they were happy that law enforcement arrested eight occupiers.

Bradley W. Parks/OPB

Residents in Burns, Oregon, are trying to understand what is fact and what is rumor after Tuesday’s deadly apprehension of several armed militants.

Burns resident Jennifer Williams said she is relieved and happy the occupiers were apprehended. Though she was sorry to hear LaVoy Finicum had died. She said she is not yet at ease and has the feeling “it’s not over yet.”

Several residents of Harney County told OPB they were happy that law enforcement arrested eight occupiers, but few said they felt any safer.

Brandon Baron said, “This thing’s not over,” adding “there are some seriously unstable people around,” referencing the militants that were drawn to Harney County in the wake of the occupation, some of whom had little to no ties to the Bundys or the Pacific Patriots Network. Various accounts from people who claimed they were present at the shoot out are spreading on social media. Some said Finicum charged the police; others claimed that he had his hands raised above his head.

Erin Maupin said she believed the account that Finicum was peaceful.

“It’s pretty frightening that our federal officials could do that,” she said.

Meanwhile federal employees were told not to come to work Wednesday, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture employee and Hines resident Erik Hamerlynck. He said the threat level was the highest it has been since the initial days of the occupation.

He added that he wasn’t sure whether to feel secure, saying he was vacillating between feeling of “Oh, I’m safe” and “Oh, god, they’re still here.”

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