FBI Portland Office
9109 NE Cascades Parkway Portland, OR 97220
Attention: Mark Maxwell and direct Supervisor
I write you today to express some of the issues I have with the way you and your associates conducted actions during the Malheur Wildlife Refuge issue.
First, I would like to address the responses by the men at the Burns airport. I would really like to hear a legitimate explanation as to why these men were in tactical gear and armed with rifles 24/7. What action took place to warrant this response? At no time did anyone approach with weapons, threaten or even attempt to threaten anyone at this location. Our first interaction was met with the following statement “you need to take your people, get back in your cars and get the hell out of here”. Please explain how your agents have the nerve or the authority to tell the public they serve “to get the hell out of here” when they are only there asking for answers to the actions they are taking. The next interaction was met with quite another attitude. The agent stated that people coming out to talk would be considered as a threat and would be dealt with accordingly. He felt that more than 3 people talking, was threatening. I had to laugh. This from the people in full tactic gear carrying M-4’s, while simply TALKING to citizens they serve.
Second, when Citizens talk to officers of this Country, truthful conversation should take place. You and your associates continually LIED to not only me, my associates, but the public in general. Promises were left unfulfilled, and statements made went unacknowledged. Let me just put a few of the lies out here for you to see:
1. The response we received every day with every conversation had with anyone in the FBI. “I will pass it up the chain”.
2. You specifically promised to email me information so that I could pass along to the people being ASSAULTED by officers around the refuge the, as you stated, “the proper channels for recourse” so “you can properly do your job”. I am still looking for that email.
3. How about Greg Bretzing lying on national television stating that many attempts to negotiate took place and failed, the day after Lavoy Finicum was killed.
4. How about your agents lying to a County Officer about Greg Bretzing leaving the County and had no plans to return the day papers tried to be legally served. I would be happy to show you the documentation from the Sheriff’s office stating why service failed. It was funny to see Bretzing in the community center press statements many times after that attempt.
5. On the night of the arrest of Jason Patrick, your agents lied directly to Mr. Patrick and Brandon Curtiss about him being free to go. He even worked with Curtiss to arrange Jason’s pickup at the checkpoint. As a matter of fact, “Paul” was on the phone with Brandon Curtiss while he waited outside the checkpoint when the bearcats rolled into the checkpoint and he NEVER stated that Patrick was being arrested.
6. I also have to wonder if you told the Deschutes County investigators that at least one shot was fired at Ryan Payne at the initial stop while he had his HEAD and HANDS out of the truck window surrendering. I recall your words to be “yes they shot at him, but it was only a beanbag round”. I don’t recall that being released to the public either.
7. And finally, the biggest lie of all…. “We want this to end peacefully”.
I have to say, the last conversation we had on the phone was quite disturbing and really upsetting. But it offered a clear insight at the difference in thought process between people like me that care about what is happening in our Country and how law enforcement feels and thinks. Your comment about people running around town with guns was profound. You stated that you took your oath to the Constitution very serious. So exactly how do you protect the constitution and violate the 2nd amendment at the same time? In order to be Constitutional, you have to uphold the entire writing. Let me offer up just a few ways you have failed, along with your associates in upholding your oaths:
1. When I told you about the 4th amendment violations happening to people around the refuge, your failure to act or even follow through with your promise to send the proper information to help would be a failure to your Oath. In case you need a reminder of the 4th amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things.
Your failure to act when actions against the people you are sworn to protect is also violation of your Oath.
2. I would like to see the vote from the City Council of Burns giving permission to use the Airport as it was used. Again I will offer up the 3rd amendment in just in case:
No soldier shall, in a time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law
3. Now, back to your comment about people running around town with guns. Is that a statement against people having guns, or just against people you don’t like having guns? I carried a firearm everyday in Burns, just as you did. Just exactly what were you implying by your concern with people in town with guns? Careful, that Oath you took may not like your answer.
4. How about ignoring the illegal actions of a County Judge infringing upon the 1st amendment right to speak and redress grievances? This happened right under your noses and you sat by and did nothing.
Your failure to defend the Constitution while it’s being trampled on is a violation of your oath. PERIOD.
You stated people were “staring” at the agents in town. Well, since your agents were everywhere for a month straight, and armed to the teeth, it’s pretty tough not to look. Should people just look away? Should they not make eye contact with them? Personally, I waved at everyone I saw. It is clear that you feel you and the other agents are above the average citizen. I hate to burst your bubble, but you are not. I find it funny that these exact words and phrases were used by my local sheriff in a discussion just the other day. I wonder where he came up with them? I would like to remind you why the government was created in the first place. Remember these words: Of the People, By the People, and For the People.
You also stated that PPN had no business being involved and if I remember right was only a “side circus”. We were also “not qualified to assist” according your level of expertise in assessing our capabilities. Well, Mr. Maxwell, I would like to remind just exactly who was trying to get law enforcement and the people at the refuge to talk for weeks on end. I would also like to remind you exactly which side completely ignored all requests to communicate FOR WEEKS ON END, and which is the only side to fire a shot KILLING a man. Makes one wonder about qualifications all around wouldn’t you say? You also said that there was no way to arrest these dangerous men in town. Again, at what point did they act in any violent manner that would make your statement true? Did any of you both to try and talk to any of the people with warrants to see if they would surrender themselves peacefully? The answer we both know is NO. That option was not even attempted instead an ambush was chosen. I almost forgot your statement about Lavoy clearly reaching for a gun. My take on that statement was that it’s OK to shoot a man to death while assuming. That’s quite the statement. I would have thought that a person with your law enforcement background would withhold judgment until the investigation completed. Please if you would, address the use of deadly force as described in a training manual for law enforcement.
It is obvious that I am not very happy with the interactions that took place between the FBI, PPN, people at the refuge, and the general public. A huge divide exists between the average citizen and the federal law enforcement agencies. It was very clear that the FBI was unwilling to listen to the people they work for in any capacity. I have to tell you that going forward, when these issues arise again, and they will, using people with the capability to talk to both sides would be highly useful. The average citizen as I told you DOES NOT TRUST YOU, and the actions you took prove that they should not. If you truly care to prevent possible future deaths of citizens and agents, that should be taken into consideration. PPN was clearly in a better position than any other person, group or agency to peacefully mediate a resolution to the issue, and that was completely ignored. One again has to ask why? Is it out of ignorance or arrogance? Or simply a mistake? I have to wonder what exactly your plan was inside that bearcat prior to learning David Fry was live streaming the situation all over the internet. As I stated to you on the phone, actions speak a lot louder than words, and the FBI proved again, that they are not there for the best interests of the American people nor can you be trusted to tell the truth.
To conclude, I would like to know the proper channels to request an investigation into the actions of all of the agents involved in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation. I would also like to know the proper channel to file a complaint against the agents involved. I do not believe a proper course of action has taken place and I will work to see that the people that violated civil rights, laws and, code of conduct are held accountable for their actions. I am requesting a response to this letter with the information requested to be emailed to me at @gmail.com
Thank you for your time.