Ruby Ridge

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The Ruby Ridge, in Idaho, United States, was in 1992 the location of an 11-day standoff involving the federal police and Randy Weaver, his family, and their friend Kevin Harris. Weaver’s wife, his 14-year-old son, and a U.S. Marshal were killed during the siege. Exactly what occurred, especially regarding the killings, is disputed.

Afterwards, Harris was acquitted of all charges, and Weaver was acquitted of all charges except for an original bail condition violation for arms charges and for having missed a court date. He was fined US$10,000 and sentenced to 18 months in prison. He was credited with time served plus an additional three months.

Both the Weaver family and Harris brought civil suits against the government over the events of the firefight and siege, the Weavers winning a combined out-of-court settlement in August 1995 of $3.1 million, and Harris being awarded, after persistent appeals, a $380,000 settlement in September 2000.

The Weavers were followers of Christian Identity. Weaver testified about his racial beliefs before a Senate subcommittee in 1995, saying, “I’m not a hateful racist as most people understand it. But I believe in the separation of races. We wanted to be separated from the rest of the world, to live in a remote area, to give our children a good place to grow up.” Weaver had been approached by ATF agents and told that they had evidence of his possession and sale of illegal weapons, and offered to drop the charges in return for his co-operation in infiltrating the Aryan Nations. Weaver refused. He was then arrested on weapons charges, released, but became convinced that he had no chance of a fair hearing, and did not appear before court, leading to the siege.

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