Paper Example. Law Enforcement Standoff of Ruby Ridge, Idaho 1992

Published: 2023-07-11
Paper Example. Law Enforcement Standoff of Ruby Ridge, Idaho 1992
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Government Court system Police brutality Essays by pagecount
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 1950 words
17 min read

Vicki Weaver Dead, the headline for The Spokesman-Review covering the Ruby Ridge, Idaho Law Enforcement Standoff 1992. This event ended with the death of the mother and son of the Weaver Family. The events that took place in Ruby Ridge are regarded as a symbol of federal government overreach. Many reporters, including Jess Walter, tell the truth and tragedy that befall Randy Weaver's family. The deadly event took place in 1992, and the information unfolded in public and media platforms. Randy Weaver's friend, known as Kevin Harris, also lost his life. The 11-day siege standoff claimed the life of many people according to FBI investigations. In recent events, there has been protesting of anti-government. In this context, United States Law Enforcement used unlawful use of military tactics and equipment to arrest Randy Weaver. The government has been on several occasions excessive, and even military force has ended the lives of American citizens. Many citizens accuse the government law enforcement of unlawful use of military tactics and equipment

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

1. Person's Rights

All people that are charged with any penal offense have the right to be stated as innocent until they are verified guilty of the crime charged against them. The decision as to whether an individual is innocent should be made according to the law where all guarantees needed for the defense appear in the public trial for the suspect(UN, 2018). Recognition of essential dignity and the same absolute rights of all family members of a human being is the basis of justice, peace, and freedom. The family members of any suspect of a crime have the right to be protected from any danger that may arise in the hunt for the suspect.

In the past, disregard and contempt of the rights of people set in the universal declaration of Human Rights have ended up with barbarous acts that outrage the conscience of man. The highest aspiration of the people in the United States has been the advent of a free world where people enjoy the freedom of belief and speech, as well as freedom from fear and want(Department of Justice, 2006). Where possible, if human beings are not compelled to use recourse as their last resort due to the oppression and tyranny they face, human rights should get adequate protection by the rule of law.

Supporting Evidence

The declaration for human rights argues nations that all people are born free and equivalent in rights and dignity. They possess reason and conscience and are expected to act towards supporting each other in a spirit of brotherhood. It also explains that all people are entitled to rights and freedoms that are attributed in the affirmation with no distinctions of past grounds (UN, 2018). All people are entitled to a right to liberty, life, and security. The universal declaration of human rights, according to the United Nations, states that nobody should be subjected to interferences with their families regardless of the crime committed.

Nobody should be alleged guilty of any penal offense on excuse of exclusion where no penal offense is constituted. Under the law, either national or international, as per the time it was perpetrated (UN, 2018). In addition, no heavier penalty than the one that was applicable when the suspect committed the penal offense should be imposed.

Supporting Evidence

In the Posse Comitatus Act, section 1385 of title 18 in the US Code explains that whoever deliberately practices any part of the Air Force or the Army as a posse comitatus or in the execution of laws is expected to be penalized under the same title or confined for two years, or both (NorthCom, 2019). The PCA does not relate to the United States Coast Guard or the National Guard in Title 32.

The PCA bans the Army and Air Force from performing any activities that involve domestic law enforcement. Another main statue in the United States Code requires that the Secretary of Defense prescribes effective rules that forbids members of the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy from participating directly in a search, arrest, seizure or other forms of domestic activities unless authorized by the law(NorthCom, 2019). The Department of Defense has an implementation that displays the prohibitions that are required in the 10 USC Section 275 and the PCA.

The laws and regulations prohibit the United States military personnel from directly participating in activities of law enforcement, such as interdiction of vessels, vehicles, and aircraft. They also prohibit searches, seizures, and pursuit as well as making arrests on behalf of the authorities that deal with law enforcement of the civilians (NorthCom, 2019).

Prohibiting direct involvement of the military in the enforcement of laws helps to keep up with laws and policies that limit the role of the military in domestic affairs. However, the US Congress has various exceptions in place that allow military involvement in situations that seem complex to the civil law enforcers (NorthCom, 2019). The military support of civilian law enforcers must be carried out in strict compliance with the U.S. laws and the constitution where the president and the Secretary of Defense are expected to direct the process.

Supporting Evidence

Randy Weaver was faced with criminal charges of illegal possession of firearms and was expected to appear in court on February 19, 1991. However, he did not show up for the court proceedings, which made him guilty hence a warrant of arrest was issued(Department of Justice, 2006). By that time, he was only guilty for not appearing in court.

The charges against him for possessing illegal weapons were not yet legit as per the Declaration of Human Rights because he was still innocent until the time he would be proven guilty. It is therefore not understandable how the court issued a warrant for arrest using military personnel, including snipers (Department of Justice, 2006). The court should have used civil law enforcers to ensure that Randy Weaver was arrested and brought to court for hearing of his case. The Military's role in the domestic affair led to the death of the suspect's wife and child, which would have been possibly avoided had the local police been used instead of the military.

2. What Really Happened at Ruby Ridge

Randy Weaver relocated with his household to Ruby Ridge in 1983, where he had built a cabin. The Ruby Ridge is situated about 65km from the Canadian border. Kevin Harris was a family friend who remained with the household often for periods of time in the cabin (ATF, 2019). The troubles between the United States government and Randy Weaver started appearing in Aryan Nations several meetings that were basically held in the late 1980s in the compound of a white supremacist group in Hayden Lake, Idaho.

Randy Weaver attended the meetings despite the fact that he was not a associate of the Aryan nations. Weaver shared anti-government opinions and the white supremacist group. While he attended several meetings, there was one meeting where he managed to befriend an informer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF, 2019). Through his friendship, the informant managed to purchase two illegal shotguns in October 1989 from Weaver.

The federal agents charged Weaver against the weapons he had pursued after he refused to become an ATF informant. This led to Weaver's arrest, where he was freed with a probationary on 19th February 1991.

Supporting Evidence

Weaver skips his trial date, which results in the judge issuing a federal arrest warrant leaving the case in the hands of the US Marshalls Service. Failure to come to court in the dates scheduled for his hearing resulted in an arrest warrant of Randy Weaver. Letter from Vicki was seen as Threating manner that family was all armed with guns, and Randy Weaver will violently resist arrest, and Taskforce was put underway to apprehend Randy (Crim, 2020). Stealth operation plans were drawn after Marshall assessed how the Weaver's family was going to resist violently, especially if they tried to confront them directly.

Letters were sent to weaver, but he never responded based on the trial dates having been rescheduled to February 20. Hofmeister places several unanswered calls to Weaver through a telephone number, and he went forward and asked individuals who were near him to contact and ask Weaver to contact him back immediately (Crim, 2020). Randy Weaver did not bother to contact Hofmeister back even in the morning of the trial on February 20. The two letters signed by Vicki Weaver were enough evidence that Weaver was not going to appear in his trial. This is because the language that was used in the letters was somewhat threatening after Marshall conducted a threat assessment on the letters.

Supporting Evidence

The situation turned violent in Ruby Ridge on August 21, 1992, after a team of six heavily armed men from United States marshal was discovered by Weaver's dog inside the Ruby Ridge property. One of the armed U.S marshals gunshot and murdered Weaver's dog resulting in an exchange of the fire with Sammy Weaver (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, 2019). Sammy Weaver was unlucky since he was gunshot at the back and murdered at the spot. Degan also died as a result of Harris opening fire.

The federal marshals requested FBI assistance after the shootings (Linder, 2009). The FBI Hostage Rescue Team was dispatched to Ruby Ridge. An FBI sniper opened fire after he realized that Harris and Weaver were set to shoot at an FBI helicopter. Weaver was shot on his hand while the second short was directed to Harris, who missed his and struck Vicki Weaver right at her face and died soon after. Vicki Weaver's body remained in the cabin for 11 days.

Finally, Harris and Weaver surrendered to the federal officers in a week's time. The two were charged crimes such as conspiracy, murder, and assault. All charges were acquitted to Harris by the Idaho jury.

3. Pressure from Ruby Ridge leads to Waco Texas Standoff

Waco Texas standoff shows that in 1992, ATF began an examination of David Koresh and a cult group known as Branch Davidians. The investigation by ATF was focused mainly on Koresh and Davidians as they were accused of being intricate in the prohibited production of machine guns as well as destructive devices such as bombs and grenades (ATF, 2019).

The similarities between Weaver's case and that of Koresh and Davidians include the involvement of the ATF in the arrest of the suspects charged with various crimes. Both cases ended up with the court's ruling in favor of the agents as all criminal charges were reported to be unwarranted. Horiuchi, the agent who killed Weaver's wife and child, was set free, and all charges against him were dropped.

The investigation by the ATF involved interviews with cult members and sent an undercover agent to the Davidians, although he had restricted entrance to the compound. After gaining enough proof, a warrant for federal arrest was issued in 1993(ATF, 2019). The ATF special agents from various field divisions were assigned to ensure that they executed the search warrants and arrests of Koresh and other cult members. The Davidians got wind of the raid and waited in ambush with heavily armed members of the cult. As soon as the agents showed Koresh the search warrant, he got into the house, and the cult members opened fire on the agents.

The two and a half hours gunfight led to four ATF agents being killed, 20 others being injured from gunfire, and eight others suffering from other types of injuries. The stand-off existed for 51 days and ended when the cult members set the Davidian Compound on fire when the law enforcement tried to force them out using teargas (ATF, 2019).

Cite this page

Paper Example. Law Enforcement Standoff of Ruby Ridge, Idaho 1992. (2023, Jul 11). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism