BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy was arrested Wednesday for the second time in two days at the Idaho Statehouse.
Idaho State Police put Bundy in a wheelchair and removed him from the Senate gallery. He did not appear injured but didn’t respond to a reporter’s questions as he was wheeled from the Statehouse and through underground tunnels to a police vehicle.
Bundy, who led the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, was arrested Tuesday in a committee room and charged with trespassing and resisting and obstructing officers. During that arrest, he refused to stand and was wheeled out in an office chair.
Idaho State Police say that he is prohibited from coming to the Statehouse for one year following the Tuesday arrest. The year-long ban came after consultation with Republican Gov. Brad Little as well as leaders in the House and Senate.
“We have a certain expectation of members of the Senate that they act in a way that is courteous and act in a way that is productive, and I think it’s also proper to ask that of the public who participates as well,” Republican Sen. Kelly Anthon said.
Lawmakers are meeting in a special session called by Little because of the coronavirus, and Wednesday resumed work after two chaotic days.
Lawmakers on Tuesday had to abandon a committee room when a crowd shouted down lawmakers and forced them out. Bundy was later arrested in that room when he refused to leave. Bundy and his supporters are opposed to proposed legislation the committee was considering that would shield businesses, schools and government entities from liability if someone caught COVID-19.
The incident followed another Monday when angry protesters forced their way into the Idaho House gallery that had limited seating because of the virus, a glass door breaking as protesters jostled with police.
Bundy, 44, is a supporter of Black Lives Matter, and he supports defunding police to limit what he said has become a police state.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning quickly approved legislation to smooth the counting of what is expected to be a surge of absentee ballots for the November election. That bill has already been approved by the Senate and now heads to the governor.
Lawmakers on a House committee on Wednesday approved the liability legislation, which will be taken up by the full House and, if approved, considered by the Senate.