- uploaded: Jan 2, 2012
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Ruby Ridge was the site of a violent confrontation and siege in northern Idaho in 1992. It involved Randy Weaver, his family, Weaver's friend Kevin Harris, and agents of the United States Marshals Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation. It resulted in the death of Weaver's son Sammy, his wife Vicki, and Deputy US Marshal William Francis Degan.
At the subsequent federal criminal trial of Weaver and Harris, Weaver's attorney Gerry Spence made accusations of "criminal wrongdoing" against every agency involved in the incident: the FBI, USMS, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the United States Attorney (USAO) for Idaho. At the completion of the trial, the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility formed a Ruby Ridge Task Force to investigate Spence's charges. The 1994 Task Force report was released in redacted form by Lexis Counsel Connect and raised questions with the conduct and policy of all the agencies.
Public outcry over Ruby Ridge and the subsequent Waco siege involving many of the same agencies and even the same personnel fueled the widening of the militia movement. To answer public questions about Ruby Ridge, the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information held a total of 14 days of hearings between September 6 and October 19, 1995 and subsequently issued a report calling for reforms in federal law enforcement to prevent a repeat of Ruby Ridge and to restore public confidence in federal law enforcement.