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Oregon Sheriff: Armed Protesters Harass, Intimidate Community

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    Oregon Sheriff: Armed Protesters Harass, Intimidate Community
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    Harney County Sheriff David Ward speaks during a community meeting at the Harney County fairground on January 6, 2016 in Burns, Oregon.

    Local law enforcement is accusing armed protesters who seized an Oregon wildlife refuge of harassment and intimidation.

    In a statement Monday, Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward described an "uptick" in reports of "law enforcement officers and community members being followed home; of people sitting in cars outside their homes, observing their movements and those of their families; and of people following them and their families as they move around the community."

    Ward added, "While not direct physical threats, these activities are clearly designed to try to intimidate."

    Federal employees of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the site occupied by the protestors, also reported "a number of uncomfortable instances" of "unknown" outsiders idling outside their homes, watching them and initiating debates about their employment.