Ammon Bundy, one of Cliven Bundy’s sons, told The Associated Press by telephone that the Millers were at his father’s ranch for a few days this spring but were asked to leave for unspecified “conduct” problems.
He called the couple “very radical” and said they “did not align themselves” with the beliefs of other protesters, adding that while thousands of people have been to the site over the last few months, “not very many people were asked to leave. I think they may have been the only ones.”
Cliven Bundy and his supporters, some of them armed militia members, thwarted a Bureau of Land Management roundup of his cattle near Bunkerville, Nevada, in April. The BLM says Mr. Bundy owes more than $1 million in grazing fees and penalties for trespassing without a permit over 20 years, but he refuses to acknowledge federal authority on public lands.
Ammon Bundy said his family “has had no quarrel” with Las Vegas police and disavowed the Millers’ actions.
“The only thing worse than tyranny is anarchy, and we certainly recognize that,” Mr. Bundy said.
The Millers moved to the Las Vegas area in January, police said. Amanda Miller, 22, had worked at a Hobby Lobby craft store in Las Vegas, the chain store said in a written statement, but was no longer employed there.
Jerad Miller, 31, was convicted of felony vehicle theft in Washington state, police said. He also had a criminal record in Indiana.
The Millers were married in August 2012, according to a marriage license on file in Indiana.
A spike in crimes against police officers in late 2010 and early 2011 prompted the Justice Department to launch its Valor Initiative to prevent law enforcement injuries and deaths with increased training, including how to handle ambushes, which officers increasingly were confronting.
At the time, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. acknowledged an “alarming increase in officer fatalities.”
“The Justice Department is committed to turning back this rising tide, to meeting increased violence with renewed vigilance and to doing everything within our power — and using every tool at our disposal — to keep law enforcement officers safe,” the attorney general said.
In 2012 and 2013, officer fatalities were reduced, only to rise again this year.
“A few years ago, we really started to see a rash of violence against law enforcement, so much so that the community had to band together to address that situation from the top, starting at the Department of Justice,” said Steve Groeninger, a spokesman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “There was a focus on training and safety and responding to calls. The point was to make sure that each and every officer made it home at the end of their shift. It’s disheartening to see these numbers tick up again.”
But law enforcement shouldn’t rely on year-over-year figures to deduce a trend or evaluate a program’s effectiveness, said Northeastern University criminologist James Allen Fox, noting that statistics over the last three decades show a sharp decrease in the number of police officers who have been killed.
According to FBI statistics, more than 130 law enforcement agents were killed feloniously in 1973, compared with 48 in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available. The reason for this decline is because overall crime rates have been reduced, Mr. Fox said.