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Protesters detained during controversial cattle roundup

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Protesters detained during controversial cattle roundup

By Jennifer Kastner. CREATED Apr 11, 2014

Overton, NV (KTNV) -- Tensions escalated again during Thursday's controversial cattle roundup after two protesters claim they were detained near Overton by federal officials.

At the center of the issue is Cliven Bundy, a Bunkerville cattle rancher who believes he has the historical rights to graze his cattle on the local land. The Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service are in the process of seizing Bundy's cattle, which they say have been illegally grazing on public land for several years. They claim that the rancher owes more than $1 million in fees to the federal government. 

The BLM confirmed to Action News two people were detained, cited and then released on Thursday. Brothers Tyler and Spencer Shillig said they're the two who were detained. Both are supporters of Cliven Bundy.

Spencer Shillig explains that he, Tyler and their other brother walked through a gated area of land near Overton. Moments later, they say they were confronted by BLM rangers. 

Spencer claims he was handcuffed by the officials and sustained cuts and scrapes to his head, neck and arms during the process. Tyler told Action News that he then surrendered himself to authorities as a way of showing support for his detained brother.

The brothers showed Action News citations they said were issued by the BLM. Those citations were related to interference, violent behavior and disorderly conduct.

The number of protesters continues to grow at the main camp near the Bundy family's ranch. On Thursday night, protesters appeared to be building a sense of community, complete with food and a campfire. 

The BLM and NPS maintain that safety has been and will continue to be their first priority during this cattle impoundment. In an email to Action News, the BLM writes, "Public safety is key to this operation. We have minimal law enforcement in place to ensure public safety."

On Friday, the cattle roundup moves into its seventh day of operation.

Jennifer Kastner

Jennifer Kastner

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Jennifer Kastner is a general assignment reporter for Action News.