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Idaho hospital locks down amid far-right call for protest

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A major Boise hospital has gone on lockdown after far-right activist Ammon Bundy urged supporters to go the facility to protest of a child protection case involving a family friend

BOISE, Idaho — A major Boise hospital went on lockdown Tuesday after far-right activist Ammon Bundy urged supporters to go the facility in protest of a child protection case involving one of his family friends.

St. Luke’s Health System put the Boise Medical Center on lockdown and began diverting incoming patients at about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Bundy released a threatening statement on YouTube warning that if an acquaintance’s young child was not returned to the family after a hearing Tuesday afternoon, that “Patriot groups” would take action.

Bundy later released another video telling people that child protection workers were poised to move the baby from the hospital to a foster home, and telling them to show up at the facility immediately.

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The baby was temporarily removed from from family custody last Friday after officials determined the 10-month-old was “suffering from severe malnourishment” and at risk of injury or death, according to a statement from police in the city of Meridian near Boise.

The baby’s parents had refused to let officers check on the child’s welfare after the family canceled a medical appointment, the police statement said.

Bundy, who is well-known for participating in armed standoffs with law enforcement, was arrested the following day on a misdemeanor trespassing charge after he protested at a different hospital where he believed the baby was being treated.

Bundy’s People’s Rights group has characterized the intervention as “medical kidnapping” and “child trafficking” on social media platforms.

In an earlier YouTube video, Bundy asked followers to protest at the homes of child protection service workers, law enforcement officers and others involved in the protection case.

“I’m not OK with any of this — to be honest with you if justice was to be served, we would go into the hospital, take that baby and we would give it back to their mother,” Bundy said.

He added: “And if we were further to administrate justice, we would find those that are accountable and we would prosecute them, and uh, you know, make them pay for the damages that they caused for this family and assure that this never happened again. That’s what should happen.”

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Still, he said people should wait until after a hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. that was expected to determine if the child could immediately return home.

“This judge, if he doesn’t return this family back, knowing and seeing the information that is out there … if he doesn’t straighten this out, then we may have to straighten it out for him,” Bundy said. “And that’s not going to be pretty. It’s going to be difficult.”

In the video made later that day, Bundy characterized the situation as an “emergency” and directed people to the Boise hospital because he said the baby was going to be taken to a foster home.

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