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Sheriff says FBI will probe activist traffic stop

Associated Press
August 15, 2013

The sheriff of Malheur County says the FBI will investigate whether deputies acted properly when they pulled over an animal rights activist who had been taking photos of a controversial rodeo event known as horse tripping.

Sheriff Brian E. Wolfe told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he is turning over videos and other materials to the FBI.

FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steel said they became aware of the situation on Wednesday, but she could not comment on whether they were conducting an investigation.

Wolfe acknowledged that two deputies, acting on orders from a supervisor, pulled over Steve Hindi, president of Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, to get his name after he was told not to shoot video at the Big Loop Rodeo in Jordan Valley last May.

Deputy Brian Belnap and Deputy Brian Beck were on duty and following orders from their supervisor, Lt. Rob Hunsucker, Wolfe said. There was no probable cause a crime or traffic violation had been committed.

No one has been disciplined or placed on leave, he said.