Matriarch Behind Band That Serenaded Bundys Arrested For Assaulting Cops

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May 3, 2016 5:21 p.m.
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The mother behind a family band that performed at armed anti-government standoffs in Nevada and Oregon has been charged for allegedly assaulting police officers, The Oregonian reported Tuesday.

The Shawnee County, Kansas Sheriff’s Office told the newspaper that Odalis Sharp, 46, faces a felony charge of interfering with law enforcement and two misdemeanor counts of battery against a law enforcement officer.

While police did not provide details about the reason for the arrest, Sharp told The Oregonian that she became violent when police came to her home Friday to take custody of her infant child.

“I tried to kick the officer,” Sharp said. “In fact, I kicked her in the leg.”

Sharp was arrested and released on bail the next day, according to the report.

Seven of Sharp’s ten children are already in state custody, by her account, and she said she does not know the whereabouts of the other three. She told The Oregonian that the infant was the only child living with her at the time of her arrest.

Sharp’s family band, the Sharp Family Singers, first gained national prominence when they performed at the 2014 standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management. This January, the band renewed their support for the Bundys by performing at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, which a group of self-styled militiamen led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy occupied for more than a month.

Three days after the family’s Jan. 23 performance at the refuge, Sharp’s 18-year-old daughter, Victoria, was traveling in a car with several occupiers when the driver was killed in a shootout with law enforcement. Victoria Sharp released a tearful cell phone video recounting the final moments before LaVoy Finicum’s death; her account conflicted with footage of the incident captured by law enforcement.

Odalis Sharp told The Oregonian she did not know her eldest daughter’s location.

Kansas officials would not comment to the newspaper on why Sharp’s seven children were in state custody, but Sharp has previously faced scrutiny from child welfare officials over abuse allegations.

Court documents obtained by The Oregonian show that her 15-year-old son ran away from home in 2011 after Sharp kept him on a diet of bread and water for two weeks as a form of punishment. In rejecting an appeal from Sharp, the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled there was “substantial competent evidence” supporting a state agency’s finding of abuse and neglect, according to the newspaper.

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