Police shot Oregon protester Lavoy Finicum 3 times in back

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Last December, Ammon Bundy and armed militia members gathered in Burns, Oregon (about 280 miles southeast of Portland), to protest the jailing of local ranchers, father and son Dwight and Steven Hammond, for lighting fires on federal properties in 2001 and 2006 in order to scale back invasive plants and to protect their private lands from wildfires. (Ammon is the son of Nevada rancher Clive Bundy who had an armed standoff with federal authorities in 2014 over grazing rights. That matter was settled peacefully, after the Bureau of Land Management backed off and left the scene.)
After a peaceful rally in Burns, Ammon Bundy and the militia protesters took over a facility at the Mahleur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns.
On January 27, 2016, the feds put an end to the standoff by shooting dead Robert “LaVoy” Finicum multiple times at close range, and arresting other protesters, including:

  • Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox and Ryan Waylen Payne, who were arrested at a traffic stop on their way from Burns, Oregon, to a community meeting with ranchers in John Day, Oregon.
  • Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy (Captain O.) and Peter Santilli, who were arrested in Burns.
  • Jon Ritzheimer reportedly turned himself into police in Peoria, Arizona.

(See “Oregon Standoff: Militia man killed; others asked to sign talent releases” and “FBI arrests Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, ending Oregon standoff“.)
Yesterday, March 9, 2016, county prosecutors ruled the killing of Finicum “justified and necessary” despite the fact he had been shot three times in the back.
Below is a tweet, by RT anchor/correspondent Simone del Rosario, of an autopsy report’s sketch showing three gun wounds on Finicum’s back:
autopsy report of Lavoy Finicum showing 3 gun wounds on back
Here are excerpts from Les Zeitz’s report for The Oregonian/Oregon Live of the dramatic events that led to Finicum’s death:

As Robert “Lavoy” Finicum powered his Dodge pickup over Devine Summit on the state highway north of Burns, he spotted the police van idling on a U.S. Forest Service road.
Finicum glanced over at the state trooper in the driver’s seat as he went past.
He pointed a finger at him, as if to say “I see you” and kept going.
That likely was the moment Finicum realized he and his group wouldn’t make the community meeting planned that evening in John Day.
Less than 30 minutes later, Finicum was dead and four other leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge takeover were in handcuffs.
Police knew the leaders planned to travel to John Day in Grant County to the north on the only direct highway there – U.S. 395.
They devised a traffic stop by state troopers to allow FBI agents to arrest the group on federal conspiracy charges. By midday, some members of the arresting team positioned themselves on Forest Service Road 2820, which branches east off the state highway toward a snow park near the summit of Devine Ridge. Another team set up roughly two miles north on the highway, prepared to act as a roadblock.
“The sheriff is waiting for us,” Finicum yelled out the driver’s window to the officers and agents staged behind his truck.
He puts his hands out the window and invited police to shoot.
“Back down or you kill me now,” he said.
He repeated twice more that he was going to meet the sheriff.
Ryan Bundy, 43, of Mesquite, Nevada, seated behind Finicum with a .38-caliber pistol and two rifles within reach, yelled out the window: “Who are you?”
Finicum echoed him. “Yeah, who are you?”
“Oregon State Police” came the reply.
“I’m going over to meet the sheriff in Grant County,” Finicum said.
Police continued demanding Finicum turn off the truck and surrender, according to officer statements to investigators. But they didn’t move against those in the truck as they waited for a trooper posted at McConnell’s Jeep to bring a launcher with multiple pepper spray rounds.
Those in the truck talked about what to do next.
“If we duck and you drive, what are they going to do?” [Shannon] Cox asked Finicum. “Try to knock us out?”
He noted they still had “50 ass miles” to go to reach John Day. He turned up the volume on country music that had been playing on the radio.
“Who can we call?” Bundy asked.
“Sheriff Palmer,” Finicum responded.
As Bundy and Cox tried to get a cell signal, Finicum continued yelling at police.
“You want a blood bath?” he asked. “I’m going to be laying down here on the ground with my blood on the street or I’m going to see the sheriff.
[…] Finicum instantly stepped out of the truck, his hands out to his sides at about shoulder height. Investigators concluded that an FBI agent on the highway clipped off two shots, one that went wild and one that pierced the truck roof and shattered the left rear passenger window. A shell fragment struck Bundy in the shoulder.
The trooper who had made it to the tree line had drawn his revolver and now commanded Finicum to get on the ground.
“Go ahead and shoot me,” Finicum said.
“Get on the ground,” the trooper yelled back.
Finicum continued yelling “Shoot me” and “You’re going to have to shoot me.”
He turned his attention from the trooper in the woods to two troopers coming up behind him, including the one who had fired at the truck. As Finicum shifted direction, the trooper in the woods holstered his gun and drew out his Taser X2, which can be effective from 25 feet but works best at about 15 feet.
Finicum at least twice reached with his right hand toward the inside of his left jacket, where he had a loaded Ruger SR9 semi-automatic pistol that had been a gift from his stepson.
He then turned back toward the trooper approaching with the Taser. He again reached for his jacket.
“It was consistent with drawing a handgun,” the trooper with the Taser told investigators. “He’s going for a gun and I can tell you right now, uh, I was very uncomfortable.”
He continued ordering Finicum to stop.
“He had the drop on me at this point,” the trooper said.
One of the troopers who had been coming up behind Finicum saw the same motion – “consistent with grabbing a firearm” is how he described it to investigators.
“I need to take action to stop him from being a threat” to the trooper with the Taser, he later told investigators.
He fired two rounds, both striking Finicum in the back. At the same instant, another trooper nearby fired a single round into Finicum’s back.
[…] Fifty seconds after Finicum left his truck, the shooting was over.”

You can hear and see Finicum yelling to the police in the video below of cell phone footage from inside Finicum’s truck (lower left corner) synced with aerial footage taken by the FBI. Finicum was in the driver’s seat, while Ryan Bundy, Victoria Sharp and Shauna Cox were in the back seat.

Do you think Finicum had goaded police to shoot him? Was shooting him in the back justified? How could the police have de-escalated the situation?
H/t ZeroHedge

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0 responses to “Police shot Oregon protester Lavoy Finicum 3 times in back

  1. Reblogged this on Exposing Modern Mugwumps and commented:
    Remember Waco and Ruby Ridge

    • Not to mention Claude Rains character in Casablanca: “I am making out the report now. We haven’t quite decided yet whether he committed suicide or died trying to escape.”

  2. Kevin J Lankford

    It is obvious the f.b.i. instigated the confrontation for unknown reasons of their own. They clearly acknowledged they were aware of Mr. Finicum’s and the others’ destination and had no rational reason for the use of deadly force to prevent the planned meeting with the sheriff in Grant county.
    Appears to me Mr. Finicum was the victim of jurisdictional jealousy.

  3. Hey, #BLM, where are you with “Hands up, don’t shoot!” now?

  4. I have conflicting opinions on this. 1. The government agencies who have been causing trouble have overstepped their bounds, and seem all too willing to abuse citizens. 2. Any time you engage in an armed standoff you have to expect the risk of things going wrong.

  5. People don’t realize that roadblocks themselves constitute deadly force. Finicum was shot in the back THREE TIMES; Therefore, he was murdered.
    Finicum may have been wrong for the way he handled himself, but I see the Feds as being more wrong because they have been trying to steal this land from ranchers. Therefore, they could argue that Finicum, with his big mouth and with his hand motions, created a situation that he controlled. But as the Federal Government began actions to steal this land first, they are more wrong.
    People still do not understand that the Clinton Administration set and established very dangerous precedents with what they did (and got away with) at Waco. We’re living under a lawless government, and it MUST be STOPPED.

  6. The FBI and Oregon Sheriff in Burns had taken all the time they needed to establish a state of “trust” with these guys. They had travelled freely in and out of the Reserve and town without mishap for 40 days even having meals in the cafe’s if you believe some of the reporting. The Press Left… Then after much urging from the Governor, Kate Brown, then the “plan” was enacted. NO, this didn’t need to happen. Peace Officers? or Attack Dogs? Which were these officers?

  7. If he was smart , he’d a kept his mouth shut and driven to the county sheriff .As to TD’S COMMENT ABOVE , BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU ASK FOR , YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT !!!
    One thing though , if a homeowner shoots a p.o.s. in the back as he leaves his abode , after being robbed , or worse…. why is he or she caught up into this so-called legal system , and the F.B.I. ASSASSINS are free to run amok ?

    • Kevin J Lankford

      It was my impression that the f.b.i. had every intention of stopping Mr. Finicum from proceeding under any circumstance. They were not going to let him pass no matter how quiet. I’m sure it played out nearly as they had hoped, except that there were survivors.

      • Another sacrificial lamb onto the altar . Waiting to see when the indictments of the murders happen , won’t hold my breath though !

  8. Reblogged this on Scoop Feed.

  9. People you might as well face it, IF you get out of line any way shape or form to protect your ranch and cattle from the LAND GRABBING BLM and the CROOKED SOCIALIST PROGRESSIVE Elitist BASTARD Government YOU WILL BE MURDERED! These people were on the way to meet with the REAL LAW the Sheriff, and the FBI knew that and just had to intervene wrongly so they could MURDER the rancher that they wanted his land and send a message that if you step out of line, you will get the same thing! We are living under the worst Tyrannical Government that has ever raised its ugly head, they have murdered many foreign leaders because they wouldn’t bow down to their tyranny and now they have turned on their own people. Time to rid ourselves of this Crooked government before we are all in FEMA Death camps. They have already been rounding up the homeless and sending them to FEMA camps, we’re NEXT! Semper Fi.

  10. Oregon State Police fired the killing shots at the instruction of Governor Kate Brown who told them to do whatever it takes.

  11. I have to agree he didn’t handle his being stopped very well,but instead of shooting him in the back,why wasn’t the cop with the Tazer the one to fire? He SHOULD have been working at getting close enough to get an effective Tazer shot;that would have ended the conflict and it could have been sorted out safely. What the cop did was clearly Murder. (As I understand it,Finicum was facing an officer who was commanding him the “get on the ground”-the cop BEHIND Finicum clearly put the other cop in danger;if he’d missed,or one or more of his rounds went through Finicum,he could well have killed the other officer.) I hope Finicum’s family sues the cops’ a

  12. First of all, they were In a building out of the way and not in use. They were hurting no one, just trying to make a point.
    I think the real target was Bundy, they wanted him dead, gone. The Bundys had already made an embarrassment out of the gov. Sadly. I think Finicim was collateral damage, but, oh well. If we have to take him also we will.
    They knew they were going to a meeting, there was no reason for all this drama, but to send a message to the rest of America. When we come for your property, give in.
    They made sure it was miles away from the cabin, why? Because there was no cell service. No sheriff, no public witnesses and a long time for help to arrive. The knew ahead of time where the ambush was going to take place.
    They did not want that meeting to take place, the sheriff might not have been so receptive to the land stealers and the meeting and the truth might have been made very public.
    America had better wake up, more of this is happening than the public knows.

    • If it ever gets to that point , shoot first , ask questions later . Rather be judged by 12 than carried out by 6 ……..All it takes is for one like-minded person in the jury room to ” hang it “

    • How did you conclude they were in a building? The story I got was that they were stopped on the road,thus the road block that stopped them,and Finicum eventually got out of the vehicle and was standing beside it,facing a cop who was telling him to “get on the ground”,when another cop shot Finicum from behind. That’s murder in my opinion-Finicum hadn’t drawn a gun,the other cop had him at gunpoint,the situation,however tenuous,was contained. Had he decided to actually go for his gun,the cop facing him could easily have dropped him before he could get a shot off.

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  14. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this important post, containing your research and quoted documentary evidence. I would like to read the police documents in this case as well as the witness statements.

  15. Pingback: Another Perspective of LaVoy Finicum Murder | The NeoConservative Christian Right

  16. Pingback: Ranchers Protest Land Grabbing, Santilli Reports Then Arrested | The NeoConservative Christian Right

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