Oregon Absolves Itself of Murder of Iconic Rancher

LaVoy Finicum

Oregon State Police officers have been exonerated in the shooting death of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, the iconic Arizona rancher who served as a leading spokesman for the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that took place earlier this year in southeastern Oregon, an event AFP has covered extensively in recent issues.

Finicum, a close friend of the Bundy ranching family who were also heavily involved with the Oregon standoff, was shot and killed on Jan. 26 after being stopped by Oregon State Police and FBI officials.

According to the results of the investigation carried out by Oregon officials, Oregon State Police were justified in using lethal action against Finicum. However, an FBI agent is suspected of firing shots at Finicum and then lying about it in the aftermath. Other FBI officials are alleged to have assisted in the cover-up of the incident, and the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the shooting and subsequent cover-up.

Oregon State Police officials released a synchronized video including aerial footage of Finicum’s death originally captured and published online by the FBI combined with video and audio footage captured by Shawna Cox, who was in the vehicle with Finicum during the standoff with law enforcement officials. In the video, Finicum informs Oregon State Police officers and others present that he intends to meet with the sheriff of Grant County, where he and his entourage were traveling that fateful day, and that law enforcement officials are welcome to join him. Finicum makes clear that he is not surrendering to the Oregon State Police or FBI officials, and that they have the option of either shooting him or letting him continue to his destination.

Watch the entire video below:

Finicum’s family strongly disputes the narrative being articulated by officials from the State of Oregon.

“Our family asserts that he was shot with both hands up,” Jeanette Finicum, LaVoy’s wife, stated shortly after the results of the official investigation were released. “He was not reaching for anything at the time of the first shot. He was walking with his hands in the air, a symbol of surrender.”

What follows is the official Finicum family statement released on March 9, 2016.

NEWS RELEASE

EMBARGOED UNTIL 11:30 AM MST, Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Contact: Cherilyn Bacon Eagar for the LaVoy Finicum family
Cell: 801-592-4245
Email: Cherilyn@CherilynEagar.com

JEANETTE FINICUM STATEMENT – AFTER REVIEW OF YESTERDAY’S OREGON INVESTIGATIVE REPORT

Mrs. Finicum will take initial questions for the first time today from media in an 11:30 AM MST news conference at the Washington County Building 197 E. Tabernacle St. St. George, Utah related specifically to the civil and criminal lawsuits she and her legal team are pursuing.

March 9, 2016, St. George, UT — Yesterday a tag-team of law enforcement officials announced they have found that the Oregon officer who shot my husband dead while he had his hands in the air was justified. These officials announced that “without a doubt” the officer who killed my husband did so “to protect” himself and his fellow officers “from imminent harm.”

I know my husband, Robert LaVoy Finicum, and I knew him on the day he died. With his hands in the air, he was no danger to anyone, he intended no “imminent harm.” He was giving himself up in order to divert shooters from the others in the truck. Right down to the very last act of his life, he was giving for others. That was my husband. That was the man who the panel of investigators concluded was “responsible for” the situation in which he was killed in a well-planned ambush.

My family and I reject the biased, whitewash findings and conclusion reported yesterday. My lawyers have assured me that the men who ambushed my husband, who set him up for death, who assassinated him, will face justice in a court before an unbiased jury that will be deciding whether my husband was killed by a wrongful action or omission on the part of the police. That action will be joined with an action based on violation of the due process clause of the United States Constitution, the very document for which my husband gave his life. That is a Civil Rights Act claim.

Prior to yesterday the FBI held the position that my husband was shot during a “traffic stop.” That was such a stretch of the truth that even the tag-team news conference group could not repeat it. There was no “traffic stop.” This was an ambush by use of a “Deadman’s Blockade” designed to allow a “Kill Stop”—a roadblock on a blind curve on an almost abandoned road.

Those officers at the roadblock were the last line available to block the truck LaVoy drove, to assure that he was killed. In our wrongful death and civil rights violation lawsuit we will prove the kind of man my husband was, and that as a leading spokesman of this movement to restore the U.S. Constitution and our unalienable rights, he had to be made an example: “Don’t interfere if we as law officers are depriving someone of their rights, property and person.” Is this what Americans believe? Or is this the kind of fear tactic despots in the Middle East have used for centuries when they place crucifixes along the highway to strike fear into their slaves – don’t you dare oppose our unjust laws or this is what will happen to you!”

I don’t think so. Not in America. I still believe we are governed by the same Constitution that our founders created and that we are a republic, one nation under God.

Yesterday, as before, the officers set up a false scenario that my husband was reaching for a loaded gun as he was shot. Before yesterday’s selectively edited video showing, we saw the uncut version. In that uncut version, we see my husband with his hands up, walking away from the truck and not reaching for anything when a man to the right of the video obviously fired some projectile at him. Immediately he leaned over to his left hip area where it appeared some projectile hit him. At that one moment, shots were reigned down on him and he died there in the snow bank—where he lay for ten minutes without anyone checking to see whether he was alive. They let him lay there because they knew that the three shots into the back had killed him.

My attorneys have already begun to assemble a trial team of investigators, paralegals, videographers and writers to make sure that the man who shot my husband in the back and all those who were accomplices will face justice. They will soon be filing the Oregon 30.275 notice that precedes a lawsuit for wrongful death and civil rights violations.

At least twice yesterday the officials blamed my husband for being solely responsible for what happened at the site where he was ambushed. Again, my attorneys assure me that we can show differently, even with yesterday’s law enforcement whitewash. This tag-team said that the officers on the scene where the killing took place were there, putting themselves in harm’s way as part of an effort to “bring the situation at the refuge to an end peacefully.” This statement is consistent with the goal law enforcement announced from the beginning in this case: Let’s just get them out of the refuge building peacefully to the outside where we can talk.

If they had been telling the truth, on January 26, they could easily have achieved their goal. They knew from an informant inside the refuge that all but four of the people inside the refuge would be leaving for several hours. That included the long trip to John Day, the meeting with Sheriff Glenn Palmer, and the ranchers’ workshop that evening on the original intent of the Constitution.

So, I ask, why didn’t the officers pull the roadblock and let the group go out peacefully to John Day? Why didn’t they choose to arrest him while at the Sheriff’s office? If they had done that, this case would have been put in the books with the peaceful ending they now claim they wanted. In fact, the Harney County Sheriff had every opportunity during their stay at the Malheur Refuge to make a peaceful arrest during the numerous conversations they had with him in Burns. My lawyers believe we can show that was not their goal because there is no better evidence of their intent than their actions.

So when the officials said yesterday that my husband was “solely responsible” for the situation and happening of his death, they were spreading their whitewash with a very broad brush. Yesterday one of the tag-team said that my husband chose to break the law, chose to put himself and other people in danger, and then chose to enter into a face-to-face confrontation with armed police officers. My lawyers have already discussed with me how the facts will show that the officers intended to shoot LaVoy, how an informant arranged for him to be in the lead truck, how the officers started shooting at the truck to force it to stop, and then finally how my husband gave himself up in order to draw attention away from the others in the truck.

Contrary to what the panel of officials “found,” my husband was not responsible for the situation that ended with his death. He is not the one who blockaded the road with a “deadman’s blockade.” He is not the one responsible for officers armed with long guns firing from behind the trees. He is not the one who chose to block himself and his friends from leaving the refuge to go out to John Day. He is not the one who lined armed personnel all along the roadway from the refuge to the blockade. No, all those actions can be laid at the feet of the officials who spoke of their innocence yesterday. They will not have to explain their actions in a preliminary hearing or at trial, because their actions were glossed over—“law officers will take care of their own” I was told. But I still had faith in the system my husband fought to protect. I was wrong.

We had no chance at justice in this investigation of law enforcement officers by other law enforcement officers, more like the fox guarding the hen house. But in a wrongful death action, coupled with a civil rights action, the shooters and their partners will make sure that the officers involved will face the same kind of music enjoyed yesterday at our expense.

Yesterday the panel said that “the troopers knew that Mr. Finicum carried a weapon on his left side. Mr. Finicum was reaching for that loaded 9mm gun when the troopers lawfully used deadly force to protect themselves and others including the trooper armed with a taser.” You all have seen the full video where it shows the trooper with the gun or taser to the right of the screen as you look toward the screen. You see my husband lean over to his left hip area immediately where he grabs for the place he was hit. The gunman turns his back on my husband and runs. Isn’t it strange that a law officer turns his back on a person he believes to be heavily armed? Not so strange if he knows that his partner intends to shoot that person in the back.

We believe they will have a hard time squaring their actions with the Attorney General’s statements when we next get into court. My attorneys tell me that we will have to get past the motion to dismiss the civil rights action, which is a motion often governed by intangibles such as, “Does the action of the state shock the conscience?” The media have called my husband a lot of names that are foreign to the peaceful man and extraordinary father of our children that I knew. We must now ask the question, “Who are the real domestic terrorists here?”

We believe that this “Kill Stop” staged by government agents was barbaric, that their whitewash of this horrific incident is more worthy of an Academy Award-winning film in the fiction category and that unbiased American citizens will have their conscience shocked by the government agents’ conduct in:

• Arranging for imbedding an informant among those in the house, on the basis of the informant’s information they set up a Deadman’s Blockade and an intentional killing;

• They shot at the truck in an effort to prevent it from leaving peacefully;

• They shot at the truck after it came to a halt;

• Then they shot my husband, the father of our eleven children, as he moved away from the truck with both hands in the air;

• At the time he was seen to reach down and bend down to his left as though he had been shot or hit with a bullet or taser ray;

• As he bent down, and then tried to straighten back up he was shot three times in the back and died.

I believe, my family believes, my lawyers believe that this evidence will “shock the conscience.”

Thank you.

NB: This article was originally published by American Free Press on March 10, 2016. Subscribe to America’s last real newspaper today!

Subscribe to The Realist Report today, and support pro-White independent media!

Chip in for gas – $10 goes a long way! Enter your email below and donate now!

4 comments

  • Ever notice that police unions are “fraternal”? This should tell you something. The “thin-blue-line” is a gang, little different than street gangs–at least when it comes to “covering-up” questionable behavior by police.
    In today’s day and age, “officer safety” trumps de-escalation of force. This, in part, is due to the militarization of the police along with training in Israeli police tactics. This becomes a problem, with the “us vs. them” attitude that is fosters, along with the fact that Israel is a very different place, being on a constant “war footing”, and by necessity, its police tactics are very different.
    There are too many instances of police being “given a pass”, even when incontrovertible video and audio evidence is presented. Grand juries, guided by police-friendly prosecutors, quite often refuse to charge those police officers who abuse their authority.
    Police officers, who want to do the right thing, are quite often marginalized and put into harms way, by their own brethren…When a police officer is beating on someone that is already restrained while yelling, “stop resisting” THAT is but one reason police have a “bad name” in many instances…
    Here are changes that can help reduce the police-induced violence:
    1. Eliminate both “absolute” and “qualified” immunity for all public officials. The threat of being sued personally would encourage them to behave themselves.
    2. Any public funds disbursed to citizens as a result of police misconduct should come out of their pension funds–NOT from the taxpayers.
    3. Regular drug-testing of police officers as well as incident-based drug testing should take place whenever an officer is involved in a violent situation with a citizen–no exceptions.
    4. Testing for steroid use should be a part of the drug testing program. You know damn well, many police officers “bulk up” with the “help” of steroids. Steroids also affect users mentally as well, making them more aggressive. The potential for abuse of citizens increases greatly with steroid use.
    5. Internal affairs should only be used for disagreements between individual officers–NOT for investigations involving citizen abuse. State-level investigations should be mandatory for all suspected abuses involving citizens.
    6. Prosecutors should be charged with malfeasance IF any evidence implicating police officer misconduct is not presented to the grand jury.
    7. A national or state-by-state database of abusive individuals who should NEVER be allowed to perform police work should be established–a “blacklist” of abusive (former) police officers.
    8. Get rid of police unions. Police unions (fraternities) protect the guilty, and are responsible for the massive whitewashing of questionable police behavior that is presently being committed.
    9. Most people are unaware that police have special “rules” that prohibit them from being questioned for 48 hours. This allows them to “get their stories straight” and makes it easier to “cover up” bad police behavior. Police must be subject to the same laws as civilians.
    10. All police should be required to wear bodycams and utilize dashcams that cannot be turned off. Any police officers who causes a dash or body cam to be turned off should be summarily fired–no excuses. Today’s body and dash cams are reliable enough to withstand harsh treatment. Body and dashcam footage should be uploaded to a public channel “on the cloud” for public perusal.
    11. All interrogations must be video and audio recorded. Police should be prohibited from lying or fabricating stories in order to get suspects to confess. False confessions ARE a problem in many departments. Unknown to most people, police can lie with impunity while civilians can be charged with lying to police…fair? I think not…
    12. Any legislation passed that restricts the rights of ordinary citizens, such as firearms magazine capacity limits, types of weapons allowed, or restrictive concealed-carry laws should apply equally to police. No special exemptions to be given to police. Laws must be equally applied.
    Police work is not inherently dangerous…there are many other professions that are much more dangerous.
    A little “Andy Taylor” could go a long way in allaying fears that citizens have of police.
    That being said, I have no problem with police officers who do their job in a fair, conscientious manner…however, it is time to call to task those police officers who only “protect and serve” themselves

  • The families (sic) of blacks shot by police get millions in punitive damage settlements automagically. No need to sue the municipality.

  • Since they all work for the same paymaster their bias is obvious. Unless they wish to tell the truth they have nothing to say and are in fact as guilty as the murdering thugs employed by 0regon State and the USG.