Family of slain Oregon protester challenges FBI account of his death


BURNS, Ore. (Reuters) – As four armed anti-government protesters held their ground at a U.S. wildlife refuge in Oregon on Friday, the family of a protester killed by police said he seemed to have been shot in the back with his hands up, although authorities said he was reaching for a gun.

Relatives of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, 54, a spokesman for the group that seized buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, said he posed no threat and they were not accepting the authorities’ assertion that he was armed.  

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released video on Thursday of state police fatally shooting Finicum, and contended it showed him making a move for a gun in his coat pocket.

“LaVoy was not ‘charging’ anyone. He appears to have been shot in the back, with his hands in the air,” the family of the Arizona rancher said in a statement through their attorney.

“At this point we will await the outcome of any investigation, but based on the information currently available to us, we do not believe that LaVoy’s shooting death was justified.”

Four armed protesters were still holed up on Friday at the remote refuge, 30 miles (48 km) from Burns, a small ranching community in the state’s rural southeast. The FBI says it is working “around the clock” to negotiate with the holdouts.

Ammon Bundy, who led the occupation that began on Jan. 2, was arrested on Tuesday along with other protesters including his brother, Ryan.

Bundy has issued messages through his attorney urging those who remain at the refuge to stand down, and saying they would continue to fight federal land policy through the courts.

Bundy and his brother Ryan were ordered held without bail pending trial on felony conspiracy charges, a U.S. District Court judge ruled on Friday.

“There are no conditions I could impose that would ensure the safety of the community. I’m worried about him occupying another government building,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman told the hearing in Portland.

2 thoughts on “Family of slain Oregon protester challenges FBI account of his death

  1. The Bundy’s are being held without bail until the trial. This was to be expected. My money says the Assistant Attorney General, on the advice of the FBI, used canned response #1, in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman: Your honor, we consider the Bundy’s to be a threat to the community. For additional effect, the FBI may also have thrown in canned response #2: Your honor, we consider the Bundy’s to be a flight risk. I have personally seen it before and that is exactly how they work. I have seen these canned responses used, even when there was no supporting evidence. Another thing I am asking of all patriots, is to watch for the government, in the future, to engage in what is called “diesel therapy”. This is a policy where the government moves prisoners from prison to prison, making family contact impossible. It also keeps family mail from catching up to them. The whole sick idea is to keep the prisoners separate from family and community support. It is a sick attempt to break the prisoners spirit through isolation. If anyone is close to the Bundy family, warn them about the above, but also that the FBI WILL move an informant into their cells. This is standard operating procedure. Usually it is a convicted felon, who is trying to get a reduced sentence, by helping the FBI. What I have given you is the basics and usually there is not much deviation.

  2. What you saw what this man holding his guts after they put several bullets ripping through them. He was not going for a gun. He was holding in his guts.

    Then they just put him down like he was a lower animal.

    You all saw it. That is reality. What do you all think of a government that does such monsters things? What do you all think we as free men should do in response to such an immense threat to us all?

    Here is another cheery though. “Where was I when they ambushed these people? Where was I when they imposed marshal law on a county as big as some states?”. Why are we putting up with all this?

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