BURNS, Ore. – Dozens of cars were honking through the streets of Burns, in Eastern Oregon, this weekend. It was a rolling protest from a new group that’s come to town. They want law enforcement held accountable for the shooting death of armed occupier LaVoy Finicum.
The protest occurred as Ammon Bundy again called for the four people still holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to surrender peacefully.
“To those at the refuge, please stand down,” said Bundy in a recorded the message from jail. “Please do not make this something that it was never meant to be.”
Protesters also called for the occupiers to leave peacefully and demanded accountability for the shooting death of LaVoy Finicum, one of the most outspoken leaders of the occupation.
“The community is very upset about the shooting and so what we’re asking is that while the investigation takes place that those officers are held in custody during the investigation just like anybody else would have to go through,” said Brandon Curtiss, with Pacific Patriots Network. He said his group is seeking justice through unarmed protests in Burns.
Amanda Bisset responded to the call from Washington State.
“If it’s radical to be an armed citizen, if that’s what they find radical or believe in the constitution, then I think we’ve strayed as a country,” said Bisset.
“This community wants to be heard,” said Curtiss. “There’s some changes that need to be made here and we support that we’re gonna see that through.”
It’s too soon to tell how many locals will join in, but the call to stand-down to the remaining occupiers continues from the protesters and their leader. They still refuse saying they’re going to stand their ground.
Meanwhile, LaVoy Finicum’s lawyer, Todd MacFarlane, was in Boise this weekend for a property rights workshop that was planned before the standoff began.
He says right now the focus is on Finicum’s grieving family in Arizona, getting the body released and arranging his funeral. The next step, he says, is accountability.
“Obviously, we’re interested in seeing the results of the investigation and looking at all the evidence so that’s a bridge we’ll have to cross, but I will say the Finicum family has been approached by some high profile plaintiff attorneys and they have asked me to screen and be a buffer there,” said MacFarlane.
He said the family needs more information before moving forward, including going over the FBI released video of Finicum’s shooting by Oregon State Police, which the FBI says was warranted.