LaVoy Finicum: FBI Releases Video of Oregon Militiaman Shooting
The FBI has released footage of the shooting of Oregon militiaman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum.
LaVoy Finicum was killed by police on January 26.
The video shows the militiaman reached for a handgun before he was shot.
LaVoy Finicum was a key player in an armed anti-government protest at a wildlife reserve in the state.
The footage released by the FBI shows Robert Finicum’s vehicle careering into a snowbank in an attempt to avoid a roadblock.
It comes to a stop after narrowly missing a police officer and LaVoy Finicum steps out. After briefly raising his hands, he appears to reach for his pocket, where the gun was reportedly later found, and is shot dead.
The white pickup truck carrying LaVoy Finicum (it is not clear if he was driving) was stopped on Oregon’s Highway 395 on Tuesday afternoon in a joint operation between the FBI and Oregon State Police.
A jeep was also stopped. The two vehicles contained members of an armed militia which earlier this month occupied the Malheur national wildlife refuge in protest over sentences handed to two local ranchers convicted of arson.
Both cars were initially stopped. Ammon Bundy – the leader of the occupation – stepped out of one vehicle along with another protester, Brian Cavalier, and the driver, who has not been named. Ammon Bundy and Brian Cavalier were arrested.
Ryan Payne, another member of the occupation, exited the white pickup but LaVoy Finicum remained inside. About three minutes later, the white pickup sped off, with police in pursuit.
It then crashed into a snow bank in an attempt to clear the roadblock and LaVoy Finicum was shot. Three other occupants of the vehicle exited after police fired a tear gas-like substance inside. They were Ammon Bundy’s brother Ryan, Shawna Cox and another woman who has not been named.
Once they had been held by police, officers gave medical attention to LaVoy Finicum, some 10 minutes after he had been shot. Three more loaded guns were found in the vehicle, the FBI says.
Greg Bretzing, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said the agency had decided to release the full, unedited video “in the interest of transparency”.
Four people remain at the wildlife reserve, near the city of Burns, Greg Bretzing said.
Several people have left since Ammon Bundy, speaking through his lawyer on January 27, urged the remaining protesters to stand down.
Greg Bretzing said: “I want to acknowledge the stress and disruption that the occupation of the refuge has caused has to the people of Harney County. We know this is difficult. We know that you want this concluded as soon as possible. We are doing everything we can to bring this to a resolution safely and quickly.”