Police Investigation into the Shooting Death of Robert Lavoy Finicum Concludes the Use of Deadly Force was Justifiedon Friday, March 11, 2016
Report Whitewashes Over the Police Use of Deadly Force
Federal Occupation of Land in Twelve Western States Continues
While Police are now Armed with a License to Commit Murder
By Scott Rohter, March 2016
We have all been outraged by the videotape of Lavoy Finicum being shot to death with his hands up in the air. Maybe you have heard the eyewitness account of Victoria Sharp and Shawna Cox who were passengers in the vehicle that Mr. Finicum was driving. Now police officers have concluded an investigation into the use of deadly force and they have revealed the results of their findings. They have also released some new audio taken from the cell phone of Shawna Cox who was inside of the vehicle at the time of the shooting and they have pieced that together with aerial surveillance photography in order to form a more complete picture of the events as they happened. The conclusion of their investigation into the shooting death of Lavoy Finicum is that the use of deadly force by police was justified. I disagree.
Since when is it okay to shoot someone in the back? Since when is a police officer’s badge a license to commit murder? It used to be that if a man shot someone else in the back they were lucky if they made it to trial. They were usually taken out and hung from the nearest tree, but that was then and this is now… Today police are shooting innocent people in the back and calling it a justifiable use of deadly force and they are trying to get away with it, but let me tell you something… There is never any reason to shoot somebody in the back. I don’t care what they have done and if they are not even suspected of committing a violent crime then how can any rational human being condone it?
Mr. Finicum was not a bank robber or a murderer. He had no history of violence. In fact he didn’t even have so much as a speeding ticket on his record. He was engaged in a simple act of civil disobedience and the police just shot him in the back and now they are trying to get away with it.
Robert Lavoy Finicum was a family man. He was a husband, and a father, and a grandfather who left behind twenty nine grandchildren. He was a leader in his church, and he was well respected in his community. Mr. Finicum was killed while he was engaged in an act of civil disobedience against a lawless Federal government that does not even try to follow the United States Constitution. He was protesting against our Federal government’s unconstitutional occupation of one half the land in twelve western states. While exercising his constitutional right to freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances he was brutally murdered in cold blood and left to die in the snow. He was part of a group of protestors that was occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
What is worse… occupying a Federal Wildlife Refuge for a month in order to draw attention to a violation of the United States Constitution, or occupying 700 million acres of land in twelve States for over 150 years?… That is what the Federal Government is guilty of doing, and Robert Lavoy Finicum is only guilty of trying to focus attention on their violation of the Constitution. At worst Robert Lavoy Finicum was guilty of trespassing on Federal property, but as he frequently liked to say it is really not Federal property.
If Mr. Finicum owned a gun then he had a legal right to carry that gun. If he brought it to Oregon with him than it had to be concealed because Oregon is a concealed carry state. If it was in his pocket then it was perfectly legal to be there.
I have watched most of the videos of Lavoy Finicum’s murder. I have listened to the audio and the eye witness testimony. I have considered the conclusions of the police investigation into the use of deadly force. I have reviewed all the available evidence and I have arrived at a different conclusion. than the police. I think the police report into the use of deadly force which killed Lavoy Finicum is a total whitewash of what actually happened out there on Highway 395 on the way to John Day.. It was not an investigation.. It was a police cover-up. Here is what they said happened.
There were a total of nine shots fired according to police. One shot was fired at the vehicle at the initial traffic stop… At that point Ryan Payne got out of the vehicle and surrendered to police. That left four people still inside the vehicle… In the backseat was Ryan Bundy, Shawna Cox and a young girl named Victoria Sharp who was not even a member of the group that was protesting at the Refuge. She was merely accompanying the group on their way to Grant County where they were scheduled to speak to a local group of ranchers and Victoria was going along to sing and provide music.
A total of eight more shots were fired. As the vehicle approached the roadblock Oregon State Police officers fired three shots into the vehicle. In my opinion none of those shots was justified because nobody in the vehicle was shooting at them. In fact no one in the vehicle even had their hand on a weapon. The report said that the officers were justified in shooting at the vehicle because they feared for their lives. The report said that the speeding vehicle represented a deadly weapon. It does not mention that there was a minor in the backseat who was not even a member of the group that was protesting at the Refuge, nor that their reckless gunfire could have killed her. It does not mention that they could have merely stepped out of the road and out of the way of the approaching vehicle and then they would not have felt threatened at all. The report says that one of those shots hit the side mirror, another shot hit the engine, and they don’t say exactly where the other bullet hit. Maybe they should interview Ryan Bundy who was sitting in the back seat. He took a bullet in the arm. He didn’t have his hand on a gun either. The report concludes that police use of deadly force was justified. As I said, in my opinion none of these shots was justified because no one in the vehicle was shooting at them.
FBI agents positioned along the road fired two more shots, but apparently they didn’t hit anything. However they did not initially reveal that they had fired their weapons so a separate investigation into that aspect is still ongoing. This leaves three more shots. Those were the three shots that killed Lavoy Finicum.
When the vehicle hit the snow bank and came to a stop Mr. Finicum immediately exited the vehicle yelling shoot me, shoot me. He was trying to draw police fire away from the passengers in the vehicle which had already been fired upon.. That was the kind of man he was, but his hands were up in the air in the universal sign of surrender. The report states that the officers told him to get on the ground more than once. I could barely hear them so with all that was going through Lavoy’s mind I am sure that he could barely hear them either. His hands were up in the air which could not be mistaken for threatening anyone. There was no need to shoot him.. After one or more of the shots hit him he dropped his arms. As he did this his entire upper body instantly jerked down. You don’t reach for a gun in your pocket by bending over. I don’t believe he was reaching for a gun. He was reacting to being hit by a bullet. The police could have let him wander off in the snow. Where was he going to go.. They could have waited and talked him into surrendering later… They did not exhibit any desire to do that. They chose to shoot him in the back three times and then leave him there to die in the snow. Law enforcement officials were all wearing bullet proof vests so even if they had let him reach for a weapon and fire off a shot before they unloaded on him… and let me remind you there is no proof that he ever intended to fire his weapon… the chances that he would have been able to hit someone and kill them on the first shot is almost impossible.
Lavoy Finicum was shot three times in the back. There is no way that the two Oregon Police Officers who fired at Lavoy Finicum could have felt threatened because he wasn’t even facing them. His back was turned to them. They said that he was reaching for a gun. There is no way that they could have known what he was doing with his hands as they could not see anything but his back. Two shots entered his back at the right shoulder blade and another went into the lower left side of his back near the waist.. None of those wounds should have been fatal, but police did not render prompt medical assistance to save his life. They just left him lying on the ground and allowed him to bleed to death until his body went into shock and cardiac arrest. Instead they began their assault on the remaining passengers in the vehicle. They described firing flash into the truck to get the passengers in the vehicle to surrender. After the occupants in the vehicle surrendered then they checked on Mr. Finicum who was already dead.
Robert Lavoy Finicum was not a murderer, or a bank robber or a violent criminal. It did not require the use of deadly force to apprehend him. It required professionalism. He was a protestor who was engaged in an act of civil disobedience against a lawless government that is unconstitutionally occupying 700 million acres of land in twelve States. He was petitioning the government for a redress of grievances. If he was mad he had a right to be mad. If he dared police to shoot him that does not give police the right to kill him. You don’t shoot someone just because they ask to be shot.
I am calling for an independent investigation into the shooting death of Robert Lavoy Finicum by Oregon State Police Officers and FBI agents. This police investigation into the use of deadly force is nothing but a police cover up.
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