Eyewitness: Oregon Militia Spokesman Killed By Police While Surrendering

January 27, 2016   |   Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish
January 27, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) Oregon — Precious few details are available today after a shootout between Oregon State Police and several people who had been occupying a wildlife refuge led to the arrest of seven individuals and left the group’s de facto spokesperson and Oregon militia member, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, dead. As the Bundy Ranch Facebook page announced: “The resolve for principled liberty must go on […] America was fired upon by our government and one of liberty’s finest patriots has fallen. He will not go silent into eternity. Our appeal is to heaven.” 

UPDATE: The FBI released video footage of the shooting.

There is some confusion over how, exactly, the situation escalated and who escalated it. As reported by OregonLive, “Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore said that Ammon Bundy called his wife, Lisa Bundy, from the back of a police car Tuesday night.

“Fiore, a vocal supporter of the Bundy family, said that Ammon Bundy told his wife that Finnicum was cooperating with police when he was shot.

“But sources told The Oregonian/OregonLive that Finicum and Ryan Bundy disobeyed orders to surrender and resisted arrest.”

Several occupiers are claiming Finicum had his hands in the air when he was shot by police, reported CNN.

According to a press release, both the FBI and Oregon State Police “began an enforcement action to bring into custody a number of individuals associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. During that arrest, there were shots fired.”

This “enforcement action” took place approximately 15 miles north of Burns, Oregon, along Highway 395, in the form of a traffic stop. The leaders were heading to John Day for a community meeting held at the John Day Senior Center when the shootout and subsequent arrests occurred.

Ryan Bundy also suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot in the exchange, but was treated at a nearby hospital and released into custody of the FBI. Also arrested at the scene were Ammon Bundy, Ryan Payne, Shawna Cox, and Brian Cavalier. About an hour later in the town of Burns, Joe O’Shaughnessy was taken into custody, and conservative Cincinnati radio host Pete Santilli, who began a livestream of events as they unfolded, was also arrested outside a hospital in Burns, “after pleading with the FBI to allow him to set up a convoy to save the women and children in the refuge,”said a Facebook page associated with Santilli, according to OregonLive.

Separately, Jon Ritzheimer turned himself in to police in Peoria, Arizona, without incident, after a visit with his family, which he filmed and posted on his Facebook profile along with a plea for donations to fund his legal defense.

According to the FBI, all eight people arrested “face a federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372.”

Finicum, who is a father of 11, stated in an interview earlier this month that he refused to end up behind bars:

“I’m just not going to prison. Look at the stars. There’s no way I’m going to sit in a concrete cell where I can’t see the stars and roll out my bedroll on the ground. That’s just not going to happen. I want to be able to get up in the morning and throw my saddle on my horse and go check on my cows. It’s OK. I’ve lived a good life. God’s been gracious to me.”

“We all thought it would end, but not like this,” Finicum’s daughter, Challice Finicum Finch, told NBC News. “My dad did stress that they couldn’t pull a gun on [officers] unless they pulled a gun. They were all committed to not firing on federal agents.”

“My dad was such a good man, through and through,” said Arianna Finicum Brown to OregonLive. “He would never want to hurt somebody, but he does believe in defending freedom and he knew the risks involved.”

The FBI has “initiated a containment” of the Malheur Refuge — which is still occupied by some members of the group — and announced they will require photo identification and vehicle searches for anyone attempting to pass in or out of that area. A press conference is scheduled for 10:30 am.

This article (Eyewitness: Oregon Militia Spokesman Killed By Police While Surrendering) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish andtheAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include thwarting war propaganda through education, the refugee crisis & related issues, 1st Amendment concerns, ending police brutality, and general government & corporate accountability. Born in North Carolina, she now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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  2. Well , just like I always hear after police shoot an unarmed person , why don't we wait for what the officials have to say , all we have now are conflicting statements from people that have a vested , emotional interest , maybe a personal interest , in smearing authorities . I'd bet it was videoed as it happened , so , let's wait and see what happens instead of throwing blame around haphazardly .

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  3. They do not hesitate to kill there own what if they were Mulem with there faces covered and no gun !!! What Obama has done to this country this came down from the feds . Theres going to be a war big time soon they know this the Goverment is preparing by wanting to control the people WE THE PEOPLE !!!! At all costs as it is now, were giving up no they after all said and done are taking 50% of our pay in taxes we can not let them have our lives taken this way, this must and will stop WE THE PEOPLE will stand and fight were AMERICANS !!!!!

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  4. I gotta say, I find it hard to believe, that given the high profile status of this case, that there were no video devices used by law enforcement. The anti government groups are going to be howling that this was an execution, and with no video eviedence there will be no way to disprove their accusations. Everyone of these government agents should have been sporting body cams to prove that they acted above board. The fact than none of the government agents from three different agencies had any way to prove that their actions were justified troubles me. Our government of late has been involved in quite a few dispicable actions against the citizens of this country. I no longer am willing to accept their word on what really happened. Maybe they learned thier lesson from Ruby Ridge and Waco. Not that they shouldn't murder incocent Americans, but rather that they shouldn't do it on film! I really hope that this was not another one of those despicable actions by our government against the citizens of this country! Have a great night everyone!

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  5. I don't know what happen because I was not there. In my own community unarmed men/women and children are being gunned down by these thugs on steriods and other mind altering drugs. I also know from the FBI's own stats. that there are Caucasians being gunned down by these thugs – though those don't get reported – by the media because they don't want a united front aganist police shooting unarmed citizens and to keep us racially divided. I do believe, however, that the Federal Government is arming a militia aganist its own citizens on U.S. Soil. The local policing departments should not be armed by the Department of Defense with military weapons and training at the tax payers expense. Every form of Government leading to totalitarian control has done so. Where are we headed?

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  6. Plot Twist: They didn't wear camera's on purpose. Police union feeds them the script to be acquitted of any wrong doing, Always. While the Boot lickers celebrate and go back to bitching about how their gov. isn't powdering their asses enough.

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  7. Corey Reuben Draven your post is exactly why I would have insisted on body cameras for this operation had I been in charge. I'm really afraid of another, "Hands up, don't shoot" narrative emerging where we will be forced to decide what the truth of the narrative will be. Given how easily our government is using deadly force these days, I believe that camars would have given some crediability to the law enforcement in charge of this operation. Since they opted to not film any of this encounter, it leads me to believe that they really learned an important lesson from Ruby Ridge and Waco!That is to not have any of their actions filmed so that they can deny any wrong doing. I hope this is not the case. Have a great day everyone!

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  8. Sadly, we will never know the truth. Our Government is the biggest liar ever.

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  9. Remember Waco … Ruby Ridge… We're Expendable…. Shoot Back…. Or Start A War W/ Them…..

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  10. Cyrus A Jerati So now it's clear that not only are you a bigot, but you're illiterate, too. The word is spelled "madrassa." dumbass.

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  11. He broke the law and bragged about it daily for a month.
    He was armed.
    He repeatedly said he was willing to die for his "cause" and he would be taken alive.
    He fled police.
    He can clearly be seen reaching for his weapon.

    And someone still believes he's a victim? What am I missing?

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