Last week, PolitiStick reported on the release of a slow-motion analysis of a video taken within the cab of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum’s truck in the final moments of his life. The shooting death of Finicum has prompted outrage amongst those who consider the militant reaction by authorities to be a troubling repeat of the kind of militancy seen in Ruby Ridge and Waco in years prior.
Now evidence is emerging that indicates a cover-up as FBI agents’ sworn statements have proven to be demonstrably false with the release of the video and now, evidence has gone missing from the crime scene.
The video taken from inside the cab showed Finicum arguing with police who had stopped a convoy of protesters who were en route to a townhall meeting to discuss their political grievances that had caused protesters to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon.
After articulating that he would proceed further to speak with the sheriff, Finicum attempted to drive-around a roadblock and when his truck came to a stop in a snow bank, he emerged with his hands up. The video taken by passenger Shawna Cox shows that FBI agents began firing on the rancher with his hands up immediately after he exited the vehicle, a fact that contradicts the agents’ assertion that no shots were fired.
Police documented the bullet hole that his Finicum’s cab and the shattered window that occurred as a result of the two rounds fired at Finicum by FBI agents accompanying Oregon State Police officials in the operation.
Five FBI agents worked in conjunction with the Oregon State Police officials who would ultimately shoot and kill Finicum. Autopsy reports show that Finicum was shot three times in the back, though authorities claim that Finicum was reaching for a firearm inside his coat.
Though all five agents stated that they did not fire upon Finicum, evidence clearly shows that at least one of them did. Two shots were fired and for both shots, a shell casing should be present. An Oregon State trooper reported seeing two shell casings in the area where the FBI agents were located, but no such shell casings made it into the official report nor were such shell casings collected as evidence.
FBI aerial surveillance video shows that before the detectives could get there, the FBI agents searched the area with flashlights and then huddled, according to law enforcement sources who have seen the video. The group then broke and one agent appeared to bend over twice and pick up something near where the two shots likely were taken, the sources told The Oregonian/OregonLive.
The conduct of the agents is now under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department’s inspector general.
Federal authorities, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting that many are calling an ambush, were quick to release aerial footage of the shooting with pointed commentary meant to suggest their preferred narrative of justification for the use of deadly force.
The evidence emerging, however, shows not only that Finicum was under fire from the very instant that he emerged from the vehicle with his hands clearly in the air and away from his body, but that the reasoning behind the shooting may have been so weak as to compel seasoned FBI agents to assume the risks associated with mounting a cover-up and manipulating evidence.
Meanwhile, though Ferguson and other cities were lit on fire and looted in response to the shooting death of a convenience store robber, the media and much of the public shrugs-off the militancy exhibited by a joint federal-state task force that squashed a peaceful (but armed) protest with violence and evident corruption.