In a nearly unprecedented move, the FBI has swiftly released footage of the traffic stop that resulted in the arrest of several Oregon militia men. This footage counteracts a conspiracy theory surrounding the death of LaVoy Finicum, who is known by the internet as #Tarpman. Certainly, this decision aimed to dispel any doubts about whether or not Finicum was shot with his hands in the air. While Cliven Bundy posted Facebook statements to say Finicum was shot “in cold blood,” witnesses said Finicum fled and charged at officers after hitting a snowbank. This footage goes a long way to establish what really happened.
This video shows the initial stop of Ammon Bundy’s vehicle by the FBI and Oregon State Police. Finicum drives the vehicle, and he chooses to speed away until he reaches a roadblock. He then veers into a snow-covered embankment and nearly strikes a law enforcement officer. Finicum exits the vehicle with his hands raised for a few moments, but then he appears to reach for something at hip level. At that point, an OSP officer shoots Finicum.
Les Zaitz of The Oregonian points out how the release of such footage is a rare tactic by federal authorities.
The resulting FBI footage, “which has only been edited to blur out aircraft information,” was recorded on Tuesday, January 22. Vice points how special FBI agent Greg Bretzing characterized the video’s release as potentially upsetting but necessary for “transparency. You can see the video on the FBI’s YouTube page.