Culture

Oregon Eyewitnesses Pose Competing Theories On Whether The FBI Shot A Militant With His Hands Up

Anti-Government Protestors Occupy National Wildlife Refuge In Oregon
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Tuesday evening’s confrontation between the FBI and the so-called Bundy militia ended in several arrests (including Ammon Bundy and tactical sniper-organizer/cell-phone operator Ryan Payne) with federal felony charges. The FBI published a statement about the incident, which saw shots fired and one occupier dead at the scene. That man, LaVoy Finicum, was known by the internet as #Tarpman. Finicum often appeared alongside Ammon Bundy and often reminisced to the press about his lost cows and foster children, which symbolized what he gave up to take a bird sanctuary by armed force.

The response to Finicum’s death was met with a mournful Facebook post from Nevada Republican legislator Shelly Shelton, who said Finicum was criminalized in the same manner as Jesus and Moses. Likewise, anti-BLM rancher Cliven Bundy was quick to accuse feds of hassling his sons, who are “good people there to help,” but the government is now “shooting them dead.” The Official Bundy Ranch Facebook Page followed up with a statement, which said Finicum was “shot and murdered in cold blood.” Cliven also claimed, “He had his hands up and was shot 3 times.”

These assertions butt up against Finicum’s own eerie promises that the militants “do not intend on losing here.” An ex-FBI analyst also said Finicum fits the “suicide by cop” profile, but Cliven’s planting the seed of a conspiracy theory. We’d probably also be hearing from Jon Ritzheimer, the dildo tosser and star of #DaddySworeAnOath, but he left Oregon (for Arizona) a few days ago. Ritzheimer turned himself into authorities after posting this video of his crying daughters: “Daddy has to go away again.” He also solicited Facebook donations for legal fees.

With Ritzheimer and several militia members out of commission, Cliven Bundy is posting videos to prove Finicum was murdered by the FBI. Here, Victoria Sharp (a passenger involved in the traffic stop) says Finicum was “gunned down with his hands in the air.”

Other eyewitnesses saw the situation differently. Melvin Lee recorded a YouTube video after traveling with the Bundy group on Tuesday. Lee saw the situation from a second vehicle, which was following Ammon’s car. According to Lee, there was a visible argument in the stopped vehicle: “[Finicum] had took off. He ended up hitting a snowbank, I guess, trying to get around the blockade. After he hit that snowbank, he came out of that truck, and he charged at the law enforcement.”

Another militia member, Mark McConnell (who was taken into custody and released) was also on the scene. McConnell says an inner-militant argument did take place, and when Finicum was shot by the FBI, he “was not on his knees, none of that. He was none of that nonsense.”

The occupation continues with FBI roadblocks in place to keep the militants from straying. Raw Story has the story of one particularly berzerk militant promising that “a bloodbath” is coming: “They’re going to murder all of us and the media are cowards!” And several Oregon occupiers are hosting a livestream as they prepare for FBI battle. They’re talking about snacks while operating bulldozers.

(Via Chicago Tribune, Raw Story & Cliven Bundy)

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