On Thursday, the FBI released aerial footage of LaVoy Finicum’s shooting death on Tuesday. An airplane was following the joint FBI-Oregon State Police operation, during which Ammon Bundy and others were peacefully taken into custody.
The relevant portion of the video above, which has been truncated, begins at around 5:45. The unedited version of the video has also been released.
In a statement, Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon, described the events leading up to Finicum’s death:
As the white truck approaches the roadblock, there is a spike strip across the road but it appears Finicum missed it as he attempted to drive around the roadblock. He nearly hits an FBI agent as he maneuvers to the left. The truck gets stuck in the snowbank.
Finicum leaves the truck and steps through the snow. Agents and troopers on scene had information that Finicum and others would be armed. On at least two occasions, Finicum reaches his right hand toward a pocket on the left inside portion of his jacket. He did have a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun in that pocket.
At this time, OSP troopers shot Finicum.
Asked at a press conference what the motivation behind releasing this video to the public is, Bretzing said, “The take-away from it for me, and for the rest of those who are involved in this operation during the last three weeks, first, that we did everything we could to bring this situation to a peaceful resolution.”
“Second, as was noted in the video—and as you’ll see when you download the video again—we waited a very long time,” he continued. “Law enforcement showed great restraint. When the vehicle then took off, you can see that it just about seriously injured a law enforcement officer as it barreled towards that barricade.”
“Based on the deadly force policies of both the FBI and OSP, deadly force was utilized in that situation.”
It may also have something to do with the fact that militia supporters around the country—including people affiliated with the Bundy’s themselves—are propagating the narrative, on Facebook, that LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed as he was surrendering.
Ten minutes after the shooting, Bretzing said in his statement, once they had secured the scene, FBI agents and OPB troopers provided medical assistance to Finicum. In the truck, they found two loaded .223 caliber semi-automatic rifles and one loaded .38 special revolver.
There are four people still remaining at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Nine people have left since the FBI set up checkpoints surrounding it. Six of those people were released and three were arrested.
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