In Portland on Friday, after the last four Malheur wildlife refuge occupiers made their first court appearance, Nevada Assemblyman John Moore spoke to reporters outside the Federal Courthouse. “In my opinion, Mr. Finicum was murdered,” he said, referring to LaVoy Finicum’s shooting death by Oregon state police.
“This man was trying to surrender,” Moore said, “but they chose violence and murder rather than to apprehend him.” A member of the Libertarian Party of Nevada and a former Army Ranger who was elected after having raised essentially no money at all, Moore described the action taken in the video that the FBI released of Finicum’s death as an “ambush.”
“That man died at the hands of the Oregon state police, and federal agents, and he did not need to. That’s why I’m here today, that’s why I came up here—to try to prevent the further loss of life,” he said. “I will travel anywhere for that purpose.”
Finicum’s death last month, following a car chase in which most of the Oregon occupiers leadership was arrested, has become the subject of much paranoid theorizing by militia and patriot groups across the country, as well as by those sympathetic to such groups. Shortly after his death, another Nevada lawmaker, Assemblywoman Shelly Shelton, wrote a Facebook post comparing Finicum to Moses and Jesus:
From Moses who killed an Egyptian for abusing his people, to Jesus who died on a cross as a condemned criminal, many of those who operate outside the box and promote love and justice over the current form of government are treated as outcasts and many times murdered.
Today we were reminded that the power of evil is still alive and well as LaVoy Finicum was gunned down and murdered in Oregon. LaVoy was a man who had documented the suffering to which he and his family had been subjected, via the heavy hand of the government, through his writings and his videos.
Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill to (temporarily) bar the disclosure of the officer’s name who actually pulled the trigger, the Oregonian reported last week. Oregon State Police said they’ve received death threats against the officers family. “The whack jobs—the militants—they were demanding to know the name of the officer that killed LaVoy, and they were going to kill him,” Representative Jeff Barker said. “We’re frantically trying to get this one done.”
On Friday, Moore continued: “This kind of treatment should appall each and every one of us. That is not what I fought in combat for—so that our government can murder our own citizens.”