Global Independent Analytics
Satori Wolstenholme
Satori Wolstenholme

Location: USA

Specialization: Politics

LaVoy: A Patriot Murdered in Cold Blood by the FBI

With the death of LaVoy Finnicum, one of America's great patriots has fallen, once again reminding us that freedom is not free.

On January 26, 2016, FBI agents executed rancher LaVoy Finnicum with a shot to his head as he surrendered to authorities with his hands in the air.

The group left their main stronghold at the sanctuary in Oregon and were en route to a Town Hall meeting with about 200 supporters and friends to discuss the situation and make a further call to patriots.

According to Victoria Sharp who was in the car, the group that left for the meeting was stopped on the way.  LaVoy refused to talk to the FBI and wanted to talk to the county Sheriff. LaVoy asked that the women be let out. The FBI refused.  LaVoy started to drive away.  Ryan Bundy was present and sitting in the front passenger side of the van with both of his hands outside the window when the Feds fired shots at the car and grazed his shoulder with a bullet.  This is when LaVoy jumped back into the van and started driving.

Video by a drone published on the Internet shows a high-speed chase with police in hot-pursuit as LaVoy races a white SUV up a remote forest road.  When the vehicle finally swerves to avoid a police road block, the vehicle's hood impacts a deep snow embankment and stops adjacent to police vehicles.  There were many FBI snipers behind the trees.  LaVoy is the first person seen to exit the vehicle, slowly, with his hands in the air. 

LaVoy is facing a cop in front of him by about 20 yards, when another cop runs up and flanks him from behind.  LaVoy is seen turning to his left, perhaps in confusion, (or perhaps he was first shot in the back), as his body is impacted by bullets he falls limp into the snow.

For over ten minutes, not a single officer among those present attended to LaVoy's body. 

What was described by press as a “gun fight” was actually a planned ambush. Approximately 120 rounds were fired into the van that was additionally pelted numerous times with gas grenades.  Those inside the van survived only by laying down on the floor of the vehicle to protect themselves from gunfire.

When Victoria finally exited the van, she was painted by at least 20 lasers. As FreeCapitalist wrote: “This was, by all accounts, a military style ambush, and there is no indication that the government agents were in danger at any time, or that the excessive use of force was provoked or justified.”

Victoria Sharp has already provided an audio testimony which was just put up on YouTube.  Victoria was present inside the vehicle and was an eyewitness when LaVoy fell.  Victoria testifies LaVoy had his hands in the air and was unarmed.  LaVoy was shot six times, she said. Three of those shots were fired upon him as he laid unconscious on the ground.

Others inside the van had side arms but not a single person drew his weapon.  No one inside the van had rifles or other armor, nor did they shout at police or show any other sign of aggression.  Victoria is heard saying they were looking around inside the van for a white cloth or shirt to form a flag and wave for surrender but could not find such a garment.

The fatal shooting occurred during this second police stop.  It is easy to believe that when LaVoy exited the vehicle he was shaken, irritated and “jacked up.” Just recently LaVoy said prophetically:

I'm just not going to prison. Look at the stars. There's no way I'm going to sit in a concrete cell where I can't see the stars and roll out my bedroll on the ground. That's just not going to happen. I want to be able to get up in the morning and throw my saddle on my horse and go check on my cows.  It's OK. I've lived a good life. God's been gracious to me.

LaVoy was prepared to die to bring attention to the federal government’s tyranny. He was willing to stand up for every citizen’s constitutional rights.

Victoria testifies that LaVoy shouted “just shoot me then” when he exited the vehicle.  And they did. Victoria maintains the agents fired first.  The patriots never fired a single shot.

LaVoy was right-handed and wore a gun on his right hip, although when he was shot, his constituents firmly maintain he was unarmed.  Video shows what looks like him taking his right hand and reaching for his left hip which could have been interpreted by law enforcement as someone reaching for a weapon. Perhaps he was just turning when he heard the second cop running at him from behind.  Perhaps his body jerked left when he was shot first in the back.

The Bundy family also said LaVoy was unarmed and had his hands up when he was murdered.  It may be possible, though, that LaVoy purposefully took these actions so that he would get shot, knowing that after this police chase they would all surely be taken into custody anyway.  After all, LaVoy had been quoted on record saying that he wanted to be able to stare up at the stars and not the roof of some concrete jail cell.

Maybe it can be said that LaVoy baited the police.  However, an upset civilian shouting “shoot me” does not fit the rules of engagement as established by police training academies.

Police in training are given guidelines for the use of deadly force.  The scenario described did not require deadly force.  The Supreme Court ruled in Tennessee v. Garner (1985) that deadly force may be used when the police “have probable cause . . . to believe that the suspect poses a threat to the safety of the officers or a danger to the community if left at large." “Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so,” the court said.

LaVoy exited the SUV with his hands in the air. How was he a threat?  There were many snipers in the area by the trees. Video does show LaVoy twisting his body to the left, possibly as he was first shot in the back.  These movements may have been interpreted by the police as someone drawing a weapon. But the bottom line is that LaVoy was surrounded and outnumbered, he didn’t fire at anyone. The Feds could have waited until they saw clearly a gun in his hands. Instead, they shot him just because he moved his hand.

Those arrested at the scene were Ammon Bundy, 40, Ammon's brother Ryan, 43, Brian Cavalier, 44, Shawna Cox, 59, and Ryan Payne, 32.  All are being charged with “conspiracy to impede federal officers.”  

Disrespect for the Oregon patriots is rampant and perpetrated by liberal trolls and pro-gun grabbers posting comments on various blogs relating to this incident.  Rarely are references made to the original complaint by the ranchers and even less attention is given to the fact that the rancher's cause applies to every citizen of the United States.

The abuse of the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) has been excessive for years.  No one in the government has been listening to the ranchers’ complaints.  The abuses continued.  American ranchers kept getting jammed.  The thieves in the government remained immune to prosecution.  What other remedy can there be for justice when the government is stealing from us?

LaVoy sacrificed himself for the constitutional rights of every citizen of the United States, which provide for free speech, free press and the right of the people to peaceably assemble.  The Oregon ranchers have been consistently painted as blood-thirsty militia, as the liberal media continues to demonize their actions and distract the public from their true cause.

The ranchers had begun a peaceable assembly and started a movement they hoped would draw nationwide attention and possibly traction to stop government abuses and install persons of integrity into public office.  Will this movement continue?

 

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