The FBI has released footage of the shooting death of Oregon protester Robert “LaVoy” Finicum (video below).
Finicum, who was part of the militia occupying Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a federal property, was shot dead on Jan. 26 while on his way to a public meeting with other members, Opposing Views previously reported. He was the only fatality during the traffic stop siege on the protestors; five militia members were arrested.
There have been contradictory reports about what happened when Finicum was shot. Some have said he was surrendering and should not have been fired upon, while others claim he was resisting arrest. The video was released to ease public concerns over “inflammatory” accounts of the shooting, Greg Bretzing, the special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Portland, said, according to USA Today.
The video was shot by an FBI plane.
"I want to caution you that the video does show the shooting death of LaVoy Finicum," Bretzing said. “We realize that viewing that piece of the video will be upsetting to some people, but we feel that it is necessary to show the whole thing unedited in the interest of transparency."
Bretzing said it was “incumbent” on law enforcement to release the footage of Finicum, whom he believes acted recklessly and motioned for his gun in his coat pocket.
"Finicum leaves the truck and steps through the snow," Bretzing said of the video footage. "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."
Three other loaded weapons were found inside the truck: two .223 caliber semi-automatic rifles and a .38 special revolver.