Wednesday, February 03, 2016

When are we allowed to defend ourselves?

FBI and Oregon State Police opened fire on the Finicum vehicle without provocation.
According to the statements of the two women who were passengers in the vehicle, some officer shot at Ryan Payne while he displayed his hands outside the passenger side window.  Either before they fled or during the flight from the first traffic stop, shots were fired at the fleeing vehicle.  Before and after Finicum was gunned down at the "roadblock", officers shot into the vehicle.
Both girls are adamant that no one in the vehicle shot at the police or made any other aggressive moves.
Victoria Sharp statement

Shawna Cox Statement


At what point are you justified in defending yourself against such an obviously illegal attack?  If the vehicle occupants HAD been armed, it seems to me that they would have been justified in defending their lives against these unlawful attacks by the police but, because They ARE police, They are allowed to attack first and shoot multiple rounds into an occupied vehicle without regard for the identities or mindset of those in the vehicle.  If any one of the occupants HAD returned fire, then would the police have been able to use that as an excuse to kill them all?
Because They are police; are They allowed to shoot us down without us being allowed to defend ourselves?
The argument rages about whether Finicum was in possession of a pistol and, if so, whether he reached for it before he was first shot.  I contend that this does not matter.  First, he did not have the weapon in his hand and so was not a threat to the officers yet.  He was covered by multiple police making it impossible for him to draw and fire at the closer officers without being shot down first.  I honestly don't care if he WAS "reaching" for a weapon.  He was not holding the weapon and thus was NOT a threat.
But, if officers had been shooting at his vehicle, without provocation, endangering his and his passengers lives with a negligent and possibly malicious attack, was Finicum not justified in trying to defend himself and others?
I maintain that, if it is true that the officers began shooting into the vehicle without any of the occupants even displaying a weapon first, then the police instigated the entire tragic incident.  The police were not threatened by anyone in the vehicle, nor was Finicum a threat after he exited the vehicle as he did not have a weapon in his hand at any time.
We have been focusing on the murder of LaVoy Finicum but his murder is simply a culmination of a long string of unjustified police assaults against Finicum and the other people in the vehicle.  The entire incident, from the initial stop until everyone was safely in custody is just one long crime scene.  There is no way that what we see on the current video, coupled with the statements of the two witnesses, can be construed as justification for the overwhelming police attack on these people.
If the police had kept their fingers off the triggers until a threat was evident then the arrests would have gone without incident and the whole situation would be over by now.
All the video; dashcam, body cam, the overhead that we have seen, the video that Shawna Cox says she took...everything, should be presented to a Grand Jury for intensive scrutiny.  If any of these officers shot at the vehicle then they should be prosecuted, at least for Felony Assault if not for Attempted Murder.  Certainly, no policeman who indiscriminately shoots at a vehicle containing innocent non-combatant people should be allowed to continue wearing a badge. 

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