Friday, January 29, 2016

FBI releases some video

Here is video, released by the FBI, of the stop, pursuit and, in my opinion, murder of Lavoy Finicum.

Someone dubbed the audio testimony of Victoria Sharp over this video and it obviously corroborates what she has to say.

At , you can read the FBI Agent's statement about this incident.  The only thing he really says differently from Victoria is that she claims there were multiple shots at the vehicle and he doesn't.  It would be nice to see the vehicle before it gets fixed up.

So, let's examine what Victoria tells us.  She says that, at the first traffic stop, the police shot at Ryan Payne without provocation but missed.  This caused fear in those left in the vehicle and Finicum drove away, not knowing he was headed into a roadblock.  Police were firing indiscriminately at the vehicle, knowing full well that the road was blocked ahead and knowing that there were non-combatants in the vehicle.

Once LaVoy drove off the road, he got out of the vehicle with his hands in the air.  At one point, as he's staggering through knee deep snow, he drops his hands towards his body.  At that point, for sure, he's shot by at least two officers, one in front and one behind and he goes down.  Then, still without any attack from the suspects, the police begin firing at the vehicle again.  We see flash-bangs going off and if you watch closely you'll see at least one passenger side window blown out.  All this with no firing from the vehicle towards the officers.

Much of my own police training was in the use of force and especially the use of deadly force.  To deploy deadly force...shoot someone...that suspect had to have three things:  the ability to cause me or someone grievous bodily harm or death.   The opportunity to cause that harm or death and he had to place someone in jeopardy of grievous harm or death.  It's not that complicated.  He's carrying a pistol.  Ability.  His possible victim is in range of that weapon and the weapon has been deployed...taken out of the holster.  Opportunity.  But, if he never raises the weapon to shoot, he has NOT placed anyone in jeopardy and so, deadly force cannot legally be used.  Let's be clear here.  Contrary to the hopes and prayers of most Liberals, simply possessing a firearm is NOT a capital offense.  If the weapon was under his jacket he could be charged with a misdemeanor for Carrying a Concealed Weapon but even that is not justification for summary execution.

So, let's give the police the benefit of the doubt here.  Let's say that he WAS reaching for his weapon; not reacting to multiple body hits or just opening his jacket to show them where his weapon was.  Let's pretend he was reaching for it.  Ability is there and he's working on opportunity.  Still hasn't put anyone in jeopardy yet.  Since half the state and federal cops in Oregon had their sights on him at the time, prudent officers, who cared about the law, would have let him fully commit and get his weapon up before they all blasted him out of his shoes.  So, just using this video as evidence, if I were on the shooting board, I would vote that the shooting was unjustified; i.e. Murder.  Guess it's a good thing for them that they'll be investigating themselves, huh?

As to opening fire on a vehicle full of unidentified and non-combatant people; well, there is NO justification for that.  Simple attempted Murder and in one case, Ryan Bundy, felony assault as he was hit by shrapnel and slightly wounded.

Whatever their actual goals were in this stop, these were some of the sloppiest cops in existence.  If they wanted to make some arrests with as little violence as possible; the stated and laudable goal, then they obviously screwed that up bigtime!  If they were planning to execute Finicum and Bundy and eliminate the witnesses, which I don't believe for a minute, they blew that, too, by leaving everyone but Finicum alive. 

In my opinion, based on this video and my former training and experience, no law enforcement agent at that roadblock, state or federal, who fired their weapon, has any business remaining in law enforcement.

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