The FBI released footage of police shooting dead the spokesman of an Oregon militia occupying federal land in protest Thursday, to counterreports the man was cooperating with police when he was killed.
In an extended video filmed from a airplane, the vehicles carrying members of the group are seen being pulled over by police. Lavoy Finicum was driving one of the vehicles, and drove away from police after they pulled him to a stop. He drives for a bit, but then veers off the road into the snow when he suddenly comes upon a police blockade.
Finicum is seen getting out of the truck and walking through the snow with his hands up in surrender. However, he then makes a move to reach into his jacket. At that point, one of the authorities walks up out of the woods and shoots Finicum dead from behind.
The FBI said Finicum had a gun in his pocket, reported The Boston Globe.
Finicum, who had 11 children, was nicknamed “Tarp Man” after an MSNBC reporter at the scene of the occupation walked over and lifted a tarp to find Finicum seated in a rocking chair with a gun across his lap.
“I have been raised in the country all my life,” Finicum told the reporter when questioned about the possibility of his arrest. “I love dearly to feel the wind on my face, to see the sunrise, to see the moon in the night. I have no intention of spending any of my days in a concrete box.”
“Don’t point a gun at me,” he added, when pressed about what he would do. “You don’t point a gun at somebody unless you’re going to shoot them. … I’ll telling them right now, don’t point guns at me.”
Authorities arrested the militia’s leader, Ammon Bundy, and four other people in the vehicles, as well as three others in separate arrests Tuesday. That night and into Wednesday, authorities surrounded and sealed off the remaining militiamen on the federal wildlife refuge.
One of the men traveling with a group of Oregon militiamen when law enforcement authorities gunned down Tuesday night is pleading for the militia and its supporters to remain calm, as police set up a perimeter around the refuge.
In response to the killing and news of the perimeter, the militia still occupying the refuge livestreamed themselves gearing up for a fight Wednesday.
“You want some militiamen?” one of the armed men in camouflage said into the camera, apparently addressing the authorities setting up a perimeter around their camp. “Come get some. It’s what you been training for, preparing for.”
A supporter of the militia who was traveling with the group when Finicum was shot quickly released a video disputing accounts Finicum had his hands up, and pleading for the militia to remain calm. “This right here is just a way to slow you all down, calm you down and think,” he said. “Wait for the information to come out people.”