Some Oregon protesters urging calm after police killed spokesman
People traveling with the militiamen who took control of an Oregon wildlife refuge are urging calm amid reports that law enforcement gunned down the group’s spokesman, LaVoy Finicum, Tuesday night.
The Oregonian reported Tuesday evening:
Oregon standoff spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was killed and other leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation were arrested Tuesday after the FBI and state police stopped vehicles about 20 miles north of Burns.
Authorities did not release the name of the person who died at the highway stop, but Finicum’s daughter confirmed it was Finicum, 55, of Cane Beds, Arizona, one of the cowboy-hat wearing faces of the takeover.
FBI agents arrested Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan, Brian “Booda” Cavalier, Ryan Payne and Shawna Cox on “a federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats.”
It’s still unclear exactly what happened.
Law enforcement officials told local reporters that Finicum was shot as he tussled with officers attempting to arrest him.
Supporters of the occupiers, meanwhile, maintain that the militiamen posed absolutely no threat to law enforcement and that Finicum was the victim of trigger happy cops.
Such is the gist of this witness’s account of the showdown:
As more details about Finicum’s killing emerge, evidence of police misconduct could create big problems.
But people who were on the scene when Finicum was shot are urging calm.
Mark McConnell, who was traveling with the group when the ordeal occurred, released a video on Facebook relaying that Finicum had run from the police and exited the vehicle charging officers when they caught up to him.
Melvin Lee, another member of the group, backed up McConnell’s account and is urging calm among the occupiers and outside groups thinking about getting involved.
“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.”