Finicum was shot and killed Tuesday (Jan. 26) in a standoff that led to the arrests of eight armed protesters.
Yesterday, supporters claim Finicum had his hands up and had placed them behind his head before he was gunned down. Some protesters claimed the video proved Finicum was “murdered.” But the video arguably shows that neither claim is accurate.
Finicum did not have his hands over his head. Instead he held them out to his sides at shoulder height. The position of his arms is consistent with reports he was daring federal agents to shoot him.
The video also shows that federal or state police held their fire until Finicum reached down to his belt with both hands. There are conflicting reports whether he was armed with a pistol.
If federal agents saw, or thought they saw Finicum reaching for a pistol in his waistband, the shooting could be considered justified.
In addition, the video, filmed from a helicopter overhead, shows Finicum swerving in his truck and nearly striking a federal agent.
Fleeing the scene of a traffic stop is considered an act of aggression. Attempting to evade a roadblock is also considered an aggressive act that could provoke a deadly response, according to legal sources.
Finicum, a rancher and father of 11 children, was an outspoken leader and chief spokesman for the group of armed individuals who seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge center in rural Oregon on Jan. 2.
The protesters, most of whom were armed, threatened to shoot anyone who tried to forceably remove them. Finicum also vowed that he would rather be killed than be arrested and go to prison.
The video shows a camera tracking his white Suburban-style truck down the road. It stops a the initial roadblock and pauses for a few minutes before roaring off.
The truck speeds down the road and comes up on a second roadblock. Instead of stopping, Finicum, who was driving, veers sharply to the left an nearly strikes a federal agent.
It becomes stuck in a snow bank.
Finicum jumps out of the truck and starts walking toward a federal agent. At least two agents fired when he reached for his waistband.
Protesters who were there said agents also fired on the truck. But the video does not include any audio.
What the full 26-minute video below. WARNING: It is graphic.
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