Michael E. Miller reporting for the Washington Post
(Oh... and this is WEIRD... he's identified as a "foreign affairs" reporter...)
* * *
Everyone knew that LaVoy Finicum kept a Colt .45 on his hip.
That common knowledge could help explain how the occupier in Oregon died.
* OK. I'M READING. GO ON...
In the moments before he was shot by authorities Tuesday afternoon, Finicum led a high-speed getaway attempt. He then reached for his waistband, prompting authorities to open fire, according to a CNN report.
* ACCORDING TO A CNN REPORT. (IS THERE VIDEO? LAST TIME I CHECK CNN DID TELEVISION NEWS...)
The report, which cites anonymous law enforcement officials...
* UH-HUH... "CITES"... "ANONYMOUS"...
...but has not been confirmed by The Washington Post, is corroborated by a statement from an occupier who said he was traveling with Finicum at the time of the traffic stop.
* "CORROBORATED BY A STATEMENT..." Hmm. NO VIDEO? NO DASH CAM VIDEO? NO CELL-PHONE VIDEO? NO HELMET CAMERA LIVE FEED FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL? NO CAMERAS ON THE RIFLE SCOPES? NO HELICOPTER SURVEILLANCE VIDEO?
* ARE WE AT LEAST TALKING SWORN STATEMENTS - UNDER OATH?
Another self-described witness disputes that, saying that authorities opened fire before the getaway chase and that Finicum had his hands up when he was shot.
* AGAIN... NO VIDEO, HUH? (DOES THAT SOUND STRANGE TO ANYONE... ANYONE AT ALL...???)
Authorities have not provided details publicly on the incident.
But the FBI pinned the blame squarely on the occupiers.
* IS... ANYONE SURPRISED?
(*WIPING TEARS OF MIRTH FROM MY EYES*)
“The occupiers had ample opportunity to leave peacefully,” FBI Special Agent Greg Bretzing said Wednesday morning. “They brought this on themselves.”
* YEAH... ABOUT THAT "AMPLE OPPORTUNITY"... THAT'S WHY IT SEEMS KINDA STRANGE TO ME TO IMAGINE THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT WAS APPARENTLY NOT RECORDING THIS ONGOING CRISIS IN REAL TIME.
According to the CNN report, the FBI and Oregon State Police had been watching occupiers come and go from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns for days before they spotted a rare opportunity to nab the militant movement’s leaders all at once: Finicum, Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy and a handful of others climbed into two trucks and drove from the refuge to a meeting in John Day, Ore., two hours north.
* "WATCHING." NOT... RECORDING? (STRANGE, HUH? SUCH A HIGH-PROFILE CASE WITH SUCH A HIGH-POSSIBILITY OF FORCE NEEDING TO BE EMPLOYED. YOU'D THINK JUST TO "COVER" THEMSELVES, LAW ENFORCEMENT WOULD BE VIDEOING THE SUSPECTS' EVERY MOVE.)
Authorities chose a cold, deserted stretch of highway to attempt a traffic stop.
* AND... NO ONE THOUGHT TO FILM THE STOP...
One vehicle complied with orders and pulled over, but the other — allegedly driven by Finicum — sped off at high speed, according to the report.
* "ACCORDING TO THE REPORT..."
A mile away, though, Finicum reportedly ran into a roadblock. When he tried to go around the roadblock, his truck got stuck in a snowbank.
When Finicum emerged from the vehicle, FBI and state police ordered him to surrender, according to the report.
* AGAIN... "ACCORDING TO THE REPORT."
* AGAIN... NO VIDEO...??? IN THIS DAY AND AGE? IN AMERICA 2016? REALLY...?!?!
(*SCRATCHING MY CHIN*)
Instead, the Arizona cattle rancher, a day shy of his 55th birthday, reached down toward his waistband, where he kept his Colt .45, CNN reported.
* CNN "REPORTED"... BASED UPON...
* YOU GET THE POINT - RIGHT, FOLKS?
* SERIOUSLY... DOES ANYONE NOT HAVE... "QUESTIONS?"
* SERIOUSLY... DOES THIS STORY STRIKE ANYONE AS A BIT... "CONVENIENT"...???
Authorities opened fire, killing Finicum and injuring Ryan Bundy in the arm.
* SO MORE THAN ONE OFFICER... ("AUTHORITIES" - PLURAL.) SO... HAVE THESE OFFICERS GIVEN SWORN STATEMENTS? (IF SO... THE STATEMENTS WOULD BE PUBLIC RECORDS - RIGHT?)
The account is partially backed up by an occupier who said he was the driver of the other car.
* YEAH, YEAH... GOT THAT... "PARTIALLY BACKED UP" ... "WHO SAID HE WAS." GOT IT.
In a video uploaded to Facebook on Wednesday morning, Mark McConnell recounted the events that allegedly led to Finicum’s death.
* A VIDEO OF... MARK MCCONNELL... RECOUNTING...?!?!
“Well, since I can’t sleep I might as well go ahead and do this video,” McConnell said, adding that he hoped to dispel some of the “rumors and nonsense that are flying.”
* SO... THEY DO HAVE VIDEO EQUIPMENT IN OREGON!
* THEY DON'T USE IT TO ACTUALLY RECORD LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY INVOLVING THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE (WHICH ONE MUST ASSUME THE "AUTHORITIES" SAW AS A LIKELY POSSIBLE OUTCOME), BUT IT'S USED TO... "RECOUNT EVENTS"... AFTER THE FACT.
McConnell said Ammon Bundy and another occupier, Brian Cavalier, were in his vehicle, while Finicum was driving a pickup carrying Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne, Shawna Cox and an 18-year-old woman.
As they were driving along U.S. Route 395 toward John Day, McConnell spotted “approximately 11 heavy-duty” police trucks waiting for them.
* ELEVEN HEAVY-DUTY POLICE TRUCKS... AND NOT ONE VIDEO CAMERA... DASH CAM... HELMET CAM... RIFLE SCOPE CAM...
(*STILL SCRATCHING MY CHIN*)
“They whipped out, pulled us over, pulled me out of the jeep first,” McConnell said. Authorities then arrested Ammon Bundy and Cavalier before calling ahead to their colleagues to arrest the occupants of the other car, which was stopped roughly 200 yards ahead on the road.
* NO USE OF TIRE SPIKE CHAINS?
(*STILL SCRATCHING MY CHIN*)
McConnell saw Ryan Payne climb out of the other vehicle. But then the situation suddenly escalated.
“Next thing we know, LaVoy takes off with his pickup and the other occupants,” McConnell said, calling the getaway attempt “an act of aggression and foolish.”
* AGAIN... NO TIRE SPIKE CHAINS? THEY ORGANIZED A ROAD-BLOCK AND DIDN'T CONSIDER THAT DISABLING THE SUSPECTS' VEHICLES MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA?
The rest of McConnell’s account relies on what he said he heard from Payne and Cox.
* SERIOUSLY... THIS IS THE WASHINGTON POST'S IDEA OF "REPORTING." OK... LET'S KEEP READING...
“Payne said while they were sitting there and clearing my vehicle, him and LaVoy kind of had a heated discussion and LaVoy was rather heated,” McConnell continued. “I’m not going to degrade LaVoy at all. LaVoy was very passionate about this, about the movement, about what we were doing up here. But emotionally thinking, that’s not always the best. …
“I loved the dude. I met him three weeks ago. I admired him,” McConnell continued. “But he took off. The authorities had to chase him. And from what Shawna Cox is saying, once they got down there by the roadblock, I don’t know if he tried to go around the roadblock or what he did, but anyways the nose of his truck got stuck in the snowbank right there.”
Finicum then exited his vehicle and “charged after law enforcement,” McConnell said.
* "CHARGED AFTER...???" "CHARGED AFTER LAW ENFORCEMENT...?!?!" BUT... BUT... BUT...
* AGAIN... IS THIS MAKING ANY SENSE TO ANY OF YOU READING THIS? (BECAUSE IT'S JUST NOT "TRACKING" FOR ME.)
“I didn’t see the shooting,” McConnell said, but from what he was told by Cox...
* SERIOUSLY...?!?! THE GUY WHO DIDN'T SEE ANYTHING IS BEING QUOTED ABOUT WHAT "HE WAS TOLD BY COX." UH-HUH.
Finicum “was not on his knees” when he was shot — a claim made by Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, who also tweeted that Finicum was “murdered with his hands up.”
* BUT... WE DON'T KNOW... DO WE?
“He was none of that nonsense,” McConnell said. “He went after them. He charged them.”
* WITH WHAT? WITH A GUN? (BECAUSE THIS DOESN'T SEEM TO BE THE CLAIM!) WITH A KNIFE? (BECAUSE THAT DOESN'T SEEM TO BE THE CLAIM EITHER!) WITH A ROCK OR A SHARP STICK...???
* SERIOUSLY... FOLKS... IS IT ME...?!?! AM I "MISSING SOMETHING...?!?!"
* WHICH - IF I'M UNDERSTANDING CORRECTLY - IS NOT BASED UPON PERSONAL OBSERVATION, BUT UPON "WHAT HE WAS TOLD BY COX..."
...conflicts with statements made by Victoria Sharp, who said she was the 18-year-old in the car with Finicum.
In a 12-minute audio clip uploaded to YouTube, Sharp said Payne was trying to get herand Cox out of the car when police took their first shot.
* WHAT?! WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THE AUDIO CLIP? (BY THE WAY... TALK ABOUT BURYING THE LEAD...)
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
“He put his hands out the window, he was trying to talk with them,” Sharp said of Payne. “He said, ‘We have women in the car, at least let the women get out.’ And he stuck his head out and they shot at him, but they missed him, or he ducked just in time.”
The shot showed that the occupiers that authorities “meant business,” Sharp said, but it also led Finicum to speed off, yelling that he was going to go “talk to the sheriff.”
* WOW... THIS DOES NOT SOUND GOOD FOR "THE AUTHORITIES," FOLKS...
“He drove and we all got down on the floorboards and they just started firing at us, shooting at us a bunch of times,” Sharp said.
* WHERE WAS HE GONNA GO?! HE WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, WASN'T HE? THEY HAD 11 POLICE TRUCKS...
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
Then Finicum rammed his truck into the snowbank at the roadblock.
“He got out of the car and he had his hands in the air and he was like, ‘Just shoot me then. Is this what you want? Just shoot me.’
“And they did,” she said. “They shot him dead.”
* FOLKS... NOTICE... THE REPORTER/EDITOR/WP MENTIONS THIS AUDIO RECORDING AND THEN... NOTHING MORE ABOUT IT. IS IT ME? AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO SEES QUITE A FEW "PROBLEMS" INHERENT IN THE REPORTING - AND THE SHOOTING ITSELF?!