Monday, January 23, 2017

                       LAVOY FINICUM REMEMBERED 

                 "I should have been a cowboy, I shoulda  have learned to rope and ride"-                                                       Toby Keith-Should've Been A Cowboy (1993)

                 " It's time we stop, hey what's that sound everybody look what's going down"                                                Buffalo Springfield-For What It's Worth (1966)


It's been one year (January 26, 2016) since the FBI executed a 'felony traffic stop' against non violent protestors along Route 395 in Harney County, Oregon that led to the death of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum.

Finicum was a rancher, a cowboy, a defender of Constitutional rights and a believer in the Constitution of the United States.

He was a husband and father, including care for four foster children who were living at his ranch when the protest began,

LaVoy came to Oregon and was one of the leaders of the Oregon Standoff protest over the second time mandatory sentence jailing of Oregon ranchers Dwight and Stephen Hammond as 'terrorists'  for lighting a backfire to protect their property.

Early in the protest LaVoy encountered David Fry, who had driven all the way from Ohio to join the protest.  Fry recalls an exciting meeting and a hug.   LaVoy's death would inspire David to continue the protest after Finicum's death and the arrest of its leadership.

Fear and paranoia were driving forces in the federal government's response, reflected in the media reports about the 'armed occupation' of the refuge.    The people on the refuge were often unarmed and to the extent they were armed, they carried weapons only for self-defense.

The armed militia types that showed up were either FBI informants or in the case of one group of Idaho III Percenters who rolled into the Oregon Standoff protest site a few days after it began, were asked to leave by the unarmed leader of the protest, Ammon Bundy.

It was obvious trouble was coming a week or so ahead of time when letters from Oregon Governor Kate Brown were published.    The letters to federal authorities in Washington were demanding "action".

It was obvious these letters were the pretext for violent action against the non violent protest.

My expectations were that FBI action might even start the weekend before the fateful evening of Tuesday January 26th.

FBI informant Mark McConnell was sending GPS information on Ammon Bundy's location that weekend.  McConnell was hanging with Brandon Curtiss of the III Percenters as a stark picture of a massive FBI buildup was presented to Ammon Bundy, a scary picture, maybe one designed to end the protest.

McConnell ended up being the driver of the vehicle Ammon Bundy was in and was able to stop the vehicle to deliver Bundy into the hands of the FBI.

But LaVoy Finicum was driving the other vehicle and decided to keep moving up the road to reach the town of John Day in Grant County where the meeting was scheduled for the evening to discuss Constitutional rights.

As LaVoy's truck came up against the roadblock on Route 395 and went into the snowbank, FBI agents from the "Hostage Rescue Team" opened fire.   Two rounds were fired with one hitting the top of the truck.

LaVoy Finicum exited the truck with his hands up and began to move away from the truck when he was shot in the back by an Oregon State Police officer.

The investigation done by Oregon authorities exonerated their own police but uncovered the FBI agents coverup of their shooting, which the Justice Department said it was investigating last year through its inspector general's office.

The story is that LaVoy Finicum was acting evasive and was said to have been reaching for his pocket.   He was exercising his Second Amendment right by carrying a pistol.

One thing is obvious, that if law enforcement says it feels threatened by someone,  there is a 007 "license to kill".    Members of law enforcement are more quickly and easily exonerated than individual citizens who might be in a similar situation,

There have been massacres of law enforcement in the last year perpetrated by crazy, insane militant people.   That is wrong.

Just as the Black Lives Matter crowd often live in an ideology that says 'women', 'minorities', 'LGBTQ' or 'immigrants' are special honored classes of people, we cannot create a special class called 'law enforcement' who can kill people at will when they are fearful of or perceive to be threatening.

All of us are equal and the same in the sight of our Creator.  God is no respecter of persons.

This is the United States of America, not the Soviet world of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" where some were 'more equal than others'.

Law enforcement wasn't even dealing with insane perps in the case of Ammon Bundy, LaVoy Finicum or the other leaders of the Oregon Standoff protest.    They did not deserve to be herded into an ambush which led to LaVoy's murder and injury to Ryan Bundy.

The ''armed militant occupation" at the Malhur National Wildlife Refuge was a nonviolent protest and no one fired shots.    David Fry acted in the last days of the protest to remove firearms from the campsite he and the three others used in the parking lot.   It was ludicrous for the FBI to be telling him to lay down his weapon as they assaulted the protest,  since he and the others had none.

The federal government lived in a fantasy world in regards to this protest driven by fear and false notions that the protest leaders were violent and extreme.

If there is a protest needed in the future, let the spirit of non-violence prevail even more so than it did at the Oregon Standoff.

God Bless LaVoy's family and may they find justice in the days and months ahead.

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