One Killed and Eight Arrested During Move to End Militant Occupation in Oregon

Truthdig – By Jon Queally / Common Dreams – Jan 27, 2016


One member of the militant group that has been carrying out an armed occupation of the Malheur wildlife refuge in Oregon was shot and killed late Tuesday as other members, including leader Ammon Bundy, were arrested on federal charges following a confrontation with law enforcement.

In addition to Ammon Bundy, said officials, those arrested were: his brother Ryan Bundy, 43; Brian Cavalier, 44; Shawna Cox, 59; and Ryan Payne, 32 – all of whom were apprehended during a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 395 Tuesday afternoon. Authorities said two others — Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, and Peter Santilli, 50 — were arrested separately in Burns, while FBI agents in Arizona arrested another, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32.

Authorities said that each of the men now face a federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede federal officers from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats. Authorities released few other details, but scheduled a news conference with the FBI and local sheriff and police departments for late Wednesday morning.

The man killed during the confrontation has been identified as Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, who often acted as spokesperson for the militant group.

Photo: Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, who often acted as spokesperson for the militant group.

Difficult to miss in his wide-brimmed hat, Finicum stood out among the occupiers not only because appeared to take a leadership role, but because of his repeated pledge to never submit to police or federal agents.

Though members of the group arrested reportedly claimed that Finicum was cooperating when he shot, law enforcement officials claimed that he, as well as Ryan Bundy, refused to obey repeated orders.

Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity and among those who have staged a running counter-protest to the occupation in Oregon, wrote on Twitter overnight, “Finicum was always armed, spoke/wrote often of dying in gunfight. Wrote novel with this ending.”

The Oregonian posted this video of Finicum speaking just one day before he was ultimately killed.

And this interview with Finicum, conducted live on MSNBC on January 6, showed him vowing to confront law enforcement with deadly force if arrest warrants were ever executed against him or others members of the group:

Armed Oregon Protester Talks Standoff With Federal Government | MSNBC

Published on Jan 6, 2016

MSNBC National Reporter Tony Dokoupil speaks with LaVoy Finicum, an armed protester standing guard outside of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Princeton, Oregon. Finicum is one of the armed supporters who joined Ammon Bundy’s takeover of the facility.

Video source:

The attempt to arrest the men came as both local community members and state lawmakers, including Governor Kate Brown, had urged law enforcement to increase pressure on the group to leave the compound which has been closed since the siege began on January 2.

Following Tuesday’s arrests it remained unclear how many occupiers remain at the site…

Read entire article here

Posted by Teri Perticone


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