A video of the final moments of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum recorded inside his vehicle before a fatal shootout with the FBI has surfaced. One federal agent has been accused of lying about firing at the Oregon standoff participant. Four other FBI agents have now been suspected of covering up the details of the shooting after the incident occurred.
The U.S. Justice Department just launched an investigation into five FBI agents from an elite federal unit that were involved in the LaVoy Finicum shooting. The agents have not yet been named publicly, but Inspector General Michael Horowitz did reveal the inquiry is part of an ongoing criminal investigation, Oregon Live reports.
FBI Agents Under Investigation for Misconduct in LaVoy Finicum Shooting https://t.co/9jREJjMaAv pic.twitter.com/Oxar91LhBV
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The Department of Justice investigation into the actions of the FBI agents at the LaVoy Finicum shooting was announced after local law enforcement investigators released a report stating that Finicum was shot in the back three times by two Oregon State Troopers. The autopsy report of the 54-year-old man showed that one of the bullets hit his heart and killed him during the January 26 roadside shootout, the New York Times reports.
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An Oregon prosecutor declared the Finicum shooting justifiable because the troopers or FBI agents had the authority to use deadly force to protect themselves or others. The FBI drone surveillance video released in the days following appeared to show that the standoff participant was moving his hands toward his left pocket. A loaded handgun was later found in one of Finicum’s pockets. It is unclear if the law enforcement officers who shot him in the back could see the reaching hand from their angle of view. A state trooper facing LaVoy was reportedly armed with a Taser gun and felt that he might be in danger. It also appears that the agents both in front and in back of the Arizona rancher were verbally communicating during the altercation.
Federal investigators now attached to the case have not yet explained why one of the members of the elite FBI Hostage Rescue Team failed to report the two shots that were fired into LaVoy Finicum. Details about why the other four FBI agents are also under criminal investigation remain murky, as well. The inspector general only revealed that the investigation if related to “conduct after the shooting.”
“The question of who fired these shots has not been resolved,” Portland FBI Special Agent in Charge, Greg Bretzing, said.
LaVoy Finicum’s Widow Speaks At Utah Rally
The criminal investigation into the actions of the FBI agents during the fatal shooting is already ginning up more angst in the already controversial case. The handling of the Oregon standoff has repeatedly been compared to the deadly FBI sieges in Waco, Texas, and at Ruby Ridge.
Supporters of the Oregon standoff participants staunchly maintain that Finicum was surrendering when he put his arms in the air — and was shot nine times before he fell to the ground. Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer, who is the chief law enforcement officer in a region neighboring Burns, Oregon, deemed the FBI shootout an “ambush.”
Jeanette Finicum, LaVoy’s widow, feels his husband was the victim of a cold-blooded execution. In a media release issued by the grieving mother and grandmother, she said, “My husband was murdered.”
Video Of LaVoy Finicum Inside Car Before FBI Shootout
After the Finicum shooting, federal investigators had vowed to release law enforcement interview transcripts. photos, videos, the autopsy report, and police documents to the public for the sake of a transparent evaluation. To date, only 19 photos and one video have been shared with the public. The names of the Oregon State Troopers and FBI agents involved in the shooting will not be released anytime soon due to safety concerns. According to FBI officials, close to 100 threats against the troopers and agents have emerged on social media.
What do you think about the FBI agents involved in the LaVoy Finicum shooting being the subjects of a criminal investigation?
[Photo by AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File]