The Oregon shooting and standoff involving an armed militia led by Ammon Bundy continues to cause heated debates both online and off. Ammon Bundy, and his followers were vocal on social media to recruit people for their standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge, and their social media support is still going strong.
Robert LaVoy Finicum, a spokesman for the armed occupation, was shot last week during a standoff and his death remains a controversial topic. A video of the shooting released by the FBI on Thursday night has only added to the debate.
In the video, Finicum is driving in his white truck when he is pulled over. He then proceeds to drive into a snowbank in order to avoid a roadblock. He eventually gets out of his truck with his hands up, but then he reaches for his jacket around the time he is shot. It’s unclear whether or not he was going for his gun, but a handgun was found on his person.
According to the L.A. Times, the local community near the standoff in Oregon was also divided about the shooting. The standoff has been underway for about four weeks and local residents seem to be rattled by the series of events taking place.
One man, who refused to be named, implied that perhaps Finicum was trying to surrender when he was shot, “I didn’t like his hands going up twice. That kind of bothered me.”
Another woman, who only wanted to be called by her first name, “Jolene,” said, “Really inconclusive. It may have been unjustified. But if there were any dash cams — if those videos come out, it could bring some kind of closure to it. And I really want to hear audio. I want to know what kind of commands were thrown out.”
Supporters of another major issue, the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, have also chimed in on the Oregon shooting. The Michigan Militia, who have a major presence in the Flint protests, alongside the support of celebrities such as Madonna and Mark Wahlberg, were vocal about their support for the Oregon protesters.
The members of the Michigan Militia are calling Ammon Bundy and his supporters “patriots” and they believe the Oregon shooting was the result of the FBI “assaulting their vehicle.”
Similar to the Oregon standoff, The Michigan Militia has also brought guns to the Flint protests.
“We’re here to defend this community. We’re not going to allow (the government) to step on the people of Flint any longer. If it means having to take up arms in defense… we will do that as well.”
But not everyone believes the shooting of Finicum was unjustified. Many social media supporters are siding with the FBI on this one. Prosecutors are also using the Oregon refuge occupiers’ words against them.
According to ABC News, the FBI is highly scrutinizing the social media posts made by the Ammon Bundy camp, for the case against the 11 occupiers. On Friday, a federal judge denied bond for Ammon Bundy and the other standoff suspects who were in custody. Four members of the group still remain inside the refuge, but according to Bundy’s attorney, Lissa Casey, Bundy is done with the protest and just wants to go home.
Court documents lead us to believe that Bundy being released before trial is highly unlikely. The documents explain the position authorities are taking.
“As the armed group’s unrepentant leader, he (Ammon Bundy) has consistently and publicly expressed support for an armed occupation that has endangered, and continues to endanger, many people.”
[Photo credits: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan]