“Obey federal authority, or die”, that’s the clear message delivered to Americans this week.
The protesters occupied the Malheur Wildlife Refuge on January 2nd, and over the course of 23 days, those protesters came and went from the town of Burns, and had unfettered access to the refuge, interacting with the people of Burns, and winning some support. The FBI and federal government could have closed off the refuge at any time, causing those present to become discouraged and leave but did not do so. But on the 24th day they closed off 40 miles of highway to create a lethal trap.
The government clearly did not want a peaceful resolution, it wanted to send a clear message.
Yesterday the FBI released aerial drone footage of operations by the FBI and OSP involving the “traffic stop” ambush of persons heading from the Malheur Wildlife Refuge to a scheduled public meeting at the Senior Center in the town of John Day, at the invitation of Sheriff Palmer of Grant county, to peaceably discuss the issues surrounding the occupation of the Wildlife Refuge, and work towards a resolution.
Is the footage complete and unedited?
It should be noted up front that this drone footage, which the FBI itself labels as “Complete, Unedited”, is in fact heavily edited, and edited for a deliberate purpose. Despite the focus of the footage being LaVoy Finicum’s white truck, there is no footage of Ryan Payne sticking his head out of the passenger window of Finicum’s truck to communicate with authorities and being shot at, nor is there any footage of Ryan Payne later exiting Finicum’s truck, laying down, and being taken into custody. There is likewise no footage of the surrender of the occupants of the Jeep, driven by Mark McConnell, with Ammon Bundy and Brian Cavalier as passengers. There is only periodic footage of that Jeep motionless on the road, without even any authorities visible anywhere around it.
Jn fact the FBI version titled the “Edited Version of FBI Video” interrupts the video footage at 00:29:53 with the screen message, “There is a passage of approximately 3 minutes 47 seconds while the truck sits not moving.” The deliberate implication of this message is that there had been no activity from the occupants Finicum’s white truck during this entire time, yet we know from the two eyewitness reports that Ryan Payne exited the vehicle and surrendered during this period. When the Edited Version resumes at 00:33:41, Finicum’s truck immediately proceeds down the road toward the roadblock.
Meanwhile “Complete, Unedited” FBI footage only shows the initial stop of Finicum’s white truck and then Finicum later going down the road to the roadblock. By the footage presented, the FBI would have us believe that no other interaction occurred between the occupants of Finicum’s white truck, or other Jeep, prior to Finicum’s fatal shooting. However following Finicum’s shooting, they do show the remaining passengers from the rear seat of Finicum’s truck being taken into custody: Victoria Sharp, Ryan Bundy, and Samantha Cox. Given that Ryan Payne was nowhere among those surrendering at the time of roadblock, it’s undeniable that Payne previously exited the vehicle and surrendered to authorities.
The perspective provided by the tailored presentation of this heavily edited footage is that everything ended up well once Robert LaVoy Finicum was removed from the equation by abruptly ending his life. However Finicum wasn’t in any way the source of the problem, and there is a high probability this will become even more evident by future events.
By the unmistakably heavy editing of this video footage, contrary to the titling by the FBI as “Unedited”, it is apparent that the federal authorities intend to present a skewed perspective of events so as to bias the viewer in favor of the action taken, and to justify the murder of Robert LaVoy Finicum in cold blood.
The reason this ambush took place outside the compound, is that LaVoy Finicum was the able spokesperson for the group’s motivation by the terms of the Constitution, and Finicum never, ever left the Malheur Wildlife Refuge compound… except to attend the public meeting that day. The Feds wanted to remove the group’s voice of unity, LaVoy Finicum, and thereby cause the occupiers to disband. It’s as simple as that.
Since when do we have the death penalty for Trespass, and peaceful protest? What happened to the Redress of Grievances? None of those persons taken into custody were violent felons, not-a one was a modern day Bonnie of Clyde. Every one of those persons taken into custody is charged with the federal offense of “Conspiracy to Interfere” with a federal government employee engaging in their duties, a felony with a six year prison sentence, which is unmistakably the gross misapplication of that law — further highlighting the federal tyranny. It’s not as if the federal government has any sort of urgent need to take care of the wildlife, in the middle of Winter.
Public Discussion & Peaceful Resolution
They were on their way to a public discussion at a Senior Center to address the very real and valid grievances against the federal government as a result of the prolonged and deliberate violations of the Constitution.
The United States Constitution, even as currently amended:
1) provides NO constitutional authority to the federal government to own lands within a State upon statehood, except forts, Arsenals, (military bases), dock-Yards, and “other needful buildings”, detailed in Article 1 Section 8. The “Property Clause” in Article IV, detailing the relationship between the federal government and sovereign States, provides the federal government no further award of authority over any lands beyond A1S8, and addresses the need to write needful rules to the lands recognized in Article 1,Section 8. In that Property Clause, the indication of capital-T “Territories” is a Proper Noun, having specific meaning and not just a general reference to “territory”, is specifically referencing only unconsolidated Territories that have not yet become States;
2) The Constitution provides no authority to the federal government to write laws directly applicable to the people of the several States The federal government only has authority to write laws to those limited lands detailed in A1S8, and the District of Columbia itself;
3) The Constitution recognizes the unalienable right to petition the government for redress of grievances;
At the initial stop of Finicum’s vehicle, Ryan Payne was allegedly shot at when he only stuck his head out of the vehicle to communicate with officers — an unwarranted use of lethal force, with this unmistakably being the cause of Finicum’s subsequent actions, flight down the road to the roadblock, and there exiting the vehicle saying “just shoot me.” The entire ambush itself was the illegitimate and unnecessary use of obscene amount of force for the sole purpose of the Federal Government demanding its usurped authority be recognized without question – brutal Tyranny.
LaVoy Finicum’s Last Moments
From the video footage, Robert Lavoy Finicum exited the vehicle with his hands up in surrender, and then stepped away from the vehicle in a non-threatening direction, traveling up the bank, entirely exposing himself to the authority of the officers. Finicum’s every action was indicating surrender. He did not “charge” anyone, as has been reported.
The first shot to strike Finicum was NOT from the officer immediately in front of him, but rather the office Finicum had nearly sideswiped as he tried to bypass the roadblock. That officer had reloacted to the tail end of the dark truck and fired, hitting Finicum as he was traveling up the hill with his hands raised. The firing officer immediately retreated to those behind him. Then while Finicum’s hands were again extended in surrender, the footage shows that Finicum was shot the second time by the officer immediately in front of him.
At this point Finicum dropped his hands to his abdomen, which may have been from either of the two shots to strike him, and with both hands at his stomach, Finicum staggering backwards, one foot behind him, and then turned away from the roadblock and away from any officers, facing down the road, his back turned even to the approaching sniper in the woods. If Finicum was intending the aggressive act of drawing a weapon, as it is alleged, then having his back to every one of those officers is obviously not the position in which to engage the use of that firearm. Robert Finicum’s life was abruptly ended by a sniper comping from the woods behind him, no more than 20 feet away, shooting Finicum from behind.
LaVoy finicum was not first shot while he was allegedly reaching for a gun, but rather he was shot twice beforehand, first while exiting the vehicle and traveling up the bank, and then again by the officer immediately in front of him, while his hands were raised, causing his hands to drop to his stomach. Upon realizing the gravity of his wound, Finicum then turned his back to the officers, in a feeble effort to flee for his very life, whereupon Finicum was executed from behind. Finicum was never reaching for a gun, and the occupiers never fired a shot.
Added: Listen to KrisAnne Hall’s description of LaVoy Finicum’s shooting, from the perspective of Finicum himself, starting at the 25m 13s mark.
The indication from the FBI is that Finicum was shot while reaching for a semi-automatic pistol in his “waistband”. This is rather curious given the fact that one’s waistband is a rather inconvenient and uncomfortable location for a pistol, particularly for someone bent at the waist while while driving a vehicle. In fact Finicum was not known to carry a semi-automatic pistol, but rather was never seen without a revolver, which he lawfully carried in a shoulder holster.
In fact no shots were fired by any one of the persons taken into custody, despite the overwhelming barrage of bullets discharged at them by federal agents.
Robert Lavoy FInicum was murdered in cold blood by federal agents exercising an obscene excess of illegitimate authority in support of the illegitimate federal claim of property within the State, that came about from the gross violation of the only legitimate authority provided that federal government by the Constitution
Yet these federal authorities would have us believe that this institutionalized corruption is legitimized by its own precedent, which is once again the hallmark of Tyranny.
The occupation of the Malheur Nature Preserve came about precisely because of longstanding federal abuses, as well as the sentencing of the Hammonds under the Federal 1996 Anti-Terrorism & Effective Death Penalty Act, which has no legitimate application to the controlled burn of lands that has gone in open range land for nearly a century, and is employed by BLM itself. However BLM has repeatedly started its own burns with the deliberate intent of terrorizing ranchers, and to cause harm to their ranches, cattle, and fences, even burning down their homes.
Those officers involved in the ambush and killing of Finicum are guilty of Conspiracy to deny rights, as well as denial of rights under the color of law, and given a death occurred by their hands, the death penalty is applicable to those officers, as indicated by the federal government’s own statutes, Title 18 U.S.C. Sections 241 & 242.
Added: Attorney KrisAnne Hall, in her January 29th video addressing the FBI footage, compares Finicum’s shooting to December 5, 1775, the Boston Massacre. I respectfully disagree with KrisAnne on this. If anything is comparable to the Boston Massacre in effect, it would more likely be the unjust imprisonment of the Hammonds, that resulted in the Malheur Refuge occupation. I believe that history will likely view Robert LaVoy Finicum’s cold-blooded murder as being on par with the first shot fired at Concord’s North Bridge, April 19th, 1775, the “shot heard round the world”. I agree that Americans may not be ready for another 1776, but then this country’s founders could never have sufficiently ready to take on the world’s greatest power. Readiness is irrelevant to the urgent and immediate need to remove this unrestrained abuse of illegitimate authority.
Contrary to what the federal government apparently hoped, the deliberate murder of Robert LaVoy Finicum was not the end of the standoff, but rather is very likely only the beginning of something far bigger.