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LaVoy Finicum/FBI Agents under Investigation: What's Next?

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posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 06:40 AM
It ain't over till it's over, folks. Anyone who thought this would settle the matter of LaVoy Finicum's death and it would be forgotten in a month were mistaken. It's just starting. This isn't to argue about what did happen, but about what will and may and could happen going forward, as more concerns are raised by more people, including ongoing investigations. For myself, I am hoping and praying that LaVoy's death -- and the many abuses of power and force by federal agents, not just the FBI -- will become a major presidential campaign issue.

The Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, and Rep Greg Walden (R-OR) have expressed their concerns in brief statements:

Gov: FBI actions 'troubling'; Walden 'disturbed, bewildered'

“Any loss of life is regrettable, and I appreciate that the independent investigation into the actions of Oregon State Police was completed swiftly and thoroughly,” Brown said.
"Additional questions the investigation raised about the actions of federal agents who were also involved are troubling and properly the subject of an ongoing investigation."

"This independent investigation gives us some answers to what happened, but leaves me disturbed and bewildered by the role of the FBI agents who are now under federal investigation themselves. Meanwhile, I will continue working with local officials to get results on the Steens Mountain fencing issue, federal reimbursement for the local policing costs, and to stop the monument designation in Malheur County, among other resource-related issues."

They are referring, of course, to the FBI agents under investigation for possible misconduct in LaVoy Finicum shooting, which is posted and discussed at this ATS thread.

In the "things that make one go hmmmmm" category, in the above linked ATS thread, I had quoted another article -- Bullet hole on LaVoy Finicum's truck traced to elite FBI team -- about how the initial investigators discovered the unreported shots by the FBI agents (as Finicum was exiting the vehicle). What I quoted was:

Tim Colahan, Harney County district attorney who asked Norris to handle the shooting investigation, said in a prepared statement that "we will continue to work to determine how the HRT operators' actions played into the events. We reserve the right, as Oregonians, to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions."

Even then, I was afraid it was too good to be true. Alas. That quote has now been changed to:

Tim Colahan, Harney County district attorney who asked Norris to handle the shooting investigation, said that "we deserve to know that our law enforcement officers at the local, state and federal level act appropriately."

(Okay, truth be told, it makes me go a lot more than "hmmmmm"... more like "grrrrrrrrrr"! But I wasn't really surprised. This is the already discredited OregonLive.)

But the initial quote indicates an ongoing investigation in the county; perhaps in the state also? I have not found anything specifically yay or nay, but I'll be looking for something. I also suspect that there is already some dissension between the several law enforcement and other legal authorities from locals to state and the feds. I'm figuring the feds aren't happy -- AT ALL -- that local/state investigators called them out to the whole world. And I'll bet the locals (including state) are starting to feel pretty used and abused about now too. And it's the Feds -- so their abuse and intimidation will only get worse. That's the problem!!! But I digress...

Be all that as it may, the locals and feds certainly aren't all reciting the same chapter and verse now:

Loc als, FBI Talk Differently About Finicum Shooting

Sheriff Palmer is already getting pushback for befriending the Occupiers, but as an elected official they can't stop him from being sheriff, so I think that's more politics than anything.

The state agency that licenses law enforcement officers has recommended the state Department of Justice investigate Palmer’s conduct. That’s after the agency received several formal complaints about Palmer’s communication with the occupiers. The DOJ has not yet announced whether it will pursue an investigation into Sheriff Palmer.

Documents: OSP Moved Fatal Traffic Stop To Avoid Grant County Sheriff

And great news about the Inspector General investigation -- the FBI is feeling the pinch from above and below. I wanted to know a little bit about Michael E Horowitz, the Inspector General in charge of the investigation, and I like him -- but I bet Obama and the FBI don't! Horowitz doesn't seem afraid to push back and call them out either. But the reason he has to push back and call them out doesn't bode well for this case either, and probably not an unfamiliar issue to most ATSers already. Just more federal abuse of power. Read it yourself and weep:

Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz to lead federal watchdog panel (2015)
Let Inspectors General Do Their Job (2016)
FBI obstructs oversight, DOJ Inspector General says (2014)
DOJ inspector general: Obama administration obstructed Fast and Furious investigation (2012)

(continued in next post)

posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 06:41 AM
(continued from above)

And, finally, of course, Mrs. Finicum and family have big problems with the decision that her husband's shooting was "justified" and will be filing a civil suit against the authorities:
Jeanette Finicum says she will sue over death of husband LaVoy
Jeanette Finicum Responds to Oregon State and FBI Investigative Report

The news conference held earlier today in Bend, Oregon to release the report of the investigation regarding my husband’s death was to be expected. No surprises. The purpose of that announcement was for state and federal agencies to continue to lay the foundation of their legal case. However, they also continue to bring forward selective evidence. As in all such situations there is another side to this story. We will provide a more thorough analysis at a follow up news conference tomorrow and will be taking questions at that time. Meanwhile, we continue to maintain my husband’s innocence.

And she expresses the shock and outrage of many Americans, including me:

When Americans heard the details of this story and how these American patriots who have no criminal record and who have stood on the same interpretation of the US Constitution as Justice Scalia have been treated, the actions of law enforcement and the FBI have “shock [ed] the conscience.” Our Supreme Court has set as the standard guideline for practices of law enforcement that are unacceptable to our society, as those that “shock the conscience”. A Deadman’s blockade with the intent to kill “shocks the conscience.” Shooting to kill with both hands up “shocks the conscience.”

(Though it's very appropriate, I had never heard the phrase "Deadman's blockade" before and did a Google search, but this was the only reference I found, including limiting results to prior to 1/1/16. Please share if you've heard it before, or perhaps something similar.)

The above link is to a written statement. There is a subsequent (video) statement here and a Q&A Session with media here..

A couple key points from the Q&A were that yes, their son had given the Ruger to LaVoy for Christmas, but of course she cannot confirm or deny the circumstances surrounding it; she also acknowledged to a reporter that this report still does not account for the bullet Ryan Payne took in the shoulder at the first stop, and was treated for in a Bend hospital after his arrest.

Ammon Bundy Statements via his Attorney

* * * * * * * * * * * *

So we have elected officials -- one county attorney, one Representative in Congress, and the state governor -- expressing various levels of concern with the FBI,

And one (or more?) ongoing investigations within the state.

We have an investigation from the federal Department of Justice; by an Inspector General, who has a history of challenging the DOJ and White House.

We have the Finicum family investigation and lawsuit(s) proceeding.

We have an election year. The people are angry and are voting rogue -- Trump and Sanders (and Johnson and Stein). I want this to become a presidential campaign issue -- and an issue in every campaign in the western states! I expect if Hillary and Trump are the final contenders, that Trump will use it to attack and discredit Hillary. Unless Trump has his own grubby fingers in the national lands honey pot... or wants them in there. At this point, it's anyone's guess how this will play out. Anything can happen.

posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 07:15 AM
After seeing years of Federal, State and Local corruption, I have become cynical beyond hope. Any investigation in to this shooting is for show and nothing will come of this or the suit. Oh, they may say "We're looking in to blahblahblah" but, in the end, that's all it will be. A cover story to keep the parties involved chasing their tail, while the agents accused just go on with their life and jobs. In a few months, this will be forgotten, except by a very few and will drag on for years, till even they move on.

posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 07:24 AM
a reply to: DAVID64

That's certainly how it's been... I'm not sure that's how it will continue to be. Times have changed. We didn't have internet at the time of Ruby Ridge and Waco. People have changed. We didn't have as many people aware of (and victimized by) this abuse of power and force. We didn't have so many folks so absolutely fed up and ready to rumble.

Time will tell, but I'm betting this is a breaking point.

posted on Mar, 11 2016 @ 11:48 AM
I've wondered how/if the feds would play the Bundy etal defenses against the Finicum civil suit for -- I'm assuming -- wrongful death charges. This may give us a clue how all these cases may be represented against the feds:

ARNOLD LAW'S COMMENTS ON FBI COVER-UP The public deserved to have the video, with audio and sound, released immediately after the shooting. Now we know why it wasn’t released: the public would have heard the shots that the government didn’t want it to hear. The government should not be afraid of the public asking questions. They should encourage it. Discourse, dialogue, and criticism of the government are the bedrock of democracy.

The post-shooting FBI press conference was all to prejudice the jury, which is exactly why attorneys need to be able to speak on behalf of their clients. The answer is more speech not less. There is no prejudice of a jury when facts are released that would be heard by the jury anyway. The FBI was picking and choosing those facts. That is wrong.

Now we know why the Government is seeking a protective order trying to gag Ammon Bundy from talking about discovery.

In State v. Oliphant, this Oregon case discusses a person’s right to use physical force against a police officer in self-defense during an arrest. In Oregon, a person’s right to use force in self-defense depends on a person’s own reasonable belief in the necessity for such action, not whether the force used or about to be used on him actually was unlawful. The key here is the defendant’s reasonable belief. If a reasonable person in Finicum’s position would have believed that the use or imminent use of force against him exceeded the force reasonably necessary to affect the arrest, then he was entitled to defend himself from that use of force, i.e., by grabbing for a weapon.

The mere voicing of frustration with the government coupled with an assertion of the lawful authority to defend oneself against attack, is not a threat. But shooting at a stopped vehicle is. Finnicum wouldn’t have known that it was a less-than-lethal round. They just perceived gunshots and fled.

If the Federal Government knew that this alleged cover-up was happening, why did the FBI continue to lead the investigation? Why didn’t they bring in Deschutes County to investigate the protest site? Grant County? ATF? Anyone but the FBI who was under criminal investigation themselves.

edit on 11-3-2016 by Boadicea because: spelling

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