Read time: 2 minutes

LaVoy Finicum Shooting Justified; FBI Conduct Under Investigation

State troopers acted appropriately, but at least one FBI agent didn't.

At a press conference earlier today, prosecutors said that the actions of Oregon State Police in the shooting of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum were justified under the circumstances.

However, five FBI agents are now under investigation by the Department of Justice for covering up shots one of them fired at Finicum's truck during the incident, according to Oregonian reporter Les Zaitz.

An FBI agent is suspected of lying about firing twice at Robert "LaVoy" Finicium and may have gotten help from four other FBI agents in covering up afterward, authorities revealed Tuesday.

The bullets didn't hit Finicum and didn't contribute to his death, but now all five unnamed agents, part of an elite national unit, are under criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. Inspector General Michael Horowitz is leading the independent inquiry.

When investigators examined Finicum's truck, they found one bullet hole that didn't square with the others. Upon closer scrutiny, they were able to trace the bullet back to the FBI team, despite the fact that the agent denied firing his weapon and apparently got others on the team to back him up.

With regard to the actual shooting, the evidence disproves nearly every eyewitness account that came from the militants in the vehicles, Zaitz writes.

The video above is a splice of cell phone video shot by Shawna Cox from inside Finicum's truck with video shot at the scene by the FBI.

Zaitz:

Officer statements and cellphone video taken by Cox from inside the truck showed that Finicum repeatedly ignored police orders, first at the traffic stop and then after he crashed trying to elude officers. He nearly ran over an FBI agent before stalling in a roadside snowbank.

What happened in just seconds after that crash could lead to criminal charges against the FBI agents.

Cox's video showed that one shot hit the truck's left rear passenger window as Finicum stepped out. At the time, Finicum appeared to have his hands at least at shoulder height.

Investigators later established that the bullet entered the truck through the roof before shattering the window and concluded it was fired by an FBI agent. Another bullet from the same FBI agent apparently went wild and missed the truck altogether, the investigation showed.


↓ Story continues below ↓

Unfortunately, the actions of those FBI agents will feed conspiracy theorists for years to come, and fuel the fires of anti-federal sentiments among the sovereign citizen movement. But the bottom line would still be the same: Robert "LaVoy" Finicum had options to surrender and chose to reach down for his gun instead, resulting in his death.

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.