By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS and TERRENCE PETTY, Associated Press
BURNS, Ore. (AP) — Video of the fatal police shooting of an Oregon wildlife refuge occupier appears to show the man reaching into his jacket before he fell into the snow. The FBI said the man had a loaded gun in his pocket.
Authorities played the FBI video Thursday amid claims that Robert “LaVoy” Finicum did nothing to provoke officers in the confrontation Tuesday on a remote Oregon high-country road.
Four occupiers remained at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge late Thursday and refused to leave without assurances they wouldn’t be arrested. The FBI said it was negotiating with them.
The occupation by ranchers and others began on Jan. 2, and at one point there were a couple of dozen people holed up, demanding that the federal government turn public lands over to local control. But the compound has been emptying out since the arrest of leader Ammon Bundy and 10 others over recent days and with the death of Finicum.
A federal judge said Thursday she will not release any of those arrested while the occupation continues, the Oregonian reported. The judge’s comments came shortly after Bundy, through his attorney, repeated his call for the holdouts to leave peacefully.
Bundy and others arrested have another federal court hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon.
The aerial video shows Bundy’s vehicle stopped by police. He and an occupier riding with him — Brian Cavalier — were arrested. A white truck driven by Finicum was stopped but took off, with officers in pursuit. The video shows Finicum’s vehicle plowing into a snowbank when encountering a roadblock.
A man identified as Finicum gets out of the truck. At first, he has his hands up, but then he appears to reach into his pocket at least twice.
“He did have a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun in the pocket,” said Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge for the FBI in Portland.
Bretzing also said Finicum’s truck nearly hit an FBI agent before it got stuck in the snow.
“Actions have consequences,” Bretzing said. “The FBI and (Oregon State Police) tried to effect these arrests peacefully.”
The FBI posted the video to its YouTube channel (http://bit.ly/209MgEw ).
With Finicum lying in the snow, the video shows the arrest of two other occupiers as they got out of the stuck truck: Ryan Bundy, who is Ammon’s brother, and Shawna Cox. Bretzing said another woman was in the truck but was not arrested. He did not identify her.
Bretzing said agents and troopers provided medical assistance to Finicum after they were confident they had addressed any further threats. He said that happened about 10 minutes after the shooting.
Two loaded .223 caliber semi-automatic rifles and a loaded revolver were found in the truck, Bretzing said.
Bundy and his followers were on their way to a meeting in the community of John Day when they encountered the FBI-led operation to apprehend them. The FBI acted amid growing calls that something be done to end the occupation, including from Oregon’s governor.
Oregon Public Broadcasting on Thursday spoke with the holdouts and identified them as David Fry, who is from Ohio, husband and wife Sean and Sandy Anderson of Idaho, and Jeff Banta of Nevada.
All 11 people under arrest have been charged with a felony count of conspiring to impede federal officers from carrying out their duties through force or intimidation. Three of the 11 were arrested Wednesday night when they left the refuge. The charges say the refuge’s 16 employees have been prevented from reporting to work because of threats of violence.
Ammon Bundy is the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a tense 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights.
The group came to the desert of eastern Oregon in the dead of winter to decry what it calls onerous federal land restrictions and to object to the prison sentences of two local ranchers convicted of setting fires.