Someone needs to reintroduce Cliven Bundy to reality – stat!
I am sure you have all heard that the FBI was able to successfully arrest Oregon occupation leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy along with five other militia members during a highway traffic stop about 45 miles north of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge they had been occupying since January 2 of this year.
Sadly, the arrests ended in gunfire when Ryan Bundy and Arizona rancher LaVoy Finicum resisted arrest – resulting in Finicum, 54, being killed and Bundy being wounded.
As we all know from watching the video of the incident, Finicum resisted capture, fleeing federal and state officers at high speeds, ultimately crashing into a snowbank – damn near killing an FBI agent in the process.
Aerial footage from an FBI plane flying overhead shows Finicum exiting the vehicle with his hands in the air as he was surrounded by officers. Moments later he can be seen reaching for the inside pocket of his coat, at which point a Oregon trooper, from the trees away from the road, shot him.
“On at least two occasions, Finicum reaches his right hand toward a pocket on the left inside portion of his jacket. He did have a loaded 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun in that pocket,” said Greg Bretzing, the FBI agent in charge of Oregon.
We know this account by Bretzing to be true from a review of the video of the incident.
A Point to Consider
There is one important point to consider – relevant to Cliven Bundy’s spin on the story, namely that when Finicum fled the scene – he did so leaving behind
- The driver, who was not charged and will not be named
- Ammon Bundy
- Brian Cavalier
Finicum traveled a significant enough distance down the road, around curves and behind trees and high snow banks that it would be impossible for Ammon Bundy to witness the fatal encounter between the FBI, the Oregon State Police and Finicum. No way!
Cliven Bundy’s Spin
Cliven Bundy – father to two of the ringleaders of the Oregon standoff – Ammon and Ryan Bundy took to his ranch’s Facebook page shortly after the news of Finicum’s demise went public.
The story he spun – and continues to stick with despite video evidence to the contrary – is that Finicum was on his knees with his hands in the air when he was shot.
His first post directly addressing the shooting reads: “Levoy Finicum was Shot and murdered in Cold blood today in Burns Oregon by the FBI and State Law enforcement. He had his hands up and was shot 3 Times. This Man Is one of the best Patriots, Husband, Father, Grandfather, friend and Neighbor, that this world will ever know. Spread this far and wide!” [I can’t tell for sure and the FBI is not saying – but I would swear from watching the video that Finicum was only shot once. However, what is crystal clear from the video is the fact that Finicum was standing upright with both hands down – he right hand reaching inside the left side of his coat.]
Next Cliven posted a short audio clip in which he claims to have two witnesses to Finicum’s shooting who make the same claim. As it turns out those two witnesses are actually only one – Ammon Bundy – who, as we explained above, could not have been in a position to have witnessed Finicum being shot. Cliven then goes on to claim that Ammon called his wife, Lisa, and told her that Ryan had been shot in the arm and that Finicum had been murdered in cold blood. According to Cliven’s account of Ammon’s phone call – Finicum was unarmed [a fact we know to be false] and had his hands in the air.
Cliven also states that Ammon called another person – whose name I could not understand – telling that individual the same story. Cliven finishes up his recording – again stating that he has two witnesses to Finicum’s murder. Of course, here in the real world – at best he has two people that talked to Ammon who could not have possibly witnessed the incident himself. So Cliven basically has two secondhand reports of nothing.
The next few posts are filled with further claims that Finicum had been “cold-bloodedly murdered.” There is also a link to an accounting by Victoria Sharp who Cliven Bundy claims was the third unnamed person in the car with Finicum (unnamed by the FBI as she was not arrested). In short, her accounting is more of the same – Finicum was basically executed by FBI agents…..
A ton of mindless posts later, Cliven posts a meme showing Finicum with his hands in the air – I guess his proof-positive that Finicum was executed. However, were he to have take a screenshot of the actual moment of the shooting – the photo would have shown Finicum reaching for his gun with one hand and his other hand by his side.
Here is the approximate point in the video (5 mins 56 secs) that was used for the meme, above:
Here you can see with his hands down about 6 seconds later (6 mins, 2 secs):
Here you can see him with his hands down a second time at 6 mins and 5 seconds:
About half a second later (still at 6 mins and 5 secs) you can see him turn towards the trooper to his left – both hands down, clearly reaching inside his coat:
Here is the point at which the shots were fired (6 mins, 6 secs):
Finicum hits the ground, no more shot(s) fired (6 mins, 7 secs):
You can watch the FBI’s video below, courtesy our friends at Being Liberal: