FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
for the LaVoy Finicum family
March 8, 2016, St. George, UT. — LaVoy Finicum’s wife Jeanette Finicum released this statement at a news conference in St. George, Utah:
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.
According to the news story from Portland Oregon: “Officials investigating the death of Robert [LaVoy] Finicum are ready to release results” of the fatal shooting “during a Jan. 26 traffic stop while trying to arrest the rancher and others involved in the takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge.”
As a family, along with our lawyers, we deny this statement. This was not a traffic stop. It was an ambush with a roadblock placed on a blind curve along a lonely stretch of highway. I am told that in law enforcement and prosecuting circles this is called a “Deadman’s blockade,” and is designed to allow a “kill stop” which is illegal.
The news story continues: “The FBI said Finicum was shot after reaching for a gun…”. We reject that statement. The FBI’s aerial video was of poor quality, edited and provided no audio. Our family asserts that he was shot with both hands up, he was not reaching for anything at the time of the first shot. He was walking with his hands in the air, a symbol of surrender. When he reached down to his left hip he was reacting to the pain of having been shot.
I can hardly believe that a team of qualified law officers could look at the facts in this case and say that no criminal laws were violated.
How could they have reached this decision in the face of evidence that clearly shows intent to kill my husband?
We have talked with an independent investigator who has stated that the “video proves a set up assassination.”
Many people, including my lawyers, have tried to prepare me for this—-“be strong”, “accept this with peace” — but I don’t think anything could prepare me to accept what is so clearly a finding that challenges the Constitution that my husband died defending.
I know that under the Constitution the men who shot my husband to death, while he was surrendering, are entitled to due process of law — but they are not entitled to walk free and not have to face the same legal process that is a barrier to you or to me.
They shot my husband, they left him lying in the snowbank—no medical assistance, no charges, no arraignment, no preliminary hearing, no indictment, and no trial by a jury — and should they just walk free? It just is not right.
The consolation I have is that hundreds of thousands of Americans have seen and know the truth and believe as I do that my husband was murdered “intentionally, deliberately and with malice.”
My lawyer has assured me that we will seek justice in a different court, under different circumstances — -and I look forward to the day when these men do face a jury that is unbiased enough to return a fair verdict.
After the Finicum funeral, rallies spontaneously began to organize in many states. The organizers counted, possibly as many as 300 rallies took place throughout the country, in every state but Rhode Island.
It has been asked how this movement got such momentum so quickly. 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 hand up “shocks the conscience.”
Violating the 8th Amendment – cruel and unusual punishment – by placing Americans with no criminal records, who are apparently guilty of defending the US Constitution and the overreach of federal authorities, into solitary confinement and then removing their constitutional right to bear arms are two examples of how elected and appointed officials in the court system, legislative bodies and in law enforcement are violating the Constitution they swear to uphold.
The Supreme Court has referred to solitary confinement as being “violently insane.” The court has recognized that solitary confinement tortures our human brain and diminishes our God given strength to overcome obstacles.
Solitary confinement is a form of torture that often drives prisoners mad.
Last year a Supreme Court Justice wrote a concurring opinion that described the history of solitary confinement and said the practice bears a “peculiar mark of infamy” in its ability to shatter the minds and spirits of prisoners.
Who are we? We are outraged that men and women who have no criminal records and who posed no threat during the protest in Oregon are being treated as mere animals.
The American people are outraged at this inhumanity, this brutality and barbarism by the courts and law enforcement. It has created a new American awakening from both the Left and the Right. It “shocks our conscience.” And that is why around 300 rallies spontaneously organized in support of my husband’s assassination and these patriots who are being held as political prisoners.
Again, my lawyer has assured me that we will seek justice in a different court, under different circumstances —
We will be commenting on the FBI’s and Deschutes County press release tomorrow after we review their findings fully.