Well, if you wondered whatever went on with the investigation into two shots that were fired by an FBI agent a year and a half ago at the late Lavoy Finicum, we now have an answer for you. The agent has been indicted on federal accusations that he lied about firing at Finicum in order to obstruct justice.
According to Oregon Live:
The indictment stems from a more than yearlong investigation by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Justice. The agent will be identified when he’s summoned to appear in U.S. District Court in Portland at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Investigators said a member of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team fired at Finicum as his 2015 Dodge pickup truck crashed into a snow bank at a roadblock on U.S. 395. Finicum had just sped away from a surprise traffic stop on the rural highway as the occupation leaders traveled off the refuge to a community meeting Jan. 26, 2016.
The agent’s bullets didn’t hit Finicum, 54, an Arizona rancher who was the spokesman for the armed takeover of the federal sanctuary near Burns in Harney County. Moments later, state police troopers shot Finicum three times after he emerged from his white truck and reached for his inner jacket pocket, where police said he had a loaded 9mm handgun. One bullet pierced his heart, an autopsy found.
We reported on the investigation beginning back in March 2016. This was shortly after the synced video of the shooting was released.
At that time the agent was suspected of lying about firing at Finicum when he left the vehicle and that he may have gotten help from other agents in covering up the shooting.
Though the Oregon State Police were apparently responsible for actually shooting Finicum to death, the FBI claimed to investigate several of their agents concerning failing to report that they fired shots at Finicum and his vehicle. They apparently disposed of the bullet casings as well.
Oregon Live added:
The Oregon investigators concluded that one agent fired at Finicum’s truck, hitting it in the roof and missing on the second shot. A state trooper later described to investigators seeing two rifle casings in the area where the FBI agents were posted. But detectives called to investigate didn’t find the casings, police reports indicated.
Federal law prohibits “knowingly and willfully” making any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation or concealing information.
From an earlier report we did:
Five FBI agents assigned to the traffic stop told investigators that none of them fired at Finicum’s Dodge pickup after it crashed at their roadblock. Oregon investigators, however, concluded that one agent fired twice at the truck, hitting it once in the roof and missing on the second shot.
A state trooper later described to investigators seeing two rifle casings in the area where the agents were posted. Detectives tasked with collecting evidence didn’t find the casings, police reports indicate.
FBI aerial surveillance video shows that before the detectives could get there, the FBI agents searched the area with flashlights and then huddled, according to law enforcement sources who have seen the video. The group then broke and one agent appeared to bend over twice and pick up something near where the two shots likely were taken, the sources told The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Barry Donegan at Truth in Media reports, “Police reports indicate that detectives showed up to collect evidence around 90 minutes after the moment in the surveillance video in which the FBI agent appeared to pick items up from the ground.”
“All of the FBI agents on the scene that day claimed that they did not take any shots,” Donegan added. “A state trooper said he had fired three shots while the truck was speeding towards police and two more at Finicum as he was reaching into his jacket after he had exited the vehicle. Police inventory records show that the trooper was missing five rounds after the incident, apparently confirming his story. A fourth bullet hole in the truck came from a different angle of trajectory suggesting that an FBI agent had fired the shot. Investigators believe a second shot, which missed Finicum and did not strike the truck, was also fired by an FBI agent.”
At the time of the shooting, even the FBI didn’t give the whole truth at a press conference, according to the Bundy’s attorney.
Finicum’s widow has filed a wrongful death lawsuit even though Oregon has ruled the shooting of her husband justified.
I’m glad that the agent was indicted, but what about the agents who assisted in the coverup? What about Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing? What part did he play in all of this? These are questions that need to be answered.