The FBI has released the entire 26-minute video of the final moments of Arizona rancher and Oregon standoff leader LaVoy Finicum's life during their attempt to arrest him earlier this week.
In the days following his death, Finicum had become a martyr for anti-government extremists.
Greg Bretzing, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said the video was released to settle questions surrounding Finicum's death.
"We know there are various versions of what has happened out in the public domain. Most of them inaccurate. Some of them inflammatory."
The following is the FBI's recounting of what appears in the video that they showed at the press conference. Video released by the FBI is embedded below. The pursuit of Finicum begins around the eight-minute mark.
In the beginning, two vehicles–a Jeep and a white truck–move along the Eastern Oregon road. Finicum is driving the truck. The Jeep is pulled over and the driver (who the FBI did not charge and whose name was not released) gets out along with Ammon Bundy and Brian Cavalier who were arrested without incident, according to the FBI.
At some point roughly 4 minutes later, in a moment that is obscured in the video by foliage, Ryan Payne gets out of the truck through the backdoor. He puts his hand up, is approached by officers and is taken into custody. Then, the truck continues to sit on the road for more than three minutes as the FBI says law enforcement agents give “verbal commands” to the individuals left in the truck.
At that point, Finicum takes off “at a high rate of speed.” The truck traveled some distance before it encounters a law enforcement roadblock. As Finicum approaches those barriers, there is a “spike strip across the road,” but the FBI explains that he seemed to have circumvented it as he drove around the roadblock.
“He nearly hits an FBI agent as he maneuvers to the left,” the FBI explained just before they showed the video.
Then, Finicum’s truck gets caught in a snow bank. He gets out of the vehicle. He moves through the snow.
On two occasions, the FBI says that Finicum reaches his right hand toward “a pocket on the left inside pocket of his jacket” where police eventually found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun.
Then, Finicum is shot by Oregon State Police. The FBI did not say how many times, but did comment it was in the single digits.
After Oregon State Police shot Finicum, the FBI says that the area was secured with "flash bangs" and later, "sponge projectiles" in an effort to "disorient" any other individuals who were armed. Shawna Cox, Ryan Bundy and another unnamed individual were taken from the car. Cox and Bundy were arrested.
“We feel it is necessary to show the whole thing unedited in the interest of transparency,” Gretzing says.
A routine shooting investigation is still ongoing.
The FBI has narrowed the containment zones around the refuge in an effort to make life easier for residents in the county.
The FBI believes there are still four individuals holed up at the Wildlife Refuge. And negotiators are “working around the clock” to find a way to end the nearly 4-week occupation.
In the hours following Finicum’s death, law enforcement agents set up checkpoints surrounding the refuge. The FBI said Thursday that since those barriers were set up, nine individuals left the refuge. Six were released and three were arrested by the FBI.
The lawyers representing Ammon Bundy reiterated the call from Bundy -- who was arrested Tuesday -- for the remaining occupiers to leave the Malheur wildlife refuge in Oregon at a press conference Thursday.
The attorneys promised those still at the Oregon refuge center that they can use the courts and the political system for "phase 2" of their movement.
"Phase 1 of this protest needs to come to an end," Bundy's attorney Michael Arnold said.
A federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Oregon reveals new, disturbing details about an ongoing wildlife refuge standoff in Oregon that has stretched more than three weeks now and already left one dead.
Arizona rancher LaVoy Finicum became a martyr literally overnight.
Even before law enforcement confirmed his death in a shootout with officers on an highway in eastern Oregon, admirers were painting the Malheur Wildlife Refuge standoff leader as a sacrifice to the anti-government cause. But the conversion of the 55-year-old into a martyr, which happened in real time on social media, stretched the limits of cognitive dissonance. His new acolytes described the law-flouting Finicum, who threatened federal agents and vowed never to submit to the authorities, as an innocent murdered in the act of surrendering to cold-blooded law enforcement officers.
It's been more than a year since the feds walked away from a showdown with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy over grazing fees, and so far no federal charges have come against the rogue rancher or any of his armed associates. As a result, many of the same men who stood with Bundy then have become emboldened and have redirected their antics at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon where an unknown number of militiamen remain today.
But experts say those militiamen shouldn't count on being let off the legal hook so easy. The evidence in this case, experts say, is mounting and regardless of the individual charges, holding armed squatters accountable is a matter of messaging and conviction at this point that the federal government cannot afford to cave on.
"The case in Nevada involved cows roaming on public lands ... Let’s just call that one level of wrong," said Paul Charlton, a former U.S. attorney in Arizona, told TPM. This incident, Charlton says is a whole new level of criminal.
"There are prosecutors who could do this kind of case in their sleep," Charlton said.
In what is starting to look like a genius move, the federal government and local law enforcement have mostly kept their distance in the two weeks since an unknown number of out-of-town, rag-tag militiamen stormed the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon and vowed to stay until the federal government turned over its land to local ranchers.
So far authorities have declined to confront the men or to put the squeeze on them by restricting movement to and from the refuge or even to turn off the electricity, which might help draw the men out of the compound in the freezing January days.
But the lack of confrontation by federal officials has not only prevented it from becoming the next Waco or Ruby Ridge but transformed it into a peculiar and mundane sideshow, a one-sided standoff where the militiamen's days are marked by visits from wacky outsiders like pretend judge Bruce Doucette coming to sniff out "evidence" against the federal government and from disgruntled community members ready for the men to leave already.
By leaving the would-be revolutionaries to their own devices, authorities have given them enough rope to hang themselves.