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Still showing Finicum (left) reaching into jacket


While one group of dangerous thugs bickered Thursday night over who would kill terrorists the hardest, the FBI held a press conference in Burns, Oregon, aimed at disproving rumors that LaVoy Finicum, the Arizona welfare rancher who came to be known as "tarp man," was definitely not cooperating with law enforcement when he was shot to death. Needless to say, the video is not quieting down the conspiracy-minded at all, although it's safe to assume they weren't the FBI's primary audience anyway.

Special Agent Greg Bretzing started by saying only four people remain in the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and the FBI is negotiating for them to surrender. They want guarantees they won't be arrested, and Bretzing said, no, the FBI won't promise that sort of thing, sorry guys. You'll have to keep eating dildos. Since the arrest Tuesday of Ammon Bundy and seven other members of the armed Freedom Idiots, another nine people left the refuge, of whom three were arrested and six were sent on their merry militia way.

Most of the presser was dedicated to discussing an aerial video of the arrest and shooting, in an attempt to "lay out an honest and unfiltered view of what happened and how it happened" and to counter "incorrect" and "inflammatory" accounts of Finicum's shooting. Spoiler alert: At the moment Finicum is shot, his hands are definitely not up in the air. The video puts the lie to pneumatic wingnut Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore's insistence (based on nothing) that Finicum was "murdered with his hands up," and the account by another occupant of Finicum's truck that he was shot with his hands up, and then shot three more times once he was on the ground. None of that happened.

Bretzing walked reporters through an 8-minute version of video of the chase and shooting that had been edited for time, and also posted a full, unedited version to YouTube so all the Lone Gunmen out there could find hidden Lizard Men in the trees. Here's the shorter version, with the usual warnings that yes, it ends with a guy getting shot to death; while the shooting is seen only from a distance and is far less graphic than any fictional cop show, you'll want to decide for yourself whether you want to watch it:

Early on, we see two vehicles carrying the Bundy Brain Trust get pulled over: a Jeep in which Ammon Bundy was riding, and a white pickup driven by Finicum. The occupants of the Jeep get out and are arrested without any trouble, and one occupant of Finicum's pickup, Ryan Payne, gets out with his hands up and is arrested. After that, Finicum's truck sits idling in the middle of the road for several minutes while, Bretzing said, FBI agents and Oregon State troopers were "providing verbal commands to the occupants to surrender" (isn't cop talk a lovely thing?). After a while, the truck takes off, going fast, headed toward three police and FBI vehicles blocking the road; Finicum swerves to the left, apparently trying to get around the roadblock, and nearly hits an officer at the side of the road:

After the pickup becomes stuck in the snow, Finicum gets out, with his hands up, while two Oregon State Police approach him, and then reaches at least twice toward his left side; that's when the police shoot him. Bretzing said that a loaded 9mm semiautomatic pistol was in Finicum's jacket pocket.

When we look at the video, we see Finicum reaching toward his left, and it sure looks like going for a gun, and then he gets shot. Forensic examiners from internet comments sections say he might have been shot while his hands were up and his arm went down because he was dying, or maybe his arms got tired, or perhaps he was merely reaching for a refreshing roll of Mentos. Alex Jones's conspiracy clearinghouse Infowars concedes Finicum "appears to reach towards or across his chest with his right hand," but offers an alternative theory:

The angle of the camera is such that it obscures what his hands were doing – whether they were reaching for a weapon as the FBI and local Sheriff’s Office suggest, or whether Finicum was merely using his arms to balance as he struggled to walk in ankle-deep snow.

Infowars also complains that the only video released Thursday was the aerial footage, even though "several several law enforcement vehicles were present at the scene" -- so clearly there's a coverup, and cause for "intense debate about whether police were justified in the shooting or whether it is another example of trigger-happy officials overstepping their bounds with deadly consequences."

It's pretty amazing -- when a 12-year-old with a toy gun is shot within two seconds of cops arriving on scene, it makes sense that the police feared for their lives, because he looked like a thug. But after a guy who vowed he'd never be taken alive drives away from a traffic stop where he's been told to surrender, is chased by cops, swerves around a roadblock and nearly hits another cop, then reaches for a loaded gun, the cops just might have been trigger-happy.

The real question, of course, is how Barack Obama is responsible for this.

[Oregonian / FBI / InfoWars]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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