FBI releases unedited video of Oregon milita spokesman’s fatal shooting

This article contains video that depicts the fatal shooting of an individual.

The FBI has released unedited, aerial footage of the traffic stop near Burns, Oregon, that led to the death of Arizona rancher Robert “LaVoy” Finicum on Tuesday.

Members of the self-identified militia and its supporters claim 55-year-old Finicum, who frequently served as a spokesman for the group, was gunned down while trying to surrender to the authorities. Six others, including militia leader Ammon Bundy, were arrested at the scene. Ammon’s brother, Ryan Bundy, suffered a minor gunshot wound during the exchange.

Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Harney County Sheriff’s Office, and Oregon State Police have remained tight-lipped on the topic of Finicum’s death. Citing a routine investigation into the shooting, as well as the ongoing efforts to eject the occupiers from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, federal officials refused to comment on rumors that Finicum’s hands were in the air when he was fatally shot, reportedly by a state trooper.

In a tweet Tuesday night, Michele Fiore, a local politician who has voiced her support for the occupation, claimed Finicum was “murdered with his hands up.”

It’s difficult to discern exactly what Finicum was doing at the moment before he was shot. Just after the nine-minute mark, the video, shot by circling law enforcement helicopters, shows a white SUV veer off the road to avoid a barricade of police vehicles. Finicum exits the vehicle with his hands in the air while moving away from the vehicle. Moments before he’s shot, however, he makes several erratic movements.

According to the FBI, he was reaching for his waistband when the trooper opened fire.

In a statement read by his attorney on Wednesday, Ammon Bundy called for the remaining occupiers—numbering four, authorities say—to leave the federal outpost and return home. 

Screenshot via FBI/YouTube

Dell Cameron

Dell Cameron

Dell Cameron was a reporter at the Daily Dot who covered security and politics. In 2015, he revealed the existence of an American hacker on the U.S. government's terrorist watchlist. He is a co-author of the Sabu Files, an award-nominated investigation into the FBI's use of cyber-informants. He became a staff writer at Gizmodo in 2017.