Oregon standoff continues after video release

Four week standoff in US Oregon state continues while police try to negotiate with occupiers

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Greg Bretzing, FBI special agent in charge for Oregon during a press conference where the shooting video was released

Updated Jan 30, 2016

The occupation of the Oregon wildlife refuge continues after the FBI released a video on Thursday in where one of the protesters was shot dead.

Relatives of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, 54, a spokesmen for the group that seized buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, said he posed no threat and they were not accepting the authorities' assertion that he was armed.

According to Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI's Portland office, the police are now trying to negotiate with the four holdouts.

They are holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles (48 km) from Burns, a small town in the state's arid southeast.

On Jan.2, the movement's jailed leader, Ammon Bundy along with others, occupied a part of the Sagebrush Rebellion refuge buildings.

The FBI on Thursday released video footage showing Robert LaVoy Finicum, one of the occupiers, being shot by police after he allegedly reached for his jacket pocket while police had stopped their car at a traffic spot.

The video was released hours after a lawyer for Finicum's family said other evidence may exist that shows the Arizona rancher was not threatening authorities.

According to authorities, Finicum was armed at the scene of his shooting. Aerial video taken shows Finicum speeding away from police before he decided to exit his car.

The grainy footage shows Finicum raise his hands in the air, turn around and flail his arms, then lower them before he is shot dead by Oregon State Police troopers, according to the FBI.

Bretzing, who narrated the video for reporters, said Finicum can be seen reaching for his jacket pocket, where law enforcement found a handgun. But the lack of focus in the video makes it difficult to discern Finicum's precise movements before the shooting.

"Based on some things that I've seen, I think there is potentially a completely different side to the story compared to what is being represented," Finicum family attorney Todd Macfarlane told Reuters. He could not be reached for comment concerning the FBI video release.

TRTWorld and agencies