… by Jim W. Dean, VT Editor
Well the verdict is in for me. Yesterday’s inside the car video was followed today with the transcript of who said what when the shooting went down, very critical information to have, as I have never seen a felony arrest where the officers were “silent types”, or did not know what to say.
After the release of the aerial video, there was nothing more to analyze to help determine if it was a justifiable shooting or not, and the issue needed to be settled and put to bed with hard evidence.
We had the early clues from comments of never wanting to go to prison, no surprise there, but he added reflective framing that he had “had” a good life. Here is exactly what he said.
“I’m just not going to prison… Look at the stars. There’s no way I’m going to sit in a concrete cell where I can’t see the stars and roll out my bedroll on the ground.
That’s just not going to happen… I want to be able to get up in the morning and throw my saddle on my horse and go check on my cows. It’s OK. I’ve lived a good life. God’s been gracious to me.”
Fast forward to the first stop, where the second car with Amon Bundy in it surrendered without incident. The militia bloggers have air-brushed that incident. Amon took the other fork in the road, and his battle will be fought in the courts. Finicum’s people will think they have a bad shooting crusade on their hands, but they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell.
At the first stop Finicum’s behavior was irresponsible. You generally don’t give instructions to arresting officers unless you have a hostage. And Finicum potentially did have a car load. You notice that he and Bundy did not take their trip in one car together. They brought their human shields with them, including the women, plus their guns.
Yesterday’s new inside the car video shows him taunting the police at the initial stop to shoot him, already playing the victim that the blood would be on their hands. But why would they shoot him and ruin their careers, and put their families through all of that for a grandstanding egomaniac?
His demeanor and what he said was putting him more and more toward his suicide-by-cop moment, and you can bet your booties that the cops had been briefed on that potentially happening. You see at the first stop they were not rushing things, I think hoping that when they saw Amon Bundy’s vehicle surrender, Finicum’s might, also.
But Finicum took off, which edged him up another notch on his final appointment. When he barreled in on the three-car road block, where if he had plowed into them he certainly could have killed people, he crossed over to a higher threat level again. Officers say they fired three times at the truck, but hit no one inside. Later one bullet hole was found in the roof.
At 5:22 on the aerial video with Finicum barreling down the center of the road block the cell phone camera records what seems to be a bullet strike. That causes Finicum to veer left.
At 5:23 his truck is fully in the left lane.
At 5:24 he says “hang on” as he starts veering left into the snowbank. One second later is heard what sounds like a rifle blast. (Finicum’s window was open) If he had not veered left, he would have crashed the road block at 5:24, which showed the cops withheld their fire til the last moment.
At 5:28 Finicum’s truck has stopped and he has his door fully open and
At 5:29 He says his first “Go ahead and shoot me,” and then a couple of shoots ring out and a left side back window is blown out, which seem to be gas rounds. Finicum has 13 seconds left to live.
Looking at the aerial tape and listening to the car phone, you can hear Finicum saying some version of “shoot me” over and over until the final shots ring out, starting at 5:42.
To Finicum’s credit, he jumped out of the truck to get away from those inside, and we learn quickly why. He was instructed to get down on the ground three times, ignored that, kept moving around, moving his hands, and the prosecutor’s report states he was not shot until his third reach toward his gun pocket.
This is as classic a suicide by cop situation as I have seen. The two closest officers held their fire despite his reaching for his pocket twice. Finicum knew exactly what he was doing, forcing the officers to shoot him. And it was not an honorable death. He was not man enough to fight his case in the courts, but left the others to do so. Now his family will be consumed with a fruitless fight to punish these officers for doing what Finicum forced them to do.
Maybe he felt that he if were killed that would spur donations toward their defense. Maybe that is why the militia blogs pandered the “executed in cold blood with his hands up” scam… to get the cash flowing in. Maybe they wanted to stimulate another shootout with those remaining at the reserve, over the “execution” of Lavoy, and have multiple deaths to spur the movement on.
The FBI hostage rescue team families’ lives will be changed forever also, but by their own hands, as they withheld they had fired two shots through three questionings. This is mind-boggling, as SOP usually has an ordinance check for everyone and the recovery.
The only good that can come from this is for younger people to maybe learn how not to get sucked into these Jade Helmster scams with the legends-in-their-own-minds crowd, who have the poorest track record for doing anything for social movements in America. Lost in all of this is when George Bush (43) was elected, the largest militia in the country, the Michigan Militia, disbanded, as their man was now in charge, and the milk and honey times were just around the corner.
Comments can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post a sampling to weed out the militia trolls.