The shooting of LaVoy Finicum was entirely justified. Here’s why.

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#YallQaeda. #VanillaISIS. Call them what you want, but it seems the group of idiots who illegally occupied federal land are nearing the end of their reign. Last week, federal agents began arresting some occupiers while others absconded. The situation crescendoed  January 26th while Bundy & Co were heading to a local community meeting in two vehicles. One of the vehicles was stopped without incident however the other, driven by Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, took off.

While I’m certainly not an expert on law enforcement, I have a few personal friends who are officers. They want to protect the general public, but also want to return to their families safely at  the end of the day. Basically, if you don’t cooperate with law enforcement, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Mr. Finicum, in his infinite wisdom, chose to not cooperate with arresting officers. Instead, Finicum fled in a vehicle with three other passengers. Unbeknownst to Finicum, law enforcement setup a roadblock approximately a mile away. As Finicum approached the roadblock, he failed to slow down. Instead, drawing on the same poor decision-making process from earlier, he tried to execute some sort of weird chicane that resulted in his truck becoming part of the snowbank. Finicum almost immediately exited the vehicle with his hands raised.

Let’s take this opportunity to pause and look back on what Mr. Finicum previously said:

I’m just not going to prison,” Finicum said. “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.

So what Finicum basically says is that he is unwilling to be taken alive, indicating he’s happy to be a martyr for his cause (What was that again? The Bundy family not wanting to pay the US government the $1,000,000 they owe? Seems hypocritical, no?).

One can safely assume law enforcement was briefed on this situation prior to responding, so they were aware of Finicum’s statements.

In the video below, Finicum nearly runs over an officer, then gets stuck in a snow bank. Finicum immediately exits the vehicle, and extends his hands to indicate he is surrendering. However, Finicum reaches into his pocket not once, but twice. The few law enforcement officers around Finicum can’t be certain what Finicum is doing. Additionally, they are also monitoring the other three individuals in the vehicle, who have not exited.

The second time Finicum reaches into his pocket, he is fatally shot. Later, it is learned that Finicum had a 9mm handgun in the pocket he was reaching for.

It is astounding that he was able to reach into his pocket not once, but twice. The officers involved put themselves at considerable risk in delaying shooting LaVoy given that he, and the occupants of the vehicle, were all armed. Additionally, LaVoy almost ran over and killed a federal agent before exiting the vehicle.

After law enforcement used flashbangs and a substance similar to tear gas to ensure the remaining three in the vehicle were subdued, they were able to arrest without incident. Law enforcement later located two .223 caliber semi-automatic rifles and a .38 special revolver in the vehicle. LaVoy received medical attention only after the scene was secured. Had LaVoy cooperated with law enforcement, the entire situation could have been avoided.

Fortunately, no law enforcement officers were harmed.

And now this asshole, Ron Neil

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Ron is clearly a patriot, exposing the truth!

This fine gentleman makes the following statement:

Also, if a cop aims a firearm at you, defend yourself with lethal force and kill him. A loaded gun pointed at you is sufficient grounds to assume you are about to be shot. You will have a better chance of convincing jury to let you live, than convincing a cop.

This guy is absolutely batshit crazy. My friends who work in law enforcement point guns at people as a last resort, and only do so because they themselves don’t want to be shot because they know people like Ron function on this level of crazy. Pair that with LaVoy reaching for his loaded firearm, and this is a pretty clear-cut case of suicide by cop (and failed martyrdom).

People like Ron help create an echo chamber for people like Ammon. Ron is encouraging people to kill law enforcement officers who want nothing more than for people to be safe and for the officers themselves to be safe.

People like Ron are not helping anything. They are delusional, but have found a mouthpiece for themselves via social media (which is interesting, as many extreme conservatives are anti-science/technology).

Ultimately, this boils down to people who subscribe to conspiracy theories. These people believe that the “big government” is out to get them and law enforcement officers want to kill people. That is simply not the case.

Watch the video yourself (starting around 5:50). What do you think happened?
WARNING: This video is graphic.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjl1hefqqWI]

Be sure to follow Dan on his main project, A Science Enthusiast, and AScienceEnthusiast.com!

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About Dan Broadbent 18 Articles
Dan is a social worker by day and an amateur science communicator by night. His main project, "A Science Enthusiast", focuses on debunking pseudoscience, promoting rational thought, and cats. You can follow Dan on Facebook as A Science Enthusiast and on Twitter at @aSciEnthusiast.
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