Posts Tagged ‘LaVoy Finicum’

Burns Chronicles No 16 – Ambush – Part 3 – As Told and Retold by Government Witnesses

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 16
Ambush – Part 3
As Told and Retold by Government Witnesses

 

Adam12-SwatGary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
March 27, 2016

On February 18, 2016, the Tri-County Major Incident Team released a report prepared, primarily, by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.  The publically available version consists of 360 pages, though the page numbering indicates that the entire report consists of at least 714 pages.  The officers involved are identified by assigned numbers, to protect their identity.  There are heavy redactions of experience of officers and substantial portions of their interviews.  References shown thus, {nn}, indicate PDF page numbers from the above linked document.

This article will point out discrepancies, disparities, and other portions that raise a question as to the objectivity of the published version of the report.  The document explains that when they do the interviews, they can use the names of the other officers or personnel, though those names will be replaced by numbers in the documentation.  So, when they speak of “Office #1”, we have no idea who he is, but the numbers remain constant for the various players, throughout.  There will be a distinction between “Officer #4” “DCSO 4”, the latter being on the investigation team, the former being an officer involved from Oregon State Police (OSP).  Italics will be used for direct quotes from the report.

The Cast – All Oregon State Police Officers and present at shooting scene:

Officer #1      Fired two rapid fire rounds into LaVoy’s back, first shooter; also fired three rounds at truck as it approached the roadblock

Officer #2      Fired one round into LaVoy’s back, was second shooter

Officer #3      Officer with taser, approaches LaVoy from tree line

Officer #4      Drove Gray truck

Officer #5      Non-lethal (40mm) single round

Officer #6      Driver of Root Beer Truck (Lead Vehicle)

Officer #7      Non-lethal (40mm) multi-launcher – 6 rounds

Officer #8      Second OSP in Root Beer Truck

Note: Interviews will be presented in the order that they appear in the Report.

Note that all vehicles, OSP and FBI, were unmarked. Dress was “civies” in Burns, change to tactical gear on deployment to US 395. Deployment was staggered to avoid scrutiny by militia. Radio communication was different between FBI and OSP, requiring mixed partnering in vehicles to share communications. There was apprehension that the militia in Burns would respond, if open communication were used. (more…)

Burns Chronicles No 13 – Ambush – Part 2 – “We Feared for Somebody’s Life”

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 13
Ambush – Part 2
“We Feared for Somebody’s Life”

body shots

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
March 14, 2016

Just over 246 years ago, on March 5, 1770, eight British Soldiers shot and killed four colonists.  They and their Captain stood trial, even though they were the property of the King.  All stood trial, even though only two were found guilty of manslaughter.  The people, in a jury trial, determined who was innocent, and who was not.  That is the judicial system we were supposed to have inherited from our British ancestors.  The Revolutionary War may have started even earlier, had not these simple rules of justice been applied — had the King decided that his forces would be judged by the King, or his appointee, rather than by the people.

An overview of the events that led to the murder of LaVoy Finicum was presented in a previous article, “Ambush“.  However, as a result of a press conference given in Bend, Oregon, on March 8, 2016, we have more detail to fill in some gaps in that previous article.  It is worthy of note that the detail is provided by Shawna Cox, one of the victims (Shawna Cox’s video synchronized with aerial footage, complete).  This article will address primarily the information given out at that press conference.

As we continue, you will note the extent of preparation for the event that was planned, probably as much as a week before the date of execution. (more…)

Burns Chronicles No 4 – Stand Up; Stand Down

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 4
Stand Up; Stand Down

LaVoy and Ammon

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
February 7, 2016

On the morning of January 26, 2016, I traveled to the Harney County Resource Center (HCRC), formerly known as the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, from Burns. I had arranged to get the necessary information for some articles I intended to write.

When lunchtime came, I went to the mess hall. The Sharp Family had just begun with one of their songs, and I saw Ammon Bundy sitting with others at a corner table. I walked up and asked if I could sit at that table, and Ammon, graciously said, “Yes, please sit down.”

I had spoken with Ammon a number of times, in the months prior, though we had never met. As I introduced myself, I realized that he had been looking forward to our meeting, as I had.

We discussed the stories I intended to write, and he was fully supportive of the story lines, especially the one that would be about the people of Burns and their reactions to certain events, both in and out of town.

Before I left, the Sharps began another song. I had heard audio tapes of their singing during the Bundy Affair, but they didn’t compare to the live performance I heard that day.

After lunch, I located Ryan Payne. We had spent over a week together in November finishing a PowerPoint Presentation for Committees of Safety (CoS). This presentation had been used to explain the concept of CoS to some of the residents of Harney County. They then formed their own Harney County Committee of Safety.

I gave Ryan an inscribed copy of a biography of Robert E. Lee, which now still sits where he placed it. I had also forgotten to bring long johns, and needed some bottoms. Ryan went to the storeroom and retrieved a pair, explaining that they were from the delivery made through III Percent Patriots, just a few weeks before.

Both Ammon and Ryan had expressed their interest in the upcoming meeting at John Day, Grant County, and another meeting with Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer. Little did we know, then, what was soon to come.

I returned to my room in Burns and began writing. About an hour later, I received a phone call that reported that there had been a shooting and that LaVoy Finicum and Ryan (later to learn it was Ryan Bundy, not Ryan Payne) had been shot. About 15 minutes later, after some confirmation of the shooting, I headed back down to the HCRC. Realizing that most of the leadership at the HCRC was traveling to Grant County, and recognizing that it was imperative that some additional forces might be necessary to retain the public lands open to the public, I picked up my role of Public Relations for OMD. We had previously discussed and approved a call out to bolster the efforts at the HCRC. We felt there was time to prepare a call out, but suddenly, that call out became imperative.

I contacted my team (not a part of OMD, rather some wonderful, unpaid, people that assist me in research, audio/video editing, and other mundane tasks) and began dictating a call out, as I drove the thirty-three miles to the HCRC. Though not properly proofread, it was prepared and the remaining requirement was to get affirmation from those at the HCRC — that they wanted their forces supplemented.

Upon my arrival, I found a number of team leaders and other higher-level members discussing the shooting, the determination to hold their ground, and a refusal to accept orders from outside. It seems that a lot of people calling the individuals tried to talk them into abandoning their mission. I asked if they wanted a call out, and to a man, they said, “Yes”. So, I instructed my team to spread that dictated call out around the Internet. It was sent out at 7:56 PM PST, January 26, 2016:

From Gary Hunt, Outpost of Freedom in Burns, Oregon.
Attention all Oathkeepers, Idaho Three Percenters, Pacific Patriots Network, especially Brandon Curtis, Joe Rice, Eric Parker, and Stewart Rhodes.

This is a call-out to the membership of Operational Mutual Defense (OMD) and friends.

You have an obligation to proceed to the Harney County Resource Center (the wildlife refuge), immediately, in order to protect the patriots still there. If you fail to arrive, you will demonstrate by your own actions that your previous statements to defend life, liberty, and property were false.

To members of Operation Mutual Defense, this is an emergency. The purpose of Operation Mutual Defense is to respond to overbearing actions by the federal government that has become threatening to life, liberty, or property. Lavoy Finicum has been murdered by the FBI, and Ryan Payne [Bundy] has been shot.

They were en route to a meeting where had been invited by the Grant County sheriff to address the citizens in Grant County, a peaceful mission.

The time for all good men to come to the aid of their country has come — to the Harvey County Resource Center, which is 30 miles south of Burns, Oregon.

Stand by your oath. God Bless America.

You will note that it was directed at certain organizations present in Burns since January 2, or earlier. Though we didn’t know what the government’s next step would be, time was of the essence. There were a number of members of those organizations just 30 miles away, and they were absolutely necessary if the HCRC was to be held. They were present in order to discourage a “Waco type” raid, according to all of their public statements.

In my haste to get to the HCRC, I had failed to take my computer. I had mail lists that went to upwards of 800 people, and getting the call out to them was imperative. The “hot spot” at the refuge was no longer active, but efforts were being made to get it reestablished, so I opted to return to Burns to get my computer. When I returned to HCRC, I learned that women and children, as well as many of the men, especially from those organizations, had left. However, there was hope that they would soon be replaced by some of those who had been staying in town.

I had stopped at the bridge on Sodhouse Lane (the road to the HCRC) where a front-end loader had been placed on the bridge to prohibit traffic. Jason Patrick was there, as was a wonderful “young” lady named Barbara Berg. I found that the hotspot had not been restored, so I decided to wait in the press area (west of the bridge) and assist Jason in coordinating interviews with the various press. This task ended up going until about 7:45 the morning of the 27th.

Shortly before, a press crew had come in and said that a roadblock had been set up on SR 205, the direct route to Burns and the last of the available roads out from the area. They had been told that once you go out, you could not return.

At about 7:45, a lady from ABC called the press together and explained that she had received a call from the FBI. They had told her that there were “armed forces” on each side of us, and that the FBI could not provide for anyone’s safety, unless they left the area.

About that time, a friend called and said that she had been told that I would be assassinated when I left. I knew that the government did not like my writing, but I shrugged off the warning. However, that message remained in my mind and created a bit of apprehension.

I had intended to go to the Narrows (restaurant, store, and campground) about six miles west and cover what I could from there. Instead, I decided that I might be better off returning to Burns, though I was still a bit anxious about the message. I determined to place discretion ahead of valor, and return to Burns.

I asked one of the press members who I had spoken with, before, if I could leave with him so that there was someone present if the rumor were true. He said that he could not ethically do so, but informed me that he would be leaving shortly.

Most of the press proceeded to the Narrows, where he and I also went. When he was ready to leave, I pulled out behind him. At the stop sign, he remained conspicuously longer than necessary, so I pulled around him as he nodded at me.

As I approached the checkpoint, I saw that the woman in front of me had gotten out of her car, held up her hands, and walked toward the motioning agent. I was behind her about 50 feet, where the first stop was implemented. I removed my bulky jacket, not wanting to appear to have any place in which to hide weapons.

Finally, her car was driven forward by an agent, and I was motioned to the next stop. I arrived with head and hands out the window, except to the extent that I had to steer the truck. I then exited, walked across the road, then forward, hands raised, to the awaiting agent. I was patted down, asked my name, did I have weapons, and showed identification. He asked if I was press, I told him yes, he asked for my press credentials, I told him they were on the dashboard of my truck. Another agent verified that they were there.

Then, on to what was referred to as “Clearance #1”, where I was again questioned. By then, I was shivering; perhaps both from cold and apprehension, and the agent asked if I wanted a coat out of the truck. I affirmed, and as the agent drove my truck by, I was able to retrieve both coat and hat.

My truck, again, left me, and I was escorted up to “Clearance #2”, where I stood and talked with the agent. He was from the mid-west, and I asked him where he was staying. He said he had just arrived and immediately went on duty.

Finally, he received a report that I had passed clearance at #2, and I was allowed to go to my truck and drive up to “Clearance #3”.

At #3, I found that the agent was from “up north”, and had not stayed in Burns. So, it appears that they were deployed from their home bases directly to duty. This would explain why there were so few battle dressed agents staying in Burns or at the airport.

While waiting for my final clearance, the reporter behind me was passed through, drove around me and up the road. About 600 feet up, he stopped, and both he and his partner got out and took pictures, showing that I was still alive at Clearance #3, and the last of the checkpoints.

However, his passing me was a cause for apprehension. This was heightened when the next vehicle behind him was cleared and drove by me. I had been at #3 for almost twenty minutes, when I was finally cleared when he repeated what had been transmitted through his radio, “White hat is cleared”, and allowed to continue on toward Burns. A total of fifty minutes, filled with rising anxiety, and finally relief.

I had agreed to an interview with a reporter, in exchange for lunch, but first, I had to attend a press conference at eleven o’clock. After the press conference, we did the interview, and I returned to my room and a mountain of phone calls. After returning the calls, I was finally able to, after 34 hours, lie down and get some sleep.

When I awoke, I found that nobody had shown up at the HCRC to bolster the force, and even worse, that more had left. Concerned that many might be driving toward Burns, and not sure how long the few remaining there (down from the 8 or 9 that had been there at last report), I realized that circumstances, as they were, could not be improved by additional people arriving, with no place to report to, and the final door being shut. That 12-hour window when people could easily enter the area was closed. So a stand down was in order. I sent out the following at 9:21 PM PST January 27, 2016.

From Gary Hunt, Outpost of Freedom
In Burns, Oregon

Based on existing circumstance, support is too late, and would be dangerous, or at least result in your arrest if you attempted to get into the Refuge.

As I left the Refuge, this morning, troops were still arriving, according to those I talked with were arriving from various points as far east as Iowa, and further north. They appeared to have been staged at their home bases until they deployed directly to their field assignments. My estimate of perimeter troop strength would be 200-300, and one of these that I spoke with explained that he was “external perimeter”; they had even developed a protective perimeter concept, so that there were two lines that had to be overcome to gain entry.

At this point any effort to provide support for those inside by joining them would serve no useful purpose, and would be a fool’s errand.

OMD is currently working with others to establish a foundation upon which to build, so that the work begun in freeing public lands can be completed.

Burns Chronicles No 2 – Ambush

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 2
Ambush

Lavoy at stop 1

LaVoy Finicum’s last ride
“I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
                                                                                    Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
February 2, 2016

The Death of LaVoy Finicum

Note: Times given are referenced to the aerial time stamps, minus eight hours. Quotations are based upon the best recollection of the witnesses.

I had lunch with Ammon Bundy while the Sharp family sang. It was the first time I had met Ammon, and we went over the articles I intended to write about the events that led up to the actions of January 2, 2016, with the investiture of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge administration complex, since renamed the Harney County Resource Center. The subjects for the articles were the misunderstanding of the people of Burns as to what source resulted in the fear and anxiety then extant in the town of Burns, and the information available in the “public” records contained in the filing cabinets at the refuge that might show the use of subterfuge in the obtaining of land to extend the federal “ownership”, not only in the Refuge, but throughout Harney County.

Ammon also indicated his pleasure for the upcoming meeting in the Grant County town of John Day, expecting to get additional support from Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer. As we discussed, it was to the backdrop of the Sharp family’s vary harmonious singing.

I then visited Ryan Payne, an old friend and fellow board member of the Operation Mutual Defense (OMD) Advisory Board. Ryan, too, was looking forward to a productive meeting with the Grant County community, hoping to establish a Committee of Safety to become a voice from the disenfranchised people of that County, as they had in Harney County.

The meeting was to begin at 6:00 PM on January 26, 2016. The drive, which in that part of the country, is a rather fixed route. From the Refuge, you go west on Sodhouse Lane to State Road 208, then North into Burns where you pick up US 395 North, through Malheur National Forest, through Seneca, and finally to John Day. The trip is just over 130 miles and is, unquestionably, the only practical way between the two locations.

Vehicle #1, the lead vehicle, LaVoy’s white 4-door pickup truck, contained Robert “LaVoy” Finicum driving, Ryan Payne at shotgun, and, from driver’s side to passenger side in the back seat, Ryan Bundy, Victoria Sharp, and Shawna Cox. Vehicle #2 contained Mark McConnell, driving his brown 4-door Jeep, with Brian “Budda” Cavalier at shotgun and Ammon Bundy in the rear. This was the position of all of the people as they left the HCRC, and the position of each until they left their respective vehicles. Thus, they began their 33-mile drive to Burns, which resulted in an unexpected and tragic termination.

After leaving Burns, they traveled up US 395 about 15 miles north of the intersection with US 20. As they passed National Forest Road 2820 (NF 2820) on their right, they noticed a line of trucks and other vehicles stacked up to enter US 395. There were at least eight vehicles, rather odd for the middle of a forest. This was about 4:25 PM, and about an hour out from their destination.

Once those vehicles turned north, the same direction they were traveling, it dawned on them that this might just not be a coincidence. However, optimistically, they continued on their way.

Less than a minute later, Vehicle #2 pulled over in response to flashing lights and sirens. Those who pulled over Vehicle #2 identified themselves as FBI HRT (Hostage Rescue Team) with a loudspeaker. They then instructed the driver to exit the vehicle and walk toward them, hands on his head. He approached them, he was instructed to lie on the ground, head away from them, and “low-crawl” back to them, where they disarmed him, cuffed him and patted him down. The same procedure was then addressed to the man in the back seat (Ammon), and finally to the man in the front seat (Budda), until all three were “secured”. All three acted without resisting, and fully compliant with the instructions given. They were then placed on the ground with their backs against one of the FBI vehicles, where they remained until after those from Vehicle #1 were finally returned to that area. Ammon’s hat and briefcase were still in the Jeep when it was recovered from impound, two days later

Vehicle #1, realizing that Vehicle #2 was no longer behind them, and not wanting to separate from and abandon their friends, slowed to a stop just beyond NF 31, about 3/4 mile from where the ambush began. They were followed by two FBI vehicles that stopped about 40 feet behind them. Ryan Payne then stuck his hands and head out of the passenger side window and a single shot was fired, striking the truck near the outside rear-view mirror.

The first shot having been fired, Ryan’s concern was for the women who were well within that line of fire. He exited the truck, hands held about shoulder level, and yelled, “There are women in here”. Seeing the number of guns pointed at him, when the command was given, “hands on your head. Walk toward us”, he complied. He was then searched, handcuffed, and taken back to where the three from Vehicle #2 were detained, a few hundred yards behind Vehicle #1.

After Ryan left the vehicle, LaVoy, seeing laser dots around him, and the observers in the back seat seeing a laser dot directly on LaVoy’s hat, he sticks his head and one hand out the window and yells, “Go ahead and shoot me.” He follows that with, “We are going to meet with the Sheriff [Palmer of Grant County]. We have a meeting with the Sheriff. You are going to have to shoot me. We are going to see the Sheriff. We are going to see the Sheriff.”

LaVoy then turned to the remaining occupants and said, “We are going to see the Sheriff. If you girls want to get out, then you can.” Victoria then replied, “I am not getting out.” She was terrified because Ryan had been shot at.

Shawna, a grandmother herself, was not going to leave a little girl by herself, opted to go with the flow. So, the three in the back seat slid down, knees against the back of the front seat, getting their heads as low as possible. In the forest, there was no cell phone service, so efforts to call out were futile. Shawna, however, had her phone video camera on and was filming these events, as they happened.

At 4:33:47 PM, LaVoy accelerates and the chase was on. Shawna then asked how far they would make it before the tires would be shot out. Receiving no answer, she asked, “How far is it to John Day?” LaVoy replied, “Fifty miles.”

Just over a mile up the road, at the end of a left sweeping curve, three vehicles block the roadway. The roadside has a snow bank about 2-3 feet high. After just about 1 minute of flight, hoping to get to Sheriff Palmer at John Day, their hopes decelerate as rapidly as LaVoy’s truck before it turns slightly to the left and plows through the snow. As an agent runs into the path of the truck, LaVoy swerves further to the left, probably to avoid injuring the agent. The truck comes to its final rest. Although past the vehicles blocking the road to John Day, the failed momentum of LaVoy’s efforts to reach sanctuary with Sheriff Palmer.

Unknown to those in the truck, and those back down the road, an effort was made to warn them of what was to come.

Victoria and Shawna were last minute passengers in Vehicle #1 because Victoria was late in preparing for the trip to John Day. Her family had left more than ten minutes ahead of LaVoy, in that they were scheduled to sing at the Community Meeting, the destination of all.

When the Sharp family passed the checkpoint at Seneca, they tried to contact those behind them, but cell reception was non-existent where these events were unfolding. Any chance to forewarn them of what they might expect was not able to be conveyed.

Within seconds, LaVoy is out of the truck, hands raised, and observing where the agents are, walks widely away from the truck and towards its rear to assure that if gunfire begins, that the truck and those inside of it are not in the line of fire.

[Note: A Witness has provided a correction — that the gunfire started even before LaVoy got out of the truck, that being the shots fired at LaVoy’s truck while he was still on the road driving toward the roadblock. opf ]

The rear seat occupants slowly rise, after LaVoy exits. They are still trying to stay low, but also to observe, as best they can, what is occurring outside of the vehicle. They see LaVoy, hands in the air, trying to negotiate deep snow and probably uneven ground, stumbling, occasionally, probably because he was wearing his narrow cowboy boots.

[Note: Ryan Bundy is recording, verbally, on his cell phone, what is transpiring. Shawna Cox is taking video of the events, as they go down. Neither phone nor camera have been returned to their owners. opf ]

LaVoy then, probably still attempting to remove the threat from those still in the vehicle, yells, “Shoot me, just go ahead and shoot me.” As he is being shot, he turns back towards his friends, still in the truck, as if in a final good-bye. Just 13 seconds after LaVoy left the truck, he falls to the ground, dead. However, his arm does move, slightly, after he lay on the ground, perhaps as a last gesture to those still inside, perhaps a reflexive reaction.

Note: Second person information from one of the witnesses, indicates that LaVoy was shot

[Note: The witness has provided a correction to the article – that the witness observed at least three shots that hit LaVoy, though there may have been ore. opf ]

There is no reason to believe that he was shot in the face, only in the body-mass.

Those inside are terrified; they see that LaVoy is shot, while unarmed. In reflection, if soldiers (or Marines) in Afghanistan, had acted as the agents and shot an unarmed man, without provocation, would have violated the Rules of Engagement (ROE) of war, and would have stood Court Martial, then probably imprisoned or discharged from service. Unfortunately, the ROE do not apply here, in our own “free” country.

At the same time that the gunfire was directed at LaVoy, by two agents clearly aiming at him, those inside of the truck begin seeing laser dots, perhaps thirty or forty at any given time, and Ryan Bundy is shot in the shoulder. Bullets begin to pierce the truck; windows break, impacted by bullets. All hell breaks loose as perhaps hundreds of bullets penetrate the vehicle or hit the snow, outside, sending clouds of snow into the air. All of the windows had been broken by gunfire, which was described as “coming from every direction”.

Ryan and Victoria had gotten on their knees, ducking as low as they could while Shawna remained in the previously described position. They began to wonder if the gunfire would ever stop, and that eventually they, too, would be killed by the agents.

Laser dots were appearing on knees, seats, all over, inside of the truck and they realized that other agents had come out from behind trees on the left side, and perhaps the right side of the road, firing randomly into the truck and surrounding area. Whether through the grace of God, or simply poor marksmanship, after nearly six minutes, those inside began yelling, “Stop, stop”. Then, gunfire, flash-bang grenades, and tear gas projectiles, ceased.

During this ordeal, Victoria, who had, just finished EMT school, said, “They shot him. I want to help him”, though she was restrained from doing so by Ryan and Shawna. At eighteen years of age, gentle Victoria had seen war come to her own country.

The right side of the truck had plowed snow, so the occupants were told to exit the left door, Ryan Bundy, being first, walks, with hands up, onto the paved roadway and is secured. Next comes Victoria, and finally, Shawna. With no female agents present, Shawna watched very closely as an agent simply ran his fingers around Victoria’s waistband of her pants.

The three were then detained, but allowed to lean against a van, in an effort to stay warm, as opposed to those from Vehicle #2, where they were forced to sit on the cold ground.

After a while, Shawna and Victoria were loaded in a van (not sure of the vehicle type) and driven back to pick up Payne, McConnell, Ammon and Budda. Ryan Bundy was transported by ambulance back to Burns.

They were detained at that location for what seemed like hours. Ryan Payne, after learning of LaVoy’s death, berated the forty, or so, agents, calling them murderers and that they had blood on their hands — something that those who took over the refuge had attempted to avoid, since January 2. However, those who had constantly expressed a desire for a “peaceful resolution” had, finally, drawn first blood in a contemptible act against American citizens, thereby proving the assertions made by Ammon Bundy throughout the course of the occupation of the refuge.

Victoria was extremely upset and constantly expressing her outrage over what the government had done. Mark McConnell, surely upset himself, took it out on Victoria, for her vocal expressions, until quieted by the others.

Somehow Ammon, when searched, managed to sneak his cell phone past the pat down, and as they drove towards Burns, the interior lights of the vehicle being left on, was able to call his wife, Lisa, and began telling her what had happened, including the first outside knowledge of LaVoy’s death. As they approached Burns, the interior lights were turned off, probably so that those on the street could not see who the occupants were. The glow from the phone face now showing brightly on Ammon’s face. They then stopped, pulled them out of the vehicle and found the cell phone.

Next stop was the hospital to check on Ryan Bundy, who still had a bullet in his shoulder, then on to a rest area west of Burns, where everybody was removed. About the same time, Ryan Bundy was also delivered to the rest area.

All were given their Miranda Rights, and it is unknown whether anybody answered any subsequent questions. They were then advised that they were being charged with “conspiracy to impede officers”. The document, the Criminal Complaint, must have been prepared after the arrests were made. A nefarious practice, and probably illegal even by the standards of justice that were intended by the “due process” concept of law. This is abundantly clear by the fact that “Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum” is not listed on the Complaint, for if it were prepared before the arrests were made, his name most surely would have been included, unless they had already intended to kill him. More logically, the Criminal Complaint, a requisite for this type of arrest, was prepared after the FBI Special Agent, Katherine Armstrong, signed the Complaint, and Stacie F. Beckerman, U. S. Magistrate, signed the document, purportedly in Portland, some 300 miles away by road. Certainly, not what we should expect from our government.

Finally, all were together, though, then, each was placed in a separate vehicle for transport to their final destinations. Two vehicles transported Mark McConnell and Victoria Sharp back to Burns, where they were released. The remainder went in the opposite direction, presumably directly to Multnomah County Jail.

As far as firearms, one witness said that LaVoy had a 9-mm in his shoulder holster, well under his armpit, and there is no indication that he reached high enough or deep enough under his jacket to even get his hand close to it. With the exception of Shawna and Victoria, all were probably armed, as was the practice. Ryan Bundy appears to have dropped his firearm into the snow as he exited the vehicle. Mark McConnell had his taken when he was “apprehended” at the first stop. LaVoy’s well recognized revolver was left beside the seat when he exited Vehicle #1 to draw fire away from the remaining occupants of that vehicle.

 

Burns Chronicles No 1 – Introduction

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 1
Introduction

Burns

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
February 2, 2016

This is the first of a series of articles about the events surrounding the investiture of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge administration buildings by a group headed by Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven and Carol Bundy. The Bundys are well known for the events in Nevada that played out in April 2014. In that incident, the Bundys, along with hundreds of other patriotic Americans, went beyond “civil disobedience” and entered the realm of “civil defiance”, defying, with arms, the intrusion of the Bureau of Land Management into the long time operation of the cattle part of the Bundy ranch operation – denying rights that had existed for years and denying them their pursuit of the family business.

Though this writer only spent five days in Burns, he was able to meet many of the key players on the side of the patriots, some townspeople from Burns, and some of those who gathered, on one side or the other, to observe, or attempt to affect, the ongoing activities.

As the world knows, the events neared completion when the motorcade, on a peaceful mission to a community meeting in John Day, Grant County, Oregon, met the undue wrath of the federal government, and local and state law enforcement, resulting in the death of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum and the arrest on rather interesting charges of 11 participants of the activities at the refuge.

In an effort to be as factual as possible, many witnesses still have to be interviewed to ensure that what will be written is as factual as possible. Due to the rampant, and most often unsubstantiated, rumors in social media, those stories that will follow should finally put to rest many of those false claims.

Every effort will be made to corroborate the factual aspects of these stories, which will result in each story only “going to press” after exhaustive research and interviews have been completed.

Due to the nature of the interdependence of some activities, conjecture may be used to bridge gaps. This is deemed necessary as the government, at all levels, is notorious for misrepresentations, omissions, concealing evidence under the guise of “ongoing investigation”, or simply to cover their misdeeds. Absent available facts, though circumstantial evidence tends to support conclusions of that interdependence, such conjecture will be appropriately indicated.

If subsequent evidence becomes available, the original article will have an addendum, at the online site, rather than revision of the original story.