LaVoy Finicum; One Cowboys Family Stand For Freedom
|Counting Our Blessings |
Posted: 22 Mar 2016 07:45 AM PDT
Throughout this heart wrenching experience that has been thrust upon our family, I believe it is important to count our blessings . It has been such a testimony strengthener to see all the love, support and kindness shown to our family in this great time of need. Just when you think there can be no more hope for humanity, the Lord shows us another tender mercy through one of his many children.
Today I want to share just one of these tender mercies that the Lord has given us, but first I want to share some things about my Dad, LaVoy. First and foremost my Dad was a man of God. He loved God and strived to follow Christ's example every single day. In order to follow someone's example you have to know that person intimately, and what better way to learn and know of Christ then by reading and studying the scriptures daily!
Not only did my Dad do daily personal scripture study, but he did it multiple times a day. He also lead our family in family scripture study every night, where we would discuss all the teachings of the Lord together. Then on top of all that studying, he would often be found sitting in his rocking chair studying from other books about history, our nation and its founders, prophets of God, and etc. He devoured knowledge and always craved to know more.
Dad thought it important to memorize scriptures and was often working on one. He would write scriptures onto note cards and would carry them with him until he had them memorized. If any of us children had any questions regarding the scriptures he was always the first person we would go to. He knew the scriptures very well and quoted them often.
After Dad was murdered we longed to get his belongings back from the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. We had several people try to help us in this venture but without success. We learned that someone had gone through his things and that not everything was as he had left it, and we began to loose hope.
We gained a glimmer of hope of having Dad's scriptures returned to us after watching the YouTube video that David Fry posted while he was still at the refuge, and on March 16th this month that hope became a reality.
Reverend Franklin Graham and his wife, Jane, made a visit to our home in CaneBeds AZ to personally return Dad's scriptures to our family, most especially to our Mother. Grandpa and Grandma Finicum were able to be there with us. There were hugs, tears and many thanks exchanged. We sat in my Mother's living room talking and telling stories for about an hour; at the end of which we knelt down and Reverend Graham offered a beautiful prayer.
Dad's scriptures have become sacred and special to us and it was a gift from God that they have been returned to us. Thank you to everyone who put effort into this miracle.
The last 4 standing who found dad's bible named the camp "Camp LaVoy" with a cross. Very cool.
|Family Statement to the world shorty after LaVoys murder. |
Posted: 21 Mar 2016 11:34 AM PDT
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE LAVOY FINICUM FAMILY RIGHT AFTER HIS MURDER
We know that there are always at least two sides to every story. We also know and recognize that the FBI and law enforcement agencies involved will do everything in their power to make it appear as if the needless death of our husband, father, grandfather, brother and son, LaVoy Finicum, was justified.
Like almost everyone else, we were not there, so we don’t know exactly what happened. Like most others, we have no choice but to rely on other sources of information. One of those sources of information is the account of Victoria Sharp. Another piece of information is the video recently released by the FBI, along with the FBI’s chosen narrative of what happened. In response to this information, we would like to make a few observations.
The first observation is that from what we understand, the occupation was on track toward a peaceful resolution. LaVoy and those he was with were en route to a public meeting in an adjoining county when they were stopped in something far different than a “routine traffic stop,” as has been portrayed by the media. Unfortunately, the powers that be were not interested in being patient enough for the occupation to come to a peaceful end. Some had called for LaVoy and those he was with to simply be gunned down, just as he was, with no due process. Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, was putting pressure on the FBI to end it sooner rather than later. The Harney County Sheriff’s Department working in conjunction with the FBI tried to do everything they could to emphasize how disruptive the occupation was to the local community, when in reality it appears to have been their own reaction that was causing most of the disruption. And it was the FBI that chose to escalate the situation to force a confrontation, and violent ending.
With respect to the actual facts and circumstances surrounding LaVoy’s death, the video really speaks for itself. People will interpret it according to their own views. As the FBI’s own narrative stated, LaVoy was not wielding a firearm or any other weapon when he was killed. His hands were obviously in the air. Knowing LaVoy, it is our view that he was moving away from the vehicle in an attempt to draw any hostility or violence away from the others. Unfortunately, we don’t know what he was saying, and what was being said to him. He appears to have been gesturing, or trying to keep his balance while moving in the deep snow. Although he may have been animated, he does not appear to have been threatening or posing any real threat or danger to anyone. The FBI claims that LaVoy had a loaded firearm in an inside pocket of his coat. After re-reviewing the extended video, at this point we are not accepting at face value the FBI’s statement that LaVoy was actually armed. But even if he was, as far as we can see, that firearm posed no more danger to anyone than it would have if he had stayed in the vehicle, with his hands on the steering wheel. Contrary to what has been stated by some sources, LaVoy was not “charging” anyone. He appears to have been shot in the back, with his hands in the air.
It is our understanding that according to applicable law, the use of deadly force is justified only if there is a genuine threat of death or serious bodily injury. It is our understanding and position that deadly force should only be used as a last resort. In LaVoy’s case it appears that they were determined to go straight to the last resort. It is our understanding that the U.S. Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of appeals have ruled as follows:
“The reasonableness of [officers’] actions depends both on whether the officers were in danger at the precise moment that they used force and on whether [the officers’] own reckless or deliberate conduct during the seizure unreasonably created the need to use such force.”
"[W]here an officer intentionally or recklessly provokes a violent confrontation . . . he may be held liable for his otherwise defensive use of deadly force.” Although officers may claim self-defense, they may still be liable for using excessive force if their reckless and unconstitutional actions create the need to use excessive force.
It is our understanding that in addition to shooting LaVoy multiple times, after he was left lying harmlessly on the ground the officers also fired upon his truck and the passengers in it, putting them all at risk, despite the fact that they were posing no threat to anyone. The video clearly shows one of the windows being blown out. It has been gut-wrenching for our family to view the video of LaVoy being shot, and then left to lie in the snow while a whole army of so-called “public servants” terrorized the others. We can only hope their families never have to watch such a thing. We will be interested to inspect the vehicle. We will also be interested to see the autopsy report.
At this point we will await the outcome of any investigation, but based on the information currently available to us, we do NOT believe that LaVoy’s shooting death was justified. We likewise can't see any justification for the force and risk of serious injury or death that was exerted against the others in the truck, who posed no threat.
We know that under such circumstances law enforcement typically makes every attempt to cast such shooting victims in the worst possible light. In that regard, we also want to observe and emphasize that LaVoy had a squeaky clean record, and had never had so much as a speeding ticket. In addition to raising his own eleven children, he had also been entrusted with the care of at least 50 foster children over the course of approximately 10 years.
On January 7, 2016, LaVoy issued an official statement from the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Among other things, the statement said:
“We want to clarify that we share any and all concerns about safety for everyone involved, including ourselves, our families, the public, and law enforcement officers. All lives are important to us. Ultimately, we want everyone involved to be able to return safely to their homes and families.
We are deeply troubled and saddened that our governments do not share the same concern for human life. We are deeply troubled that our governments would view whatever was happening at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge to be worth spilling blood over. We are deeply troubled and saddened that our governments have come to place so little value on life, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness.
We love LaVoy as our husband, father, grandfather, brother and son. He was a hero to us. We believe he died as a patriotic martyr. Regardless of any and all differing opinions, we know that he died standing for a cause HE believed in.
LaVoy’s funeral will be held in Kanab, Utah on Friday, February 5, 2016. We take comfort in our faith and our belief that LaVoy is now in a better place. May our dear Lord bless and receive him into that realm. We sincerely appreciate all the thoughts and prayers that have been sent our way. We pray for those who chose to take LaVoy’s life. We desire justice and genuine accountability for what happened, but we pray for them.
And finally, we thank God for this country and what it is supposed to stand for. We pray for this country, and that God will please bless, help and forgive us all.