Oregon Standoff

FBI Agent Indicted For Lying to Investigators About Shooting at Oregon Occupation Protester LaVoy Finicum

The law still considers the killing of Finicum justified.

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FBI special agent W. Joseph Astarita has been indicted for possible misconduct involving last January's law enforcement murder of Robert LaVoy Finicum, one of the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Lavoy Finicum Facebook

Astarita "falsely stated he had not fired his weapon during the attempted arrest of Robert La Voy Finicum, when he knew then and there that he had fired his weapon," according to the indictment.

Further, "by failing to disclose that he had fired two rounds during the attempted arrest of Robert LaVoy Finicum…[Astarita] acted with the intent to hinder, delay and prevent the communication of information from the Oregon State Police to the Federal Bureau of Investigation relating to the possible commission of a federal offense."

The legal system long ago decided that the actual killing of Finicum was justified. An objective outside observer of the video evidence might think differently, given that agents started shooting at him as soon as he exited his truck, before Finicum made motions interpreted as "reaching for a gun" that, in the minds of many, justified the shooting.

Those who insist Finicum's driving represented a mortal danger to the officers should note that he was no longer operating a motor vehicle at the time of the killshots.

Astarita, one of the first shooters but whose shots did not actually hit Finicum, might justifiably be held to account not only for lying about his actions, but also very likely unjustified attempted murder. Alas, the legal system disagrees on the second point.

A Los Angeles Times account from the federal courtroom in Portland, Oregon, where Astarita faced a judge this week and pleaded not guilty, reports he was "stone-faced" and notes that Astarita's troubles began when:

Investigators were concerned that they could not account for the shots apparently fired by an FBI agent that left the bullet hole in the roof of Finicum's truck.

None of the FBI agents took responsibility for taking the shots. Suspicions were further aroused when investigators later reportedly couldn't find two shell casings that had initially been spotted at the scene.

Astarita will remain free pending his eventual trial.

While Finicum essentially faced a death sentence for his role in the Malheur occupation, seven other occupiers who actually went to trial for their crimes were acquitted last October. The result was likely because of prosecutorial overreach, trying them on charges more serious and harder to prove than the trespassing they actually committed, but which would have resulted in more jail time had they been convicted.

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  1. None of the FBI agents took responsibility for taking the shots. Suspicions were further aroused when investigators later reportedly couldn’t find two shell casings that had initially been spotted at the scene.

    Our best and brightest.

    1. The FBI is above reproach, completely professional, and apolitical.

      This is the lie that its Directors have told for decades.

  2. So for a federal agent, helping to murder a dude is fine as long as you don’t egregiously lie about it? Good to know.

    1. Right, but if you lie to them it’s a felony and you go to prison. Well, unless you are a high-ranking government official, like Hillary Clinton or David Petraeus.

    2. I imagine the FBI chief telling him, “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.”

      That will really hurt that murderer more then any jail time.

  3. of all the things you’re never going to get away with lying about…

  4. Of interest here is the question of “why did he deny the shoot” if the people on the scene were so certain that their actions were within the law?

    i know there’s (likely) zero possibility of overturning the actual ruling on the killing of fincum, but i’m still curious how the agent’s lawyer will rationalize his client’s behavior.

    in particular: when exactly did these shots take place? after other officers had fired, or before?

    my suspicion: he fired first, before fincum reached for a gun. and in fact that’s what prompted fincum to act, which is what other police used to justify their own use of force.

    of course I don’t think these questions will ever get raised and i think the whole thing will be quickly processed and forgotten.

    1. Before.

      As Finicum left his truck, an FBI agent shot twice at Finicum, though none of the hostage team members admitted to discharging their firearms, the Deschutes County sheriff alleged. The county sheriff’s office was tasked with investigating the Finicum shooting.

      The agent’s bullets didn’t hit Finicum, 54, an Arizona rancher who was the spokesman for the armed takeover of the federal sanctuary near Burns in Harney County. Moments later, state police troopers shot Finicum three times after he emerged from his white truck and reached for his inner jacket pocket, where police said he had a loaded 9mm handgun. One bullet pierced his heart, an autopsy found.

      1. yep, before. The two initial shots were fired ~1 second after he got out of the vehicle when he clearly posed zero imminent threat to anyone. The fatal shots were ~12 seconds after he got out, at the time when the maybe possibly remotely arguable movement to pull a gun from his jacket was made.

        1. If you were unarmed and holding your arms up then the cops tried to murder you, wouldn’t you try and defend yourself?

          I would.

      2. “…the armed takeover of the federal sanctuary….”

        That was some marvelous lefty spin. When protesters take over public areas in New York to protest Wall Street or whatever, its called protest and protected by the 1st Amendment.

        When protesters take over public areas in Oregon, its called an armed takeover and not protected by the 1st Amendment. Evidently the 2nd Amendment is not protected either.

  5. There is justice for cops who shoot people after all, provided the people are actually committing a crime and white.

    1. Aaaaand there it is.

      1. Oh goodie it’s White Racial Resentment Man.

        1. Hundreds of white men are killed by cops every year and not a single cop goes to jail for it, yet you don’t hear about a single one on the news. This lack of coverage makes people see it solely as a race issue when in reality race is only a relatively small aspect of the problem. This prevents us from actually solving the underlying problems.

      2. Tony’s just a pragmatist. He sees a problem–blacks attacked and/or killed by agents of the State at disproportionately high rates relative to their share of the population–and identifies a simple and efficient solution: shoot more white people. Who cares who the government murders as long as there is racial parity?

        1. Sometimes I get the feeling that you people really do think liberalism is these ridiculous caricatures.

          Also, fuck the police, every last humpty-dumpty looking one of the motherfuckers.

          1. Quit being a caricature then, dumbass.

          2. Sometimes I get the feeling that you people really do think liberalism is these ridiculous caricatures.

          3. Tony, you can’t turn against the police because they enforce all your lefty laws like must buy ObamaCare, must not carry guns, must not sell loosie cigs, and must not drink more than 24oz in one sitting, etc.

        2. Look, Tony is not very smart.

          1. He’s dumber than most. In fact, I wonder if he is not a foil that is AI generated to react to trigger words. He is the epitome of brainwashed leftist zombie.

            I rather enjoy his attempts at intellectual ciphering. I enjoy watching my dog try to figure stuff out too. Its cute.

    2. what crime dumbshit? they were acquited.

      1. So was OJ.

        1. You can’t even figure out why you are mad anymore. You’re like a crazy hobo just mad at the walls.

  6. why were the Oregon State police involved in a federal matter?

    1. Evidently, the Oregon State Police we supposed to arrest Lavoy because technically he had not really violated federal law, so the FBI did not have jurisdiction.

  7. Besides shooting Finicum why did they keep shooting at the truck after he was dead. No one in the truck could surrender while ducking all of the bullets and its amazing how bad the shooters were since no one in the truck was hit. note truck doors are not bullet proof

    1. No witnesses would have been better.

  8. “While Finicum essentially faced a death sentence for his role in the Malheur occupation, seven other occupiers who actually went to trial for their crimes were acquitted last October. The result was likely because of prosecutorial overreach, trying them on charges more serious and harder to prove than the trespassing they actually committed, but which would have resulted in more jail time had they been convicted.”

    They didn’t want to convict them of mere trespassing. They wanted to turn them into Timothy McVeigh.

    P.S. Trespassing on public property? That might be a hard sell to a jury, too. Maybe they should have gone for picnicking without a permit.

    1. It was a hard sell that protesters of government abuse of power, where there was no violence by the protesters who did have firearms, where the government ended up killing someone proving said government abuse of power.

  9. Any chance of a wrongful death lawsuit?

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