Police fired first in Oregon confrontation

Oregon Live-- Did an initial 40mm rubber bullet fired at surrendering refuge occupier Ryan Payne escalate the attempt to arrest the refuge occupation’s leaders?

An FBI agent seemed to think so. He cursed at the state police SWAT trooper, Bob Olson, who fired the round as Payne appeared to surrender when police first stopped the occupiers on U.S. 395 to arrest them.

Payne, a militia member from Montana and one of the architects of the January 2016 armed refuge takeover, was in the front seat of Finicum’s idling truck. He put his head and hands out of the truck window in what appeared to be an attempt to surrender.

FBI agent Justin Travis Elkins testified that he had his eyes trained on Payne and the state police officer's shot "was totally unexpected.''

Elkins heard another FBI agent, Tim Dugan, turn to the state police officer and yell, "WTF was that?!'' Elkins said Payne was following commands and the shot escalated the stop.

State police said Payne hesitated and was shot in the hand with the rubber round.

So "hesitating" is justification to shoot? Not in my book.

If I had been pulled over, especially under those circumstances, and police shot my friend while he was unarmed and trying to surrender, I might well conclude they meant to kill everyone there and get the hell away from the situation as fast as possible.

And then they covered it all up, with lies and hiding or destroying evidence. Oregon police even refused to wear body cameras (normally mandatory) during the arrest "to protect the identities of FBI hostage rescue team members". You know what that says to me? Premeditation.

This entry was published Wed Mar 13 07:47:20 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2019-03-08 12:55:31.0. [Tweet]

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