The investigation into the shooting death of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge protest spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum is expected to take 4-6 weeks, and the result of the investigation will be released by Malheur County District Attorney, Dan Norris, once the results of the investigation have been reviewed, according to a press release sent out to journalists yesterday.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office was asked by the Oregon State Police to lead the investigation into the officer involved shooting on January 26, 2016 in Harney County.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office reached out to agencies on the Tri-County Major Incident Team*. Resources from The Bend Police Department, Redmond Police Department, and Oregon State Police provided resources for the Major Incident Team investigation (all are agencies from within Deschutes County).
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of requests for information and or release of evidence. At this time, we will not release any further information on the investigation.
“Our office continues to lead the Major Incident Team on the Harney County officer-involved shooting investigation. This is an on-going investigation and in order to maintain its integrity, no further information will be released until a thorough investigation and review is completed by Malheur County District Attorney, Dan Norris,” stated Sheriff L. Shane Nelson, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.
Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris stated, “All pertinent reports will be released to the public when the investigation is complete.” These investigations take a considerable amount of time. It is expected to be at least 4 to 6 weeks before this information is likely to be released. Any updates or release of information will be released through www.flashalertbend.net.
*The Tri-County Major Incident Team is comprised of members of law enforcement from the Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Offices and District Attorneys; the Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Madras, Black Butte Ranch, Sunriver and Warm Spring Police Departments and the Oregon State Police. The purpose of the Tri-County Major Incident Team is to allow agencies access to additional investigative resources during major incidents.
Unfortunately, the time needed to conduct a thorough investigation is giving conspiracy theorists more than enough time to manufacture all sorts of alternate realities, lending credence to satirist Jonathan Swift’s recognition in 1710 that, “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.”
There are at least a half-dozen different conspiracy theory videos, some alleging “snipers” with “.308 rifles” hiding in the trees, while others allege the same Oregon State Police officers are armed with tasers setting Finicum up for an “easy kill.” Others allege he was shot at least a dozen different times, claims that he pointed at someone who shot at him with a rifle who then ran away, etc.
None of them will admit the obvious truth that Finicum was told to keep his hands up, dropped them repeatedly, and then made a motion consistent with an attempt to draw a weapon.
The mental gymnastics we’re seeing from Finicum cultists is eerily similar to that from supporters of the “hands up, don’t shoot” lie of attempted cop killer Michael Brown, and those who argue that Tamir Rice didn’t reach for his waist, despite clear enhanced still images that show he did precisely that.
Sadly, faith is stronger than facts for many people.
Those predisposed to conspiracy theories will utterly refuse to listen to reason, the same way that Victoria Sharp refuses to change her views of what happened even as CNN showed her, frame-by-frame, where her story was refuted by reality. There were clearly not “100 shots” fired at the vehicle from 5-7 yards away, as Sharp claimed. There clearly wasn’t shooting for 5-10 minutes as Shawna Cox claimed, either (which would have been hundreds of rounds at even a moderate pace).
People are going to see what they want to see.
Facts be damned.