FBI’s Video Proves LaVoy Finicum’s Hands Were In The Air Almost Immediately, and Strongly Suggests He Didn’t Rush an Officer
TND Exclusive: Eric Dubin
Everyone and their dog will be “armchair quarterbacking” this FBI video. I’m not going to offer extensive analysis. But there are a few basic facts that need to be underscored.
The roadblock was set up at a relatively short distance following a curve in the rural road. After the initial, full stop, as was described in the audio witness testimony (click here) provided by Victoria Sharp, Finicum starts driving again and is forced to turn the vehicle into a snow embankment to avoid running into the roadblock (and maybe, even the officer that is seen in the video moving towards Finicum’s vehicle). It appears that Finicum puts his hands in the air almost immediately upon exiting the vehicle, and that he moves slightly away from the officers rather than having rushed them, as some have claimed.
The video you see below was posted to the official FBI YouTube channel by the FBI. It was posted today, Jan. 28. The YouTube clip with the audio testimony of the young woman was posted on Jan. 27. In my opinion, this official FBI video presents a high degree of corroboration and match with key points described by Victoria Sharp. The fact that her audio testimony was recorded before Victoria Sharp could have seen this video on YouTube elevates the importance of her testimony. I have set the video to start at the 8 minute mark, after the vehicle has come to an initial stop. You can manually move the video to start at an earlier point.
Source: Official FBI YouTube Channel.
In law enforcement, there is a well established and necessary concept known as the “Tueller Drill.” Sergeant Dennis Tueller attempted to answer the question, how much distance is required between a potential attacker and an officer such that the officer can successfully stop an attacker. Tueller’s original construct was 21 feet and a knife wielding attacker. The 21 feet concept has since been extended because a potential assailant with a gun can draw and shoot faster than the time it takes a knife wielding attacker to transverse 21 feet. But you get the idea.
There will be considerable debate about the distance and justification for the use of deadly force. Already, there has been considerable debate about whether or not Finicum could have had enough time to reach into a pocket or some other concealed area for a handgun. Clearly, Finicum’s hands go up in the air almost immediately upon his exit from the vehicle – and they stay there for a good number of seconds. His hands do appear to come down again for a brief period, but the video strongly suggests he was not sending aggressive signals even if he was making statements to the effect of resigning himself (taunting?) to the likelihood that the officers were going to shoot him.