Sunday, February 07, 2016

LaVoy Finicum memorial torn down and rebuilt

Soon after somebody tore down a cross erected in honor of a dead protester, somebody used its remnants to put a smaller version of the cross back together. A memorial held Saturday was a spectacle of patriotism and of admiration for Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, who was killed Jan. 26 during a confrontation with Oregon State Police. At least a dozen cars pulled up to the spot where Finicum died, following BJ Soper, a leader of the Pacific Patriots Network who had organized the memorial. About 50 men, women and children milled around on the road and the snow, watching the show. Finicum's death has become a rallying cry for hundreds of people around the country. The Arizona rancher was killed 20 miles north of Burns, 25 days after a group of men and women took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. A grainy aerial video shows Finicum reaching twice for his waist before officers fired. The FBI said he had a 9 mm pistol in his jacket. By the time Soper got to the site Saturday afternoon for the scheduled memorial, a makeshift cross had been erected. Somebody had taken a piece of the cross that was left in the snow and screwed it to the stump, which was still in the ground. One side was jagged where it had been broken.  A piece of cardboard nearby said: "A civilian was killed in the line of duty here." One person after another stuck American flags into the snow.  Some were large, some small. One flag was hung sideways on a pine tree, another was attached to the cross. Others left flowers. A few hours later even more people gathered in John Day for another memorial for Finicum. Men and women stood on a street corner holding candles and signs. One said "Murdered by Oregon State Police" with a picture of Finicum waving at the camera with the sun and an American flag behind his back...more

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