Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sheriff Palmer's stance in LaVoy Finicum shooting draws opposition

Militant leader Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, armed, angry and facing arrest, shouted again and again to police who had stopped him outside Burns that he needed to go see "the sheriff." He felt only one man could protect him — Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer. Finicum, 54, never reached John Day, where Palmer was waiting to share the stage with the anti-government protesters who had taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in neighboring Harney County a month earlier.  In the days since the Jan. 26 shooting, Finicum's final words and Palmer's response to the deadly confrontation have focused attention on the sheriff who has openly challenged federal authority in his own county. Palmer took to social media to say he knew nothing about plans that day to stop the occupation leaders and that he had not been at the "ambush site." His words drew a rebuke from the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association, concerned that his description would "only inflame an already tense situation and incite further violence." The association's executive committee is considering a citizen request that it investigate Palmer.  Judy Schuette, a 30-year Grant County resident and retired school secretary, bought an ad in the Blue Mountain Eagle weekly newspaper demanding Palmer explain his actions. Schuette and others then organized a demonstration against him and the refuge occupiers outside the community meeting. "His actions have been irresponsible with the very real danger of more violence," she wrote in a post. Another indication that Palmer's conduct is dividing the community: His former undersheriff announced last month that he would challenge Palmer, who is seeking his fourth term...more

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