A grand jury in Portland, Oregon has charged FBI Agent W Joseph Astarita with three counts of making false statements, alleging that he lied when he claimed he did not fire his weapon during the attempted arrest of LaVoy Finicum, a key figure in the Oregon militia standoff at the Malheur national wildlife refuge in 2016.
Astarita, who pleaded not guilty in federal court in Portland, was assigned to arrest the leaders of the Oregon standoff in January 2016 when Finicum drove off the road and into a snowbank, before attempting to flee on foot. During the ensuing confrontation, some of which was captured on film, Oregon state police officers shot and killed Finicum, an Arizona rancher, who police say was reaching for his gun. Police later said the shooting was “justified”.
“justified” as always.
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