Northwest

About 100 rally at Idaho Statehouse to remember Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupier

About 100 people gathered outside the Idaho Statehouse Saturday for a memorial and to pray for Robert "LaVoy" Finicum.
About 100 people gathered outside the Idaho Statehouse Saturday for a memorial and to pray for Robert "LaVoy" Finicum. efenner@idahostatesman.com

About 100 people rallied outside the Idaho Statehouse Saturday afternoon, to remember Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, who had been an armed occupier of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and was subsequently shot and killed by authorities following a high-speed chase.

Authorities say Finicum was reaching for a gun when he was shot, and have released a video they say demonstrates that assertion. But speakers at the rally said that Oregon state troopers and the FBI overstepped.

“We’ve come together today, to honor a memory, to honor a memory of a great man who was gunned down by our law enforcement. Our law enforcement's not judge, jury and executioner,” said Idaho Three Percenter Andrew Chavez, who organized the event. “We are taught to sit down, shut up and just comply. But when most men would sit down, one man would not. One man believed in freedom. One man's life represented freedom. So on this day we gather, not to mourn, but to celebrate Mr. Finicum. Rest in peace, brother. Your fight may have ended but your memory will never die.”

Brandon Curtiss, another Idaho Three Percenter, criticized local and national news media for portraying the armed occupiers as “anti-government” and “insurgents.”

Occupiers are “not insurgents. They were doing a peaceful occupy,” Curtiss said. “Do we not remember we had a peaceful occupy of liberals here on this fricken front lawn? Three years they sat here. They didn't shoot anybody did they? But they wanted to shoot LaVoy (Finicum), with his hands in the air.”

Erin Fenner: 208-377-6207, @erinfenner

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