FBI Did Not Want Body Cams At Fatal Roadblock
by Shari Dovale
More information has been released on the fateful day that LaVoy Finicum was murdered on a lonely highway north of Burns, Oregon.
In January 2016, a Dead-man’s roadblock was set up on Hwy 395, seemingly by order of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) top agent in Oregon, Greg Bretzing.
The Oregon State Police (OSP) were called to assist the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team (HRT). However, even though they planned to treat the passengers of 2 vehicles as extremely dangerous, the day did not end as expected, even for the FBI.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent W. Joseph Astarita is facing 5 charges for his actions during the incident, including obstruction of justice and giving false statements to investigators.
Astarita’s trial is expected to begin this month. His attorneys have asked that at least 4 of the 5 charges be dismissed. In a 32 page response to their motion, the government released more information than anticipated.
The motion outlines the government’s version of events on January 26, 2016. It also states that the FBI requested the State police were not to wear their standard body cameras.
This is a highly unusual request, especially in the current societal climate. It generally benefits officers to have their actions recorded during potentially dangerous events.
To have the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team specifically request assisting officers not wear them does not bode well for the expected outcome for the civilians involved.
In an additional apparent lack of transparency, they FBI also asked that subsequent interviews with agents not be recorded. This was, again, unusual as questioning is normally recorded, as the FBI well knows.
It would seem that the FBI had planned from the beginning to attempt to hide many of their actions, relying only on the long-range cameras from overhead planes.
It brings up many questions, such as whether or not the HRT team was instigating fear in the OSP officers with their shots, attempting to get them to murder the occupants of the truck?
As many questions as there are, the Federal prosecutors are not attempting to have them all answered. They have only charged Astarita with lying to investigators. No one has been held accountable for the death of LaVoy or for Ryan Bundy being shot in the arm.
The civil rights of all of the truck’s occupants have been violated, yet the Federal prosecutors have not yet shown concern for these issues. They have, however, shown great care for the rights of Astarita. He has not been held in jail, has not been required to provide extreme bail, and has not been relieved of his position within the FBI.
The trial is sure to be a model for justice in America.
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