Lawsuit Dismissed In Lavoy Finicum’s Death

Lavoy Finicum talking to reporters. ( Reuters )

An Oregon judge on Friday dismissed a federal lawsuit related to the death of rancher Robert LaVoy Finicum, who was shot January 26, 2016, by Oregon State Police. Finicum was one of the armed militants who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and was shot as he left his vehicle while authorities tried to arrest him at a roadblock. Finicum’s death was ruled legally justified.

The lawsuit was filed in January 2018 in U.S. District Court of Oregon by Ryan Payne, Shawna Cox and others who were associated with the Bundy family’s 2016 occupation of the wildlife refuge. They claimed that FBI agents, Oregon State Police and other officials violated their civil rights by using excessive force and “ambushing” them on the day Finicum was shot and killed.

Chief District Court Judge Michael Mosman dismissed all counts in the lawsuit Friday, saying “It’s time to put a fork in this case.”

Last year a jury declared an FBI agent not guilty of obstructing an investigation into who fired two errant shots at Finicum. Agent W. Joseph Astarita, 41, was charged with making false statements and obstruction of justice after telling investigators he did not fire the shots that missed Finicum.

Many of the original defendants in the case, including Astarita and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, had already been dismissed over the course of nearly two years of litigation.

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