Candlelight vigil remembers LaVoy Finicum, his message

WASHINGTON CITY – Over 100 people gathered in Nisson Park in Washington City Monday night for a candlelight vigil to honor Arizona rancher Robert “LaVoy” Finicum who was killed last week during an encounter with federal and state law enforcement in Harney County, Oregon.

Challise Finicum Finch, one of LaVoy Finicum's daughters, expresses her gratitude for the support her family has been shown in the wake of her father's death. She told the crowd the best way to honor her father's memory is to learn about the Constitution and share that knowledge with others, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 1. 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Challice Finicum Finch, one of LaVoy Finicum’s daughters, expresses her gratitude for the support her family has been shown in the wake of her father’s death. She told the crowd the best way to honor her father’s memory is to learn about the Constitution and then share that knowledge with others. Nisson Park, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 1. 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“It really lifts out hearts to see so many memorials being done. Please, continue,” Finicum’s daughter Challice Finicum Finch said while making a short appearance at the vigil. “I just want everyone to know that my dad loved life …. From the bottom of my heart, thank you everyone. Thank you.”

The vigil was planned by Charity Wight, who is friends with some of Finicum’s cousins. She wanted to do something to help the family know they’re supported by the community, Wight said, while also honoring Finicum’s memory.

“I didn’t know LaVoy,” she said, “but I know he was an example in the way that he lived and in the way that he died.”

Finicum, 54, of Cane Beds, Arizona, was killed Jan. 26 after being fired upon by Oregon State Police in an operation involving the FBI. He, brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy and others had taken over a building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon, following a protest of the imprisonment of ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond.

LaVoy Finicum, a rancher from Arizona, who is part of the group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge speaks with reporters during a news conference at the the refuge Tuesday. Law enforcement had yet to take any action Tuesday against the group numbering close to two dozen who are upset over federal land policy. Finicum said the group would examine the underlying land ownership transactions to begin to "unwind it," stating he was eager to leave Oregon, near Burns, Oregon, Jan. 5, 2016| AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, St. George News
LaVoy Finicum, a rancher from Arizona, who is part of the group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge speaks with reporters during a news conference at the the refuge, Jan. 5, 2016. Law enforcement had yet to take any action against the group numbering close to two dozen who are upset over federal land policy. Finicum said the group would examine the underlying land ownership transactions to begin to “unwind it,” stating he was eager to leave Oregon, near Burns, Oregon, Jan. 5, 2016 | AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, St. George News

The occupation began Jan. 2 and was relatively peaceful until Jan. 26 when the FBI and Oregon State Police stopped a two-vehicle convoy on U.S. 395. The vehicle contained Finicum, the Bundys and others en route to talk to a group in another county.

Aerial footage of the incident released by the FBI shows the truck Finicum was driving stop for a moment, then move again until encountering a roadblock. The truck then veered off the road and into a snowbank. The video shows Finicum getting out of the truck with his hands up for a moment then lowered to his side.

Authorities have said Fincum was reaching for a gun and was subsequently shot by Oregon State Police. A 9 mm semi-automatic pistol was found in Finicum’s pocket after he was gunned down, the FBI said in a statement.

Finicum’s family and supporters have rejected that narrative.

“LaVoy was a peaceful man,” his cousin David Cluff said at Monday night’s vigil. “In the entire time he was standing at the Harney County resource center, he never once threatened anybody. He never once pulled his gun when he died. He didn’t pull his – if he even had a gun on him.”

Family and supporters said Finicum was in Oregon to help educate people there about the Constitution and their constitutional rights. He believed the federal government is illegally holding onto public lands that should be under the possession and management of the states – and in doing so, he said, it is violating the Constitution. Moreover, he considered federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management, to be monolithic, unaccountable bureaucracies that have no authority under the Constitution.

A makeshift roadside memorial for rancher LaVoy Finicum stands on a highway north of Burns, Oregon Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. Finicum was killed Jan. 26 in a confrontation with the FBI and Oregon State Police on a remote road. Four people occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge held their position Sunday. They have demanded that they be allowed to leave without being arrested, Burns, Oregon, Jan. 31, 2016 | AP Photo/Nick K. Geranios, St. George News
A makeshift roadside memorial for rancher LaVoy Finicum stands on a highway north of Burns, Oregon Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. Finicum was killed Jan. 26 in a confrontation with the FBI and Oregon State Police on a remote road. Four people occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge held their position Sunday. They have demanded that they be allowed to leave without being arrested, Burns, Oregon, Jan. 31, 2016 | AP Photo/Nick K. Geranios, St. George News

“None of these people are under the power of recall,” Finicum said in an interview with St. George News last October. “None of them is elected. None of them are accountable unto the people …. We have an empire that has risen up inside our country – unelected, unaccountable.”

Cluff said he remembers Finicum talking about his Constitutional studies. He remembers how much he learned during a family picnic.

“It made me realize I don’t know nearly enough, and I still don’t know nearly enough,” Cluff said. “So that’s now my motivation – I need to learn more (about the Constitution).”

Finicum’s daughter urged others to do the same.

“Focus on his life, focus on his work and move that forward,” Finch said. “I think the greatest honor we can do is educate ourselves and to help spread the truth.”

The family asked those attending Monday night’s vigil to continue Finicum’s mission of spreading constitutional awareness and education. They asked people not seek revenge or act out of anger over his death.

David Cluff (right) and his father (left), relatives of LaVoy Finicum, during a moment of silence offered in member of the Arizona rancher who was killed Jan. 26 during an altercation with the FBI and Oregon State Police, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 1. 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
David Cluff (right) and his father (left), relatives of LaVoy Finicum, during a moment of silence offered in memory of the Arizona rancher who was killed Jan. 26 during an altercation with the FBI and Oregon State Police. Nisson Park, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 1. 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“I hold no malice, no anger, over what happened” Cluff said. “This situation that occurred, leading to LaVoy’s death, will be decided in a court of law and I have to have faith that justice will prevail. And I have to have faith that there is such a thing as a fair trial.”

Cluff estimated that about 150 to 200 people arrived at the park to pay tribute to his cousin. Many of them, like Wight, hadn’t known Finicum personally yet came to honor what he stood for, he said.

“It’s amazing,” Cluff said. “I’m very honored so many people showed up tonight.”

During the vigil, a moment of silence was held. Hats came off and heads were bowed as the time was taken to remember Finicum and the message his family said he was trying to spread. As the silence continued, a recording of bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace” began to fill the air. At its conclusion, so ended the observation of silence.

Funeral services for LaVoy Finicum will be held Friday at a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 1436 S. McAllister Drive in Kanab. Visitation hours will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service will be held from 2:30-4 p.m.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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30 Comments

  • digger February 2, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Ok you Poor RANTERS, Go Ahead, Show Us Your Sign.

    • Chris February 2, 2016 at 10:27 am

      OK, I’ll bite. Lavoy Finicum was a common criminal who died a criminal’s death.

      • observer February 2, 2016 at 4:52 pm

        Not a convicted anything. Big difference between alleged and convicted. Remember Mr. lawyer (want a be) that one is innocent until proven guilty. Might want to educate yourself on Judges like Mosman. He does not like smart-a-lick jokes, posts on facebook, or any social media that he feels is borderline. Some of you might take heed (3 musketeers).

        BUT he did release one today and will take couple days to decide on another. Another good job to the PD!

        Some officials in Burns are asking to have the FBI and State Troopers removed from their town – in writing and notarized. Good job!

        Looks like Finicum’s spirit will live on in the people, with grace and dignity.

        • Bender February 2, 2016 at 9:29 pm

          “Some officials in Burns are asking to have the FBI and State Troopers removed from their town – in writing and notarized. ”

          Well…written and notarized. Hoo doggy! That’ll show them smarty pants feds. This awk-you-pay-shun ain’t running on low octane. No sir-ee.

          • observer February 3, 2016 at 12:41 pm

            Duane Kirkland – released, no charges. Kenneth Medenbach – charge – stolen Fed vehicle class C felony state, bail $10,000 – not in custody – was already facing fed charges when arrested and STILL RELEASED ON BAIL. Blaine Cooper aka Stanley Blaine Hicks, not in Portland or Deschutes. Neil Wampler -not in custody in Portland or Deschutes. Rest charged with Title 18 section 372 – carries up to 5 so according to 18USC subsection 3559 Class E Felony (one up from misdemeanor).

            Hammonds – As a “rare action” US Attorneys successfully appealed to 9th Circuit. 2001 – no public records on BIFZ regarding fires in area. 2006 – Lower Bridge Creek Fire aka 8/22/2006 Krumbo Butte OR-BUD-2531 Hussey BUD T30S,R32E,S27 736.3 PDC4VZ 77254 – http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/burns/fire/files/2006BIFZIQCS_101206.pdf
            Although started by lightning with BLM crews nearby (DOJ Release 10/7/15), the Hammonds were charged and BIFZ shows “man symbol”. Backfires are constantly set by USFS, BLM, CalFire (including con crews) and prescribed burns that have gotten out of the “control” zone, yet none have been criminally charged. WHERE IS THE ARSON INVESTIGATION REPORT FOR 2001 AND 2006???

            2001 – Pull the RCRC from Regional Archaeologist. Pull all consults w/FMO & State Historic Preservation Officer (neither reside at the Refuge). Appears from governmental records Malheur Refuge has no “permanent” resident. On average the Interagency does prescribed fire burns of 10,000 acres a year. No heavy equipment allowed due to protected resources, so was extremely logical for the Hammonds to set back-fires (inmates get to do it!) to save their livestock’s winter feed. Probably an agricultural law somewhere that pertains to protection of feed source as there is for protection of the livestock.

            According to OBP, the Cattlemen’s Association is involved in current negotiations of Hammond’s grazing rights and there’s pending appeal at Dept of Interior. Therefore the Cattlemen’s Association must refrain from commenting – law 101 and common sense. According to John Sepulvedo & Amanda Peacher’s articled dated 1/23/2016 “The occupation is complicating those discussions”.

            Wildland Fire Management Plan at the Refuge: http://www.fws.gov/fire/fmp/region1/oregon/malheur_nwr.pdf

            The BLM doesn’t have a contract with Bundy. So the cows are “trespassing” at most on public lands. Therefore, no contract. The Interagency “reduce fire fuel programs” hire goats, livestock, etc to reduce the growth and suppress the fuels in wildland areas. Maybe truth be known, BLM owes Bundy for that service. Sagebrush, any time of “brush” is highly flammable and can turn into an uncontrollable situation where life and property are affected.

            Land grab and/or land exchanges between State Land Commissioners (SLO). Under Baca Bill 2000 – proceeds from BLM land sold was to be distributed, but 2006 report shows no access to Baca funds – in Treasury. 1031 exchanges/ like-like avoids the Treasury. http://www.blm.gov/rac/nm/minutes/RAC_May_06.htm

            Finicum was killed protecting our individual “freedoms” and constitutional rights for all citizens. Some just don’t operate as “robots”, some with an eagerness to know and learn the truth, seek it, find it, and passionately want to educate. My critters have more common sense than most humans.

          • Chris February 3, 2016 at 5:57 pm

            Here we go again. Observer spouts a bunch of disjointed assertions pretending to know something about the law. Everything you question has been adjudicated in numerous courts of law. Bundy has lost every time, most recently with a conservative Republican appointee ruling against each and every claim that Bundy has raised. Bundy and observer are clearly both idiots and losers. It is common for those who have achieved little in their worthless lives to blame government conspiracies for their lack of success.

          • observer February 4, 2016 at 10:30 am

            Chris: I’m so sorry that you have such anger in your words and in your heart. Facts are being presented and many men/women have been released years after serving hard time for being innocent.

            Seriously could care less about the political circus of clowns in any party. So throwing some of that my way does you no good. If the Treasury has a problem with any of us, they simply take it, no questions ask. Therefore, your arguments are just a moot point.

            Lastly you appear to dog me with “It is common for those who have achieved little in their worthless lives to blame government conspiracies for their lack of success.” To respond to your accusation: I don’t owe you an answer to my net worth but you are way far off, and your comments mean nothing to me. Success and worth is not based on paper, but rather in morals, integrity, truth and service to others.

            If money is the root of all evil, then one must look at everything in their lives regarding it, if they are to insure a peaceful existence on this planet. You done being silly?

            God Bless you Chris!

    • observer February 4, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      Well at the end of the day – The Grand Jury Indictment is in:

      Title 18 372:

      a) “extreme” is key. Won’t fly; to most Americans “extreme” civil unrest is “violent”. Killing President Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.. What would we call the killing of Finicum?

      b) Title 18 930(a) and more specific (h). Well (h) states a sign must be posted in a conspicuous place at each public entrance. (a) states fine and no more than 1 year in jail = misdemeanor.

      c) employee and volunteers are not Officers/officials under Title 18 372 and on Judge Aiken’s sons website, it states the headquarters as being empty and the government agencies state there is no permanent resident. Fish and Game site states in article with the rat that ” we can confirm that no federal staff were in the building at the time of the initial incident. ” http://www.fws.gov/refuge/malheur/ The regional office where an officer/official can be found is located at the Pacific Region in Portland. In the dead of winter, and i do believe the Judge’s sons that the headquarters were empty.

      d) section 9262.1 If convicted, one faces a fine of no more than $1000 and 1yr in jail = misdemeanor.

      e) Typical BS about “fear”. Had most of the visitors and staff known about the rats nesting in the building, how many would fear going inside?

      f) Hahaha, stretching here.

      So if all the above carries misdemeanor convictions, the conspiracy card the prosecutors are hoping to bring into a felony, can’t legally fly, right Chris? If no felony was committed, conspiracy is a misdemeanor. So if it’s true that conspiracy is punished one or 2 degrees under; most that can be punished, if convicted, is misdemeanor – the lesser charge of a completed offense.

      Moving forward, the attorneys for both sides, will begin their game of chess and LaVoy Finicum will be laid to rest. I personally thank you Mr. Finicum for bringing to “light” more of the unscrupulous ways of greed, deceit, angles against the American people, and governmental corruption. May you pest in peace. Godspeed

      • Chris February 4, 2016 at 5:35 pm

        You are so stupid, observer. 18 U.S. Code § 372 defines the conspiracy charged and categorizes it as a federal class D felony by virtue of the potential penalties. That is all that is necessary to understand the indictment. All of your contorted logic is completely irrelevant.

  • theone February 2, 2016 at 8:24 am

    He loved life so much he sacrificed himself in the name of nothing. These so called militia groups are just a parasite on our society.

  • Bender February 2, 2016 at 8:40 am

    A guy that recently made his living taking in money from the government while refusing recognize the government; a guy who became a follower of a seditious traitor to his nation; a guy who directly disobeyed his church leaders while engaging in felonious behavior; a guy who brandished weapons as a threat to duly elected and appointed law enforcement; a guy who committed suicide by cop.

    This guy we honor with a candlelight vigil.

  • doc0007 February 2, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I would like to thank St. George News for the fair and balanced covering of this event.
    This was not a political rally, this was an evening for family and friends to honor the life of a good man.
    Before writing slanderous ugly comments about a good man, please do your homework, don’t be a lemming senselessly following a crowd without any thought of finding the truth. I challenge you to find one time outside of the last 45 minutes of this man’s life, to find any act of aggression. Then, we can debate if that was aggression at all. When the facts come out, I believe you will find a man with righteous indignation trying to protect all of our rights, including those who choose to attack and criticize him, with his very life.
    Those who choose to demonize the legal militias rising up surely would have been defending the crown against George Washington, all of the founding fathers and the “rowdy, undisciplined” Boston Tea Party. Many great men have given their lives so that you and I may have freedom and we have just witnessed in modern day what that takes. A man like LaVoy Finicum.
    Please do not let this man die in vain. Study out the issues before you jump off the cliff with the rest of the lemmings. Weather you like it or not he died for your freedom as well as mine.
    Now go learn

    • 42214 February 2, 2016 at 11:55 am

      He got what he was asking for. Glad he is somebody’s hero, he’s not mine.

      • .... February 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm

        He’s not my hero ! he died supporting some idiot that raided a bird sanctuary

    • Bender February 2, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      doc0007 – Finicum actively promoted his criminal behavior and treasonous views in the media every chance he got in recent months. You don’t get to hold a vigil in a public park for this guy and then ask for reverence and respect. Your comparison of the Bundyites with the founding fathers reveals your ignorance. A more apt comparison is with the seditious southern states during the Civil War. Suicide is not a noble end.

      • Chris February 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm

        I like to think an apt comparison is the Whiskey Rebellion, arguably the first large scale revolt against federal rule, and one that was put down brutally by the very founding fathers that the Bundy’s revere. Rule of law versus vigilantism is the real struggle here, and even here on the Bundy home turf, the public stands firmly behind the law.

      • doc0007 February 2, 2016 at 10:33 pm

        Bender, could you please give me one exemple of LaVoy’s criminal behavior and his treasonous views.

        • Bender February 3, 2016 at 8:46 am

          sigh….

        • Rainbow Dash February 3, 2016 at 12:17 pm

          The time he and a group of terrorists took over a bird sanctuary costing hard working Americans millions and putting a few people out of work for over a month now. Oh and the time on Jan 26 when he tried to kill law enforcement officers trying to stop him from doing any more damage to America.

  • IDIOT COMMENTERS February 2, 2016 at 11:40 am

    The world has 1 less religious lunatic, 1 less “patriotic hero” to invade bird preserves. What brave soul will stand up to take this “patriotic hero’s” place and invade other bird preserves all across the nation?! Who will fight this terrible evil of BIRD PRESERVES that has been inflicted upon us!? PRAISE JESUS! AMEN

    • .... February 2, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Yeah It takes a real tough guy to invade the home of the defenseless spotted owl

  • doc0007 February 2, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    This man was wrongfully killed for a cause he deeply believed in. He wanted to protect this great land for his posterity. He never harmed anyone and was not found guilty of anything. He left this world a better place than what he found it. Can any of you say the same about yourself? I am willing to bet that when the truth comes out… as it is, that not one of you cowards will be man or woman enough to admit you have wronged a good man and his family. I believe you will cower behind the screen of a computer or hide in your closets talking big, spewing venomous hateful lies thinking you are real smart. It takes a real man to admit when you were wrong and correct the damage you have caused. I know I am willing to do that if I am wrong. Are you? I guess we will see. What are YOU willing to die for? Anything?

    • Rainbow Dash February 3, 2016 at 7:59 am

      You’re absolutely right, it takes a real man to admit that he is wrong. So…. When are you going to do it?

      • digger February 6, 2016 at 6:38 am

        Thank You doc0007.
        Lil rainbow is one of those hiding , thinks she knows something. NOT!

    • .... February 3, 2016 at 8:57 am

      This low life got exactly what he deserved !

      You should contact digger because digger thinks Bundy is a God

      • digger February 6, 2016 at 6:35 am

        Your Ill, Dot Dot Dot. Maybe you Need God.

  • HIGHPLAINS February 4, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    For LaVoy’s Family: The goodness will remain. Those who knew LaVoy knew his heart: kind, gentle, caring and compassionate. God knows the truth. Let the goodness be the core of your strength. There is an evil in this land we call America: and One Cowboy Stood Up against it.
    This is what people are going to remember. The goodness that was strength stood that day
    in Oregon, and made a stand.
    Remember this: the evil that encompasses those who hate, vilify, lie, twist and distort the truth shall not remain. It is the goodness and truth that are eternal. There was a goodness in LaVoy. There was a gentleness and kindness. This is what will remain and stay with you.
    In the coming days, and months, and years, be comforted with the knowledge there will always be those who think of you. People do not forget.
    The principle that Lavoy believed in cannot be erased. It cannot be undone. It can not be
    forgotten. For it lives, and is true. This freedom, this belief in the integrity of the human soul,
    is what LaVoy embodied. Thank you for letting us, the rest of America, see this in your
    husband, father, and friend.
    When the fresh quiet of morning’s new dawn comes wafting across your ranchlands, the voices and thoughts of time past echo upon the new day, saying: Walk on. When the heat of the blazing mid-day sun scorches the grass in summer’s weltering days, hear the stillness that says: Walk on. When the coolness of evenings’ breeze comes gently across the rolling slopes,
    hear the quiet winds say: Walk on.
    For LaVoy is not gone, he is there in every blade of grass; in every sunset beyond the horizon. He is there in the antics of the spring calving, he is there is the frost of the morning.
    May God Bless you, your family, and all those who loved LaVoy. May the comfort of the Holy Spirit bring renewed strength and solace to your hearts. And may Jesus Christ, Son of God,
    give you strength: to walk on.

  • HIGHPLAINS February 4, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    ONE COWBOY

    One cowboy stood today, and showed me life’s freedom in his eyes:
    the glint of a living world shone forth from his belief.

    No matter what the world says now-so glaringly in error:
    time will show LaVoy stood true.

    A peaceful man full of honour
    Quiet dignity fortified with strength of belief

    A principle that was embued in this world
    when it was created,
    lived in LaVoy
    and we saw it in his eyes.

    Welcome Home, LaVoy, Well Done Native Son
    You stood tall, straight and true
    The Honour of the Ages lived in you
    And the light of God shone forth from your gaze

    Today you are in an unfenced pasture,
    Home on the Range
    with the Master Shepherd,
    and the angels sing.

    • Chris February 4, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      Wow, that defines insipid.

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