Politics

Eyewitness Pleads For Calm In Wake Of Oregon Militiaman’s Death

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter

One of the men traveling with a group of Oregon militiamen when law enforcement authorities gunned down Tuesday night is pleading for the militia and its supporters to remain calm, as police set up a perimeter around the refuge.

“Wait for the information to come out people,” Melvin Lee said in a video posted to his Facebook page.

Lee is a supporter of the militia’s takeover of a federal wildlife refuge, and was apparently traveling with members of the group to a community meeting when police pulled them over to execute arrest warrants. Five were arrested on felony charges and law enforcement shot dead the group’s spokesman, Lavoy Finicum.

Nevada state Rep. Michele Fiore tweeted that police shot Finicum while he had his hands up in cooperation with police, according to the group’s leader Ammon Bundy. But Bundy’s bodyguard, Mark McConnell, who was traveling with the group, released a video saying that account is wrong and that Finicum was charging police when shot.

Lee released his own video backing up McConnell’s story, who was released from custody because he was not a part of the official takeover of the wildlife refuge. “This right here is just a way to slow you all down, calm you down and think,” he said. “Wait for the information to come out people.”

Police began setting up a perimeter around the refuge Tuesday night, reported Reuters.

Lee said they’ve been trying to negotiate with the militiamen still occupying the wildlife refuge, around which authorities have set up a perimeter, but they’ve stopped answering the phone.

“They have until four o clock their time to leave that refuge, go northbound and leave that main entrance going into that refuge, alright,” he said. “Plain and simple.”

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