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Mourners Gather For 'LaVoy' Finicum's Funeral


Mourners gather outside the LDS stake in Kanab, Utah, for LaVoy Finicum's funeral.

Mourners gather outside the LDS stake in Kanab, Utah, for LaVoy Finicum's funeral.

Amelia Templeton/OPB

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Kanab, Utah, for Robert “LaVoy” Finicum’s funeral service. Finicum was one of the prominent occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. He was shot by police in a traffic stop Jan. 26. Other members of the occupation, including Ammon and Ryan Bundy, were arrested during that same stop.

The small town of Kanab is on the border with Arizona and is the largest Mormon congregation near Cane Beds, Arizona, where Finicum lived.

The church held a reception for the family and a viewing Friday morning before the funeral service. Some of the former occupiers not currently incarcerated were among those paying their respects.

Spurs, boots and photos of Finicum taken at the refuge were displayed at the service. Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” and other books about U.S. history and the Constitution were placed on a table, along with a note that read: “Dad’s light reading.”

Visitors wore small squares of a blue tarp on their coats, a reference to a night at the refuge that Finicum spent under such a tarp, in anticipation of law enforcement’s arrival at the site.

Finicum’s family has issued a public statement that said law enforcement is covering up how he died, citing accounts of eyewitnesses who were present during the shooting.

A video was released two days after Finicum’s death, showing him reaching for his waist before he was shot.

LaVoy’s brother, Guy Finicum, told OPB’s Amelia Templeton “the thing that drove my brother more than anything was his faith in God.”

“He didn’t like bullies,” Guy said. “Wherever he found someone who was downtrodden or pushed back or oppressed in any way, he was there. I remember that in school. You know that kid that doesn’t have any friends in school, that’s kind of off to the side, you could rest assured that LaVoy was always his friend.”

Members of his family have said he told them he would not leave the refuge as long as any single person in Harney County wanted him to stay there.

Indictments charging 16 people involved with the refuge occupation were released Thursday. They included charges against the four occupiers that remain at the site.

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