Michael Savage, top-ranking conservative radio host and author of many best-selling books, took on a topic during his most recent broadcast that’s been playing second fiddle to the political press coverage – the Oregon standoff between ranchers and feds that resulted in the fatal police shooting of Robert LaVoy Finicum, age 55.
In between discussing Donald Trump and playing clips of his recent interview with the Republican primary front-runner, Savage referred to Finicum’s shooting as a “murder” and called for the U.S. attorney general’s office to investigate.
“I’m demanding an investigation,” he said. “I’m demanding the attorney general send a task force into Oregon.”
And if the feds won’t, the United Nations ought to look into it, Savage said.
Finicum had served as a spokesperson for the protesters occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns for the last few weeks, according to the New York Times. The occupation came because of a dispute among ranchers and federal officials over land rights, sparked by what many saw as the unfair imposition of a five-year, U.S. Justice Department-pressed prison sentence for a local father and son, Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46.
The details of Finicum’s death are fuzzy. The Oregonian reported he was shot during a traffic stop by FBI and state police after he “charged police.” And the FBI, in a statement reported by WND, blamed protesters: “[Finicum’s death] didn’t have to happen. We all make choices in life. Sometimes our choices go bad.”
But others say Finicum had his hands in the air while exiting his vehicle and yelling at the assembled police, “Just shoot me then,” WND reported, citing audio from one passenger riding with the protesters at the time they were stopped that’s been making the rounds on YouTube.
Regardless, Savage said Finicum was an American citizen, supposedly protected by the Constitution.
“The cops executed a man in Oregon but because he’s white, there’s no outcry,” he said, apparently referring to the massive media coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement that included daily coverage of racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, in Baltimore, Maryland, and in other spots around the nation for more than a year.
He vowed to set up a legal fund to help the ranchers and families in the community.
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“Those poor white guys, those ranchers who stood up,” Savage said. “They’re not rich guys … when the time comes, and it’s not today, I will set up a box at MichaelSavage.com … and raise money for them.”
He added: “I’m going to raise money for these poor guys in Oregon, it’s that simple.”
A few minutes later, Savage hit hard at the idea again.
“[We] had a peaceful group of protesters assailed by [police] and there has been no outcry,” he said. “This is a huge issue. This is a huge story. … I know many of you don’t care because they don’t look like you … they wear cowboy boots and cowboy hats, but they’re Americans, too. … [We’re setting up a] legal defense fund for the ranchers that were oppressed. … The fear I have is [the government] will try to ruin them, take their life savings, put them in prison.”
Savage said in an email he would discuss specifics of his legal defense fund during an upcoming radio broadcast.
“We’re going to fight them,” he said on his show. “We’re going to fight this dirty, evil government.”
Police arrested 11 the day of Finicum’s shooting death. Another three turned themselves in the next day.
Anrianna Finicum Brown, 26, one of Finicum’s 11 children, called her father a “good man” who was peaceful at heart.
“My dad was such a good, good man, through and through,” she said, the Oregonian reported. “He would never ever want to hurt somebody, but he does believe in defending freedom and he knew the risks involved.”