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Rally at Utah State Capitol honors Arizona rancher killed during Oregon standoff

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Posted at 5:49 PM, Mar 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-05 19:53:57-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Protesters gathered on the steps of the Utah State Capitol Saturday to honor Arizona rancher LaVoy Finicum, who was shot and killed by federal agents during a standoff in Oregon in January.

More than 100 people gathered, wearing ribbons in his honor and waving flags with the words “liberty rising.”

They said the main goal was to continue spreading Finicum’s message of standing up for constitutional rights.

“I ask you, American people, to stand in your place, stand where you can, stand for what’s right,” LaVoy’s wife, Jeanette Finicum, said at the rally.

Jeanette said her husband was peacefully protesting at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon when he was shot and killed by federal agents. The FBI released video they say shows Finicum reaching for a gun after attempting to drive around a roadblock. Jeanette said he didn’t have a gun on him.

“He was grabbing the wounds that came to him, but then his hands went back up with nothing in them, and again he was shot," Jeanette said.

The Finicum’s daughters say their father’s death and recent uprisings are an awakening across the country. Saturday’s rally was one of several being held simultaneously. They want citizens to wake up to what they call oppression by the federal government.

“They are coming in and they are controlling their grazing rights,” said Finicum’s daughter, Brittney Beck. “Saying you owe me these grazing right fees, when in actuality, they didn’t even buy the grazing rights from the BLM, they bought them from the ranchers that established the ranch.”

Other leaders in the Oregon standoff, including Ammon Bundy, face a charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States.

According to a press release sent ahead of the event, supporters were also calling for the release of Ammon, Ryan and Cliven Bundy as well as Dwight and Steve Hammond, who the release referred to as "patriots" and "political prisoners."