"Community Shooting Review Board" Is Another Ploy To Cover Up
Eureka Police Killing of Tommy McClain
Eureka, CA: After Eureka Police shot and killed 22 year-old Tommy McClain in cold blood in his front yard on September 17, 2014, Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills created a “Community Shooting Review Board.” This Board is the Eureka Chief's public relations attempt to pacify public outrage, subvert any real community oversight and participation, and perpetuate the farce of independent investigation and transparency.
A private meeting of members of the Eureka Police Department, the Humboldt County Coroner's Office, and the Eureka City Council was scheduled for January 15, 2015 to review the multi-agency law enforcement [Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT)] investigation of Tommy's death.
Longtime local activist against police violence, Verbena Lea, states the obvious: “There was nothing 'independent' about the original investigation, and nothing transparent or independent about this Community Shooting Review. They both are secret and involve Eureka officials who have current and former ties to police and a vested interest in covering up police murder.” Two of the Community Shooting Board’s six members are current Eureka police officers
Despite having the word “Community” in the title, no members of the general public have been invited to participate in the Community Shooting Review. The Board’s purported goal is to evaluate the CIRT’s investigation into Tommy’s death and recommend appropriate changes to Eureka Police Department policy. The Board is exclusionary and does nothing to prevent future unwarranted killings. It is impossible to have an “independent” review when officers are leading it.
“More than 400 members of the public, including the McClain family, have asked for a public forum, a coroner’s inquest. The City, the District Attorney, and the County Coroner ignored this reasonable request for transparency. Instead, the City of Eureka gave us a PR stunt that takes no action to make our community safer from future police killings,” says local human rights activist, Amanda Tierney.
Any one of these officials, the Police Chief, the Coroner, or the DA- could easily honor the demands of the McClain family and 400+ concerned community members by ensuring a coroner’s inquest- a public hearing- in the unexplained, sudden, and violent death of Eureka resident Tommy McClain.
We understand that Tommy was unarmed and posed no threat the night he was shot and killed, firing-squad-style, in front of his home.
Redwood Curtain CopWatch has been conducting our own community investigation of Tommy’s death. In the interest of true transparency, we demand full access to CIRT’s investigation materials and any other materials in the hands of the Community Shooting Review Board.
Link to pdf of this Press Release: https://app.box.com/s/484qieuw8oi1rprqnb1lk6kpseyjaxva