WHY WE’RE HERE
On October 23, 2006, just months after the EPD shot and killed Cheri Lyn Moore in her apartment, Eureka Police Officer Liles, who should have been in therapy from his involvement in the Moore shooting, shot and killed 16 year- old Christopher Burgess. Chris Burgess was well-loved by many in the community, WAS NOT VIOLENT, and had been thrown into the juvenile “injustice” system when he was very young. Liles, about 2 years before he killed Chris, had dragged Chris out of bed and beat him badly, fracturing his skull. On October 23, 2006, Liles chased Chris after Chris had been pepper-sprayed by a probation officer who walked into the otherwise safe house he was watching a movie in, and began spraying. Liles shot young Christopher in the heart after chasing him. This is atrocious.
Again, as with Cheri Moore (who was known to the police as having mental health issues, but NOT VIOLENT), the Eureka Police Department, is BLAMING THE VICTIM- and in order to convince the media (happy to take the police’s side) that the EPD’s murderous actions were justified, the EPD has criminalized Chris, and media has gone along with it.
Liles is on paid vacation. The local governments have refused to implement an Independent Police Review Board, as urged by the public for years. The DA has failed to prosecute, investigate, or call on outside investigative action. People, young and old, fear for their and their children’s lives as the police enjoy complete impunity to their deadly actions. Our community is in mourning.
Some demands and goals of the protest:
*'outside' INVESTIGATION- i.e. Attorney General
*the media, local government, and cops STOP CRIMINALIZING THE VICTIM!
*immediate development of a peoples' independent POLICE REVIEW BOARD, blessed by city council board of supes
*DRASTIC POLICY & PROCUDURE CHANGES for police and probation officers- i.e. regarding lethal force
*PUNITIVE ACTION against officers who use excessive force; NO PAID VACATION FOR MURDERERS
*Officer Liles PERMANENTLY OFF THE POLICE FORCE
*VALUE AND RESPECT shown for LIVES of otherwise marginalized people (poor, mentally ill)
*AWARENESS, COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT, COPWATCH, NEW WAYS TO RELATE TO EACH OTHER- WITHOUT COPS
The intent of this theatre protest is to gather people and keep these issues in the forefront of people’s minds. We have all, in a way, lost a brother or a son.
The police must be held accountable, the system that criminalized Christopher Burgess mustn’t continue to devalue the lives of fellow members of our community. The People must band together to protect and support one another.