On Feb. 22 of last year, six police agents working with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force went to lunch at Eureka’s Pho Thien Long restaurant. One of them parked illegally in a private lot. When a tow truck driver came to haul the vehicle away, the DTF agents rose from their lunch and rushed to stop him.
Agent Kevin Stonebarger of the Arcata Police Department assumed leadership of the situation, according to testimony collected later in a confidential APD internal investigation. He quickly antagonized both the tow truck operator and the owner of the private lot.
Assuming what another agent described as a “command presence,” he threatened to arrest one or both of the men while at the same time refusing to provide any police credentials apart from a quick flash of a badge. He shouted at the tow truck driver, or merely “spoke loudly,” depending on whose testimony you trust — in any case, enough to draw the attention of passers-by.
According to the tow truck operator — Leroy Hoffman, owner of Humboldt Towing — he asked Stonebarger to calm down and lower his voice. Stonebarger accused him — sarcastically, presumably — if he was making fun of his hearing disability. (He has no such documented disability.) Stonebarger threatened the owner of the lot — Kevin Sweet of Partrick’s Candy — with jail, because Sweet pulled out his phone and started recording the incident.
Just give me 45 days. I'll get rid of 'em all.” --Humboldt Sheriff's Ken Swithenbank to Chamber of Commerce about HOUSELESS PEOPLE in SoHum
Open Letter to Humboldt County Sheriff, Michael Downey:
We send you this information WITH URGENCY.
By Doug Kauffman and Ian Thompson January 27, 2011
Created 11/19/2010 by: Dave Lindorff
Is it news when police photograph and videotape demonstrations?
Apparently for American editors and reporters, making that news judgement depends on where the demonstration occurs and what nationality the police are.
When a hundred artists gathered outside a Beijing courtroom in mid-November to protest the jailing of artist Wu Yuren, who had earlier been beaten by police and jailed because he had gone to a police station to file a complaint against a landlord, the New York Times ran an article by reporter Andrew Jacobs which pointedly noted that police officers had videotaped the crowd, and then quoted a demonstrator, artist Dou Bu, as saying, “I was scared to come out here today, but you have to face your fears.”
REDWOOD CURTAIN COPWATCH
July 19, 2008
To Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen, Eureka City Council members, Eureka Mayor, Eureka City Attorney Sheryl Shaffner:
Re: EPD Sergeant Rodrigo Reyna-Sanchez
We write this letter with grave concern regarding the ongoing harassment and violence against homeless Eureka residents by Officer Rodrigo Reyna-Sanchez, and about the civil rights violations inherent in Officer Sanchez’ actions. While Sergeant Mike Quigley is not the express subject of this letter, please note that he behaves similarly, destroying houseless peoples’ meager survival gear and harassing, intimidating, and violating said peoples’ civil rights.
We will assume that you have been unaware, up to this time, as to the unwarranted threats, cruelty, and intimidation perpetrated on a consistent basis by Officer Sanchez against homeless people. Apparently, Officer Sanchez believes that he can say and do anything to people he perceives as vulnerable. Officer Sanchez conducts himself in an inappropriate, unlawful, and vile manner toward people- based on their status as unhoused residents. Clearly, he believes he is acting with absolute impunity.
While the Eureka Police Department and the local government may choose to believe that Officer Sanchez’ (and Officer Quigley’s) actions are protected under law, we want to bring to your attention the unconstitutional, and frankly obscene, nature of his behavior. We understand that Sergeants Sanchez and Quigley likely do not make full reports of much of their own behavior; perhaps finding it easier to continuously and secretly intimidate houseless people by keeping those actions ‘off the record.’ However, we believe that it is possible that the EPD and other city entities are aware of some or much of Officer Sanchez’ and Quigley’s behavior, and as a result of department and city complicity, these officers indulge in ongoing abusive behavior, confident that no disciplinary consequences will arise.
Did you know???
After PUBLIC OUTRAGE AND PRESSURE over the Eureka Police Department’s killing of Cheri Moore resulted in a coroner’s inquest, grand jury indictments, and prosecution of ex-Chief of Police David Douglas and SWAT’s Tony Zanotti, the Eureka City Council decided that the PUBLIC WOULD PAY $75,000 + for private attorney, Bill Bragg, to defend Douglas against criminal charges of involuntary manslaughter???!!
Not only did the Eureka City Council decide that WE would pay for Douglas’ defense for the killing of Cheri Moore, but the Council made the decision in CLOSED SESSION right before X-mas! And the City Council meeting following the CLOSED SESSION decision was on Thursday (not Tuesday, like all other City Council meetings) and was not broadcast live... (like all other City Council meetings)!!
To Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen,
Eureka City Council members,
Eureka Mayor Virginia Bass
Eureka City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner:
REDWOOD CURTAIN COPWATCH December 9, 2007
To Chief Garr Nielson and all to whom it may concern:
It has come to our attention that Officer Terry Liles recently has been at the residence of Margorie Burgess and her children on at least two occasions. This letter is to firmly request that Officer Liles no longer be sent to her residence, that he be stopped in the future of going to any residence of Ms. Burgess, and that Officer Liles be reprimanded for threatening and harassing Ms. Burgess’ current roommates, who are her extended family.