Eureka Police Department

ORGANIZING & CONNECTING Around Upcoming Civil Trial in Oakland: Cotton v. Eureka Police and Humboldt Sheriff's

The federal civil trial regarding the deadly beating by police of Eureka homeless resident, Martin Cotton, was postponed (We learned mid-December) .  The new date was set for September 12th. 

Now there is more time to organize.

We have been getting together with groups and individuals in the Bay area to spread the word about Martin Cotton and the trial.  Also, we've been connecting to strategize and talk about how our communities are struggling against police violence.  And how we can strengthen our efforts.  So far, while the situations we are dealing with are so intense, our encounters in the Bay area have been enriching experiences! 

Martin and his daughter Siehna

Seeking HELP Regarding a Short Informational Tour before Martin Cotton Trial

The civil trial in Oakland: Siehna Cotton et al. v. Eureka Police Dept. and Humboldt County Sheriff's Dept. has been POSTPONED.  Please keep your eyes and ears out for the new date, some time after February!

A couple of us from Redwood Curtain CopWatch want to travel to the Bay Area (and points between and around here and there) to talk to groups of people about what happened to Martin Cotton, to invite people to the trial, and to help connect the conversations and struggles that our communities are engaged in regarding police brutality. [See below for links about events planned so far] We are looking for ideas, suggestions, and help in our organizing to make presentations and participate in gatherings and conversations regarding state violence, in these days leading up to the trial. Beginning on December 13th and probably running for two or three weeks, we want to have a full schedule in the Bay Area and thereabouts.  Can you help?  Perhaps, for instance, you could book us to make a presentation where you live, publicize our visit and the upcoming trial, and/or inform us of events and discussions already planned in your area.

The Killing of Cheri Lyn Moore

The killing of Cheri Lyn Moore on April 14, 2006 tragically illustrates the failures of a misguided and bureaucratized “public safety” system. In this writing we deliberately refer to Cheri Lyn Moore by her first name, as her friends and family do, and we acknowledge her as a real, feeling, dynamic human being; we want to counter the objectifying and criminalizing  references made by media and police, calling her "Moore", and devaluing her life by repeatedly describing her through only the claims made by the police who murdered her. Cheri was reaching out for help in a time of physical, psychological, and emotional crisis; however, rather than receiving the assistance and comfort that she needed, she ultimately met her death at the hands of an overzealous and militarized police force.

 

This is not an isolated incident: Eureka Police Department [EPD], much like many police outfits throughout the country, regularly criminalize people in mental and emotional crises (especially if those people are poor) and then often exaggerate or flat out lie about danger they were "threatened with" in order to justify killing or severely harming those civilians.  One remarkable distinction, however, between EPD and many other police departments who's officers are suspected or known to have used excessive violence or lethal violence, is the patent and utter refusal of EPD or the City of Eureka to fire, reprimand, or demote such officers- even if only for the purpose of instilling confidence in the communities which they 'police'.  Because EPD routinely ignores, downplays and covers up instances of wrongful and unjustified use of force, there is a climate of indulgence in the department, whereby officers – and particularly those with predilections for over-aggressiveness, violence and abuse of authority, feel free to violate peoples' rights while on duty, because they are confident no disciplinary consequences will arise.

Eureka Cops Plan Raids of Houseless People's Sleeping Spots ; Raids Will VIOLATE Human & Constitutional Rights

The word is that raids will begin on Monday, July 19th.  Cops hunt down outside-sleeping people every night, but these raids will be broad-sweeping and perhaps more orchestrated.

These raids will violate the rights of the houseless people.  There are no legal, free-of-charge places to sleep in Eureka (or Arcata), so there are no options for almost all people who have no shelter except to sleep where they can find a hidden piece of ground.  Then ya gotta be able to protect yourself from the rain, wind, cold, dew.

This is not a new situation.  But all too often, people who are housed dismiss the reality of the situation by simply saying, "Well, there are homeless shelters for them to go to."  That is completely INACCURATE.

Redwood Curtain CopWatch Email: Eureka Police Steal Houseless People's Possessions!

From: redwood curtain copwatch  
Date: Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 9:35 PM
Subject:
Preserve and Return Property Taken by EPD today
To: gnielsen@ci.eureka.ca.gov

 

Chief Nielsen,

J and R, a married couple, own the following property which was taken by EPD officer(s) between the hours of 3:00pm and 8:15pm today, June 8, 2010:

Grey and Blue Tent and Rainfly (new, cost $50.00)
Five blankets
1 large Stoker's tobacco can
10 smaller cans of chewing tobacco
Full purple backpack
Full green backpack
Full long black bag with wheels
Two Mickey Mouse pillows
Two Flashlights
Prescription Medications (prescribed to R)
About 5-6 dollars in change
Clothes, feminine items, flag, other personal items
Orange and Black Daypack

 

Complaint Against Eureka Police Department's Sanchez

A few days ago, a young man made this complaint to the Eureka Police Department:

 

I am a college student in Alaska, my home state. I am currently taking some time to travel through the continental states. Today (April 23, 2010), my friend and I sat down for a moment with our heavy backpacks near the St. Vincent de Paul's cafeteria. After a few minutes, Officer Reyna-Sanchez walked past many people and approached us. A third person who had stopped to rest saw Officer Reyna-Sanchez coming at us and said “Don't shoot.” The officer then smugly told us that he had shot and killed someone last month. He then told us that we were trespassing, though there were no signs indicating such. Officer Reyna-Sanchez verbally harassed me, telling me, for instance that he could take away my rights and “You better leave Eureka... You and I will bump heads if you stay around.” 

 

EPD Officer Winkle Falsely Arrests and Injures Young Woman, Wed night March 31, 2010

 

On Wednesday night, March 31, 2010, Officer Justin Winkle of the Eureka Police Department [EPD], once again, went too far and hurt someone.

 

Winkle was one of the cops who killed Martin Cotton II in August of 2007- beat him to death. The other night, he abused a 20 year old woman who was happily skipping down the street. He stopped her and said that he was looking for a woman in particular (a “suspect”). He demanded ID, and when the woman gave him her name, he called it in. The EPD voice on the other end of the police radio informed Winkle that she was not the one- not the person the police were looking for. Nevertheless, Winkle continued to detain the young woman. She told him that she had done nothing wrong and wanted to leave, that there is no law against skipping, and she knew that she had a right to continue on her way.

 

Eureka Cops and Kris Coon CHANGE THIER STORY As To David Sequoia's Death

The cops got to Kris Coon.

That first story apparently didn't work- the one about the cop (so far name undisclosed) who shot David in the head at close range, fearing that David would keep reaching for the gun on his hip. Now, it's a whole different story- much more scary sounding... The cops and Coon would have us believe this killing was HEROIC. Coon probably believes he won't have any trouble for a while with EPD if he keeps participating in this cover-up....

'I could have been killed so quickly'; Thursday shootings in Eureka believed to be linked

Thadeus Greenson/The Times-StandardPosted: 03/20/2010 01:32:25 AM PDT

 

Authorities now believe that the Eureka man killed in an officer-involved shooting Thursday was on the run, having just fired two shots at an acquaintance in an apartment complex parking lot about a block away from the fatal shooting.

 

Letter regarding Eureka Police Dept's Sanchez and Quigley; Eureka Cruelty to Houseless People

REDWOOD CURTAIN COPWATCH
(707) 633-4493

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.

Adam Laird is one EPD cop who BEAT MARTIN COTTON TO DEATH, Aug 9, 2007

Officer Laird pepper-sprayed Martin Frederick Cotton II.  He also beat Martin  with a baton and kicked him while Martin was face down on the cement with his hands underneath his body. Martin was in the police car with Laird when brought to the jail.  Martin was never brought to the hospital after EPD beat him brutally for at least 15 minutes.

Liles Gets Burgess Family Evicted From Home; He Targets His Victim's Families

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.

"Where do I go?" Cops arrest people for EXISTING poor

Recently, some of us witnessed 4 (that's right FOUR) Eureka Police Officers arresting a woman for sitting in a covered bus stop late at night with only a blanket in her hand.  Three vehicles, two of them K-9 units, were there.  The officers were: Adam Laird (Badge #40), Kurt Rulofson (new guy), Ed Wilson (Badge #96), and Mike Guy (Badge #63).   The woman asked the officers, "Where do I go?"    She told them "I didn't do anything."  But, you see, if you sit somewhere in public at night, when you have no other place to go, you get arrested.

Eureka Police Department arrests easy target, the VICTIM

911 Call for Ambulance Help Only Brought Grief and Arrest for Injured Victim

On Thursday afternoon (June 18, 2009) in Eureka, near the Blue Heron motel, a woman of color (possibly Asian or Native American) was observed being held against her will by a large man, while a smaller man was repeatedly antagonizing her and spraying her in the face with something (pepper spray, mace?)
The woman was struggling to get away.

Pages