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.