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
On Friday, May 11th, Hans Ashbaucher took a plea bargain in the case from his November 12 Occupy Eureka arrest. Hans was preparing to go to trial on Monday, but we all know that from the court system, it can be very difficult to get any justice (or to avoid being screwed).
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.
Saturday, August 21, 2010:
The cops have been slashing tents and terrorizing people with night raids. Rodrigo Reyna-Sanchez, holding a machete, and 4 other cops have been out since Wednesday are the reports I'm getting from folks.
The City of Eureka proves itself again to care more about pushing its weight around, stealing, towing, searching, seizing, than it does about YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO PLACE TO LIVE.
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.”
July 6, 2010 2:58am
Open Letter To Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen, Eureka City Council members, Eureka Mayor,
Eureka City Attorney, Sheryl Schaffner:
Re: EPD Sergeant Rodrigo Reyna-Sanchez punches a young man in the side of the head and threatens teenage witness if he testifies to seeing the punch
March 23, 2010
Open Letter To Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen and all entities listed below:
The guy who tackled David because David was on his property, Kris Coon, said that David was on the ground when the cop shot him.
Which cop we don't know.
Wrestle someone because they walk onto your property?
Report from April 12, 2009
For years now, the homeless have been permitted to sleep on the property of St. Bernard's Catholic Church without incident. Being one of the homeless who do so, I have befriended both Father Allen and the caretaker, Fritz. When the Father steps out of his door every morning to fetch his paper, he has continued to acknowledge my presence with "Good Morning Curtis". Once I'm finally up and ready to take on the day, I use the restroom that Fritz opens for us to use. This has remained routine since at least the early 90's.
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.
Spotlight on Sanchez; Urgent Need to Contol Your Officers
December 20, 2008
To Chief Garr Nielson and all entities listed below:
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)!!
These are only a few of things we have been told that Eureka PD's Sanchez has said to people:
"No one will miss you if I shoot you in the back of the head"
"Do you go to this church? Well I am Catholic and I do go to this church [not true], and I don't want you sleeping at my church"
"If I see you again sitting anywhere with your blanket, I will take you to jail."
"You'd be better off in prison" [to homeless and disabled woman]
"You wrote a letter calling me a liar. That's why I'm giving you a ticket."
To Chief Garr Nielson and all entities listed below: It has come to our attention that Eureka Police Department Sergeant Rodrigo Reyna-Sanchez has put the word out that he is after a man named Eric Stauffer with intentions to do him great harm. Mr. Stauffer, his friends, and we at Redwood Curtain CopWatch take the "word on the street" very seriously, especially in light of past and ongoing targeting and violent actions by Sgt. Sanchez and other members of the Eureka Police Department.