Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Town Hall Meeting In Cotton Death

I wonder if this town hall meeting that Garr Nielsen, Chief of Eureka P.D., isn't being a bit of an overreaction? Well, not so much an overreaction, but a bit defensive. I wasn't too concerned about the death of that Cotton fellow. Sounds like he might just have over- exerted himself while picking a fight with anyone he could find.

Then again, maybe it's not an overreaction. We've seen on the Humboldt blogs how quickly some are to point the finger at the local police agencies and maybe Garr decided to act first. Either that, or after seeing this notice sent out over the Redwood Peace and Justice Center Announcements e-mail list. About the only thing missing in this announcement is defining Cotton as just a child:

Sun August 12 2007
Eureka, CA

On the afternoon of Thursday August 9th, Martin Cotton II was beaten
severely by the Eureka Police Department [EPD], a sack was thrown over his
head, and he was taken to jail. According to the Sheriff’s Dept, he died
two hours later.

Local papers have given only one side of the account, spinning the story
to support a police department whose image is already marred by several
murders in the last two years. People’s reports to Redwood Curtain
CopWatch share many common threads; facts that stand out starkly against
the media's uncritical parroting of the Sheriffs’ Department press

Martin was involved in a confrontation at the Eureka Rescue Mission.
Rescue Mission staff called the police, who arrived after Martin, unarmed,
had already been ejected from the Mission. The EPD pepper sprayed Martin,
kicked him, beat him with night sticks, and punched him with fists. EPD
pummeled Martin all over his body, including heavily attacking his kidney
area while he was on the ground. There were 6-10 EPD officers present
and involved in the beating.

EPD officers intimidated people attempting to photograph the public incident.

Contrary to the Humboldt County Sheriff's press release, it is clear that
excessive (deadly) force was used.

Martin’s brutal beating was cruel and undeserved; absolutely unwarranted
under any circumstances. EPD took Martin to jail to die, rather than
immediately bringing him to the hospital. This is unacceptable and only
adds to the outrage that we feel.

Redwood Curtain CopWatch believes that as a community we can work towards
creating real justice that heals and transforms rather than destroys and
erases. Police violence does not make us safe. The police, as a
structural component of our society, have not outgrown their long legacy
of protecting the rich ‘from the poor’; and have accelerated their
practice of further marginalizing the people most trampled by our
socio-economic system.

Martin was houseless... And he is someone's son, grandson-- and a brother
and friend to others. We are tired of community members dying at the
hands of police.

Please help us imagine alternatives to the violence of police. Let's work
towards justice that is nourished by knowing our neighbors, taking care of
each other, and relating to each other as dignified human beings.

Please contact Redwood Curtain CopWatch:

I'm surprised I didn't see that announcement on Eric or Herald's blog first.


At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who wants to bet the guy died from something other than the cop hater's wet dream of a police beating?

At 9:14 AM, Blogger robash141 said...

I think Its a good Idea for the Chief to come out and make a statement as soon as possible.
I believe That the EPD waiting NINE WHOLE DAYS before they condescended to say anything about the Cheri Moore incident was a public relations disaster and showed real contempt for many of the people they are supposedly trying to serve.

Redwood Cop Watch is is a product of the imbecelic Kim Starr who seems to be nothing more than a provocatuer who wishes to squelch any serious disscussion of Police review whith her divisive rhetoric

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes there's legitimate reason to question the police. And while it's curious that someone in their 20's, presumably healthy, would die in a jail cell, it seems likely meth or other drugs were involved. Unless the guy was just violent by nature.

What is Garr Nielsen going to say that hasn't already been said? Until the toxicology report comes out there's no new information.

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google that phone number and you'll see it's associated with an Arcata business.

It's good to know Arcatans care so much about Eureka police review. Sounds more like cop-hating FUD. Generate fear to push an agenda. Sad.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

True. Seems to me he's not going to say anything we don't already know.

The autopsy might be more informative than a toxicology report, but I suspect they kind of go together.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heraldo just a few days ago was arguing that in fact there were no Cop Haters around, just honest folks asking relevant questions...

My god, how could I have EVER forgotten about Kim Starr??

Cop Haterette extreme...

At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

EPD is playing into activist hands. Draw together a hundred shouting cop haters and they control the media message. Perception becomes reality in the newspaper. It worked in convincing people Iraq caused 9-11. It's working now in our pending war with Iran. Control the media and you control public opinion. Police review here we come.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger mresquan said...

Perhaps they're hoping to have a chance to roundup some of the suspected"cop haters" by having it at OH's a police and heavily republican hangout.Sounds out there I know.
I wouldn't expect this crew to give Garr the time of day to just reiterate what's already been reported.

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed that Fred published this tripe on his blog. Not only is it tripe, but it scrolls forever down the front page. I have to wade through tripe to get to other, actually meaningful discussions.

Just link to it Fred, get that mess off the front page.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Rose said...

Funny. I actually agree with heraldo at 9:15.

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, be careful! Youre skirting the margins of society yourself and it is only a matter of time before your shabby pickup is pulled over in dark alley.

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, considering you summoned the fenster/bravo creature back to the blogs I'd say you have some serious mental issues.

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The town hall meeting will be a shout fest for cop haters from across the county. People who trust the cops won't show up, for lack of outrage or fear of being the target of hate by the cop haters.

The newspapers will print photos and generally convey the idea that Eureka wants police review, when in fact most people attending are carpetbaggers.

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really dont get all the cop haters around here.
I guess they want the violent meth users and drunk drivers to take over?

oops....too late.

Folks- there are good and bad people (& cops) everywhere- NOT just here.

Cops in other places have to kill people to stop them all the time.
In other words, not ALL people are warm and fuzzy and misunderstood, o.k.?
Some people are just plain EVIL.

When its YOUR home broken into-when its YOUR loved ones being attacked by a meth-head- things will look REAL different to you.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger mresquan said...

I just got word that CopWatch is having a different event tomorrow night,don't expect many fireworks over at OH's.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Any idea of just what the CopWatch event will be about?

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CHiPs reruns.

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, people rag on Douglas for not meeting with the public, now ragging on Garr for getting out there pronto. Kim Starr and Copwatch are good examples why police review is DOA.

At 7:45 PM, Blogger mresquan said...

It has more to do with the location of the event,and the fact that nothing new has come about.I wasn't given any other info, and don't care too much,as I'll be at the Home Depot shindig tomorrow.Fred,take a wild guess.

At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What would you expect from Cop Watch when you have community pathogens and extremists serving on them?
But then again there are the rotten apples within the law enforcement bunch who validate the extremists by their misconduct.

Cop Watch is not the sol'n, but we do need a community public safety committee

At 6:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

as usual the cop hater heraldo miller will be wrong the guy died from self inflicted injuries i bet

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:26, get off youtube and start reading Heraldo's posts. He explicitly said he thinks the likely cause was not police injury.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger mresquan said...

So I guess that there will be a march through Old Town starting at the Rescue Mission and ending at city hall this afternoon.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Derchoadus said...

'Tis a rumour that when Cotton was in jail, he was given a few more persuaders from the jailkeeps.

There were other people in cells next to him....

At 7:08 PM, Blogger hucktunes said...

Yeah, I heard that same rumor this afternoon. After he was placed in a cell all alone with the bag still over his head some jailers entered with rubber gloves on and beat him to a pulp. Apparently the guy in the next cell heard it. Now I don't know if it's true or not, I'm just repeating the rumor.

At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, nice job there der/huck...

And where did these so called rumours originate, pray tell?

At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heraldo wrote: "Unless the guy was just violent by nature."

"Violent by nature" sounds like a perfect name for a nihilistic music band. Or for one of the communist student organizations at HSU.

At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The town hall meeting will be a shout fest for cop haters from across the county. People who trust the cops won't show up, for lack of outrage or fear of being the target of hate by the cop haters.

The newspapers will print photos and generally convey the idea that Eureka wants police review, when in fact most people attending are carpetbaggers.

2:12 PM

--> I agree with most of what the writer above wrote. I disagree, though, about reasons supporters of the police might choose not to show up at a public meeting to support them.

Last year, October 30, a meeting was held at Eureka City Hall. About 90% of the 200 or so people in attendance listened to the presentations and the protests of about two dozen people regarding the death of Christopher Arrion Burgess. They listened and did not exprsss outrage OR approval. They were there, it seemed clear, because they were interested and they wanted to learn more about what had happened.

That did not stop the wildly dishonest reporter and editor of the Times-Standard from printing a page-one story describing the event as a gathering of hundreds of Eurekans OUTRAGED at the conduct of their police department.

Neither the reporter nor the editor ever retracted or corrected their error.

Having our long-time local newspaper distort and twist the position of hundreds of Eurekans might discourage Eurekans from further attendance at important public meetings.

For my part, I think that in spite of the yellow journalism, most Eurekans will attend important public meetings anyway.

The stakes are too high to abandon our police protection to group of people who care so little about public safety. I am referring to people who do not respect lawful authority. I also include in that group the "journalists" who blithely report falsehoods as if they were facts, no matter how deeply it divides and damages our community.

People who rely on the Times-Standard for their news should consider attending a few meetings and events and then comparing what they see and hear to what appears in the paper. The discrepancies should be educational.

At 4:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CopWatch and Kim Starr have NOTHING to do with the Coalition for Police Review, as she would be the first to admit, since CPR wants to work within the system to create a review committee representing the whole community -- which isn't what CopWatch or Verbena want at all.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Derchoadus said...

There were other people that witnessed what happened, allegedly.

Don't want to say more. Could cause problems for those people.

I guess it is more than a rumour...

At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe is father used to work for the Sheriff's department.

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops,his father.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Were you sick yesterday, esquan? Three big events: Home Depot presentation, Cotton Demo and Nielsen's open house on the Cotton Death. I didn't see one quote from you in any coverage of the three events.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger mresquan said...

Hey!!I talked to Wendy Butler for a bit at the Home Depot shindig,but just jargon about nothing relating to Home Depot.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger hucktunes said...

Anonymous said...
Wow, nice job there der/huck...
And where did these so called rumours originate, pray tell?
7:45 PM

Hey thanks. Here's more. Last week was absolutely nuts around here in Old Town. The tweakers were especially animated, arms flailing, loud incoherent squabbles, sittin' around on the benches in groups day and night. It was really weird. Apparently there was some LSD around. LSD? Man, I thought I got the last of that in 1977. But there's some stuff that they call LSD, or Acid, that seems to be much like speed. And I heard that Cotton was dosed. So kids, take my advice and don't do drugs. Just say no. If you want to see what drugs can do for you, take a look at some of the denizens of Old Town.


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