Anger Unveiled at Alleged Police Brutality

Thinly Veiled Anger

Daily Photo

Scarfed and swathed protesters mingled with braver souls at an afternoon rally in Eureka today.  Chanting slogans and vibrant with somewhat unfocused passion, a group of forty to fifty people gathered in front of the Eureka courthouse today to express outrage over police brutality. Protesters carried signs memorializing those they perceived to be victims of violent law officers.  Chris Burgess, Martin Cotton and Zachary Cooke‘s photos appeared on signs and Cheri Moore’s death was also mentioned by activists there.

Dave Mako holding his own sign explained,”All across the country police are abusing people, especially latinos and blacks…whites, too.  The poor are hit especially hard.” The group surrounding the courthouse were expressing outrage at this injustice.

“I’m here ’cause they killed my friend,” Juan Pedroza age 29 says.  Another protestor who refused to give her name said that she was at the rally because “I’m tired of the police disappearing us.”  A third whose entire head was wrapped in a t-shirt claimed to have been shot at by the police.  “I have nightmares every night of my life.”

Though the protesters as a whole weren’t able to articulate what they hoped to accomplish, their anger was focused on law enforcement. For a few hours, they unveiled a rage which, while unfocused, was real.

More photos below the fold:



  • Don’t you just love the word “Alleged”?

    What makes “Police Brutality” a fact?

  • Joe,
    I’m frustrated by the level of brutality I believe is occurring here.
    But, when a man is found with 4lbs of pot in his garden and $5000 in his pocket, I still prefer if officers refer to him as the alleged grower. The man hasn’t been convicted in a court of law. To the best of my knowledge, the officers haven’t been convicted either.

    My personal feelings are that there seems to be a pattern of violence among law enforcement in this area but individual cases have still to be proved officially. Thus, the word alleged.

    And I’m ready to hear the officer’s side as well as the other side. I have known many fine officers. People I respect. So I’m not willing to lump every case together as if the police operate in a robotic unit instead of as individual people. Thus the word alleged.

    And, truthfully, I’m not as well informed about the cases above as i would like to be so I’ll stick with alleged until I’ve got the facts down.

  • Facts. Where do you think we can find such critters?

    Those people weren’t really demonstrating about “alleged police brutality” as much as they were about unjust police murder. There is a big difference between tasering or beating someone near to death (brutalizing) than shooting them dead.

    By the way, did you feel the same way about “alleged” with O. J. Simpson?

  • In a perfect world, we would all treat each other with respect and would have no need for laws nor enforcement. But alas, there are people who can’t work within those parameters making poor decisions and hurting others. This forces ‘us’ (society) to demand laws for protection but, since there are those without self-control who can’t abide by the laws of the land any better than they could the laws of humanity, we create those who would enforce the laws. Then we complain when we don’t like the effects. Such is life…sadly.

  • Joe, the answer to your question is I don’t always live up to my ideals but I try. Yes, I believe OJ was unreasonably acquitted. Yes, I think with the facts that I know that Cheri Moore’s case was bungled and the young man with a knife could have dealt with without killing him. Martin Cotton’s case seems the most horrifying of all but I’m uninformed enough to withhold convicting the officers. I am however, eager to have an independent commission review board.

    Beachcomber, I believe you worked with law officers for awhile and understand that they are humans who can make mistakes under stressful situations and then there are some who are unfit for the job. I think it is human nature to abuse power and human nature to resent when power is applied to you and those you care about. An independent review would help both sides receive justice in my opinion.

  • did you see jumbo’s video about the protest?

  • Rick, thanks for posting the link. I had no idea the Sentinel was posting stories again. I’m looking forward to keeping up. The driveby shooting in Benbow caught me by the throat. I have a hard time hearing that something so senselessly brutal is happening here.

  • The problem here is that the law cuts both ways when enforced by the people responsible for those law (people like you). You answered that when you say, on the one hand, that you want the facts first before judging, facts that are not forthcoming and on the other hand when the so-called facts don’t justify the punishment or lack thereof you want the right to judge. And, by extension make law that suits your tastes.

    Within that conflict you expose the root cause of the lawless police action against those sworn to protect. The truth is self-evident by the simple “fact” that none of us are informed.

    By the way, in a perfect world everyone would obey the law, because the law would be perfect. So, does that mean because the laws and the law-enforcers are imperfect that we are free to pick and choose what laws we obey or disobey regardless the consequences?

  • Joe, I’m sorry it took so long to answer. I had promised to get the H8 post out and wanted to give you a thoughtful answer–not just something off the cuff.

    I think to a certain extent you are right “the truth is self-evident by the simple “fact” that none of us are informed.” I agree that without some kind of oversight the power and the terrible stressful responsibility of police work will lead to abuses. There must be an oversight group for the police. I just know also that no one group is always in the wrong and though anyone or even all of those cases could be incidences of brutality they also could be all be victims of public misperception so I’ll stick with alleged in all the cases while I continue to suspect that the number of deaths and injuries occurring in police custody is indicative of a terrible problem

  • Thanks for the thoughtful response. Not enough “thoughtfulness” anymore.

    When I checked to see if you answered my question, I ran into your: “Whether you’re for or against 8, Just say No to H8.” I read all of it and the commentary. Considering my observation and question I figured you’d answered it in this post.

    The problem, “alleged police brutality,” is hardly a “perception” issue when people end up dead. The problems a lack of legitimacy. What’s changed in the last 20 years, even 10 years, to justify the kind of police force, commando style SWAT squads with their overwhelming aggressive tactics used in common community policing? The only people with automatic weapons, sophisticated sniper rifles, guns with silencers, and the myriad other sophisticated equipment are the police. Where’s the terrorism, the domestic Al-qaeda or an insurgency battling police state occupation to justify any of this?

    What’s changed is that the Federal Governments has come in with all its money, training and equipment and totally co-opted the local policing authorities. This totally subverts any type of meaningful local oversight or accountability. Consequently, no legitimacy.

    By the way, your thoughtful response, particularly the final sentence made my point – my reason for commenting in the first place. Thank you.

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