Justice for Josiah Gathering Keeps Arcata Lively Tonight; Another Protest Called for Tomorrow

Tonight a number of protestors marched through Arcata and gathered at the Arcata Plaza calling for Justice for Josiah. David Josiah Lawson, a Humboldt State University student, was fatally stabbed at a party in April. Today, the man arrested for his stabbing, Kyle Zoellner,  was set free after a judge determined that the preliminary hearing offered insufficient evidence to hold him.

Above can be seen a video sent in from a reader about 9:30 p.m. shows demonstrators marching up G Street. But, a live video from the Plaza taken about 10:45 p.m shows a passionate crowd taping signs on McKinley’s statue and calling for “Justice for Josiah.” Speakers urge the crowd to contact the Humboldt County District Attorney and request the investigation continue. A smattering of “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice for Josiah” signs can be seen throughout the crowd and taped on McKinley.

Social media indicates that another protest is being called for the Arcata Farmer’s Market tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Earlier Chapters:



  • Dumb asses are gunna get run over by some drunk coming from the bars

  • Kind of a wasteful protest. Not much point to it, and it just keeps many people from going to Arcata. Everyone wants to know who the person is that did this, but looks like it might take some time. The investigation will obviously continue, and could possibly be that one of his club friends accidentally stabbed him. Alot of possibilities. People are way to quick to protest anything lately. It’s like they aren’t happy unless they have something to march about.

    • The original J

      I wondered if one of his friends or his girlfriend who loves picking fights accidentally stabbed Josiah while jumping Kyle too.

      • Thats what i thought……imagine if kyle was killed by a mob of black students and a bunch of white people went to the streets protesting and blaming every black person they could for his death???? Sound familiar? Now “we” have to sit back and tolerate this racisim they display…. hmmmmmm i bet the protesters will be in the bars (saterday night) drunk on liquor and doing coke. Repeat and countinue.

  • Kym: I’m glad to hear that the community is coming together to insist that this investigation continue. What’s notable about this is that it’s a case that has impacted many of the young people and students in the area. I have heard a great deal of confusion about procedure and policy, and I think it could be a great opportunity to shed some light on the way our system works because right now everyone is paying attention. Maybe you would be interested in publishing something to help make sense of how things work for some folks who are new to this. It could be a helpful way to make people feel less angry, while teaching them about the criminal justice system.

    I have been hearing (and attempting to answer) questions related to: how long can someone be held before a trial/preliminary hearing? What’s the difference between the two? Questions about double jeopardy, and how the case is still open and nobody is officially off the hook. I’ve been asked why they started the prelim when more evidence might be uncovered… just to name a few of the questions upon which you might be able to shed some light.

    It’s understandable to not know if you haven’t been exposed. It’s easy to ignore if it hasn’t impacted your life.

    Thought this might be a helpful suggestion for an article to calm some of the anger and confusion and maybe to remind folks that due process is important and that there’s still time to find who is responsible and serve the justice that they seek. Thanks for your reporting!

  • What are they protesting? Are people upset that Kyle is no longer being held? Or is it just to promote a continued effort to find the killer?

    • My understanding of the reason for the protest/march is: keep investigating so that the evidence can be found to hold the guilty responsible. I don’t think anyone wants an innocent person to rot in prison while the guilty goes free. If Kyle didn’t do it, there’s no reason he should pay for it.

      • I fear the protesters want Kyle to rot because they “just know” he did it, since he’s white.

      • Just My Opinion

        I agree that MOST people want the guilty to be brought to justice. However the black lives movement is more concerned about skin color than the truth. It seems many people of color would rather have a guilty black man go free as long as a white man is in jail. Being a white male, and 62 years old, I have witnessed 5:1 ratio of blacks being prejudice than I have whites. I wish we all were color blind when it comes to race but it looks like there is to much money being made by those who continue to throw gas on the fire, i.e. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others who have never had a real job.

  • more black-on-white racism .

  • Good ole days

    What about justice for Kyle? This kid was beaten half to death by a group of thugs, publicly hilmulated on fake news sites, wrongfully accused of murder and falsely incriminated of being a rascist based on the color of his skin. White.

  • These folks who were so quick to judge Zoellner guilty are from the current generation of ‘I want it now’ whiners. They have access to all the social media formats running at light-speed, and would think rumors or lies are the truth, instead of waiting for the real truth to come out.

  • It’s interesting that Corliss Bennett Mcbriden’s (HSU multicultural advisor) facebook page is now now not public; probably forced to take it down after her inflammatory remarks about Josiah being killed by a white man, well before the prelim even got started. At least she can’t continue to fan the flames of her blatant bigotry.

  • Nobody's blaming the victim.

    In addition to pleading with the court, why dont they plead with josiah’s “friends” to get their story straight and tell the simple truth? They directly contradict eachother in major ways, for crying out loud. The first walk away from this case is that at least three of josiah’s friends beat Z unconscious. There’s absolutely no verbal excuse for that, even if Z called them every racist name in the book. I understand trauma, but if they really care then they really have some soul searching to do.

  • What if three white guys from a primarily white club where jumping a black guy who asked about a lost phone, and one of the white guys got stabbed in the process. Would it be okay to plaster White Lives Matter signs in the town? That would seem crazy to me, and so does this. You can’t assault people because you don’t like how they asked you a question, and they clearly asked the first people they saw about the phone since they were on the front porch aka entrance to the party.

  • Inquiring minds want to know.

    Was racism an issue? Do any of the known facts point to racism? The justice system is supposed to be blind except to motivation of the perpetrator. I haven’t read anything publicly about race being a factor except from Lawson’s friends pertaining to the aftermath of Lawson’s care by the police and medical respondents. Is this a ploy and grandstanding? If that is true Lawson’s has partially lost everyone’s sympathy. The tragic loss of this young man should garner more meaning than an onslaught of racial innuendos.

  • HSU is a Maoist diploma mill. I graduated from there and once worked there (until I got fired by a lesbian manager who was sleeping with her own female employees). Their “instructors” and “administrators” practice atheistic, communist, anti-American mind control. Any parent who sends their kids there is a traitor to this country. Those poor young people, raised by hating parents – inner city, or no – and then sent to indoctrination. No wonder they become racists. No wonder they hang out at late night parties wanting trouble. They got it. As long as the law investigates THEM, which would only be fair.

    • Gosh, darn! I got my teaching degree from there. I’m a communist? Anti-American? I did hang out late night parties when I was in my late teens and early twenties but that was before I went to college. I’d say youth more than HSU predicts whether someone would be at a late night party.

      • Just My Opinion

        Kym, you read into what truthtell said and took it personally. He/she didn’t imply everyone who graduated from HSU was anti-American. He/she merely stated his/her opinion that its a Muoist Mill. We would most likely agree the most universities are left and far left leaning. That doesn’t mean everyone that graduates from one of those universities are left leaning liberals.

        • Kym didn’t “read into what truthtell said “.
          Misnomered ‘Truthteller’ made several blanket statements regarding HSU, HSU students, HSU admin, HSU faculty:
          all those blanket statements were easy to interpret; all were easy to refute.

          Kym, an HSU grad, has every right and reason to refute that nonsense.

        • So, being educated is being far left? Most of the right and far right seem to be the most uneducated morons on the planet.

  • My sincerest sympathies for all involved in this horrible ordeal. I pray the community rises up and honors the victim by helping his family to raise the funds needed for burial, court costs (traveling, motel rooms, food, scholarship donations, memorials..).
    Honoring a soul by honoring their loved ones with love and kindness, is the ultimate expression of caring.

  • A concerned citation

    This is a sad day for Lady Justice, she’s on every Courthouse. She is the blind lady who has the scales of Justice before her, she is called to only weigh the facts. Not to have an imagination as one misguided Lawson supporter would have us do. Would any of you, want a judge to use his imagination and not rely upon facts???
    Most of the protesters are here for higher education, yet contempt and judgment without thorough, thoughtful, and complete investigation, and merely a, I heard so, is ignorance!!!!
    Grave injustices in past history has been wrought by the same conduct .
    I take you to the Salem witch hunts,
    if somebody acted a little differently, all it took was one person saying, “oh I think they’re a witch” and guilt was assumed. A commonly used method to see if they were a witch or not, as an angry mob chanted and halled them off to place them in a large tub of water. Back then in their Infinite Wisdom they cited if they floated then indeed they were a witch, and the accused we’re burned at the stake until dead, and if they sink and drown to death, they were innocent and pure of spirit either way you were equally dead. ” innocent or guilty!!!! ”
    This is a humble plea don’t do this to Kyle!!!!!
    To not have all the facts and you act like Pavlov’s dogs, Clammering to feed to the Bell, and not use your conscience brain is mindnumbing !!!
    You behave like conscienceless animals…
    Students of Humboldt you are smarter than this!!!
    You are great people !!!!
    Use your powers for good and fruitful endeavors!!!!
    Let’s all work together and get the Arcata Police Department body cameras, and Praise a judge who looked to the facts and didn’t use his imagination. Let’s work to make a positive difference and please use the thing between your ears!!!
    We have two ears and one mouth use them proportionately and let us focus on who belongs to that fingerprint on the knife and how many other senseless fights did Mr Lawsons girlfriend instigate in past???
    Truth good and fair must be for all.
    How are you all going to feel when they find the real killer ?????
    All the retractions and apologies in the world will never take back these actions, and be able to make this right to Kyle. Not to mention the harm to his family !!!
    This is 2017 and we are thoughtful, conscious, fair people right?????

    Our heartfelt prayers go out to the Lawson family and Josiah .. he’s with our father above happy and whole smiling that infectious smile down upon all of us .. if half of what all of the people who have talked about Josiah’s life is true, he would want truth, good, and fair and he would be thoroughly ashamed if we falsely accuse somebody without proof. As he would never want that for himself.
    We are praying for the real killer to be found and truth, good and Justice to rain!!!!!

    • I found that surprising too. The last thing I want is a judge that uses an imagination to make judgements instead of using proven facts.

  • Justice for Josiah = ensuring you have the right person! This isn’t an episode of CSI people! Give it time!

  • Good ole days

    If Kyle has half a brain left after that beating he should lawyer up and go after each and every individual and organization that contributed to this massive slander case.
    Sue them back into the dark ages.
    Then make a black face music video.
    (FYI Kym –
    Only referring to the white face music video that Lawson procduced on his Facebook page.)
    Remember, in this day and age it’s all about equality.

    • Wowzer!!! It’s obvious him and the Brothers untied club are severe racist but white face on his FB and he was the president of an HSU club is ridiculous. Now these protestors are vandilizing Arcata and harassing innocent drivers and vandalizing their vehicles. This incident started because of a violent racist assault, and one of the assalients died. Don’t attack people and your less likely to get hurt yourself. I do hope Kyle sues APD for making an arrest based on the crowd handing him to the cop. Police work shouldn’t be based in doing whatever a group of drunk teenagers think. He also should sue the two attackers that are still alive. They MUST learn you can not assault someone even if you don’t like them asking a question.

  • amimissingsomething

    Arcata is like going to a third world country. Why do they gather over any large or small problem and cause problems themselves. Why not come up with answers or work the problem out. That is the reason you’re all going to college. To grasp critical thinking and thought, not to run amuck causing more problems for everyone in the city. Arcata Sucks, HSU Sucks Snowflakes Suck. Grow up or leave Humboldt. We don’t need you to make our community better according to you!!

  • if kyle is the person that did in fact stab with a knife, then he is guilty of self defence.
    Thats easy to see for anyone.
    If i would have been in his situation i would have cut and slashed my way out of that situation, under the circumstances it would have been the only civilized thing to do.

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