A Look at Conflict Between Protesters and Drivers

An impatient driver and frustrated protesters clash

An impatient driver and frustrated protesters clash during Friday’s protest of a judge’s decision that there wasn’t enough evidence to hold Kyle Zoellner after a preliminary hearing in the stabbing death of HSU student David Josiah Lawson. [Photo by reader]

Tensions between protesters and those affected by protests have been heating up. Memes in social media increasingly show violent reactions to protest and some commenters go so far as to declare they have a right to run over people marching in roads. Recent protests in Arcata over the release of Kyle Zoellner who had been held for the stabbing death of David Josiah Lawson on April 15 illustrate the tensions.

Poster Kyle Zoellner

This poster accusing four people of being associated with the murder of Josiah Lawson was put up around Arcata.

After a judge ruled on Friday that the Preliminary Hearing provided insufficient evidence to hold Zoellner for trial, accusations of racial bias led to a protest march on Friday evening that featured signs like ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Justice for Josiah.’ Protesters and drivers were seen confronting each other angrily at the event. (See photo above.)

David Josiah Lawson and Kyle Zoellner

 David Josiah Lawson and Kyle Zoellner

On Saturday, protestors blocked the three exits from the Union Town Shopping Center which is located close to the Arcata Police Department. They chanted, “No Justice, no peace, no racist police.” A few vehicles pushed through the protestors while protesters slapped the vehicles or hit them with water bottles (See video of one confrontation here) but other drivers were unwilling to physically push aside those standing in the entranceways and milled around in the parking lot.

The relatively quiet interaction of one woman attempting to leave the shopping center illustrates some of the tensions between protestors and those affected by protests. Tricia Wood, a mom who was in CVS and who received a master’s degree from Humboldt State University, said that she was told that the only way she could leave the shopping center was if she called the District Attorney and told them she wanted justice for Josiah. (Channel 3 News has video of a leader of the protest saying, “The only way somebody can get in or get out is if they call the D.A. on the spot… .”)

On Saturday, Wood took her 4-year-old with her to the CVS store at the shopping center. While she was there, protestors blocked the entrances. Wood said that she tried to wait out the situation. “At least 30 minutes I hung out in CVS,” she said.  Eventually, she was told that the protestors were letting out people who were “peaceful.” She drove up to one of the exits and, when a woman approached her, she said she told the woman, “I have my 4-year-old in the car. Can I get through?”

Wood said she was told politely that she needed to call the District Attorney.

She said she is a “super sensitive person.” She said she became anxious. “I could have turned around,” she pointed out. “I could have called the cops…I didn’t feel like I was in danger…I felt pressure. What if I didn’t have my cell phone?”

Wood said as she called the District Attorney, “My voice is starting to crack.” After she was allowed to leave, she pulled over and began to cry. “I just started crying a lot of crying actually.” She said she doesn’t know if the woman she was speaking to realized how upset she was. “I’m not quite sure that she was really tapping into what I was feeling… I don’t think she realized she upset me.”

Later, Wood said, “I felt dirty afterwards. I felt like I did something that I would not normally do…” She paused and restarted, “Part of me, reflecting, thinks I should have said I wouldn’t do it. I felt like I compromised myself…I might have acted differently if I didn’t have my kid in the car.”

Being pushed hard to do something she didn’t want to do in front of her child left her feeling shaken and vulnerable. She says it upset her son also. According to her, he told another adult, “They forced my mom to do a lot of things before we could leave.”

Wood said that some people have suggested that she bring charges against the protesters. She said that she won’t, “The last thing our community needs is for me to press charges against of bunch of students for kidnapping…I love the university.”

Nonetheless, as some affected by the protest are willing to shove protesters out of the way with vehicles, and others, like Wood, feel emotionally assaulted by their experiences during the protests, the potential for escalation by either the protesters or the people affected by them grows.

Earlier Chapters:




  • This is not a good situation. I hope the responsible individual(s) are apprehended and convicted.

  • Cody Mark MacDonald

    Fuck the stupid social justice warriors. Put it low gear and keep moving, slowly. See how much their pointless cause means then. Are you willing to go under my tires? Doubt it. That is not a peacful protest, that is ignorant children throwing a tantrum. I wish I was shopping there that day. It would be my pleasure to test you. Grow the fuck up. People buying groceries at safeway had nothing to do with this. Your just furthering the hate.

    • Because this article directly addresses the conflict and the willingness of anti-protesters to get physical with protesters, I’ll leave a comment recommending violence though normally it would be taken down.

      • You do great work, Kym….thanks !! It would be interesting if someone ???? could get a statement from Arcata police or the mayor as to why the protesters were allowed to traumatize innocent people, break the law and basically take over the city. It would be an interesting explanation.

      • Kim, how could you possibly consider driving “slowly” to be recommending violence. Way to bend the truth and show some serious bias there.

        • “Are you willing to go under my tires?.. It would be my pleasure to test you. ” Yes, this would normally be considered too violent of a response on my website. I don’t care who says it.

          • Surrounding someone’s car and not allowing them to move is an act of violence (imagine if it was you and you were on the way to an important doctors appointment). Trying to pull slowly through the crowd knowing they’ll get out of the way so you can get on with your life is not even close. You typically keep your leftist agenda at bay but today couldn’t hold it, apparently.

            • What prompted my comment was not the pulling slowly through the crowd aspect. As I explained before it is the “Are you willing to go under my tires?.. It would be my pleasure to test you. ” That prompted my comment. If you consider that part of my leftist agenda, be aware that you’ve been reading a comment section in which I’ve deleted or edited similar comments before.

              • Kym I read it the exact same way as you. Not sure how anyone got a “leftist agenda” from your reply…you always do an amazing job reporting the facts in a very professional way, as well as a great job moderating and remaining respectful even when some don’t deserve it. As you stated (which shouldn’t even need to be since it’s a no brained), “keep moving, slowly” is one thing but “are you willing to go under my tires” is pretty self explanatory as far as the violence it implies.

      • Great reporting as always!

    • Barbara Giannini

      I’m sad that you feel this is a pointless cause. These kids are upset and just need somehow to vent. I feel like these comments are racist. A young man lost his life and his family and friends are hurting. The students at HSU do not feel comfortable in our community. That should be a wake up to all of us that something is wrong when we can not acknowledge our differences and get along. I grew up here and I don’t ever remember a time that this community has been so divided.

      • Race hasn’t been brought up once in any comment here until you just did, the reason for the divide is comments like yours that cry racism at any crime where Mixed race humans are involved no matter what the circumstance.

      • Trisha Ridenour

        So the rest of us deserve to not feel safe, the community is not to blame, this is just causing more hate, and just because they believe these people are responsible does not mean they are, the evidence needs to determine that

      • Call the vacuous leftists at HSU and tell them to stop inner city recruiting, lying and deception. We get these angry BLM-types up here and they think they can do whatever they want. This is like communist China or something: believe what we believe or be PURGED. Holding people hostage in a parking lot is a crime. Where was APD?? This is FALSE IMPRISONMENT and these punks need to see the inside of a urine-stained cell. It’s where they belong.

        • Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners.

          -George Carlin

          These kids are anti-liberal

      • I don’t feel comfortable in our community. College kids are banding together to kidnap victims unless they follow their political values.

      • “These kids are upset and just need somehow to vent.”

        YOU are the problem. This is not “venting”. This is an attack against innocent people to further a cause….aka domestic terrorism. The “feelings” of a bunch of immature assholes do not trump my right to live my life unmolested.

      • Just one viewpoint

        Really Barbara, would you be saying the same thing if that was your daughter and 4 year old grandchild? Or your elderly mother? I think not.

        Humboldt is a microcosm of the rest of the country. I’ve lived here my entire life too.

      • AnonymousHumboldtian

        Barbara, Just because the students don’t feel safe in the community doesn’t mean they can terrorize other people and force their agenda upon them. In my honest opinion, the protesters are only hurting their cause by harassing drivers. The fence doctor has the right idea as far as how to handle a situation like that.

        I sincerely hope these protesters get arrested the next time the harass and attempt to vandalize innocent passing vehicles. Also whoever posted those fliers should be charged with slander, this petty crap has to stop.

      • Its sad if they dont feel comfortable in our community, but they have no reason for feeling that way.

        • Then they should move! Whoever doesn’t feel safe isn’t being forced to stay here… unlike the way the protesters were forcing people to stay, until they were bullied long enough and gave into them.

      • Are you out of your freaking mind???? Racist???? How the f are any of these comments racist??!! It’s people like you who keep this kind of stuff going on! People like you freaking disgust me even more than the ones committing the crime!

    • Uh, you really put these two sentences in sequence?
      “It would be my pleasure to test you. Grow the fuck up.” OMG get yerself a mirror. Your mentality that inappropriate, threatening behavior is justified here is a match for …. oh yeah, the self-righteous, entitled protestors.

      The obvious expressions of social anger and distorted reasoning on both sides of this dance are so obvious – both would seem to invalidate their points, real and imaginary.

    • I totally agree with you!!!

  • It is understood that they have the right to peacefully protest. However, they DO NOT have the right to block a public thorofare (sp). At that point they are breaking the law and this rioting needs to be dealt with swiftly and decisively.

  • “Channel 3 News has video of a leader of the protest saying,

    “The only way somebody can get in or get out is if they call the D.A. on the spot… .”

    Fairly certain, that’s actionable, holding someone against their will and demanding compliance before release.

    The poster’s likely actionable, too.

    • You should’ve told them “Sure I will call the DA” and then when the DAs office was on the phone you could’ve said FREE ZOELLNER!!! That would’ve been funny.

  • His own friend stabbed him …..the truth is slowly coming out ….

    The police need to step in and do something. …a mom and a 4 yr old should be able to leave a CVS without having to ask for permission. ..

    • I’m baffled by people’s willingness to believe an anonymous Craig’s List posting. Anyone could have written that. There is no actual proof of Elijah harming Josiah–just some black pixels on a white webpage. I see a lot of comments about how willing the protesters are to send Kyle to prison without evidence–but I’m also seeing a frightening willingness to believe what could be, and most likely is, a total fabrication.

      • I’m not lol people are retarded! Belive anything they read!

        • True, people will believe almost anything they read. Maybe this should be taken into consideration in regards to that flyer as well. There is no actual proof those four are responsible for Josiah’s death. Or that they should be feared by the community.

          • Well said. That flyer is way out of line. If the accusations are false, it is no different from what we’ve seen across the globe. NIMBY!!!

          • I wouldn’t have a problem with that flyer at all if it didn’t have their pictures and names on it and instead was demanding justice for Josiah and stating that a murderer is still lose in our community. Those would be facts. Someone who killed this young man is still lose, justice absolutely needs to be served. Protesting (so long as it’s peaceful and follows the ACLU’s guidelines for your right to assemble without a permit) is a great tool for the students and others to express their frustrations with this case, and the need for justice. Unfortunately at this point in time there isn’t enough eveidence to say definitively who is responsible.

      • Thank you Kym. I myself feel that the way that kids are addicted to their phones, someone got this murder on their phone. They are probably, understandably, afraid to come forward. These near riots are counterproductive in that they are creating more fear. If everyone would chill out and stop all of the hating, this person(s) might feel a little more secure about going to LE. That is probably the only way that there will be justice for this young man and his family.

      • People do not let reason guide tem to thier postions, they rely on emotion and tribalism. Thats is why your unbiased reporting is so important at this time!

      • I’m right there with you Kym. I’m baffled not only by people’s willingness to jump to accusations of any kind without facts supporting it on either side. What baffled me even further is before, and during the preliminary. People’s comments on articles stating things as facts, with others agreeing, when clearly they had misunderstood a portion of the article, or testimony, and were attributing certain aspects or behaviors to people that it was very clear who or what the statements or actions were attributed to. Then other people jumping on agreeing and furthering these falsities. Which is part of what leads to this Lynch mob mentality where everyone acts as the law, judge and jury. I think if people just took a little extra time to make sure they’re getting the facts straight before commenting, a little time to understand even the basics of how our justice system works and just tried too have some empathy and take an unbiased look at how all sides may feel and why, so much of this hate could be avoided. This young man lost his life and it is absolutely tragic and has shaken our community to the core. Justice absolutely needs to be served. However putting someone away for murder if they didn’t do it serves no one, and at this point in time there is not enough eveidence to hold him on those charges.

  • Ok… so (ahem) where were the Arcata Police, Sheriffs Deputies and Highway Patrol ???

    • Krispy Kritter

      I would be interested to see how many times 911 was called while the protesters were closing the Union Town parking lot entrances, and the store patrons were held hostage and were tried to be coerced to meet the protesters demands?

      Many have asked where were Law Enforcement Officers at that time!

      Of course this just makes me want to take my large truck to town, just in case the social justice warriors want to play bumper cars again.


  • Wouldn’t this be considered a hostage situation? Keeping people at a location against their will, with the only resolve being forced to meet their demands. Sounds like it to me.

  • The flyer is being used as an example of the tensions between protesters and those trying to travel. The Craigs List posting doesn’t illustrate that nearly as well.

  • Keeping people from leaving is called False imprisonment. Not only is it punishable by law. The people detained can sue the detainee for damages. On another point why did this article not use the booking photo of Kyle Zoellner. I don’t know what was happening but someone beat on him.

  • It’s called false inprisonment and blackmail, I would have called the cops and pressed charges, what gives them the right to do this to a mother and child grocery shopping, makes me sick, what the hell is this place coming to! These idiots need a reality check! Protest all you want but stay on the fuckin sidewalks. Do they really want someone locked up who may be a victim? Disgusting!

  • Did you really just suggest killing voters

  • The APD is the problem on this one protest. Their station is just across the street! Yet they hid out, avoiding the situation as it escalated. Protest -sure! Whether I agree or not you have that right and I back your right to protest and march. Block the road?! Hell no! We did this during Redwood Summer fully expecting to get arrested because that’s what happens. It caused severely bad feelings in the community but at least we were specifically targeting the logging roads and the vehicles used to actually log the contested trees. This was some unacceptable general blockading of regular people . WHERE WAS THE ARCATA POLICE DEPARTMENT?!! There should be a serious investigation into their lameness and a public apology from the department.

    • Hmmm..I wonder why the police didn’t get involved?..it’s obvious they have to pussy foot around these situations, otherwise they will get the finger pointed at them for being racist. They don’t want that hot potato. Arcata needs some AA cops for these situations.

    • I liked the post on Lost Coast that said they thought the APD did the right thing by not crossing the street to help calm the crowd because it could’ve escalated if the rioters started throwing water bottles or something they could’ve been forced to shoot someone if necessary, causing a nationwide scandal….sometimes you have to choose your battles. I agree.

  • Life time local

    There is simpley not enough evidence. I don’t get what people think these protests will do. We do not need to force conviction by media of a man who cannot be found beyond reasonable doubt to have committed the crime. There isn’t even enough evedence to warrant a trial…. I can see protesting racism but all demanding conviction of this white man is doing is perpetuating the devide between races by making this a racial issue, that people for some reason think is more important than evidence or due process or real justice. There was probably racism and reverse racism involved on part of parties involved in the fight their friends and posibly the police. But what good is this doing if there isn’t enough evedence to be sure who committed the crime?…. protest for justice and a full investigation but don’t protest to try and encourage the legal system to railroad someone who they don’t have enouph evidence against to fairly convict… I hope the investigation continues and true justice is served!

    • “reverse racism” is a racist term. It’s just racism what ever color you happen to be. just sayin…

      • Reverse racism, it’s like, when you go into a building and you know there is somebody walking behind you, but they are quite a distance back. As you open the door and walk in you catch a glance behind you. It’s a black guy. At this point you might feel more obligated to hold the door open for the guy because he’s black. I mean, it might be perceived as racism if you just keep walking and let the door close. So you hold the door open for the guy. He says “Thank you” and you say “You’re welcome!” and go on with your day.

        It’s kind of funny because the black guy probably caught the little glance, the microsecond it took you to make the decision, and your follow-through. It may even make him uncomfortable a little bit, but what are you gonna do? I’d call that reverse-racism because you did something nice for somebody based on the color of their skin. Yeah, yeah, I get that it’s still “racism” but again, what are you gonna do? Take a chance on letting that door close and appear racist? Nope, not me.

  • Fool on the hill

    YES, where was APD,HSO and CHP when our citizens were being held against their will??? It is not a protest to hold people hostage, it is a criminal act.

  • Veterans friend

    There has been so much conflicting testimony I believe short of a confession, there will never be a conviction in this matter. All the dead man’s friends should have kept their mouths shut til they were called to testify.

  • Tired of the snowflakes

    It’s only a matter of time before someone being blocked against their will runs someone over or beats their asses, and I for one would feel they be justified in doing so if someone’s committing false inprisonment…

  • False Imprisonment and then Extortion (Blackmail) were the charges committed by the protestors, along with lesser included crimes of blocking the thoroughfare and disturbing the peace, etc. I’ve gotta get out of this county. The students at HSU have been a problem for many years, crying about this or that, but with no life experience to back their claims up. Social media and rumor control cannot run a DA’s office and truthfully, I feel that protestors like these should be arrested and have their own day in court. Peaceful protest is one thing, when you start blocking freedom of movement and extorting folks, that’s over the line.

  • While I fully support a person’s right to peacefully protest, disrupting ordinary citizens trying to get where they need to go and subjecting them to needless intimidation is not the way for anyone to get their point across. if anything, such actions are an actual detriment to the protesters’ cause.

  • Could be anything

    Very sad situation. I firmly believe in the right to peacefully protest. But it sounds like this group took it further than they should have. Arcata Police should have been there to assist those who felt trapped in a parking lot. In their attempt to not incite the protestors any further they violated the rights of those who just wanted to go home and carry on with their business. Let us hope that if there are any further protests that it will be peaceful and law abiding. Do your job people!

  • Protesting is fine, within prescribed limits. Blocking roads is illegal and should be treated as such. I understand civil disobedience to raise awareness or whatever, but you must be prepared to pay the consequences of your actions. The police need to maintain order.

  • All this did was give confirmation to the protesters that they can break the law and get away with it. Arcata police should have controlled the situation a lot better. Egging a statue???? How childish !! It seems these people want someone in jail asap without caring if it’s the right person or not. They remind me of a kid who would stomped their feet & throw a tantrum if they didn’t get their way. College students…………Really??????? Arcata continues to lose business because people are tired of dealing with this stuff. I, for one, will not go to Arcata anymore unless there is change. The mayor and city council should be ashamed of their town.

  • Citizens being forced to buy what others are selling, whether it’s ideas or products, is unconstitutional.
    I hope those who were threatened will step up and stop these politicians. Our future generations will appreciate it if you do.

  • What we have here is extortion and false imprisonment.

  • I understand the protesters’ pain. And their frustration.
    Their actions, though, sound closer to vigilante justice, which seems to be popular in Humboldt. ‘If there isn’t (enough) evidence, we will just take the law into our own hands’, and inflict the punishment or ‘justice’ WE believe is right).
    We (generally) respect the judicial system when it goes to trial. We are more challenged when WE have an opinion (usually borne from the media or rumors) and the DA says there is ‘insufficient evidence’, as has been the case here, thus far.
    I support protesters’ rights to make a statement. Harming the rights of others, or even Kyle’s rights, in the process is where it crosses a line or gets dicey.
    May we truly find, Justice for Josiah.

  • Check out John Chiv’s blog Tina Sampay is threatening to burn the town down through tweets.

    • Veterans friend

      Avoid Jon Chiv at all costs. His reporting is extremely biased and seldom fact based.

      • Maybe so but it was an actual copy of Tina Sampay’s tweet “”If this happened anywhere else they would burn this muthafucka up they so lucky we so small numbers and schools about to let out”

  • Great way to lose community support for your cause protesters. Standing around chanting and shouting into bullhorns gets your message out (sort of), without damaging your cause, whatever the hell it is.

  • Frank Pembleton

    So the HSU “students of color” are so afraid of the big bad residents of the People’s Republic of Arcata yet they feel comfortable enough to go out and falsely imprison them or deny them access to do their lawful business? Bold strategy Einsteins. Good to know taxpayers are getting their money’s worth for your “upper level education”

  • Hsu needs to hold their students accountable for their actions. Any hsu student that terrorises a community needs to be expelled. Does hsu support their students blocking traffic? Protesting 101?

  • Seems simple to me. If you commit false imprisonment against me by blocking my freedom of movement in a place I am legally allowed to be, I will attempt to ignore you and continue on my way. If you use force to try to stop me, I will use greater (but reasonable) force to overcome your illegal assault on me. I truly hope, for both our sakes, that you realize the error of your actions at this point (or sooner!) and let me go free. If you continue to escalate the force you are illegally using against me, it will eventually reach a point where I am at risk of serious bodily injury or death from your illegal and violent attack on me. [edit]
    If you are one of these “protesters”, please keep this in mind and protest in a lawful fashion. Your feelings do not Trump my rights.

    Responsibly Armed Americans

    • You would be wiser to stay in and use your vehicle to flee, 10rds won’t get you very far in an angry mob even if you can reload. No to mention the life sentence that follows. this is not a stand your ground state. But it should be imo.

    • This is not a stand-your-ground state, cowboy. Actually, while you have the right to self-defense, it is proportionate; you also have a duty to stop escalating the situation as is reasonable. It is a mythical concept that you are simply entitled to meet force with greater force, until the ultimate force is applied by one party (or both). You say “but reasonable” and that is the primary standard, before it becomes greater force. Ooooh, don’t mess with you, you have a gun! Great, let’s have a quick-draw competition and see if anyone wins.

    • Assuming your not disabled, you could walk I assume. I find it hard to see that you don’t differentiate your freedom of movement from that of a vehicle. If you are disabled, my apologies.

  • Just more of the same liberal agenda to use any excuse to break the law & order of communities throughout the country. I wonder if even up here we have the paid “protestors” aka rioters attempting to create as much problems as they can get away with.

    These “demonstrations” are just a form of domestic terrorism that this country seems to tolerate.

  • Thinking allowed

    The people being stopped were simply pawns. Their opinions don’t matter at all and the opinions of the general public are barely on the radar as being on the same team or not.

    What is important is using the media to put pressure on the selfconscious University and government to get them to bend to the protestors’ will. The protestors are very adept at using the tools of shaming that are the principle tactic of academia and government themselves these days.

  • If Marci kitchen is still walking and breathing why why would a drunken 3am brawl stabbing with 50 people watching but no real witnesses get the community upset??

  • fakeemail@gmail.com

    current widely held belief holds true the “fact”that dark-skinned people are incapable of being racist,while light-skinned people are incapable of not being racist…this is not bullshit,which by the way is a fine and delicate art. it is HORSESHIT ,which is just plain crap.

  • Calm down folks. Impeding your automobile is not kidnapping you. Driving your automobile is a privilege that you are allowed only if you agree not to hurt someone with it. You are not your car! When someone touches it they have not touched your person.
    I agree that what the protestors did was neither peaceful nor legal.
    If someone is threatening you, you have a right to use a necessary amount of force to free yourself. If they are threatening your things — and a car is a thing, not a prosthetic body part, not a family member — you can try to stop them but you are not allowed to attempt to kill them.
    Frightening people is unwise. Frightened people make unwise decisions, especially frightened people who hide behind macho bravery.

    • Thinking allowed

      I don’t know about that. According to that idea, you have to accept whatever threats are made to you as an occupant of that vehicle just because you have a car between you and the threat. By the time it rises to a level of action- according to this idea- you would be in the position of likely unable to defend yourself because you were prohibited from taking action until there was no credible chance of success.

      This gives a while lot of power to those breaking the law , especially considering the police left the victims hanging.

      • “Impeding” = “threats”. Hmmm?
        I didn’t write about threats. I wrote about blocking a car. This seems to be the basis on which people are talking about assaulting others with their vehicles. If someone can wait away from the situation or use other means to safely leave they are not being kidnapped.
        I, and evidently this person, can imagine many scenarios in which a situation might escalate to being unable to defend one self. That doesn’t justify deadly force. If someone reasonably believes that they will be pulled from their car or hurt while inside in it, by all means use it as a weapon or think of a less deadly alternative if you can.
        Imagining is only one form of thinking. Think a little clearer.

    • Very nicely said.

    • “That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest. A magistrate issuing his warrants to a press gang, would be in his proper functions in Turkey or Indostan, under appellations proverbial of the most compleat despotism.” James Madison, Property, 1792

    • “Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.” James Madison, Property, March 29, 1792

    • “In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.” James Madison, Property.


  • Protesting is ok as long as it is done legally, Don’t block public right of way, in this case the protesters are doing more harm than good. A Sad situation. Personally I think zoellner is guilty of the crime.

    • Why do you think Zoellner is guilty?
      Don’t have enough info to have a strong opinion, myself. (And if there was enough evidence to hold him, I feel sure the police and DA would have offered it to the court).

  • The parking lot, as I understand it, is private property. If so, the owner (the manager, or likely anyone there) could have called the cops to get relief for their patrons.
    Did someone call?
    Did the cops show up?

  • Cody Mark MacDonald

    I never codoned hurting anyone. Last thing I want. But at what point does your constitutional right to protest supereceed my constinunial right to free travel? That was a kidnapping. And not a peaceful protest. I get it. Justice needs to be served. But not at the cost of civilians just getting milk.

  • No need to threaten violence or run people over with your vehicle. Just state your constitutional right to move unimpeded. If somebody wants to hold you against your will, exercise a citizens arrest.

    A summit between HSU, Arcata City officials and APD needs to occur ASAP to form and communicate consensus on what is legally permissible and what is not. Holding people against their will and having to give in to coercive demands to regain your freedom of movement is not OK. What are these people thinking?

  • There you are, was wondering when the clan would chime in. Comments like that help nothing!

  • Please print kim we were robbed by three black guys Friday in Arcata please put the word out there to watch your backs and be aware of who your dealing with they were pieces of shit and some day we will meet again, and that’s where it’s gonna end.

    • Even making allowances for just having had a bad experience, that was a terrible last comment you made. Did you report the theft to law enforcement?

  • Cody Mark MacDonald

    Calm down folks. The sun is shining.

  • What a bunch of BS. Arrest these assholes allready. They won’t win my support with stunts like this.

  • Impeding folks because you have decided they cannot leave a business or a parking lot is insane actions by a handful of children. An adult with a reasoning mind would of not terrorized others. Shameful. If the truth of what happened is ever revealed many will be dismayed over the truth. Who is the killer? Will that person have the fortitude to embrace their awful dead and put to rest the hearts and minds of the families? As well as the community? Most likely not.

  • Kym,
    Thanks for great information. Can you answer any of the questions posed above….where was the Arcata Police Department? They are directly across the street from this event, to allow this to go on for over 30 minutes is inexcusable.

    Were there any 911 calls, if so how were they handled?

    Were there any arrests of the demonstrators who were in the public roadway illegally, and the ones that threw water bottles and hit the sides of vehicles?

    Thank you.

  • country bumpkin

    Maybe these children should peaceably assemble in a classroom or at a job! Or just move across the street and block the Cop Shop or city hall. Might be the closest they ever get to a library.

  • Y’all ever waited on elk to get off the road? Ever been trapped in a business because a moose is in the doorway and she looks pissed? Just wait, the place you have to be ain’t so darn important. Slow down, life ain’t so bad. Inconvenience happens. Slow your city life roll.

  • People concerned about riots should ban Arcata. Problem solved.
    Now everyone get some rest.

    Hsu kids and staff;
    Although a tradgedy, don’t make Humboldt County out to be some kind of racist populist because of some ignorant kids at a cocaine party. There has been different races mingling here for many many moons. Native Americans, African Americans, Caucasion Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans! If I’m forgetting any, forgive me.
    Honestly this is a very small area and it has survived really well for a long time with the cultural eclectic mix. Sure every town has it’s few bad apples, Do not bring the rest of us down to that level of those misguided thoughts. We see right through it. Don’t make Humboldt folk out to be stupid racist hicks. That will alternatively turn us all against you just for principle, and send you home packing. We have some of the brightest minds in the world here. We don’t need your kind here, we will be fine without you.

    • I’m very. very much in love with Humboldt but I read its history. I think you might want to check some out:
      The Wiyot Massacre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1860_Wiyot_massacre
      The Chinese Expulsion Act: https://www.northcoastjournal.com/022703/cover0227.html

      • Kym thank you. History always has two sides here are some books worth looking into for anyone who wants to see it from another side (this is not taught at school).
        A truthful account of indian warfare http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/780787.Scalp_Dance

        a book about “white” indians, yes, as in blond and blue eyed http://whiteindians.com/

        This book is by a Yurok woman born in 1856 she speaks of an ancient positive relationship between a “white race” and the Yurok and other ancient Yurok traditions. https://www.onread.com/book/to-the-american-indian-177746

        “Race” is a modern invention.
        We need to interact on a more personal level that goes deeper than color.
        Accepting calculated and divisive propagandized history (from the school/medical/media system) is equivalent to mind control. Also being a victim and accepting a victim narrative (there is one for everyone in this society-which is based on a hierarchy of victimhood) is externalizing ones power and does nothing positive. Don’t externalize your power! I pray that we see each other as brothers and sisters. Empowered people use intellect to solve problems. Disempowered people are rabid and use their emotions to create problems. Watch out how much you students are paying for all that brainwashing mind control garbage in your way too expensive text books! If possible take a deep breath, get centered with your God and learn how to think using your intellect. Be safe out there. Peace.

      • You made no point. Herb I Smoke said: don’t make HC out to be some racist populist because of drunk kids at a cocaine party. Somehow, because of what happened 120 and 160 YEARS AGO!!!! Humboldt is still racist???
        It is exactly this kind of attitude, the notion that because we are white we must eternally pay for the sins of the past, that the problem perpetually escalates. You are advancing the false narrative that white people are racist based on some shit that happened 160 YEARS AGO! This is why people feel free to put up slanderous posters of this Kyle kid and shout racist at every turn; it is because people like you feel better about themselves confessing their white guilt at every opportunity. The only certified racism I saw in the Zoellner case is the blacks who accused whites based solely on the fact that they are white. Accusing people of racism based on their race….IS RACISM! I haven’t seen one person apologize for their racist accusations. In fact, just the opposite. Now we have people screaming even louder while using terms like “cracker” with impunity. Morality dictates that ALL people be held to the same standard. Every black is not a victim and every white is not an oppressor.

        • Well, you could just look at the comment section on this website and others to see that some, not all, folks in Humboldt are racist. But that didn’t seem to be working so I thought I’d give some other options.

          • There are many times a guilty plea is created in the community. You cannot, under our our legal system, determine a person is guilty no matter how strongly you feel he is. Although the court system is not perfect it IS what we have to agreed to adhere to otherwise the Wild West will rule. Remember they hung people who stole horses. Vigilantly justice only leads to violent abuse. You may not agree with the District Attorney or the police chief, but they are following the law. The law that is on the books to not only protect the violated, but also the accused. You can’t have it to your liking. Our legal is as fair as we have made it to be. Not perfect, but as fair as possible. And also remember the law is supposed to be blind. Sometimes it isn’t, but that doesn’t mean anyone gets to change it to his/her liking. You may think the authorities are acting racially, but if you do you do not understand the law that binds them. There is a lot more to this than a racial bias.

  • Thanks, Kym, for providing a place where people can express themselves. Pretty interesting to read the perspectives of my neighbors in the community. Such a tragic event to negatively affect so many lives.
    And SOMEONE MUST have had a phone handy to record what went on, or establish a timeline, or capture something that will help the investigation. Many were there, and SOMEBODY saw something!

  • There is very little support for the protestors in the 94 comments I’ve read so far. Why is this? Why was their protest not just ineffectual, but counter- productive? I would guess it is because they do not have the moral high ground. What made Martin Luther King Jr’s protests so productive was that the protestors were clearly the good guys. Moral, ethical people being subjected to brutal assaults by the government for simply trying to assert their rights. Public opinion came over to their side, and they were able to bring about astonishing social change. Even in Dr. King’s time there were those who saw protests as a way to display their anger, and as time passed the protests became more about mob violence than the denial of rights. The protestors here are angry, but they don’t seem to grasp the situation. Attacking the judge for doing his duty and not allowing charges to go forward when the evidence presented failed to meet even the very low requirement of probable cause, is destructive of justice. Blocking traffic was pointless. It only communicated that the protestors don’t care for the rights of others. It did not make any point related to their purpose. And forcing that woman to call the D. A. was shameful. It had the same effect on her that women who have been forced into sexual acts by cops describe. She felt “dirty afterwards.” This protest will probably have lasting effects on her, and yet she was completely uninvolved in the situation being protested. Nothing for the protestors to be proud of there. The entire protest action was poorly conceived and badly carried out. No message useful to the protestors reached the public, rather public opinion seems to be sharply against them. If there is any leadership among the protestors, they need rethink their tactics. And if there is any leadership for the Arcata Police, they too need to rethink their tactics. Surely simple traffic control is not beyond their duty or capability.

  • Holding people hostage, extortion….. not good ways to make people sympathetic to one’s cause, and a lot of people avoid visiting or shopping in Arcata, this only reinforces others to that notion. HSU graduation is this week, law enforcement needs to be far better prepared for any repeat action of this nature.

  • Higher Standards Humboldt

    Where is the Dean of HSU? Why hasn’t there been a statement by the Dean condemning these students behavior? Back when I was in college if students acted out (nothing as bad as what these asses are doing…) THEY WERE EXPELLED AND SENT HOME! They are the ones who are racist. Throwing around general statements that all police here are racist and that the whole community is racist. After this experience…. More people now do have a really negative opinion of the African Americans at HSU and in the community and they do now have legitimate reason to feel uncomfotable here. They have attacked people and have become exactly what they are screaming about. RACIST BULLYS. Barbara Singleton who led the mob should be sitting in jail and brought up on charges for holding people hostage. Kyle and his female friends who were slandered on the poster should get an attorney AND SUE the crap out of them…. Good job Barbara. You have alienated the whole community now.

  • I wish it wasn’t trendy for kids to claim being liberal these days, it’s really making liberal look horrible.

  • Johnny Huevos

    This protest and these protester are indicative of why Donald Trump won the presidency. For people that reside in the middle and don’t lean left or right, it’ll sure sway your vote when these people ‘seeking justice’ force you, sometimes violently, to go along with what they are saying.

    I put ‘seeking justice’ in parenthesis because I am starting to really doubt they are actually seeking justice……they are seeking a court system to believe the trash they are spewing, without evidence.

    Evidence, evidence, evidence.

    There were apparently a lot of people there….yet no solid evidence. Maybe it’s time these people start looking at themselves in the mirror.

    You can’t scream ‘fuck the police’ out of one side of your mouth, and then wonder why your friend didn’t get immediate help out of the other side. This is a whole bunch of ignorance….willful ignorance.

    They, including HSU, keep trying to make it a racial issue, and keep reaching out to racial organizations, but guess what, none of these bigger organizations want to touch it. If this had any validity, ABC, FOXNews, CNN, 20/20, Dateline would all be here and this thing would have blown sky high in the media.

    But nope. None. Just a bunch of kids who think blocking traffic and walking out of class is going to accomplish anything except getting people to vote for nominees like Trump.

  • James Madison, Property:
    “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.”

    Protesters have the right to assemble and address their grievances.
    Travelers have the right to freely travel.
    Everybody has the right to believe what they believe.
    Nobody has the right to coerce others forcibly.
    Officials were elected to protect every individual’s inalienable right to life, liberty and property.
    Officials are forbidden from bias and from favoring.


  • The Fifth Amendment, due process of law.

    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    The craziness happening around the country today, is due to Congress declaring wars against abstract ideas. They declare war on Poverty, War on Terrorists, War on Drugs, War on everything except real, genuine war that they refuse to hold selves constitutionally accountable for. There has not been an officially declared by congress war since WW2. We are NOT in any congress declared war. We are in Propaganda war’s, that were created to fool the people into handing their sovereign rights over to congressional tyrants. I repeat, we are NOT in wartime clauses.

  • imagine if there is any truth to this…

    • Johnny Huevos

      If you are looking for truth, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the Humboldt County Craigslist Rants and Raves section is not a place to find it.

      However, if true….whoa

      If an idiot posting stupid stuff(more likely), they probably think they’re getting a good laugh about it.

      In either situation, I’d guess a visit from law enforcement is coming, but idk.

  • Sad but tragic

    From a tragic loss of life the aftermath is beginning to fester like an open wound. And now the maggots have begun to show their ugly heads. Violence begets violence and that is never a good outcome. Humboldt County’s attitude has changed from “can’t we all get along” to “an eye for an eye”. That is never a good change.

  • As a long-time member of the HSU campus community, I have grave concerns about how other members of our campus community, and our campus leadership, are reacting to the death of Lawson.

    This begins with the presumption of Zoellner’s guilt and the indifference to him receiving justice for being battered at this party.

    This continues with the belief that our justice system is so profoundly captured by a racist conspiracy that somehow evidence of Zoellner’s guilt was ignored or quashed.

    Prominent campus community members now call this a racially motivated murder, and even official campus communications refer to this as a murder rather than a homicide.

    Yet after reading all the news written on this horrible event, here’s what I see. Please correct me if I missed something:

    – There is no evidence that Zoellner started the fight.
    – There is evidence that a group of students battered him.
    – There is no evidence that Zoellner killed Lawson.
    – There is no evidence that Lawson’s homicide was murder. We don’t know if the person wielding the knife was defending him/herself, and we don’t know their intent.
    – As we don’t know who killed Lawson, we are in no position to claim this is a racially-motivated killing.

    So when folks demand “justice for Josiah,” I would shorten that to demanding “justice.” As in, every human deserves justice, including both Lawson and Zoellner. In the US we live under a system called the “rule of law,” meaning that we are ruled by laws, not a dictator, king, or a mob. At times the “rule of law” fails or is biased, in which case we seek redress through appeal or legislation or intervention by higher authority, where presumably action is premised on evidence.

    HSU’s leadership is very fearful right now. Our student headcount is declining, which is going to result in budget cuts and staff layoffs. We’ve spent a bunch of money on non-instructional activities and services, including the centers of excellence, and now we have a multi-million dollar deficit and are cutting our instructional budget. Students and other members of our campus community can use the leadership’s fear of enrollment decline as leverage to force the campus to take sides and essentially advocate for circumventing the rule of law. While an institution of higher learning should lead by example and trust our system of justice unless there is clear evidence that it is biased or has failed, HSU is pandering and playing a very dangerous game. It may very well be true that the justice system fatally racist, that this was a racially-motivated murder, and that Lawson was faultless. But, right now there is no evidence any of that is actually true in this situation.

  • humboldtstickman

    The road isn’t a place to protest.
    A lot of states made it legal to run these idiots over, and its the right thing to do.
    Run them over till they are flat!

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