APD Chief and Victim’s Mother Offer Updates on the Stabbing Death of David Josiah Lawson

Michelle-Charmaine Lawson, mother of David Josiah Lawson thanked the donors of the reward money and the larger community for supporting her son and her fight to get justice for his killing. [All photos by Mark McKenna]

At a Friday morning press conference, Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman spoke about the current state of the investigation into the April 15 stabbing death of David Josiah Lawson. (See the press conference here.)

Members of the city council, members of the group Justice for Josiah and Lawson’s mother, held posters of Lawson as they gathered behind the mike.

Her voice thick with emotion, the victim’s mother, Michelle-Charmaine Lawson, talked of coming to Humboldt State University as her son started his life as a student. “As I stand here I remember back in 2015 walking into the bookstore with my son,” she said. “He was happy. He was excited to be here…Never in my wildest dreams would I think I would be here doing this right now…I just want justice for my son. That is all I want. I want justice…”

Lawson was killed when an altercation about a missing phone escalated. Reportedly a number of men at the party began fighting a McKinleyville resident, Kyle Zoellner. One of Zoellner’s female companions released pepper spray in an apparent attempt to break up the altercation. In spite of this, Lawson was fatally stabbed and Ren Bobodilla, Lawson’s girlfriend, received an injury to her arm. Zoellner had to be taken to the hospital for injuries he received and he was arrested for the murder of Lawson.

Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman gave an update on the status if the investigation into the killing of David Josiah Lawson at the HSU Quad during a press conference regarding the status of the investigation. Chapman stressed that anyone that was at the party where Lawson was slain that has not come forward should speak to police and let them determine whether or not the information they have is useful to the investigation.

Chief Chapman, speaking at the press conference, said that though the charges against Kyle Zoellner were dropped because of insufficient evidence, charges can be refiled if more information is forthcoming. He added that the reward for information leading to an arrest is now up to $21,000.

Some of the other significant points he made were:

  • “All of our of local sister agencies have assisted in some shape or form.”
  • When asked if it was legal to pepper spray someone and why the women who had pepper sprayed several of the combatants were not arrested, Chapman explained that without getting into the specifics of this particular case, he could say that, in general, if someone was defending themselves or others then that person could use pepper spray. As to arresting the women, Chapman said, “Any arrest that’s made has to be supported by probable cause…I don’t think we are there at this time.”
  • “No one has been charged for the assault on Ren [Josiah Lawson’s girlfriend] at this time,” Chapman said. “That doesn’t exclude future actions.”
  • The Department of Justice has the majority of evidence that would be processed for forensic analysis–the knife that was found and clothing. “DNA testing is very time-consuming,” Chapman said, “We are still waiting for the results from the forensic testing that has been done…”
  • “There’s pieces of evidence that are still being processed outside of DOJ with the District Attorney’s Office. Search warrants are being written not by APD.”

Michelle-Charmaine Lawson, took the mike at the end of the conference. She stated in apparent reference to Kyle Zoellner, “We are still looking at the prime suspect as the prime suspect.” She had stated just earlier,

There is a murderer in our community…Our students will be back in school in less than maybe a month and a half. I need for them to be safe. My son was not safe..I don’t want this to happen to any other student or anyone else for that matter…I am going to continue to be here to get justice for my son but also to make sure the community is safe. That is what we want. I know that is what we all want…

APD Police Chief Tom Chapman hugs Michelle-Charmaine Lawson, the victim’s mother, following the press conference.

Earlier Chapters:




  • When fights get started, shit happens.

    • Many of us are not aware how easily and quickly a fist fight can turn deadly.

    • From a casual observance of the facts. Someone saw the punks beating a man to death and stepped up and stopped it. Good thing or else and innocent man might have been killed. The punk got punked.

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    The amount of evidence to process, statements to review takes time.
    I feel for the parents involved, because it’s nothing you’d want anyone’s child involved in, even worse over a cell phone.
    The truth always surfaces it’s just about how long before that moment.
    Very sad and one of the worst stories to read about.
    Cherish every moment with your children, give them solid values, and pray God takes you first.

    • Life time local

      It shouldn’t take that long to process shit….
      you can require a speedy trial they have to process shot quick then.
      I feel as though this has turned into a wild goose chase. It seems from the outside that a $21 thousand reward could lead to failse information being given against the apparent person who everyone wants to blame for the incident even if there isn’t enough evidence. Someone testified that he was uncontious on the ground at the time of the stabbing. There is your reasonable doubt! If zoller is convicted it is wrong! And a media related conviction. I want justice for the family not to punish a person who cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt to be guilty. I hope more information comes out. I really hope people don’t convict an innocent person because of peer pressure and monetary reward!

    • Wow. You must have actually taken your medication today. Either that or this is an imposter

    • I’m going to go out on a limb here and state that the victim and his cohorts started this whole situation. Once one of them gets killed, they want justice. Maybe they should have just stayed in the party and not tried to start shit. Who cares about race. Imagime they are all blue like smurfs. Facts remain the same. You have a group that started shit and someone who was defending themselves from said group. All blue people, so who is to blame?

      • Another person’s perspective might be that a person who accused someone of stealing might have been the instigator.

        I don’t remember anyone saying who got physical first though.

        • Yeah right … since when is it okay to violently attack someone because they accused you of stealing something? Why present such an absurd devil’s advocate scenario and act like it makes any sense whatsoever? The whole theory that Kyle showed up to the party and attacked a group of drunk violent thugs is ridiculous and you know it.

        • Actually Kym, all court testimony,including those who were friends of Josiah Lawson, stated someone threw the punch at Kyle Zoellner first. That is not disputed. As for the fight between the girls, that is not as clear. Josiah left and came back and there was another altercation, again, not instigated by Kyle Zoellner with different versions as to what happened after and who else was involved. Everyone admitted Kyle Zoellner was polite, wanted to leave. People accuse people of all sorts of things, not everyone starts punching and fighting. All this can be corroborated in other media coverage, as well court transcripts. Kyle Zoellner was sober. The Castillo brothers testified themselves they were sober. No independent verification. Of those that testified, there were various levels of intoxication, including admitted drug use which does not include the marijuana smoked.

          • John, I was including the women in this. No one has clarified where the first physical act occurred. Several people have said that one of the college students was the first to hit Zoellner. At least one person said that it was Lawson.

    • Wow! That almost makes sense. Except why wouldn’t you want your children to be at god side enjoying paradise asap?

    • Veterans friend

      Sorry, but the “truth” does not always surface. There are more unsolved murders than you would like to believe, especially those that are not solved in the first days after they occur.
      In the absence of a confession or an eyewitness I think this will be one of them.
      Better question here might be why the known people who assaulted the man who was originally charged with murder have not been charged with anything.

    • It takes all kinds

      Wow, I didn’t think you had it in you, CHUMP. I actually agree and like your comment.
      Who’d a thought?!

  • Why haven’t the thugs that beat up the white guy been arrested? At least their identities are well known. Too politically incorrect to arrest them? But the white guy was arrested without sufficient evidence. Losing my faith in the law, day by day.

  • heres another viewpoint which may be equally valid–lawson was somehow killed while he and his two cohorts were committing a felony, a viscious assault upon zoellner.Why are these two cohorts not charged,either for the assault or for their part in the murder of lawson?am i misinformed that when a death occurs during the commission of a crime,those committing the crime can be charged with murder?

  • Devils Lettuce Crimes

    What about arresting the people who admitted to assaulting Kyle Zoellner? No- I’m not trying to do a race thing here and I don’t care about skin color at all. It’s just that when a bunch of guys start beating on one guy I’d like to see them arrested. That is a cowardly act. No matter if you’re a bunch of bikers beating on a narc or a group of rednecks beating on a hippie or whatever. One on one is respectable to settle differences. This group of young men jumping one guy should be charged with assault. It led to the chaos and most probably led to the terrible stabbing. I say this with all respect to Josiah and his untimely death. The whole story is a tragedy.

    • I’ve been wanting to know why others haven’t been charged as well. Maybe because the backlash. Imagine arresting 2 black guys after their black friend was killed and the prime suspect in the victims eyes is a white person. For sure race has everything to do with this decision.

  • Every time I read about this case I am disgusted by the comments shrieking White Privelege. I hope the murderer is found and convicted.

    • Every time I read the comment section I’m disgusted by the comments perpetuating the myth of white privilege. Every decent human being hopes the murderer is found and convicted. Every decent human being holds blacks to the same moral standard as whites. IF Zoellner is innocent, these thugs should be arrested and convicted of assault.

      • I fairly certain the irony of you saying the myth of white privilege and thug in reference to black men in the same comment will be lost on you.

      • this is very very clearly a case of political correctness usurping obvious facts.. or in other words; black privilege overriding common sense.

      • Rollin21…a lot of sense in your comment!

    • It takes all kinds

      I too hope the murderer is caught and I hope he is green. Green with sickness and shame. With a Green light, easily noticed and prosecuted.
      But that’s not how it’s gonna go. That’s not how it works. The guilty will not come forward. And we are going to have to wait, to wait for A guilty conscience to finally come forward.
      A witness. Someone whom had zero to do with it, everything to lose from it, and zero to gain.
      Read that again, would you come forward? Everything to lose and zero to gain.
      And let’s just assume these witnesses(kids)are less than 21years old!?
      Youth + fear + Anger from community = SILENCE.
      I am just saying.

    • CartOnTopOfHorse

      Hey N That’s race shaming. Think about what you are saying, its counter productive if you really care about race.

  • ” as they gathered behind the mike”

    Mike who? Or, did whoever wrote this mean “mic”, as in short for “microphone”?

      • Not in news writing any more. For example, in 2010 the Associated Press Stylebook reversed its advice to abbreviate microphone as mike and so the entry was revised to recommend mic instead.

        • AP style is not something I spend a lot of energy trying to follow. I’m trying to make my stories quickly and easily readable by my local audience. Mic will most likely be read as Mick not Mike. Then the reader has to go back and reread. So, I go for Mike which is likely to please most of my readers and it pleases me.

          Also bicycle is not shortened to bic nor tricycle to tric. Instead, they are shortened to bike and trike respectively.

          • And none of those word make sense. They are not abbreviations but euphemisms. Unfortunately, if enough people use or spell a word incorrectly, it can become accepted. A good/disgusting example o this is the word hysterical. Often “hysterical” is incorrectly used to mean “hilarious”. The most offensive example is that the term “literally” can now “correctly” be used to mean “figuratively”.

            “Mc” as in McDonalds, is not spelled with an “i”. So why would anyone read “mic” as “mick”? A better way to address this is with an accent mark over the “i”.

            • Bike is a euphemism for bicycle? I don’t think euphemism means what you think it means.

              Definition according to the Cambridge Dictionary is “the use of a word or phrase to avoid saying another word or phrase that may be unpleasant or offensive.”

          • It was, as I wrote, but one example. And, as someone pointed out in the link you keep referencing from, “grammarist” is isn’t really a word, so they shouldn’t be the authorities on orthography.

          • or you could assume that a large portion of your readers have at least a grade school education and the slightest measure of intelligence necesary to garner from context that mic is short for microphone rather than pandering to the lowest common stupidity?

          • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

            Mic is a racial slur regarding people of Irish decent.

            • No thats mick like micky (I’m Irish 🍀)

              • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

                Either way, people put so much energy into social slurs, energy that could be redirected in a more positive direction, such as marijuana eradication.
                America was built on hate, just like every nation on the planet.

                • I am a stickler for spelling and grammar, however I am a little frustrated on behalf of the author… mic, mike, microphone? I am curious how any of that really matters with respect to the content of the article? Thank you Kym for your coverage of local events. I hardly believe your choice of mike over mic matters when speaking of a rather intense investigation into the loss of someone’s life!

                • [edit] Just avoid cannabis as a medicine since you ain’t worthy!

  • I assume that the bloody knife found on scene wasn’t kyles, if it were his, that would be enough evidence to charge him.

  • So some Thugs invoke a gang fight and one of the thugs gets stabbed during the process by another Thug and people are surprised and shocked?

    • Or you could say some college students got into a fight with a local man…Why use the word Thugs? http://www.npr.org/2015/04/30/403362626/the-racially-charged-meaning-behind-the-word-thug

      • Thinking allowed

        Because people embroiled in a physical fight over a cell phone or even less apparently, an enquiry over a cell phone, at a party might qualify for the commonly used meaning of thug? It would be a term I might hurl around if I was caught in the middle of such a thing.

        I would not say “Don’t hit me, you college student or local man as the case may be.” If I thought hitting was involved, thug is a good choice of words despite hairsplitting political correctness.

        Now just who was the thug is an open question. But thugs were there.

        • In the heat of the moment, I’d probably use “Don’t hit me, you asshole.” But we’re not in the heat of the moment. The word “thug” has racial overtones. If you don’t want to look racist, avoid it. Of course, if you are just wanting to get away with a synonym for the racial slur “nigger” then you can try it for awhile til I get fed up and start deleting it.

          • Thinking allowed

            But the post on white privilege, that deliberately racially charged term, deserved no rebuke. You didn’t say that it’s an unacceptable term and that you preferred ‘local partisan’ versus ‘college partisan’. Probably because everyone knows it is more complicated than that.

            If not allowing expression of words that others find racially offensive, than white privilege is pretty up there. I hereby cast my vote to eliminate that. It is meant to be offensive and used to suppress and dismiss differing opinion based on race.

            What! You say this forum is not a democracy? That doesn’t surprise me. I have long objected to the media using their control of what’s published to harass and intimidate until it becomes an echo chamber for their personal choice as to what is good and what is evil and nothing else is tolerated. I personally blame the press’s double standards (publishing their opinion versus silence at best on any differing opinion) for us having a President who was elected because he was the only one who could out nasty the press and would do an end run around them on social media. That rankles the privileged press big time.

            I still say that word thug is very appropriate to a fight at a party that ended in murder. And that the thuggish nature of which participants is yet to be determined (my personal opinion…). It could be a gang mentality was imported from the big city. It could be that the local thugs are responsible. It could be both are thugs. The person who used the word cast her vote for which she thinks it is. There is nothing really objectionable to that in the world of posting online. If simply objecting controls what words are acceptable, then we might as well just cancel the 2nd Amendment.

            If you believe that black people deserve extra regard for their grievances, then following the ever expanding words that are ‘triggering’ to the end is impossible. At least make it clear that the hand swatting with the ruler of school marm arbitration is itself racially biased and simply say that.

            There are limits even here on socially offensive words but no one person or group gets absolute power to arbitrate everything they want while simultaneously dismissing the feelings of others. Not even the owner of the site if public comment is encouraged.

            • In the old days when it required financial capital to start a media outlet, then you might have a leg to stand on. Today, it just requires hard work. I’ve built this site over 10 years and it is a private site subject to a few simple rules.

              That said, I try as much as possible to allow people to speak freely. I would say the vast majority of comments on this website are not my opinion and good part of them I find offensive. Nonetheless, they are up on this site. But if I find something offensive enough, then yes, I will delete it.

              Frankly, I find name calling of any sort leads to little of the kind of dialogue that leads to better understanding. And since promoting dialogue between different segments of society is one of the main reasons I poured my heart, my time, and my energy into this site, then I hope you can understand why I chose not to allow certain words.

              • Thinking allowed

                As Trump has done. Now isn’t that working out well for all. I saw NBC and CNN was calling out Trump because he tweeted about wrestling journalists to the mat while they felt no compunction in publicizing without criticism those advocating very bloody action against Trump. Pots and kettles.

                As to your choices, I only object to inconsistency. If all racially charged words were eliminated, there would be little to complain about. In fact there might be an increase in general civility. Or at least minimizing provocateurs .

          • horseshit ! “thug’ has RACIAL overtones?? total horseshit. as Art Kleps said “bullshit is a fine and delicate art, horseshit on the other hand is just plain crap”. thug refers to lifestyle and demeanor with absolutely no racial context at all.

            • Well, then, thug–a violent criminal—doesn’t snugly fit the type of people who are being described–these are college students with no proven history of criminal behavior. So why would you use the word “thug?” Unless, of course, the color of their skin makes them seem like criminals to you.

              • Thinking allowed

                Choosing what words people are permitted to use is an exercise of power. Reminds me of that old Star Trek episode where Spock uses illogical and arbitrary definitions of words to confound an AI. It was not that the words really needed to be arbitrary but that doing so especially doing so repeatedly, derailed the focus of an enemy, who wasted time trying to make sense of the speaker’s word and thereby was unable to exercise their own power.

                Beside, unless the reality changes, forcing someone to conform to another’s word definition only means that there will be another word that then becomes the new offending word. It never ends.

                • Yep, I am exercising power. If people continue to use slurs to refer to people the words will be deleted and they’ll eventually get banned.

          • “Two groups of thugs filmed fighting on same night…”
            July 2, 2017


            All of ^those “thugs” are white. Not all people on this thread that use that term are conceptualizing it in a racist form, from what I’ve gathered.

          • NPR is just another biased media

            Excuse me? “Thug” has racial overtones? That’s new to me. I take it to mean, a violent person, especially a criminal. synonyms: ruffian, hooligan, vandal, hoodlum, gangster, villain, criminal

            None of those have any racial overtone. PC is bullshit.

            • NPR,

              Like many words, the meaning of the word thug has been adopted/changed to something different. In this case it has become the nominally polite way of calling someone the “n” word. Do we really need that?


              It used to mean a ruffian, thief, or bad person, and originated in India with Hindus about six hundred years ago.

              When people like the African-American mayor of Baltimore and an African-American president of the United States use that word, it becomes difficult to understand why anyone else should not use it.

              I only learned this just now, when I looked it up after reading this comment section.

              This reminds me of a symbol that is causing quite a stir these days; the rebel flag. To many it is a symbol of racial hatred. To others it represents the resistance to federal power, and support of state’s rights. Who is correct? Its possible both groups are, from their point of view.

              Thanks Kim.

      • Thank you, Kym. These comments are disgusting…and all Kyle’s buddies say it s nothing to do with race and white privilege is a myth. Smh.

        • CartOnTopOfHorse

          Saying White privilege is race shaming and is itself racist. It’s a segregationist form of logic thrown around these days.
          ANYONE who cares about life, race, justice ,equality should not use those hypocritical words. There are many ways to get a point across, and that is a horrible way to do it.

          • 100% agree, you can’t fight racism with racism.

          • I am just calling it as I see it, as a white person who can observe objectively.

            • CartOnTopOfHorse

              It’s not helping anything. Why can’t you see that?

              If anything it’s antagonist and further spreads the divide.

          • The term “white privilege” isn’t race shaming. It describes a system that gives advantage to one race. It’s not someone’s fault they are white. They aren’t bad. It just means that they have advantages that people of other races might not. (Remember you can be privileged because of your race but be disadvantaged because of other attributes like your lack of wealth and your gender.)

            • CartOnTopOfHorse

              I fully agree and in concept yes. I am aware of white privilege, and that it exists. How it was said here and in many situations is what I am referring to. It’s not the way to encourage change.
              I’m just trying to help, and aggressively throwing that term out like that doesn’t seem like the way to handle anything. Some people can evolve just from understanding a concept like white privilege while others cannot and it can offend or infuriate them, make them feel under attack. That is where I see it further dividing us.
              I think a more relavent argument (in general) is wealth privilege, because that leaves everyone screwed and We need to stick together.

            • Thinking allowed

              But what you think is irrelevant unless you are on the offended side. It is strictly what the offended person thinks. So if a non offended person doesn’t view it as offensive while another is offended, the offended’s sensabilities trump the non offended’s. But only in selected cases cases apparently.

              Certainly thugs exist at least as much as white privilege. So existance is not the basis of acceptability or not. Then what is the bottom line of chosing who has the power to declare unilateral offense and -this is the important part- enforce their view?

            • Where’s all the Asian privilege ? They make more money then white people and are generally smarter .

              • I think you are missing the point of the term white privilege. It doesn’t mean there aren’t people of other races that aren’t richer than you or that aren’t smarter than you. You can be poor and dumb and still benefit from white privilege. White privilege doesn’t mean that you don’t have bad things happen to you and that you can’t be disadvantaged in some way. It means the system around you as a whole supports your culture. White privilege doesn’t mean that everyone who is white is powerful but it does mean that most people in power in this country are white. White privilege means most movies, advertisements, etc. are aimed at white people. Yes, this is changing but I’m old enough to remember how startled I was the first time I saw a black person in an ad. It just wasn’t done at one time.

      • Thug:

        From Hindi ठग्गी, ठगी, ठग (ṭhaggī, ṭhagī, ṭhag), from Marathi ठक (ṭhak, “thief, swindler”), from Sanskrit स्थग (sthaga, “cunning, fraudulent, to cover, to conceal”) hence स्थगति (sthagati, “he/she/it covers, he/she/it conceals”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)teg- (“to cover with a roof”). Thuggee was an Indian network of secret fraternities who were engaged in murdering and robbing travellers and known for strangling their victims, operating from the 17th century (possibly as early as 13th century) to the 19th century. During British Imperial rule of India, many Indian words passed into common English, and in 1810 thug referred to members of these Indian gangs. The sense was adopted more generally as “ruffian, cutthroat” by 1839.


  • There’s still not enough evidence to frame the boy, so the reward has risen to entice students to get a story solidified, then he will be arrested again? This, of course, will be added to the Soros funds already in play?

  • God Bless The Lawson family. I hope this ends soon and they find who’s responsible for this. 🕊

  • What about all the other unsolved murders that go on here?? What makes this one so special and get so much attention? Yet white people are the ones with all the privileges lol. The whole things is bs. How can a fight go on at a party yet nobody saw what happen? Everyone I’ve been to everyone quickly gathers around to watch! You know there are many witnesses that saw exactly what happened I’d bet there’s even a video since that’s what everyone does now a days. World star world star dur dur dur…….well now it’s not just fun and games maybe when a situation like this happens again people will take it more seriously and break it up but prolly not…the little gang prolly thought it was fun till their buddy got stabbed….

    • Aside from the obvious racial undertones of the case, I believe the reason why so many people are up in arms over this case is that this was a young college student, who quite potentially had a bright and fortuitous future ahead of him. All of the senseless deaths are people taken too young, but when you are talking about someone who was still very young and has so much life to live, it hits everybody in a very different way. For a man who appeared to be trying to live a good life and be a better person than the next guy, it is heartbreaking to see a good life taken too soon. I didn’t know this man personally, I don’t know if he was a good man or not, but our world needs more people who are trying to better themselves. When one of these up and comers get taken before they had their chance to try at life, it should be taken very seriously. Not saying the other homicide victims in Humboldt don’t deserve justice, as I believe all of their cases are being meticulously researched and investigated, but the colder a case gets, the harder it is to solve. Some people are just more persistent about making sure justice happens for them, and public attention is a great way to do that.

    • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

      Unsolved murders in a college town should take priority over growers killing each other or their workers.
      There was a time when Arcata was a decent place, before the hippies brought crime and liberals with them.

  • So Lawson’s girlfriend was definitely stabbed/cut in the arm too? Then she knows who stabbed them wtf.

  • Although I feel very sorry for this mother’s loss of her son; at some point, she should comment about her son and two others beating Zollner. It’s been admitted they beat him unconscious, yet she has not addressed any remorse for her son’s actions in that part of this tragedy. Perhaps her son would be alive if not for three people beating up on one. It is obvious that physical altercations were not new to ALL involved, and ALL involved are/were not model citizens. The real truth may take time, but will be worth finding that truth whether it be Zoellner , one of Lawson’s friends or someone else.

  • When did ‘Thug’ become a synonym for black/mexican/asian/white ?

    Def: noun: thug; plural noun: thugs; noun: Thug

    1. A violent person, especially a criminal.
    synonyms: ruffian, hooligan, vandal, hoodlum, gangster, villain, criminal; More
    informaltough, bruiser, hardman, goon, heavy, enforcer, hired gun, hood
    “one of Capone’s thugs”

    2. (historical) A member of a religious organization of robbers and assassins in India. Devotees of the goddess Kali, the Thugs waylaid and strangled their victims, usually travelers, in a ritually prescribed manner. They were suppressed by the British in the 1830s.

    • Precisely! Thugs means bad guys of any race, culture, or country.
      In fact, it’s being thuggish to forbid the labeling of a certain group of bad guys.
      Bad guys/girls are thugs. Period.
      It’s thuggish to portray certain groups as too stupid to get a driver’s licence, find a library, use the internet, like what’s been happening. Thugs are thugging every group.

      • I see plenty of young white males walking around with tee shirts and hats that read or advocate “thug life”.

  • so “thug” is racist and “white privilege ” isnt?

    • “White privilege” is a description of a well-known situation in which white people are the beneficiaries of a system that benefits them. There are different kinds of privilege–male privilege, class privilege, gender privilege, etc.

      Some people are the beneficiaries of one privilege but have to deal with other system-wide disadvantages.

      Thug as a word by itself means violent criminal. It’s a negative term that no one would want applied to them But when used on a group of black college kids with no known previous violent or criminal behavior looks suspiciously like an attempt to assign guilt by the color of their skin. Especially, as in the case of the comment, I responded to when the word thug is used three times in two lines.

      To recap: White privilege is not an insult or a negative term by itself. It’s a description of system that positively affects some and negatively affects others. White privilege is never used as a synonym for “cracker.” But, “thug” is used as a code word for scary black people.

      • It was never a code word for scary black people until the Democrats made it a code word for black people.

        It’s been used for forever in general terms describing bad guys/gals who intend harm.

        It means bad guy singular or bad guys plural. Used in every culture, especially the Italian, Sicilian culture.

        Was Shakespeare a thug, a gangster? http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/william-shakespeare-gangster-129238903/

        All throughout history, it never represented persons of a darker pigment. It represented people with intentions of bad behaviors.

        • It isn’t so much the actual word. It is how this word was being used. If those young men had been white college students, I believe that the commenter would not have referred to them as thugs. If you are saying something about a person who has a violent criminal past and refer to them as a thug. I’ll probably overlook it. Do it three times in two lines about black college students and I think your problem is their race.

      • I get your point and I’m not going to give my definition of a cracker. When I think of thug, I am thinking of any scary person…black, brown, white, red, (usually not yellow though for some reason). I see too many thug types running around Eureka that are bald headed, tatted up, white dudes (and girls). I hope that does not come off as racist.

        • I think thug can just be used to talk about someone who is a violent criminal. But if I think someone is coding the term to slip in racism, I’ll start deleting.

          • Your intention is to stop people from sounding like thugs when they talk about people who were acting like thugs?

            • My intention is that this website be a place where discussion between people with widely differing views can take place. In my opinion, the word “thug” isn’t helpful to discussion. I’ll be deleting it where I think appropriate.

      • CartOnTopOfHorse

        Kym, it’s fair that if the new definition of thug=black then the new usage of white privilege = racism. That’s the problem with sjw 101 if you rewrite the dictionary you have to apply it to all modern usages.

        • No, it doesn’t. Lots of words change meaning overtime. But just because you are currently defining White privilege as racism doesn’t mean you are even close to being right.

          • When the government is given the unconstitutional power to change the definitions of words, they have been given the power to change the meaning of care.
            We will give you healthcare. We have the power to change the meaning of the word healthcare.
            Speaking of universal healthcare, it’s been in the ring since the days of Truman. Probably before then. First they had to make sure they controlled all the medications, all the insurance companies, all the education, and all the terms. The Democrats kept vetoing it until all terms were changed.
            How easy for them. They own the media, the education system, the fda, the cdc, the hhs, the labels put upon people, …

            • The Democrats own “the media, the education system, the fda, the cdc, the hhs, the labels put upon people?”….The President and both houses of Congress are controlled by Republicans.

              • They’re one and the same, both are wings of the same vulture.
                They play a good game of tennis. Win or lose, they scratch each others backs, so that the stolen power accumulated never shrinks.

  • Saw lots if those posters in windows of businesses at arts alive in eureka Saturday night…with everyone having a camera on every cell phone you would think someone would have some solid evidence..Humboldt has had a rise in murders in the last few years, not all are solved.
    I don’t think Kyle did it, he got beat pretty good. He should receive justice too..not because he’s white but because he’s a victim in this mess too..

    • Nobody’s even attempting to address Lawson and his buddies attacking Kyle Zoellner. He was beaten unconscious at the time of the stabbing, and all his friend gleefully bragged about kicking his ass. They bragged about it UNDER OATH. Nothing’s going to happen to them, because white privilege or something.

      • The police focus is properly on the greater crime. All the whining about how the police should arrest people for punching some one else or return property that was seized as evidence is white privilege. I only bring it up because of all the racist comments I see on the comment boards. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes people. Calling out racism isn’t racist.

        • It is when you use racist comments, you cannot fight racism with racism it just won’t work that way, all or nothing, even a blind person can see that.

          • Do you think Black Lives Matter is racist because they point out all the killings of black people by some police? Just curious.

    • The hushed video’s is what tipped the people off. Right or wrong, it’s been tipped.
      Perhaps the blm and the cohorts should ban the ban. Just sayin’.

  • CartOnTopOfHorse

    We need to stop redefining words, thug has nothing to do with black. Unless of course your dictionary of choice is the urban dictionary.

    noun: thug; plural noun: thugs; noun: Thug
    a violent person, especially a criminal.
    synonyms: ruffian, hooligan, vandal, hoodlum, gangster, villain, criminal; More
    informaltough, bruiser, hardman, goon, heavy, enforcer, hired gun, hood
    “one of Capone’s thugs”
    a member of a religious organization of robbers and assassins in India. Devotees of the goddess Kali, the Thugs waylaid and strangled their victims, usually travelers, in a ritually prescribed manner. They were suppressed by the British in the 1830s.

  • Devils Lettuce Crimes

    Yes the “thugs” I know around here are all white boys, heard too much rap, came up to HUMBOLDT to act like some gangstas and stack up some cash. Our local thugs are white and they suck. Thugs are violent and criminal and possibly sociopathic. “Thug” is not another word for “black gangsters” although it could be applied to them. So actually…redefining the word and saying it does mean black people is….racist behavior. Sorry, Kym but now you’re a racist too! See how easy it is for us to shut down meaningful conversation with sensitive political correctness? Honestly this case has been saturated with race-baiting from the very beginning and the ever-so sensitive white people of Humboldt have fallen all over themselves defending the race-baiters’ bad behavior… Stupid teenage behavior. A young man was killed. Somebody stabbed him and killed him. There’s no reason we even need to mention race or color. This is some horse crap!

  • The word thug has racial overtones? Since when?

    Are you implying that thug mentality and people of color or pigmentation go hand in hand? Sounds like it to me.

    The bait is just too obvious.

  • The victim, Lawson was found on his back, with Zoellner in a head lock on top of him. His own friend pulled Zoellner off and noticed Lawson bleeding. It’s very possible one of Lawson’s friends stabbed him, while trying to stab Zoellner. All this from testimony. How is it possible that none of Lawson’s friends saw anything, when there were two to three of them beating on Zoellner?

    It’s the only thing that makes sense. Give the young men that attended the party with, or were hanging out with Lawson a polygraph, and test them for matches to the knife.

    May his mother find peace.

  • My heart goes out to his mother. No matter who did what, I simply cannot imagine the pain of sending a child out into the world for the first time, only for him to be killed at a party. The knife didn’t jump into him on its own. Someone did it, and I do hope that his family gets the answers they deserve.

  • keep fighting the good fight, Kym…..

    The racism exhibited by many here just blows me away….

  • shawn the fisherman

    I can guarantee there is a afterlife.. They will be judged I promise. Those who are guilty of taking a life will pay, Dearly. Race doesnt matter there.

  • I wonder what “search warrants are being written not by APD” means. Is additional evidence being discovered?

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