When Some Protesters Attempted to Take a Man Being Arrested for Vandalism From Police, Pepper Balls Were Deployed

After Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson and Humboldt County Sheriff Billy Honsal joined those protesting the death of George Floyd during his arrest by Minneapolis, Minnesota police officers in a chant of “No justice, No peace,” most of those assembled marched to the Humboldt County Courthouse and left the area by 8 p.m.

However, a core of protesters remained. About 10:30 p.m., Eureka Police fired pepper balls to break up an incident. Police Chief Watson told us by email that they were intervening to recover a man being arrested after some protesters attempted to take him from their custody.

According to Watson who wasn’t there at the time of the incident but arrived soon after, the core of protesters marched to Target. He provided us details to the best of his knowledge at the time.

Drone view of the Target parking lot

Drone view of the Target parking lot about 10:15 p.m. [Video provided by a reader]

“Officers had to intervene to prevent worse vandalism but at least one individual vandalized the store,” he told us. “As the group began walking back west, certain individuals started leaving a trail of criminal destruction behind including graffiti and a broken window at Sizzler at least.”

A tagged U-Haul van.

A U-Haul van marked with graffiti by a protester last night. [Image provided by a reader]

Watson told us, “I feel it is important to note that while there were a few in the group of 50 or so that were clearly seeking confrontations and committing crimes, others were trying to stop them and keep it peaceful. I have much respect and appreciation for them. For example, some in the front of the group were tipping over trash cans as they walked down the street. Others at the rear were picking up the cans and trash to make things right.”

Officers were able to identify which protester had done the vandalism at Target, he said. “We could not allow that to continue so officers were tasked with arresting the vandal we’d identified. As they did so, they were suddenly mobbed by numerous [protesters that]…tried to physically pull him away from the officers. It was a very tense, chaotic, and rapidly evolving situation.”

Watson told us, “Pepper balls fired from an air gun were used to successfully stop [the incident] with likely much less force than batons, Tasers etc…Many (but not all) of these balls were fired into the ground to disperse their contents which are an irritant to the eyes and respiratory system.”

He added in a later email, “At least two officers were also struck by the projectiles during those intense moments of chaos but are fine.”

[Video from Nazy Javid of North Coast News]

Watson said, “Captain Stephens and I addressed the crowd to explain the officers and deputies actions and answer questions.  They eventually calmed down and several told me they felt the officers had no choice.”

Police and protesters at 5th and N in Eureka.

Police and protesters at 5th and N in Eureka. [Photo provided by a reader.]

Watson recorded a conversation last night with several of the protesters who appear to corroborate his account.

Watson explained that he believes that a few of the protesters were trying to cause an outbreak of violence. He told us in an email, “We had intel that the anarchists had planted individuals who were tasked with trying to incite violence and confrontations with the police….I’m very proud of those [protesters] who fought for peace.”

According to booking records, at 10:35 p.m., a Brent Alan Clark was arrested by EPD for vandalism. We have not been able to confirm this arrest was the one that precipitated events but there is no other in the time period that fits the situation.

Earlier articles on yesterday’s protest:

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63 comments

  • “We had intel that the anarchists had planted individuals” That’s an extraordinary statement that requires evidence to back it up.

    • Notice To The Violent Ones: The only reason you are alive is because of the police. Take them out of the equation and you don’t last two minutes.

    • That’s an extraordinary confirmation, straight from the local horses mouth, of what we’ve been hearing nationally. Antifa scum organizing this push into chaos, and lies.

      • Yea cuz you know the polic are always telling the truth.

      • “what we’ve been hearing nationally” ….I think you mean the cr*p from trumps mouth?

        Funny, how so many trumpers love to scream ALL media is lying to you, yet if it fits your wants and beliefs, it is somehow automatically true?

        If you side with facists, fine. But at least own up to it.

    • Right now, across the country, extremist groups from the right are infiltrating these protests to further a race war they believe they will win.

      No doubt, radical anarchists may also join the ruckus against the State.

      Minnesota Governor Tim Walz echoed this sentiment in a press conference on Saturday alleging that the demonstrations that caused so much damage included provocateurs, likely from outside the area. State officials said around 80 percent of those arrested in the Twin Cities on Friday were from outside Minnesota. Former FBI agent and CNN commentator, Josh Campbell wrote, that Minnesota “authorities have been monitoring alleged criminals online, including postings by suspected white supremacists trying to incite violence.”

      Before the rioting started in Washington DC, Brooklyn, Denver, Atlanta, and other cities, allegations emerged that undercover police officers might be to blame for some of the worst commercial destruction in Minneapolis. 

      https://www.justsecurity.org/70497/far-right-infiltrators-and-agitators-in-george-floyd-protests-indicators-of-white-supremacists/

      Further:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-protests-white-supremacists-antifa.html

      • That’s the narrative you have been led to believe anyway. Agent Provacatours have been around for a long time…guess who they usually work for…

        Really, there’s a whole history. The overthrow of the Shah of Iran to the destruction of the people’s movements of the 60’s. Same tactics, same actors.

        • My French is rusty, so I could be wrong, but I believe proper usage would be “Agent Provocateur” if singular,
          “agents provocateurs” if plural. A final consonant is not pronounced unless the following word begins with a vowel. Also please note spelling.

      • Every other news station says the majority of protesters arrested in Minneapolis had Minnesota adresses. White supremacists are trying to incite violence online? As opposed to those inciting violence on the ground?

      • Were these “right wing” infiltrators around in Seattle in 1999 WTO riots? Always blame the other guy, propaganda 101. The self proclaimed “anarchists” or “antifa” or “occupy” clowns have always been around in one form or another. The leaders are usually loser white kids from upper middle class families who cover their own laziness with an over active sense of injustice. The will remain anarchists until their inheritance comes in.

        • Yep. Pretty clear in the context of cointelpro history. Following the exact same playbook as always.

          Caught red handed at the Battle of Seattle.

          Any of these kids know that?

      • The part that he said drug cartels are to blame is left out! When I read the original version it said that and it made his whole statement unbelievable. Why cause the last thing the drug cartels want is whats going on. They want to make money and when theres civil unrest they aren’t making money. There are plenty of articles about this.

        See how your leaving out parts to make it fit your narrative!?!

    • There is nothing extraordinary about the statement. That’s how it’s done. That’s how it’s always been done. Infiltrate and instigate. Both sides do it.

    • My feeling is that most of the property damage is being done by loose cannons, not organized conspirators.

    • “Light em all up”

  • Is Brent Alan Clark a local?

    • I would also like the answer to this question.

    • Shipped in by bus from Portland or SF. Got a message from a friend who lives down south. Literally seen people being bused in by the hundreds and staging bricks behind buildings. This is not peaceful protests. This is rioting and vandalism by extreme leftists who want to destroy not only society, but the economic welfare of this country. Why? To make our elected president “look bad” so they can install a socialistic regime.

  • Eureka’s Protest gets an A+ for peacefulness, especially compared to all the other cities. It renewed my faith in the good intentions of our county. A good example.

    • I watched a 36-minute video of a protest in Santa Rosa. Zero violence or confrontations with cops. Eureka looks like a war zone in comparison.

      Totally off topic: Drug War policy and policing are at the root of much of this social tension.

      Remove drug enforcement from law enforcement duties.

      • Totally on topic: if you read the history you’ll find that Hademan or Erlichman (actually just checked sources and it seems that both. . . ) have said that the purpose of the “war on drugs” initiative was to undermine both the Black and Youth anti-war movements.

  • “Police had intel”. That means a source with knowledge. Do you think the government just started watching Anarchists groups yesterday?

    The government has informants in all kinds of criminal organizations.

  • To demonstrate the superiority and kindness of the ideology they embrace, these “protesters” should head for China, Russia, or N. Korea and give them a piece of their mind. They’re kind and loving communists “over there” and they’ll respond to your concerns with loving and open arms. Don’t miss this opportunity to show us how a truly civilized system functions.

    Over and out Comrades

    • None of those nations are communist.

      • They’re more socialist/ some communist. Which is really splitting hairs

        • punkybrewstersmind

          What does someone have to do before you call them what they ACTUALLY are?: Dictators.
          Despots.
          But ‘socialist’ is the new ‘bad word’ for the cons, right? Yet so few even seem to know what it means. Its so lame.
          But Hannity and the latest Fox bimbo says Socialists are all bad and icky, so thats the new ‘bad word’. (‘Liberal’ is the old one).
          Never mind their brave giant-brain leader and his family and pals ‘vacationed’ in Moscow and had ‘private’ meeting with Vladamir. Jesus.

          • The only way to implement socialism on a national scale is by the force of an authoritarian government. If you want peaceful socialism join a commune.

            Modern “liberals” are not liberals.; they are statists. Liberal=Liberty=Freedom.

    • Do you say the same things to family members that you abuse?

      • My, my, struggling with reading comprehension issues are we? The first accuser is usually the abuser.

        • Nope, not me. Nor have I ever suggested that anyone head off to visit the Gulag because they disagree with me politically.

  • 🕯🌳If you don’t believe that the violent ones aren’t coming from the outside this community or are not influencing some of the one’s that are frustrated by the virus, then why do they only come out after dark? They are destroying the places that are just trying to get back on there feet. Places that some of you work or do business with. They don’t care and as soon as there done here they’ll move on to the next spot and stir up shit. During the day your peaceful they come out at night and mix with your crowd to stir the pot and there succeeding. It’s up to the peaceful ones to at least point them out so this doesn’t go any further. 🖖🌍🐸🕊

    • Only 6 of the arrested we’re from outa State. It’s a lie. Facts show truth.

      • 🕯🌳6 is all it takes to take a peaceful protest in the wrong direction when your already tied up in knots over being cooped up over a virus and you have alot of people wanting to just tear the walls down. I’ve been there before, seen it happen. Let the peaceful ones have their say then walk away and watch who stays?🕊🐸🌍🖖

    • Burnt Roach (new handle)

      Again, here I agree with you Willie, and it is (to me), evidence that liberals and conservatives can agree on some things (which means our problems can be worked out). I also wonder about this;

      https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/05/31/sunday-talks-crump-on-floyd-we-dont-understand/#more-193146

      My readings have made me wonder and have given me more questions. I realise people may not believe The Last Refuge, but other sites have written the same thing. IF this is true, who would be behind it?

      Our situation here in Eureka is better. Most of the protestors are peaceful. Not all of them are though, and standing out in the freeway, while certainly an attention getter, is not very smart.

      I’ll be driving to Eureka tomorrow, and I hope things are quiet. I wouldn’t want to run someone over with my truck, either accidentally or out of panic. Guess I don’t have to worry about someone breaking my windshield; it’s already broken.

    • What does the time of day they come out at have to do with anything? You think the fact that they act up at night indicates that they are agent provocateurs somehow?

    • Willie,
      really nice post,
      I agree.

  • The Anarchists plan (now there’s an oxymoron) did not go as planned. And they’re apologizing to the outsiders they invited to the peaceful hijacked non-revolution.

    Welcome to true anarchy Anarchists.

    • I thought anarchists were supposed to be apolitical? How does having an agenda make you an anarchist? Shouldn’t their one goal be removing authority structures regardless of political affiliation or identity politics?

  • 🕯🌳Well there’s one political figure they won’t get “not my potus ” is hiding out in the White House bunker. 🕊🐸🌍🖖

  • Rioting, vandalism, will give the violent protesters exactly what they are looking for: total lockdown and control. How predictable. And stop destroying people’s businesses.

    Thank you epd for saving the town.

  • Peace and love

    One thing I wanted to address. It seems some of the vandals at night are very young, under 18, 12, the ones throwing rocks into the sizzler, etc.

    The second thing I wanted to address is why are the vandals in this area. Do they live there, if so where are their parents? Juveniles have a curfew, they can’t be out at night like that, the ones vandalizing should be put in jail and be made to pay for and clean up the damage they caused.

    This mob trying to wreck the town is completely unacceptable, and if it weren’t for the good works of the eureka pd trying to stop the vandals, it would would have been a lot worse.

    The vandals received consequences for what they did, wrecking people’s property is against the law.

    If they don’t want consequences they should not try to wreck people’s property especially after dark.

    Vandalism, destroying people’s property, graffitiing people’s property, breaking the windows of businesses, breaking people’s car windows are serious offenses, when it’s done all at one time, by a group, after dark, and that same group having done similar damage the day before.

    There is no way vandals are allowed to wreck the town, if this group tries anything like that again they should be put in jail.

  • I seems like they were looking for a fight.

    • They were looking to start trouble. Listened on scanner for long while. Woman inciting leader, they were supplied with eggs, spray paint, rocks. Some shots fired, but no gun found: person shot(?). Couldn’t be sure. Police eventually went to tac 3 channel.

      These things were happening at Sizzler and Target late after 10 pm.

      You don’t come to a peaceful protest armed with items to cause trouble. Period. I don’t care where you come from. Most protesters were done by reasonable time.

    • 🕯🌳Not at the beginning during the day,but as time went on you can see one here one there start with either the vile or rude or violent remarks. Like let’s go bust some cops heads,heard that one myself twice before things started moving. 🕊🐸🌍🖖

  • 🕯🌳I told you people that it wasn’t just the one police officer there was three. They just announced the autopsy findings saying that one knee on his neck two on his lungs and back. Why aren’t the other two being charged?🖖🕊🐸🌍 I’m pissed but I’m not going to go out and break a fellow working citizens windows or set his place on fire or steal from him,he had nothing to do with it. It was those three police officers. 🇺🇸⚖🇺🇸⚖🇺🇸⚖🇺🇸

  • “As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.”
    -MLK

  • I could stop any riot, by myself, in less than 10 seconds and it would only cost about 20 bucks or so…

  • I see nothing but white people comments here from people who haven’t even a clue

  • No, but again I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed man. Back to your safe place now, please. I’ll take it from here…

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