Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pave Paradise to Put Up a Parking Lot

Pave Paradise to Put Up a Parking Lot

The folks who make the plans for the city of Arcata are planning on destroying Hobo Field and putting in condos and a parking lot.

This sucks.

Hobo Field has long been a sort of “commons” for Arcata, providing space for people to be together and a pedestrian path away from the noxious reign of automobile traffic. It is also a refuge for wildlife that can not survive in a city environment.

Will we let this space be taken away from the people of Arcata and turned into more over-priced unaffordable housing, and yet another parking lot?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

email from Jake Pickering

So, I got this email from somebody named Jake Pickering, who ran for some office of something. It was an "opinion column" piece. Does anybody want to read it?

Apparently, some political foe taunted him over email. If people want to read it I can post it or email it. It didn't seem right to just post it like other news posts - just didn't seem relevant.

Anyhow, if there are any Jake Pickering fans out there, let me know.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Critical Analysis of the "Official" Explaination for the Execution of Cheri Moore in her Home by the Police

The Plazoid recieved this letter from Tad. Tad's critical analysis of the "official" explaination of Cheri Moore's murder raises some important questions about the honesty and accountability of our local armed extention of the State.

I’ve read repetitive letters written expressing the opinion that it was the victims and their families (also victims) who were responsible for the killings by police bullets. Poor peoples around the world are constantly being told they are the reason that prisons, mental health departments, and probation departments are necessary. The truth is that our prisons are full of the poorest of our so-called civilization. African Americans are extremely over represented in the criminal justice system and extremely under represented in our society pages, making it easier for the wealthy, the wealthy media, and the campaign finance dependant politicians to blame the poor for their plight, and evidently their murders as well. But, really it boils down to: police trained to kill verses families just trying to get by doing the best they can.

Most people have heard of the “magic bullet” theory in the JFK assignation. A single bullet defying physics, created 6 wounds through a zigzag trajectory, and was then found to be in pristine condition after its journey. Did a magic bullet kill Cheri Moore on April 14, 2006? In Humboldt County, a bullet shot by 5 cowboy cops facing Cheri penetrated the back of her head with a bullet that the pathologist performing the autopsy, claims “disintegrated” – It can not be linked to any individual weapon. The weapon in question is an “assault” weapon that fires a .223 caliber bullet. At the scene of Cheri’s murder (by law enforcement) several police carried AR-15s, M-16s and .223s as testified to in the Cheri Moore Coroner’s inquest ( Little research is required to learn that all the weapons listed above use a .223 caliber bullet.

On April 14th Cheri was shot 5 times by .223 bullets, the wall was shot two additional times, and only 5 .223 bullet casings were found. Who at the scene had such a .223 weapon? Rodriquez Sanchez (police) and Rocky Harpham (police) claimed to have had “Bernoulli 12 gage shotguns,” and Tim Jones (police) claimed to have had a “pepper ball projectile gun,” Michael Johnson (police) and Terrence Liles (police) claimed to have had an “AR-15,” - a “.223” caliber assault rifle. The five mentioned above all admitted to busting into Cheri’s home when she was killed; across the street and slightly to Cheri’s right, an observer/sniper named Robert Mengal (police) was positioned with an “M-16,” - a “.223” caliber assault rifle.

Cheri’s body was riddled with buckshot entry wounds; two groups in her chest, groups in her groin, her neck, and her armpit. Each buckshot wound entered in front and on the left side of Cheri’s body. Cheri had 5 entry wounds from a .223 - 1) the back of her head; 2) the back of her left shoulder; 3) Her left arm; 4) her left chest; and 5) her right chest. In other words, the official police version is that one police “assault” weapon shot Cheri from all possible directions, while the actual shotgun wounds, combined with all inquest testimony indicates that Cheri was facing her killers during the entire shooting.

Two wounds to Cheri’s back were .223 entry wounds one to the back of her head and the other to her right shoulder. The inquest jury did not find either of these wounds to be the absolute cause of death, but the shot to the back of Cheri’s head can’t be ruled out either. Police testimony indicated that only two officers burst in with “.223’s” – Michael Johnson and Terry Liles. Liles claimed not to have fired his gun. It defies logic that either Michael Johnson or Terry Liles could have made the shot to the back of Cheri’s head. The official police version claims Michael Johnson must have de facto shot Cheri in the back of the head because he was the only police officer, in the police S.W.A.T team, found by the police investigation, to have been officially proclaimed by the police to fire his police issued weapon!

There was another .223 involved besides the two in the room. Across the street were two “observers/snipers,” as testified by Ron Harpham. One was Ron Harpham watching thru just binoculars and the other was Robert Mengal watching thru the sights of a M-16/.223. Could Mengal shoot Cheri in the back of the head from where he was? Robert Mengal never claimed he fired his gun, yet, Robert Mengal doesn’t surrender his weapon like the “S.W.A.T.” members do, he “lock[s] it in [his] car.” Mengal declines to testify in the Cheri Moore inquest, instead the recording of his initial interview was transcribed. The transcribed interview was acted out by Jim Dawson, (chief investigator Humboldt County District Attorney’s office) as “himself” and Charles Van Buskirk, (deputy coroner with the Humboldt County Coroner's office) as “Robert Mengal.” Mengal has relocated to Idaho since the shooting and felt it too unimportant to testify. According to the official police version of the magic bullet theory he was also the one who gave the “hands free” S.W.A.T. command he knew to be the “signal” to crash thru Cheri’s door.

Van Buskirk, reciting Mengal (who had two advising lawyers during his interview), stated he saw Cheri reach out of the fourth window; spoke “north window empty hands,” heard some bangs, left the building, and locked his M-16 in his car. Mengal who was “about the same height” as Cheri, and about “35 yards” away, could see “inside her apartment.” If the testimony of the other three officers is creditable then while Johnson was watching his “laser sight” on Cheri’s ribs just prior to shooting, Mengal was “observing” the back of Cheri’s head through his rifle sights.

Matthew Kristen, criminalist with the California Department of Justice, claimed that he found two entry holes in the corner of Cheri’s apartment. Susan Comfort, a forensic pathologist, explained how .223 bullets “fragment” and don’t leave the body. Seven total .223 bullets were fired – five in Cheri’s body and two in the wall. Matthew Kristen drew circles and arrows on a floor plan of Cheri’s apartment making a little circle in the middle of the living room away from any other bullet holes or shell casings he identified. He never explains what this smaller circle signified or why he drew it, but if a fourth shooter across the street shot and missed, then that circle could be the area the bullet would strike. Judy Taylor, an evidence technician with the Eureka Police Department, never told the jury where Charles Heuer, Cheri’s landlord, found the “fifth” .223 shell casing he gave the police a few days later.

None of this is concrete evidence that there was a fourth shooter in Cheri’s death, but listening to the testimony in the coroner’s inquest conveys a story of Cheri “slumping” back from the shooters not spinning in a circle. Michael Johnson testified to seeing his “laser sights on [Cheri’s] midsection” and the “change in her eyes” just prior to shooting. Tim Jones described Cheri falling back away from the officers. Todd Wilcox (police) described, “easing Cheri forward to put handcuffs on her.” Even Ron Harpham and Michael Johnson describe Cheri as falling back away from them.

The “investigation” was poorly done. Obvious discrepancies were ignored and key witnesses were not pursued; yet, nothing can be done by the citizens of Humboldt County to discover the truth. Cops investigating cops is a BAD idea! An independent police review board is the first answer to really finding out what really happened and what we as a community can do to stop it. All police bullets should be required to be identifiable once they’re shot. And police who have a history of violence should not be on any police department’s payrolls.

As mistrust in the police department grows with every questionable death by police violence, more and more secrecy on the part of the police becomes apparent, if elected officials make excuses for their police departments, then how are we as citizens represented - more important how are we being protected? If those we elect to protect us leave us in the hands of good-ol’-boy rogue cops, then we must take initiative for our own protection. The wealthy support police eliminating “undesirable” people, but the majority, the poor, see it as an assault upon our safety. It is hard enough to deal with our children being thrown in jail and put on probation for little stupid shit (victimless crimes), but the police have become judge, jury and executioner. The time to speak out has come.

Love eternal