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Cops and Cameras


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Regarding Carrie Peyton Dahlberg's article, the only reason the epithet "People's Republic" can be used pejoratively in a democratic republic is because it connotes the totalitarian policies of the Chinese state, in which censorship of the media figures largely.

As a "redneck Republican from Fortuna," I hope Officer Drake Goodale believes his job is to serve and protect the people of this republic, and not the republic from its people. Else I suggest he find employ with the Chinese government, whose rights supersede those of individuals such as freedom of expression and a free and independent media. I try not to see Bolsheviks and Nazis behind every corner, but if the irony is lost on Officer Goodale, or anyone else reading this, we have a problem. (And of course, it is, and we do).

Christopher Weaver, Eureka



In regard to photogenic "good" cops, my experiences over 70 years have been that police work attracts at best control freaks and at worst bullies.

I mean, who would want such thankless work?

In Arcata, I was accused of breaking a law I had researched. Hint; there was no "law"!  The cops' comment: "Don't make us create new laws for you."

It seems absolute power corrupts absolutely. So, citizens, keep their feet to the fire of exposure. Or as the American Civil Liberties Union says, "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

And thanks for the article.

*George Kirkpatrick, Fieldbrook *



In the early 1990s, I was attending HSU and doing volunteer work with Food Not Bombs. The city had the police actively watching FNB on a daily basis and some of the officers treated volunteers like criminals.

Drake Goodale was one of the Arcata police who would patrol by and watch us. I always found Drake to be courteous and professional. So I was surprised last week when I read of an unfortunate encounter between the two of you. Hopefully both parties will learn more about each other's profession so a relationship of mutual respect can emerge.

Rodney Ozuna Cabrera Brunlinger, Eureka



As I read your column, a sinking feeling came over me. I have been living in Eureka for over 20 years, after moving here from Europe in my early years.
The EPD hires many locals with, sometimes, an attitude not conducive to police work. All these rednecks who picked on the "queers" in high school now carry a badge. For Officer Rodrigo Sanchez to make jokes about other departments ("Humboldt's Mayberry," Aug. 2, 2012) is not so out of character. I've seen him be so unprofessional, and he doesn't care.

I was waiting for the day they would pull this on the wrong person. I am glad that you're brave enough to shed some light on this very old problem hiding behind the redwood curtain. We need them held accountable. Now, get ready to get pulled over for next year, as I was for writing a letter detailing the abuse and incompetence of the EPD. A clean sweep of all EPD and investigations into their actions are badly needed. We are a poor community and conditioned to shut our mouths. You do not cross an EPD.

I've worn a uniform in the military. Not as a cop, yet the same idea. I am no liberal but I am a realist. The fact that O-f-f-i-c-e-r Goodale has called himself a redneck from Fortuna is telling. As a cop, he should have been taught that you leave all that at home when you put on that uniform. I wonder if the cops who beat Rodney King were also Reagan-loving Republicans. Ahumm. Cue Mayberry whistling. Nah, there's nothing Mayberry here. Much more Southern good ol' boy mentality, like "Mississippi Burning." I want to trust the police here, but their actions make it difficult.

Stéphan St.Claire, Eureka



Wow, what's up with Eureka?

We have a mayor who is either ignorant and stupid, as his beliefs in wild mythological fantasy indicates, or he's an anti-American traitor, as his nose-thumbing at the Constitution indicates ("The Bully Pulpit," Media Maven, Feb 28). Either way, he should never hold any position of authority, anywhere.

Then we have right-wing hillbilly police who think (or wish) that we live in some sort of police state ("Good Cops Aren't Afraid of Cameras," Feb. 28). Checks are constitutionally defined for government, where they are needed, not citizens. Our police chief needs to inform his officers that taking photos of police activities is legal as long as it doesn't interfere with them. These police expect us to submit to video surveillance almost everywhere, but the laws don't apply to them? Since they seem to be hiding something, I think citizens ought to be taking video of every police action seen.

It looks like a couple of losing lawsuits in the making, which our city cannot afford. Maybe this plays into the apparent right-wing objective to bankrupt government at every level so they can "demonstrate" that government doesn't work.

Rick Siegfried, Eureka


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