Mills: “There was a gun recovered. I don’t want to get into where……”(till we get our story straight)

rip tommy

On Wednesday, we urged readers to be cautious before jumping to conclusions regarding the young man who was shot to death by a Eureka Police Officer.  In trying to be fair and objective, we asked readers to wait for more facts before making judgements about the tragedy.  At that time, all we had was a press release which was very short on details.  The release basically stated that the police had been looking for warrant suspects in the area, saw two people arguing, one of which “appeared” to have a gun.  Officers supposedly gave commands, and the victim reached for the apparent gun and was shot to death by an officer.

Well, we have have received more information about the events that night.  Our staff has been in contact with residents who described the hour or so before the fatal shooting.  According to those neighbors, EPD was out in full force searching through the neighborhood (presumably for the warrant suspects they wrote about in the press release).  These eyewitnesses described EPD Officers going through alleys, stopping any and all pedestrians, and seemingly treating everyone as if they were hiding a fugitive.  One of the witnesses reported that Officer’s seemed to be on high alert, with hands on their guns in every encounter.  The witness even went as far as to say “it appeared the officers were itching for a fight”.

We’ve also seen the numerous posts by family members of the 22 year old victim, Thomas McClain.  This morning, the Lostcoast Outpost went into further detail about what the family witnessed. These posts describe Mr. McClain as being in his front yard using his cell phone.  They further assert that the police shot him even though he didn’t have a gun.

Chief Mills, as the protege of Murl Harpham, has taken a page out of the Old Guard EPD playbook and refused to provide many details about the killing.  This is troubling, to say the least.  If there was in fact a gun in the victims hand, or he was reaching for one within grasp, then why not release a statement that a gun was found on scene near the victim?  What Mills said was that there was a “gun found on scene”.  He also said, “there was a gun recovered. I don’t want to get into where exactly the gun was until I can prove that forensically to my satisfaction… . I want to make sure I’m a 100 percent accurate.”  That’s a lotta’ wiggle room Andy.  Do you mean, in the house?  Or, in a car nearby?

How about a persons right to have a firearm.  With all of the police activity, isn’t it reasonable for a person having a lawfully owned weapon within reach in case the bad guy that every cop is looking for ends up on their property (if that was even the case, which we have doubts about)?  The police went to the victim, not the other way around.  And why is being loud at a family gathering a reason for police to intervene?  No one called the police or complained about the behavior.

This tragedy smacks of the types of nastiness and failed leadership that brought on community outrage with EPD in the past.  The few facts that we have now speak of something that went very, very wrong.

A 22 year old man was shot to death in the front yard of his own house.  His family was around when he was killed.  There wasn’t a call or complaint to the police to go to that house.  They were in the area looking for completely different people.

On top of that, we have received information that several of the victims family members were “tazed” by EPD officers.  Obviously, witnessed a family member shot to death in his front yard you might be distressed, to say the least.  The reaction by the Eureka Police was to use a high level of force against the upset family members (electronic weapons).

This is looking more and more like the days of Cheri Moore and Christopher Burgess.  Both murdered by officers in the Eureka Police department under very questionable circumstances.  Is this the type of “New Leadership” that Mills has brought?  Absolutely.  The officer on the street is a reflection of the leadership at the top.  If their marching orders are to “kick ass and take names” then you will get heavy handed officers.  If the marching orders are “use your brain and think tactically” then you will have officers who can slow things down and hopefully prevent  unnecessary killings.

The fact that Mills hasn’t disputed the claims about whether the victim was holding a cell phone or a gun is very telling about his leadership, which harkens back to the bad old days of EPD.  The fact that a young man was gunned down by police while standing in his own front yard, and that there was no call for the police to be there is nothing less than completely heartbreaking.

 

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32 thoughts on “Mills: “There was a gun recovered. I don’t want to get into where……”(till we get our story straight)

  1. Why were the police, with guns drawn, even on the families property?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe the initial reporting indicated the cops were in the neighborhood searching for some other suspects / fugitives (not the victim, or anyone else in that household) in some unrelated matter. And that one of the officers saw two men arguing loudly in front of this residence, approached, and then (thought they) saw him reach for (what they thought was) a gun, and opened fire.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brian Stephens was the command person responsible for this mess. So I am not surprised there was a tragic outcome.
    Lets keep promoting the old guard and EPD right Andy?

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  3. I don’t even know if “tragic” begins to describe how horrible this murder was. Imagine being on your front porch facebooking your family “thank you” for the wonderful night. You’ve had a few drinks. All of a sudden lights are pointing in your direction. Commands being shouted from different directions. Come this way/get on the ground/show me your hands. You’re confused and trying to figure out whats going on. You are trying to follow directions, and then you are shot by the police.

    The Eureka Police Department, and especially chief Mills have a lot to answer for. This murder should have never happened.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Makes you wonder, if, among this skilled fire-team of individualism, there was a designated officer-in-charge to give ALL orders while the rest just STFU? You know, someone with that extra stripe.

      This all may have been just a seniority mixup. .

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Funny how you wish to leave this little tidbit out of the LoCo article.

    “A neighbor who wishes to remain anonymous disagreed. In an interview today the individual said, “I did see an object in his hand.” The individual did not want to describe the situation further except to say, “I feel that the level of force used was justified. It was a clear threat to the officer’s life. I feel it was unfortunate. But it was fortunate that no others were injured.””

    You are so full of bias it is ludicrous. The fact that you are trying to politicize this is beyond the pale. Calling Mills, from San Diego, a protégé of Murl is silly.

    “How about a persons right to have a firearm” – really? do you really think he had a legally registered firearm? And even if he did, pulling it out on a cop is a sure way to end up shot.

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    • An anonymous person says they saw an unnamed object. Well, that settles it! Case closed!

      Liked by 3 people

    • There 3 eye witness that say otherwise and the forth………. (pro-cop) took back her story and said she was mistaken. That’s what I hear. Do you realy think that kid Tommy reached for a empty BB gun? Reported Tommy dropped his hands put them back up and drop them Towards the gun.
      Chief Mills said in the press confrence that the hole entire police contact took place in a minute the shooting in …….. ….TWO SECONDS.

      ((BCAUSE LINFOOT WAS ONLY THERE FOR TWO SECONDS)). Sgt Stephens was still giving that kid commands.
      Linfoot in unsafe to be on the streets when Linfoot is put in a alleged potential situation he folded like a punk. And turn in to a pressure case and kill some kid
      Man there is no honor there. I just want to tell Chief Mills if your here to make a difference then with Gods speed and meny prays I hope you do.
      If you want the trust of the people
      And right now it doesnt look so good

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  5. hm:

    I think I mentioned this to you once already but…

    Yes, the TE is full of bias. I’m full of bias. You’re full of bias. Take out the “ia” and the statements may still be true.

    This is the place where people express their “opinions.” It’s a political blog for heaven’s sake.

    As for your question at the end; we don’t know if the victim had a firearm on him at all, legal or otherwise. Possessing a firearm is not a death penalty violation ala Judge Dredd. What the victim did is the issue. Did he pull a gun? Did he stand there with his empty hands in the air? Did he take his “smart” phone and aim it at police and go “pew pew pew!”?

    We don’t know any of that.

    There’s still room for honest debate hm.

    One thing is for certain… the EPD acts more like an army of occupation than a police force. As long as that military mentality remains dominant on the EPD then they will never be a part of the community they are supposed to protect. Lethal failures (such as what happened on Allard Avenue) are the result.

    So far only Gar Nelson (sp?) seems to have figured that little detail out… and look where it got him.

    Liked by 2 people

    • for ONE the police would have confronted him the moment they witnessed the confrontation.
      Because it a officers moral responsibility Not wait to think/and act on the possibility what could happen if the guy returns.

      and if Tommy acting in a threatening manner then why did Sgt. Stephens approach by himself with out backup. because you can hear for your self from the live feed police scanner /> Linfoot come back>< Linfoot come back
      that proves
      (1) Stephens approached Tommy with out Linfoot

      So why wasn't Stephens ready when he confronted Tommy when he was thought to be a threat
      Was officer Stephens clueless
      STEPHENS HAD TOMMY AT GUN POINT.

      Also if Tommy had any intention then WHY DID HE COME DOWN INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE YARD FROM up on THE PORCH WITH HIS HANDS IN THE AIR.

      Like

  6. this rag has a staff? there is no byline to your account. I dont see your account any more credible than EPD’s—both suspicious based on bias. It is my understanding that the California Department of Justice is looking into this shooting. There isn’t even an autopsy yet, (not until 9/27) and you are clamoring for answers? Talk about rush to judgement. Typical of your style of propaganda (doesn’t even warrant the word journalism here)

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    • My guess is the autopsy will show that the victim died of gun shot wounds

      Liked by 2 people

      • duh,. Denise. What a brainy thought! how many gunshots?
        from what directions? What else was Tommy jacked on besides alcohol? All the factors involving this incident needs to come out and that takes time. Tommy isn’t going to get any deader than he is already. There is no need to rush to judgement.

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    • I’ll make an uneducated guess that Denise is correct. The number and location of bullets aren’t going to make much difference(except to the police who want to determine which shooter killed him). But any presence of intoxicants in the decedent’s blood will be used to implicate him as being at fault.

      From what the media has reported, my question is just why did the police take such aggressive action at this house so soon? The impression I get is they were partying, maybe rowdy people who were outside very late at night. Was that the sufficient probable cause to suspect some unlawful/dangerous activity was happening or about to happen requiring a strong command presence and show of force?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bottom line DireWolf, our Police in America have resorted to deadly force as their FIRST choice, rather then their LAST choice. Mills could have held a press conference by now, calming down some of the anger and frustration the public has been expressing. There are plenty of facts he could share with us…he has chosen to not take that action and that really bothers me. Besides their blasting so many bullets into that kid, and into the house where children were, the mother of Nikki was in the house also….Shame on them for their reckless choice in handling a situation, that may have very well been de-escalated with some human compassion. I will tell you, if I saw my cousin shot dead in my front yard, I too would have rushed out with tears and screams….did they even attempt to calm this person? HELL NO! They TAZED him into submission, then took him to jail. Do they think they are fighting ISIS? I am ashamed of my Police force today..and very angry at their heartless manner in how they dealt with McClain and his family.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This rag as you call it is apparently worthwhile enough to you to read and comment on. My money says if this incident went down in a nicer neighborhood things would be different. Mills silence on this is very much unlike the incident with Father Freed. He doesn’t have the jail or the HCSO to throw under the bus. Have I mentioned Mills, the cheif of EPD lives in Arcata?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Very well put Johnny. This would have never happen if Garr was still Chief.

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  8. Ummm, there were shootings while Garr was Chief, acJones.

    Purdy doggone sure that if a weapon is drawn on a cop, said cop is gonna shoot.

    “NEVER” happen under Garr? That’s just laughable. Check the records, and get back to me.

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  9. Pretty sure the kid they shot in his closet was while Garr was chief; oh, he was brandishing a firearm, just like this kid.

    Like

  10. David Sequoia, thats the one I was thinking of – happened under Garr’s watch – and you are the ones saying this would “NEVER” happen under Garr. Well, it did. More than once.

    Like

    • Apples and Oranges. The police were called to a report of a shooting. The got on scene, and Sequioa was holding a gun fighting with a resident of a house. The police tried to disarm him with their hands, but he kept a hold of the gun and pointed it at an officers face at point blank range. Then he was shot by both officers. Those officers saved the life of a citizen, who was very grateful for their help when he spoke to the media.

      In that case, there was a first hand eyewitness who told the same story. Mr. Sequioa was a gang member, had been through trial for murder already, and was in general a very dangerous character. Chief Nielsen released information immediately, including the officers names and photo’s. He was very open about the circumstances involved in the shooting, unlike Mills.

      If your point is that deadly force will occasionally be used by police, I think everyone gets that. The difference is the tactics. There were multiple times that armed people were encountered by police under Garr’s tenor. His approach was to contain the situation, call in for additional resources, and attempt to communicate with the suspects in order to have a resolution that didn’t involve anyone dying.

      Liked by 1 person

    • More than once? Who else was shot and killed by police under Garr’s tenor??????

      I call BS!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well Yeti, you finally got one:

      http://www.times-standard.com/ci_14707356

      But the statement (from along came Jones) you are on about was that an incident like the one at Allard Avenue would not happen under Garr Nelson.

      Personally, I don’t know if that statement would be true but there is so far (pending the reveal of a lot of withheld information) no indication that the David Sequoia incident was anything like the Allard Avenue incident.

      Give the above link a read and decide for yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

    • thanks MOLA42; here’s part of what the TS story says, clearly vastly different event from the shooting without warning of Thomas McClain.

      On Thursday, Summer Street resident Kris Coon said he heard rustling in the carport of his home, and found a white man in his early 20s carrying a backpack. Coon said the man pushed him, and Coon wrestled him to the ground, then realized the man had a handgun in his belt. His wife had called 911, and police arrived quickly, Coon said.
      The man refused to comply with officers’ orders to give up the gun, Coon said, and an officer shot the man in the head.
      ”They gave him every chance in the world to comply,” Coon said.
      At a press conference Thursday, Nielsen said that an armed man, later identified as Sequoia, pointed a gun at the officers and refused to drop the weapon.

      (Note: Chief Nielsen held a press conference immediately)

      Liked by 3 people

  11. I want to thank the citizens of Humboldt and other communities that have supported the inature of this tragic event we love tommy and will always miss him that will never change. but the facts are the people that are sworn to protect usthey act like they have an open invitation to bully us and even instigate a situation to try to justify their actions when they shoot to kill this is not right

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree with you, there are other witness that weren’t even brought up, the police don’t have to cover it up, because they never wright it down. Good going investigators

      Like

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