This week’s swearing in ceremony was pulled off without a hitch. The Wharfinger was packed. It was a full house alright. It was full by direct order of the Chief of Police.
Except for the 3 Justice for Tommy McClain folks standing vigil, there was nothing to stop the outpouring of self congratulations from Chief Mills about his department.
Blogger John Chiv said in complete disrespect to the grieving family members of Tommy, “They have chosen to air their grievances on blogs. Did they ever approach the Chief first? This was not the time and place to protest, much less express grief.” (Wrong Chiv, that was the exact place, after getting fed mostly lies by Andy Mills.)
Well, while the “surrogates” of Mills pontificated on who was “leaking” information to the Examiner (its so much worse than they think), and while the local media was reporting on the lack of a huge protest, they missed three of the important stories that came out of the “Awards ceremony”:
1) Gary Whitmer was given a Medal of Valor for the shooting death of Gabriel Cuevas-Maldonado in 2005. 9 years later, he’s given his award…….???????
2) Michael Stelzig Jr. wasn’t at the ceremony. All light duty officers were there. Officer Linfoot (the shooter) was there, in full uniform and carrying a gun. Where was Michael Stelzig Jr.?
3) The Times-Standard reported, “Mills said he has spoken with McClain’s mother throughout the investigation.” The Examiner actually has been in regular contact with Tommy’s family, and according to them Chief Mills only spoke to Tommy’s mother once and the conversation was very brief. Did the Times-Standard misquote Mills, or was Mills untruthful?
To be clear, we don’t have any quibble with the promotions of Watson to Captain and Whitmer or Braud to Sergeant. As far as we can tell they have done a good job over the years and deserve the recognition. Our beef is with Stephens being made Captain. This can only be interpreted as a reward for being incompetent and a reckless cowboy.
We have to honor the bravery of the Justice for Tommy McClain women for having the guts to show up to the ceremony and show their posters. Seeing a family member killed by the Eureka Police Department, and showing up to face all the cops at EPD without a huge crowd of supporters was heroic. We can only hope that the family can now see that the only justice they will find, will be from suing the City of Eureka as the Borges family has done.
Thank you Jamie Bowman and Nikki Mottern, for having the guts to face 40+ armed men and asking for justice to be served.