Tonight’s Eureka City Council meeting seems like a routine type of affair. However, two agenda items are way too important to be voted upon during the general consent calendar. Item #3 and Item #5 are regarding the claims from the McClain family for the wrongful death of Tommy McClain.
Before the previous council changed the rules any member of the public could step up to podium during public comment time and request an item be pulled from the consent calendar for discussion. However, now the rule is “All matters listed under this category are considered to be routine by the City Council and will be enacted by one motion. Pursuant to City Council Resolution 2011-22, if a member of the public would like an item on the Consent Calendar pulled and discussed separately, the request shall be made to a Councilmember prior to the meeting. Unless a specific request is made by a Councilmember, the Consent Calendar will not be read. There will be no separate discussion of these items.”
Apparently, City Staff consider the claims against the City for the killing of Tommy McClain to be “routine”. We don’t. The Examiner on behalf of our many readers is asking one of our “progressive majority” council members to pull items #3 and #5 be pulled for discussion.
We understand that REMIF and your City Attorney will insist that you reject the claims out of hand. We also understand that the Council members may not wish to discuss these specific claims. However, that doesn’t mean that the Council should be totally silent. In fact, this is the perfect time for the Council Members to speak out to their constituents. It is time for a true Civilian Review Board in Eureka. Not some biased Chief Mills handpicked “advisory panel”, but a truly independent board with members appointed by the elected council. They should for the most part not be employed by local government or be relatives of government employees, but should represent a broad cross section of Eureka residents.
Now is the time to make it happen!
Update: from Linda Atkins = Items 3 and 5 are being pulled for public discussion.
Important reading for Council members from the recently released:
“Presidents task force on 21st century policing”
“Law enforcement agencies should have comprehensive policies on the use of force that include training, investigations, prosecutions, data collection, and information sharing. These policies must be clear, concise, and openly available for public inspection.”
“These policies should also mandate external and independent criminal investigations in cases of police use of force resulting in death, officer-involved shootings resulting in injury or death, or in-custody deaths.”
“Policies on use of force should also require agencies to collect, maintain, and report data to the Federal Government on all officer-involved shootings, whether fatal or nonfatal, as well as any in-custody death.”
“Some form of civilian oversight of law enforcement is important in order to strengthen trust with the community. Every community should define the appropriate form and structure of civilian oversight to meet the needs of that community.”
“Citizen Review is not an advocate for the community or for the police. This impartiality allows oversight to bring stakeholders together to work collaboratively and proactively to help make policing more effective and responsive to the community. Civilian oversight alone is not sufficient to gain legitimacy; without it, however, it is difficult, if not impossible, for the police to maintain the public’s trust.”