Although the case is over, and the city has been found negligent in the killing of Tommy McClain, many questions still remain unanswered. For instance, why was every single officer on scene the night of the killing promoted to a higher rank or specialty position? Since the jury found negligence, and the “Civilian Advisory Committee” found no fault on the part of the officers, will policies within Eureka really be changed? Will Captain Stephens, who lied repeatedly throughout this case, ever be held to answer for his responsibility in this killing?
Here at the Examiner we have mixed feelings about what has just transpired over the last week in the federal courthouse in McKinleyville. On one hand, we’re pleased and feel a sense of vindication that the City of Eureka – Eureka Police Department was found negligent in the death of Tommy McClain. On the other hand it leaves so many questions unanswered
Like: Where did they find the unloaded BB pistol? (The next day in a dresser in Tommy’s room?) Why did they really choose to confront Tommy in the first place (since the person that Tommy supposedly confronted claims they never spoke)? What about the red paint on the BB pistol that Mills claimed was blood? And the list could go on and on.
Although it’s good that the Jury found in the McClain families favor, we don’t think this verdict will really change the way EPD does business. Without real changes internally, including getting rid of the bad apples like Captain Stephens and Training Officer Linfoot, more innocent civilians will be killed by EPD. In this case it was Justice for Tommy McClain, but in the future it could be Justice for….well…..you or your family member.