Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Sage words from the mayor

As quoted by the Times-Standard.

We don't need this right now,” LaVallee said. “I think we're still reeling from the Cheri Moore thing."

No kidding. And we're probably just getting warmed up.

Now that the information is out people seem to have calmed down. The real problem is when some irresponsible people jump the gun making all kind of inflamatory statements with just mininal information.

But I do wonder about the Mayor. Does he think you can plan or space out these incidents? The police, the community never NEED this kind of situation. They just happen.
LaVallee is taking advantage of this for his own political reasons, and for that he should take a long hard look at himself.
Not all of the information is out. EPD Chief Douglas repeatedly said at yesterday's press conference that he was only giving the facts as he understood them at that time. He said it was "preliminary data."
Lavalle sounded like bad. Like he is grasping for straws and exploiting this. Shame on him.
LaVallee is taking advantage of this for his own political reasons, and for that he should take a long hard look at himself.

It sounded like a generic mayoral "let's stay calm" talk to me - which is pretty much a requirement. How is he exploiting it?
And if he did nothing what would you say?

11:14 is exploiting it for political purposes. Obviously a Bass supporter or campaign manager.
Whoa 11:40, obviously you don't know shit from shinola.

I believe he is exploiting it for political purposes and I don't support any of the candidates for Eureka mayor because I live 30 miles away from Eureka.

But I can smell bad politics anywhere in the county.
Oh and I do not have anything to do with anyones campaign anywhere.
At least LaVallee has been consistent in his support for police review long before this tragedy. Bass wants a committee of retired cops to be the "independent" review? Now that's a joke.
Well, they shouldn't constitute the majority obviously, but some police experience to consult wouldn't be a bad idea.
3:29 Since when?

4:47 Arnie Milsap (retired EPD) was quite valuable to the ad hoc committee.
I had a bunch of teenagers in my house today (4) 17-19 years old. My son, one of the 19 yr olds reads the paper and thinks independently-asks questions as a rule. We discussed what happened Monday right after we heard about it-I said at the time there is more to this story...

His two younger friends were here today, saw the paper open and said something I didn't agree with-so a discussion ensued.

The gist of my post is this-I use my parental authority and influence to educate not only my kids, but the ones I have access to. I ask them to think, get their news froma variety of sources, ask questions and don't make up their miinds until they have more to go on.

I argued that 3 probation officers aren't usually required to check on kids on probation. I asked them to think of reasons on their own for that to be the case Monday.

I said I'd read that probation officers don't carry weapons, just Mace and that it didn't work when the probations officers used it on the suspect-twice.

I said the paper stated there are other witnesses that have no connection to the suspect or the officers involved.

I asked them to read the articles in both papers and wait for a toxicology test to come back to say whether this 16 yr old, 180 lb kid was on anything at the time.

Something that might have impaired his judgement and caused him to be aggressive with the probation officers-made him run wen they asked him to stop.

The parent in me asked them to think about all these things and if they are ever, hopefully never, in a similar situation-I asked them to do whatever the officer tells them to do-STOP! DROP IT! These are not orders to disobey-not because this is a police state or cops are crooked-if you teach your kids that you could be risking their lives!

Be responsible and teach your kids that authority isn't a bad thing-they may respect you more if you care to protect them.
Just another reason to vote for Virginia Bass. LaVallee's actions were shameful, trying to grab some press off a tragic incident.
And what would you have said if LaVallee did nothing?

Must be Virginia's campaign manager to take a dirty poke like that.
The point is to have independent police review, no current or former cops. Bass just wants some servile pathetic little lapdog to agree with whatever the chief says.
Yeah, it's a dumb argument, sorry. No way could the mayor not say something in a small city like Eureka where there has already been a questionable police killing incident. He had to say something, and he kept it to a minimum.
I have no connection with V. Bass other than she has my vote. But I wouldn't have thought anything good or bad had the mayor said nothing on this incident. In my view the proper thing would be to wait for all the information was in and then ask the chief and the lead investigator to give a brief or an update/overview. Despite your comments, LaVallee was being political.

An "independant police review" without any cops or former cops? Kind of like a medical review board with no doctors or retired doctors on the board ?
Peter LaVallee is a former teacher and director of Youth Services Bureau. His history is working with troubled youth.
heraldo - so then the system let Christopher Burgess down?

WHo was this "system"?
12:32 - Well, I disagree. The mayor has to show some leadership and at least attempt to provide some reassurance in a moment like this. That's the nature of the job.
No Eric the Mayor should not jump in, without all the facts, for a sound bite two weeks before election. To me it shows his real concern is getting re-elected.
He didn't make any representations about the facts. He was just trying to calm people down and assure people about public process. If he'd remained silent, he might not have drawn criticism from you, but he would have drawn criticism from many others on all sides of the issues - including his opponents.
heraldo - so then the system let Christopher Burgess down?

I didn't say anything about the system, and I don't have all the facts. But I would wager a guess that the system did let Chris Burgess down, as it has let so many other families down.
Whatever the "System" is. Most folks that complain about "the system" are the ones that want or try to get every penny or service that they can out of the "system".

Maybe the "system" did let Burgess down. From what I read, from the press release and from his mom, he's been in trouble since he was 10. So he was in the "system". IT seems as if mommy is blaming everyone but herself. BUT she is johnny on the spot when she smells money! "the System" can't take the place of responsible parents. The system can't raise everybodys kids, or even the kids of drug addicts, violent or neglectful parents. The real tragedy is that there are too many lousy parents that don't provide the care for their kids that they should.

Burgess did seem to have some care from the system; probation, incarceration, multiple foster homes. The "system" can't do everything. So Heraldo exactly how did the system fail Burgess?

Since Burgess is a juvenile, under 18, most of his crimnal record will not come out. But with his probation status and his arrest warrant it's for sure this was not his first contact with the cops. And the deal with the big knife!! I'd bet it's not his first violent act.

Time will tell if Burgess was just a victim of the "system" or a bad seed. One thing for sure, Mom is planning on making some money over the whole thing.
I would say his family let him down. the system was not responsible for him, his mother was and evidently didn't exercise that responsibility for him or his siblings.
So Heraldo exactly how did the system fail Burgess?

As I said, I don't have all the facts. Perhaps you were confused by the sheer length of my comment.

the system was not responsible for him

The system removed him from his mother's custody, which would make them somewhat responsible.
Yes Heraldo but why did the "system" remove him? And his brother? There is something there, but with confidentiality rules/laws we may never know. Bottom line the mom is not a sweet hardworking mom. But now she's got a lawyer she's going to be the best mummy ever.
Why is it necessary to attack a grieving family in all of this? So they weren't Ozzy and Harriet. Doesn't mean she didn't love her son.
Maybe because the family is personally attacking an officer? The officer was answering his assignment he didn't seek out Burgess. The officer and his family are victims in this too. Of course you, Eric, and many other Blogsers don't care. It's a chance to attack EPD for the Moore shooting, and for just being cops. There have been vieled threats against Officer Liles, all kinds of rottten comments. What do you expect. Mommy Dearest has already gone for an attorney to sue. Yes she is grieving and I'm sure she loved he son, but she is one of the few that knows the real history of Burgess. She knows about his crime history and why he is in a succession of foster homes. But she seeks out the press to villify the officer, the police department, and the system. It's everybody's fault but hers. I would have more sympathy for her if she did her grieving in private, at least during the initial fact finding stages.
She's grieving. She's entitled to vent. The bloggers to whom you refer have no such excuse, and you have every right to go after them. But leave her alone for now. You can attack her later.
Is she entitled to vent? Not exactly just venting. The cops can't vent because they have to be professional and above board. But I can. If the grieving mom can have her opinion, make false statements to the press, hold a protest in public calling the cop a murderer I can point out she is very poor excuse for a mother. I don't want to beat this to death but the 16 year old was "in and out of juvenile hall" since he was 10, in three seperate Foster Care homes while mommy lives just a few blocks away ? Of course she and others blame it on the SYSTEM. She needs to shoulder a good portion of that blame. Just like that other mommy at the protest blaming the SYSTEM for her kid killing a cow and a person for shits and grins. Those two murderers were only "children" too.
It can wait a few days. The cops didn't lose a child, and they know they're going to take public criticism when they sign up. It's in the nature of the work.

There's no hurry. She's not running for office. And no discipline hearing will be taken against the officer anytime soon. The probably inevitable inquest is months off. We don't even have a final police report yet.

I've represented parents of lost children, and I'm convinced it's just about the worst hit you can take in life. If anything happens to one of my kids, I'll probably end up in the looney bin. They parents sometimes lash out because they're in pain. A month or two later, they move on. If they don't, they become fair game in any fight they start. We're not at that point yet, and we're dealing with fresh wounds.

Also, if she reads comments like this here and elsewhere, it may galvanize her stance in defiance. You might not be doing the EPD nor the officer any favors.
This woman is galvanized. She barely went 24 hours looking for an attorney. She wants money.

This woman is not like your wife or my mother. Could you visualize any circumstnace that would require the government taking your kids from you, while you;re above ground?
Well, if I fell victim to drugs. Mental illness. Severe depression. I mean, I don't think it's going to happen, but it does happen and just because it does, it does not follow that you've lost all value as a human being or that you don't love your children.

She screwed up. It's not easy to put all the pieces back together once they fall apart. I'd like to hear something about her efforts in that regard, and not just her failures.
3:49,most people can't visualize living in poverty.That's why it's effects are so ignored.
Well Eric, I'll bet she doesn't work, hasn't worked for some time. Lives off the Government.
You no wouk for minimum wage? you no good citizen. Yoo loosa. Must get shot by cops.
6:13,that's what happens when you rely on chain stores and big boxes to sustain your economy and job base.They drive jobs out of the community,and deprive the community of necessary resources to be a functioning city.
heraldo: "The system removed him from his mother's custody, which would make them somewhat responsible. 11:08 AM"

What ever happened to parents being responsible for raising their children?

I'm reading over on Fred's blog about his neighbors not being responsible for their animals.
We're talking about human beings here, your children.

Ms. Burgess didn't give up (or have them taken away by Social Services) one, but both of her children. You have to screw up pretty damn bad to have both kids taken away from you.

Christopher's body isn't even cold yet and mom has already hired an attorney. Nice.
She's got my vote for "mother-of-the-year".

Why haven't we heard more about mom's criminal past?

Why haven't we heard from the Humboldt County Probation Department officers (were there 2 or 3 officers at the house) who served the warrant?

What were the Probation officers names?

What’s their story, were these Probation officers attacked by Christopher with his 10" knife at the house?

Why did the Probation officers respond with pepper spray at the house?

If the Probation officers pepper sprayed all of the teenagers at the house, why didn’t any of the other teenagers go to the hospital to have their eyes treated?

What was the probation warrant for that the officers were trying to serve?

Come on T-S and E/R -- do we have to wait for Hank Sims and the North Coast Journal to do another investigating exposure story while you guys sleep on the job?

Where's the local press when you need them?
mresquan 7:16 PM, "that's what happens when you rely on chain stores and big boxes to sustain your economy and job base.They drive jobs out of the community,and deprive the community of necessary resources to be a functioning city."

One: You're an idiot. Go ask the employees of Costco about their pay and benefits.

Two: Congratulations, your spelling and grammar ranks right up there with Droz.
Well Eric, I'll bet she doesn't work, hasn't worked for some time. Lives off the Government.

I wouldn't know. Why is that relevant?
Why haven't we heard more about mom's criminal past?

Because the local media has a basic sense of decency? There'll be plenty of time for all that. Give it a rest.
Why haven't we heard from the Humboldt County Probation Department officers (were there 2 or 3 officers at the house) who served the warrant?

What were the Probation officers names?

What’s their story, were these Probation officers attacked by Christopher with his 10" knife at the house?

Why did the Probation officers respond with pepper spray at the house?

If the Probation officers pepper sprayed all of the teenagers at the house, why didn’t any of the other teenagers go to the hospital to have their eyes treated?

What was the probation warrant for that the officers were trying to serve?

These however are excellent questions, and I wonder why we don't know anything about that. I wonder why it wasn't discussed in the EPD press conference.
Eric you're back on the relevance. All very relevant.

And Eric good parents don't get their kids taken away from them. In fact (and you should know this) you have to be really really messed up for the G. to step in and take your kids in HC ! REALLY messed up. Remember this is where the mental health folks send you away to commit suicide at home.
We know the kid was a livewire. That's not in dispute. The question is whether he was handled right.
Livewire ? Are you talking about Burgess? Livewire? jesus Eric the "kid" is a violent criminal ! If you think different you are either stupid or in denial! Are you stupid Eric ? Would his actions be OK if he was 18 ? 33?

This "kid" was no saint, his mother is a white trash crappy parent. I know you're going to say something like, leave the family alone they're grieving. Tough shit, others are grieving too. Do you really expect the cops to just let him go after what he did? Cops are paid (and expected) to go after, confront, and arrest criminals. I'm tired of you and others trying to blame the cop and the EPD. Put the blame where it belongs on Burgess and his doting mother !
12:51 - that post doesn't even make sense, even if you exclude the strawmen.
Yes it does Eric ! Did you drink your lunch ?

You didn't answer the question Eric ? Are you stupid ? Or what ?
Which question? You've got like 500 question marks in that post.
I counted four. You must be stupid ! Either that or you're dancing.
Well, I rounded up.

Fact is, in your discomfort with your own position, you're obsessed with the framing. When I said he was a livewire, I was conceding that he had violent tendencies. So by saying he isn't a livewire, but rather he's a "violent criminal," you're showing yourself to be more obsessed with stigmatizing terminology than substance. It doesn't mean anything.

If the question you're referring to is the one where I'm supposed to answer whether his behavior would be "okay" as a 30-year-old, well, it's another strawman because his behavior wasn't "okay" as a 16-year-old. What we apparently had was a kid who had no self-restraint and acted on pure impulse. Whether it was a conscious choice, or an involuntary response due to his mental illness, I can't say. But the fact that his behavior was extreme in the human realm of experience, and that he was a danger to the public are not in serious dispute.

So having established that, we as the public in a quasi-democracy, have to make our own determinations as to whether the probation officers and the deputy who killed the young man acted professionally, judiciously, and properly. It might not seem fair that somebody just trying to do his job should be under such scrutiny, but he is given great power and responsibility. It's part of the job. And if they or he acted improperly, injudiciously, and/or unprofessionally, we need to know that. And like it or not, there are a lot of questions that have yet to be addressed. And it's happening in the context of an extremely polarized community aggravated by the proximity of an election. But that's the way it is.

So you can go on trying to frame the discussion by attacking the young man and his family, but it won't affect the substance of the inquiry.
You rounded up ? From 4 to 500 !

Oh Eric, you elitist smug chump, using those big 75 cent words to sound soooo inteligent, and to spin away from the point at hand. Are there any more hidden "strawmen". Such a big ego for a small, small man!
What was mayor LeVallee doing having a press conference with Gallegos anyway? That is just wrong! It is not the mayors job to be meeting or "negotiating" with the DA. LaValle's conduct is certainly suspicous and definately outside of his listed duties. Check the city charter. You could complain to the city attorney but if she does anything she'll be fired, that is if LaVallee, Glass, Abrams, and Kuhnel win.

LaVallee not only demostrates that he is in bed with Gallegos (which means Salzman, Miller, et al) but that he is using the shooting death of Brugess to try and get the edge in the election. I hope it backfires on him.

What is this, collusion or corruption?
It is not the mayors job to be meeting or "negotiating" with the DA.

Don't know about "negotiating" but it is certainly the mayor's job to meet with the DA when an issue comes up of importance to both the city and law enforcement.
No Eric it is not. Did you, or have you, read the City Charter?

The mayor is campaigning on the death of young Burgess. The mayor is politically alligned with Gallegos' ........... let's just say associates. The mayor acted inapropriately and it was documented in both papers. Opps.
The city charter does not prohibit taking leadership to calm and ensure during a time of crisis. If not the mayor, whom?
Oh bite me Eric. You're talking out your backside again.

Maybe the Mayor can join Margie after the meeting tonight for some warm malted beverage and a smoke?
Is the city in Crisis ?
I believe so. I mean, not like Katrina or anything. But there is certainly a great deal of anxiety about the recent police killings, from all sides. And I think a forum to vent is precisely what the doctor should order.

Okay, bad choice of metaphors.
The city is NOT in crisis.

On the other hand, lots of local folks ARE whipping themselves into a froth.
Yes but I think it's a small group of people like the lovely mother and all her nice friends. Then there are those that just hate cops. They are vocal to the paper, at these protests, and on the blogs because they are bums and don't work.
Actually, it's a fairly large group who are questioning the EPD account of the incident. I'm finding myself in the position of almost defending the officer in some discussions. I'm hearing "why didn't he shoot him in the leg?" and "why did he go down after him alone?"

Monday morning quarterbacking to be sure, but the police haven't been candid with all of the details, such as what was he on probation for? What were the probation officers doing there? What set him off?
Well let me put on my Carnack hat!

Q. What was he on probation for?

A. Violence, drugs, or theft.

Q. What were the probation
officers doing there?

A. They were there to arrest him on an oustanding arrest warrant. Just like the cops said from day one you moron!

Q. What set him off?

A. Not wanting to be locked up, AGAIN. Maybe he had a big bag of crystal meth in his pocket and wanted a chance to dump it. Not that it matters. What set him off was he didn't want to get arrested, it's pretty obvious.

And BS Eric, those issues were addressed right from the git go and you've been keeping up to date and you know it.

And for shooting in the leg! What kind of retard would ask that question? What happened to think first and ask questions later? Oh yes the thinking part got in the way. Standard police training AND policy DOES NOT allow for shooting at arms or legs. I'll keep this simple since I'm writing to Eric. Almost all law enforcement shooting policies limit deadly force to a. protect yourself from serious injury or death. b. to protect someone else from serious injury or death. c. or some verbage to take a really bad guy that is fleeing .... as in a bank robber (or any violent suspect) has just shot a policeman, a teller, and a customer and is fleeing. The officer can shoot him in the back as he runs away cause the suspect is sooo bad that it is likely he will kill the next officer or citizen that gets in his way as he has nothing to lose. Some kid who takes foot bail from a stolen car doesn't count. The penal code allows officers to basically shoot fleeing felons (as in the juvenile car thief)but department policies are much more restrictive so the officers are held to a higher standard than the penal code.

Before I go any further; Liles was a firearms instructor (that means he's most likely a better than average shot). Liles fired three times at a distance of 5-7 feet, he hit once in the chest, once in the hip and one miss! So you think with adrenalin pumping through his system and shooting at a moving target he'll be a better shot!? Not in the real world. This isn't Magnum PI or Starsky and Hutch. Police are trained to shot Center Mass, as in the upper abdomen to chest. The best pistol shot on the range does not make the same shot in the field. There are other factors; fear, weather, lighting, location.

Fear (adrenalin pumping through the body) causes several things to happen. The pupils constrict, hearing shuts down, and blood vessels constrict to keep most of the bodies blood in and around the heart. There's a little more to it but that's the basics. Not my opinion but fact, a little Google would bear this out. This goes back to the fight or flight stuff. When fear kicks in the body adjusts to protect you. To make it a little more basic, if you are really scared you seem to be able to run faster and further.

As to why did he go after the criminal alone. He's a cop, that's his job, that's what cops do. Especially in Eureka. The department is too small to begin with and they are always understaffed. Most rational citizens would be amazed at what these cops do by themselves. Amazed because a normal person wouldn't do it, not trained, not their job. Police chase criminals. That's what they are supposed to do. That's why he chased after the suspect, pretty simple it was his job. What baffles me is the whole hate / rage towards the officer and the EPD. As a citizen, a parent, a taxpayer, a property owner you should be tickled pink that your police department has guys and gals that will put themselves in danger (physical, mental, & financial) to protect you.

Right from the git go this was a clean shooting with just the minimal information. Being 16 is sad but you walk thru it and what can you expect .... on probation, arrest warrant, assaults the probation officers, flees, comes at a uniformed cop with a large knife to a distance of less than wht 7 feet. Yup it's sad that his life was screwed up from 10 years old or before, sad because he lived in foster homes, lots of sadness. But he's 16, almost an adult, as big as an adult, and even with a crappy mom and family life he knew the difference between right and wrong. This is life, you're not in Kansas any more Toto. Things like this happen all over the US, and the world.

Maybe Eric and his friends could have a little empathy for the officer and his family. The officer is getting beat up in the papers, with these lovely protests, the mayor of the city he works for has a special city council session so any cop hater in the area can have a public spot to call him names and question his integrity. I know this, the officer is feeling pain, real pain. He can't sleep, he's worried for his family, his stress level is at an all time high, and what he see's are the Margie Burgess and the meth for lunch bunch having free reign at his expense. And there is speculation or rumor that your good pal Paul Gallegos is chomping at the bit to have another go at EPD. So I'm sure Officer Liles and family just had a ginger peachy weekend.

Well Eric, will you share any of this with your friends who are "questioning" the EPD account of the incident or are you and yours just going to continue to make up, dream up, fabricate your own account to satisfy whatever agenda you have going.

Have as good an evening as you deserve Eric.
Peter LaVallee does not deseve anyones vote for mayor.
Mayor Peter LaVallee did Eureka proud today. He ran the two-hour meeting at City Hall in a fair and skillful way. The way he conducted the meeting ensured a successful outcome.

Everyone who wanted to address the Council was able to do it. In spite of the strong emotions of the people in the standing room only crowd, I did not see EVEN ONE incident of violence or verbal abuse.

Not just any Mayor could have done such a good job under such difficult circumstances.

Thank you, Peter!
Maybe you didn't see any instance of violence because the police were there? Or that the meeting was videoed?

What good did the meeting do? Gave the mayor so good FREE media attention a week before the election. Did it really do any good? What was the purpose?

LaVallee used, and has been using, very poor judgement. He does not deserve your vote.
Yeah, or maybe it's just because the people who attended aren't violent.
What? No response from Eric ? Typical.
I guess that's possible Eric.
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