Home > Uncategorized > Humboldt Trials and Tribulations

Humboldt Trials and Tribulations

In May 1973, Rolling Stone featured a story about Humboldt County. The relevance of that article to those of us today who participate in regular discussion about current events is obvious. Unfortunately, the article is not on-line.

Humboldt County in the early 70’s was a raucous place. The cultural war on “back-to-the-land” newcomers was like a squawking newborn sucking its first few breaths. It was a time of police shootings, a failed recall attempt, and plump bags bearing letters to the editor while helicopters swirled overhead. Local police hated the District Attorney, and emotions on both sides ran high.

It was a time a lot like now.

The recall campaign targeted Justice of the Peace Charles Thomas, who was accused of being (I kid you not) “soft on hippies.” He was taunted by sheriffs’ deputies as the “Just-Ass of the Peace,” and the campaign operated out of the Garberville Sheriffs substation. The recall failed, but the cultural divide deepened.

The Rolling Stone article is built around a man named Dirk Dickenson who in early 1972 was shot in the back as he ran unarmed from agents who descended on his property on Pratt Mountain from a Huey helicopter. The raid was based on faulty information by deputy sheriff Mel Ames, who claimed he spotted a million-dollar meth lab on Dickenson’s property during an aerial surveillance.

Humboldt County law enforcement’s bias against newcomers tainted officers’ judgment and botched their investigations. Before the raid, Undersheriff Bob Bollman boasted to then-managing editor of the Times-Standard, Dan Walters that the biggest narcotics bust in Humboldt County history was about to go down. Bollman ordered Walters to assign reporters to the bust and insisted they bring cameras. Walters was quoted as saying that “[i]f it wouldn’t have been for Undersheriff Bollman’s ego, chances are the world never would have found out about Dirk Dickenson. Chances are things might have been tidied up.”

The reporters, however, were about as savvy as the cops. They made an extremely unprofessional agreement to limit questioning at the scene to Undersheriff Bollman and Federal Narcotics agent Kenny Krusco. But they were witnesses none the less, and what they saw was chilling. T-S reporter Richard Harris scribbled a sentence in his notebook: “Looks like an assault on an enemy prison camp in Vietnam.”

Dirk Dickenson and his girlfriend Judy Arnold didn’t fear the Huey helicopter and waved back at the plainclothes agents’ seemingly friendly greeting. But when they saw the guns in the hands of unidentified men who kicked down the front door without warning, Dickenson hopped off his back porch and ran for the woods.

The single bullet entered Dickenson’s back just above his waist and beside his spine, and exited from the lower groin. The “million dollar meth lab” was no where to be found. News of Dickenson’s death hit the airwaves before his mother was notified.

The man who pulled the trigger was Lloyd Clifton, an agent with the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD). Clifton had a history of unnecessarily beating people during his time with the Berkeley police. One beating occurred after Clifton pulled over a man for a traffic violation. The man, Clifton said, “smirked at me,” so Clifton beat him with his baton.

Humboldt County District Attorney Bill Ferroggiaro, announced he would take no action until the investigation was complete. And actually, there would be two investigations – one by the US Dept. of Justice and one by the Humboldt County DA’s office.

The Federal investigation began a few weeks after the shooting. US attorney James K. Browning, Jr. announced investigators had “an open mind.” But he added, apparently without fear of appearing biased, that he suspected the shooting would “fall into the category of justifiable homicide.”

At the time, no federal narcotics agent anywhere in the US had ever been charged with violating the constitutional rights of a suspect.

The policy manual of the BNDD stated that “[t]he agent should not shoot at any persons except to protect his own life or that of some other person. The agent will not fire at fleeing automobiles, suspects or defendants.” The manual, it would seem, forbid the very action taken by Lloyd Clifton.

Not surprisingly, the investigation by the DOJ concluded Clifton had not violated Dickenson’s rights by shooting him in the back. The pressure was now on DA Ferroggiaro, who was already under fire for failing to bring charges or win convictions stemming from a string of other violent incidences. One of those incidences involved Patrick Berti, a lifelong resident of Ferndale, who suffered a fatal police shot to the chest for holding a marijuana branch.

The branch was from one of two four-foot plants that were growing in the banks of the Eel River near Ferndale. The plants were the subject of a week-long stakeout by an “ambitious” sheriff’s deputy, Mel Ames, the same man who spotted the mysterious million-dollar meth lab. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, Ames was enjoying the weekend off while deputy Larry Lema watched the plants. Lema and Berti were “life-long acquaintances,” but Lema said he mistook the branch for a gun. Berti reportedly saw Lema lean over him and said “Christ, Larry, you’ve shot me,” and died.

In another crazy incident, CHP officer Robert Hahn pulled out his gun to chase a man whose crime was abandoning his motorcycle on the side of 101 near HSU and running through the brush. Upon catching up to the man, Hahn ordered him to stop. William Smith, a 38 year-old employee of Simpson Lumber Company and father of five, stopped and faced the officer, who shot Smith between the eyes with a .38 Special revolver. Officer Hahn fled the scene, and days later was assigned to work on the investigation. Four days after beginning work on the investigation, Hahn confessed to the killing. The DA called it an “accident” and said Hahn was “negligent.” Hahn was charged with the minimal crime of involuntary manslaughter, but beat the rap.

After a Humboldt County Grand Jury reviewed the case of Dirk Dickenson, Lloyd Clifton “became the first agent in the five-year history of the government Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to face homicide charges.” He also became the first person in Humboldt County history to forego booking into the Humboldt County jail following an indictment for murder.

Clifton was defended in court by James McKittrick, the same lawyer who beat the charges against Officer Hahn. The case ended up in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and in 1977 the Appellate Court sided with Clifton. (Clifton v. Cox, 549 F.2d 722). The outcome has been cited in many other cases against officers as an example of how far an officer can go and still receive “immunity.”

The above only scratches the surface of this story. It is strongly recommended that anyone interested in today’s turmoil get a copy of the Rolling Stone article. A look back is prudent (and fascinating) as we struggle to move forward after the tumultuous events of 2006.

  1. Anonymous
    December 18, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    You do not need to be packing a bread knife or a flare gun to be shot by a cop.

  2. Anonymous
    December 18, 2006 at 7:40 pm

    Is this why you hate police officers Heraldo? Oh wait, there’s more isn’t there, because you have only scratched the surface.

    If you want a real challenge, start detailing the horrible acts perpetrated by criminals against the public, property owners and even law enforcement personnel. That will keep you going for the rest of your life and you will truly have only scratched the surface.

  3. Heraldo
    December 18, 2006 at 7:58 pm

    Oh dear, are we not supposed to talk about Humboldt County in 1973? Maybe someday we’ll be forbidden from discussing Cheri Moore, too.

  4. Anonymous
    December 18, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    6:40 Oh, thankyou for clearing that up for me. It is ok for cops to shoot kids and woman with emotional problems as long as they get around to busting a cap on some real criminals once in a while. Gawd, makes me want to send EPD a donation for bullit proof vests today.

  5. Fred
    December 18, 2006 at 9:19 pm

    “Undersheriff Bob Bollman boasted to then-managing editor of the Times-Standard, Dan Walters…”.

    And I believe that’s the very same Dan Walters that has a column in the Sacramento Bee today.

    ” Upon catching up to the man, Hahn ordered him to stop. William Smith, a 38 year-old employee of Simpson Lumber Company and father of five, stopped and faced the officer, who shot Smith between the eyes with a .38 Special revolver.”.

    I actually heard this story, in a slightly different version, when I was going through the Redwoods Police Academy. My memory might be faulty here but I think Murl Harpham was the one telling the story.

    The story he told was basically along the same lines: The motorcyclist ditched his bike and headed on foot up the side of a steep hill. The CHPer ran to the bottom of the hill, a bit nervous over the situation.

    The guy drops his motorcyle helmet and it tumbles down the hill. The CHPer pretty much panics, startled by the noise and motion of the helmet tumbling down the hill toward him.

    He fires, miraculously hitting the guy in the face.

    He’s freaked and drags the body out of sight. I don’t recall if he tried to cover it with dirt or anything.

    He heads back to the station and, sometime later, goes in and confesses to the Captain, or whomever.

  6. Anonymous
    December 18, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    HERALDO IS GOD

    Simply amazing. Heraldo if you can scan this story that would be great.

  7. Heraldo
    December 18, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    The guy drops his motorcyle helmet and it tumbles down the hill. The CHPer pretty much panics, startled by the noise and motion of the helmet tumbling down the hill toward him.

    That must have been part of the CHPers defense. The helmet (or whatever) hit him in the leg, which he took as an aggressive threat and then fired. Who knows. He confessed after several days on the investigation. He later sued to get his job back.

  8. Heraldo
    December 18, 2006 at 9:48 pm

    Heraldo if you can scan this story that would be great.

    I’m going to work on getting a better copy of the story than what I’ve got now. Give me a few days and I’ll see what I can do. You have to see the pictures and read all the details. It’s an amazing article.

  9. Anonymous
    December 18, 2006 at 10:30 pm

    This goes to show a long history of a small police community. I dont care if its EPD, APD, Sheriffs, even CHP. They all know each other, their is a history that each of the departments has. Thats why it is questionable to have the departments investigate each other. If you dont see that, than youre hopeless. Now, If only we had a competent DA who would submit a decision either way….

  10. Anonymous
    December 18, 2006 at 10:41 pm

    I hope Hank Sims and all those other quasi-journalos take a good look at what Heraldo has found here. Those people actually get paid to find this stuff and ask the hard questions. Our little Heraldo has blown you pr*cks outs of the water. Do your jobs! Ask the hard questions, and demand some damn answers.

  11. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 10:02 am

    Nowadays, cops don’t even have to make up a complicated story to justify their executions.

    A simple “I was ascared” will suffice.

    Funny… the “brave” men of law enforcement run around … “ascared” of their jobs….

    Maybe they should accept more suitable employment at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory or maybe delivering the arkley’s neoCON propaganda paper.

  12. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 10:09 am

    >I hope Hank Sims and all those other quasi-journalos take a good look at what Heraldo has found here.

    CAPTAIN BUHNE BEATS EVERYBODY TO EVERY STORY!!!!
    HE DOES!

    JUST TAKE A LOOK:

    “BREAKING: somebody did something”

    SEE?

    ;^)

    buhne tribune SUCKS!
    LONG LIVE HUMBOLDT HERALD!!!

  13. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 10:11 am

    DOES OFFICER LILES HAVE RELATIVES IN LOUISIANA???

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/12/18/nopd.shooting/

    Witness: New Orleans cops shot man in back as he ran away

    New Orleans police lined up “like at a firing range” and fatally shot an unarmed man in the back as he fled from them in the days after Hurricane Katrina swept ashore, a witness to the shooting told CNN.

  14. Heraldo
    December 19, 2006 at 10:59 am

    I like the Buhne Tribune, despite some obvious political differences.

  15. Greg
    December 19, 2006 at 11:10 am

    Heraldo – great post. Attaboy.

  16. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    Herlado, the responses yesterday from you and 6:59 reflect semi-hysterical tendencies. Seems to me the commenter was merely asking that you try looking at some of the violent behavior of criminals rather than obsessing all the time on instances of violent behavior among law enforcement. For a amateur accuser with lots of complaints but zero solutions, you have mighty thin skin.

  17. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    Everybody!: Go outside right now (Tuesday at 1:25 pm) and look at the sky!!!!!!

    THE GOVERNMENT IS LAYING CHEMTRAILS AS I TYPE!

    LOOK AT IT!

    Those bastards deserve to die.

  18. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    >Gawd, makes me want to send EPD a donation for bullit proof vests today.

    The useless EPD already got $30,000 for vests SPECIFICALLY.

    The pigs are COVERED! – SAFE against bullets…. against knives…. against flareguns.

    They aren’t in any danger… They just like to KILL.

    We ought to dump ’em off in Iraq since they think they are so freakin’ tough.

  19. Heraldo
    December 19, 2006 at 2:37 pm

    You’re right, 12:52. I’ve never mentioned violence by non-cops accept for here, here, here, here, and here.

  20. Heraldo
    December 19, 2006 at 3:25 pm

    I almost forgot this, this, and this.

  21. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 3:38 pm

    Very interesting Heraldo. How did you come about this?

  22. Heraldo
    December 19, 2006 at 3:40 pm

    I was lucky to have someone bring the article to my attention.

  23. Heraldo
    December 19, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    By the way, I just made a correction to the name of the Judge who the beat the recall. It was Charles Thomas, not William Thomas (the Rolling Stone article was in error). I added a link to the blurb in the North Coast Journal from when he died. You have to scroll down a little to the heading “FORMER COUNTY JUDGE DIES.”

  24. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    If you think EPD is messed up, the Sheriffs department has been ten times worse. The diffrence is that when the Sheriffs usually go somewhere their are no witnesses. Bollman looks to be the father of their incompetence, and a good example of it. The good news is that Philp is probably the only competent Sheriff this county has ever had. But the period of the seventies all the way to 2000 is not a model for law enforcement to look up to. The shockwaves of that 30+ year period still resonate on that agency and the atmosphere of the county to this day.

  25. Heraldo
    December 19, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    You have a point, 3:02. Pepper spray and all.

  26. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    Oh donuts, 12:52. Everyone knows about violent behavior of some criminals. What the discussion has been about for the past twenty four hours or more is violent behavior of some cops. You see? As for me being semi-hysterical, I would like to ask you a few questions. Are you an FBI field agent? Are you a cop? Are you a card carrying member of the John Birch Society? Have you ever used deadly force? Are eighty percent of the presants under your christmas tree made in China? Is it going to be chinese or coffee and donuts tonight?

  27. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    Very informative article. I was a teenager when all that happened. I then worked for “Let’em Lose Les” at the Fortuna Justice Court. What an experience!

  28. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    Very informative article. I was a teenager when all that happened. I then worked for “Let’em Lose Les” at the Fortuna Justice Court. What an experience!

  29. Eric V. Kirk
    December 19, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    This article is distributed widely in Sohum, and thank you for posting it Heraldo. I think I have a copy somewhere in my stacks of literature, but I’m sure it’s on microfilm at HSU. It’s an extremely well written article, not only for the article but also an excellent depiction of the culture clashes early on as the “back to the land” movement made its way to the northcoast.

    It also deepened my respect for Judge Bill Ferroggiaro, who was a great judge. Unfortunately I didn’t have very many cases before him prior to his untimely death.

  30. Eric V. Kirk
    December 19, 2006 at 7:34 pm

    It’s possible that CLMP has a copy of the article. I believe I got my copy from them, or somebody involved with them.

  31. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 7:56 pm

    Well Heraldo, you have revealed yourself to be a truly full of shit mangler of facts and the truth.

    The posts you site as examples of you not obsessing on cops and actually examining at “the violent behavior of criminals” can be summarized as follows:

    1. An anti-goverment rail that looks at rape and which focuses on the governments failure to do anything about it.

    2. An anti-American rail in which you say rape is as American as apple pie.

    3. An anti-government rail in which you examine 2 awful rapes but then questions whether we can trust the authorities to do anything about it.

    4. An anti-military post about the rape of a 15 year old Iraqi girl by US soldiers.

    5. An anti-Bush rail about kids and bullying.

    6. A post about the 146 year old Indian Island Massacre.

    7. Another post about the 160 year old Indian Island Massacre and Hank Larrabee.

    8. Another post about Hank Larrabee.

    You truly do hate cops.

  32. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    6:56 Your head is way up your ass. You generalize and stereotype. You may spend all the time in the world attempting to discredit Heraldo, but you simply cannot argue him on a case by case basis. You cant argue him on the facts, so you attempt to malign his character, as a person with a grudge against the police. Well, you are totally ineffective. Where is the hate in the issues Heraldo brings up? Is reporting the truth something a hateful person does? Maybe, just maybe your inimical comments help you hide your own distaste for what *some* in law enforcement do.

    By no means are all the police crooked, but they are not all saints either. They are human, subject to the same weaknesses and strengths. We as American patriots should all understand that power must be checked. Power must be watched and Heraldo is doing just that.

  33. Anonymous
    December 19, 2006 at 9:12 pm

    Shine a light on the abuse of power for all to see. Get involved in democracy. Don’t just vote and walk away, jump right in and join the fray. Rough and raucous we don’t mind. Meek and mighty may opine. Leave yer guns at the door. come on in.

  34. dumbo the patriot
    December 20, 2006 at 4:23 am

    4. An anti-military post about the rape of a 15 year old Iraqi girl by US soldiers.

    Golly gee, how unpaytriotic! We gotta suport our troops, no matter how many 15-year-old Iraqi girls they rape! Our troops are fighting for dumbocracy!!!!

  35. Anonymous
    December 20, 2006 at 8:00 am

    Everybody!: Go outside right now (Tuesday at 1:25 pm) and look at the sky!!!!!!
    THE GOVERNMENT IS LAYING CHEMTRAILS AS I TYPE!
    LOOK AT IT!
    Those bastards deserve to die.

    That makes me wonder — did anybody else here besides me feel a bit strange yesterday? I felt tired and unmotivated all day for no apparent reason. A friend told me she felt an inexplicable depression all day, and noticed many people around town (Arcata) acting sort of depressed and incommunicative, people who are usually not like that at all.

  36. Anonymous
    December 20, 2006 at 9:38 am

    Thhe sky was full of parallel chemtrails yesterday.
    And yes, my friends and I felt tired and almost flu-like.
    The chemtrails were numerous.

    It’s so strange that we live under a regime that routinely experiments on us.

    And most people are so dumb they just accept it.

    America as a nation is so worried about a fictitious “al qaida” and all the while the dictator bush is destroying us from the inside.

  37. Anonymous
    December 20, 2006 at 10:00 am

    The talk of chemtrails and “dictator bush” might be amusing, except that Bush really is the closest thing to a dictator we have had in the White House in living memory.

    Don’t think so? Read John Dean’s book, “Worse Than Watergate.”

  38. Eric V. Kirk
    December 20, 2006 at 10:15 am

    Hank Larrabee was a cop?

  39. Anonymous
    December 20, 2006 at 11:53 am

    And most people are so dumb they just accept it.

    Or ignore it. Hey, maybe it will go away if we all just pretend everything is normal! Let’s all just read comic books and worry about the color of M&Ms and watch Star Trek on T.V.!

    Besides, if there were really such a thing as chemtrails, they’d report it on The McNews… wouldn’t they?

  40. Anonymous
    December 20, 2006 at 12:28 pm

    Dean’s latest, “Conservatives Without Conscience” is also a must-read. Dean does a great job answering the question “whaaaat?”

  41. Anonymous
    December 20, 2006 at 12:51 pm

    Dean does a great job answering the question “whaaaat?”

    whaaaat, me worry?

    It’s so strange that we live under a regime that routinely experiments on us.

    I think it’s beyond the experimental stage. That’s why most people are so dumb and complacent. Like Alfred E. Neuman.

  42. Anonymous
    December 20, 2006 at 4:41 pm

    EPD has provided Eurekans a haven of good law enforcement characterized by respect for people who are different. What I have witnessed these police officers do for over thirty years is enforce the laws as written, and enforce the laws humanely.

    This year has been unusual, with three people defying legal authorities to the point of forcing armed conflicts which need never have occurred.

    Still, Eureka’s police force is the best, or one of the best, on the north coast. The majority of Eurekans know it. We have not been stampeded by irresponsible journalists into panic or violence.

    We insist that our law enforcement organizations administer the laws legally and humanely. We believe it has been doing just that.

    At the same time, we encourage those who hate police to peddle their hatred elsewhere. We don’t need it. It serves no purpose here.

  43. Anonymous
    December 20, 2006 at 5:47 pm

    Then you would not object to a civilian dominated police review board? 3:41

  44. Eric V. Kirk
    December 20, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    Um, 11:51 – Alfred Neuman is a cartoon character.

  45. Anonymous
    December 21, 2006 at 11:29 am

    .
    Anonymous said…
    Then you would not object to a civilian dominated police review board? 3:41

    12/20/2006 04:47:57 PM

    My Reply:

    Until I heard the comments at the City Hall Meeting of October 30 and read the letters to the editor from the people who support a police review board, I was not strongly opposed to the idea.

    Now that I have heard dozens of statements by proponents of civilian police review boards, I am strongly opposed to establishing one here.

    The reason? The proponents have unintentionally convinced me that such a board would be a politically-motivated springboard for attacking the Eureka Police Department regardless of the facts.

  46. Anonymous
    December 21, 2006 at 11:07 pm

    Thanks for your reply.

    Emotions have been over the top on this issue. That is why I think a civilian police review board might clear up unanswered questions that remain within the comunity and perhaps pinpoint any problems in police procedure. So that revisions might be made that would inhance the EPD’s ability to make better decisons in future crisis situations.

    Please understand, what I am suggesting does not imply that I hold EPD totally responsible for the deaths of Moore and Burgess. But just as a hammer is not a carpenters solution to every problem, neither should pepper spray and deadly force be the only tools in EPD’s tool box.

    I agree with you that hate for the police department does not belong here. But the EPD has not been the only target painted with slander. A civilian police review board might effect trust between EPD and the community.

  47. Anonymous
    December 22, 2006 at 7:11 am

    Um, 11:51 – Alfred Neuman is a cartoon character.

    Brilliant, Eric! You are correct! That he is a dumb and complacent cartoon character is the point. Average, conventional Americans are like cartoon characters. In fact those stupid cartoon characters are modeled on real Americans. That’s the joke.

  48. Anonymous
    December 23, 2006 at 9:57 am

    H. Herald

    I didn’t know of the Rolling Stone article until you posted it. I did know of all the incidents mentioned as I grew up in Humboldt, unlike you.

    Most of what the article says is factual but you seem to put your own ‘spin’ on it, or is it what they call literary license ? I too would like to see the “entire” article as printed by the Rolling Stone.

    The one about the meth lab raid. How can anyone “spot” a meth lab from the air? Just a thought. And the part you say that the Undersheriff Bollman “ordered” the guy from the T/S to go on the raid and report it? Just seems unusual that an undersheriff can “order” a journalist to do something of this sort.

    In the mid seventies I was attending Sacramento State and my Government class teacher was obsessed with the Hahn incident and the southern humboldt DEA shooting. ( you did know that BNDD changed to DEA in about 1973?). Maybe H. Herald was my Government teacher?

    As far as the DEA guy shooting the suspect in southern Humboldt I recall that the DEA assigned the agent outside the US to keep him from being arrested until the matter could be sorted out. I also recall that with all the cops there only the one guy shot and he hit the guy on the run at 70 yards with a snub nose revolver! It sounded almost like an accident.

    It does seem that you, H. Herald, are trying to agitate, enflame, rally people against EPD for what the sheriffs department and DEA did over 30 years ago. Most of the EPD cops weren’t even born then or were in diapers. Most, probably all, don’t have any idea who Mel Ames is, or was. And one of your posters talks of a conspiracy like link between all the departments over 30 some years. Pretty incredible.

    The Humboldt County history is a good subject to talk about, but it should be accuate, quoting sources whenever possible.

    My point is that you seem to be using the actions of Mel Ames (30 some years ago) against the EPD in your obsession with the Cheri Moore shooting. If you really care about the Cheri Moore shooting use your time, your energy, your influence to get mr. Gallegos to render a public (official) statement on the case. Whatever way it goes let’s get on with it. Put it out there, either charge the EPD or clear them.

    I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on this issue.

  49. Anonymous
    December 23, 2006 at 10:20 am

    only sratchs the surface ? OK put your money (or blog reputation) where your mouth is H. Herald. What is below the surface? Provide us with some facts! Can you do that? Facts? Come on, go below the surface. Or are you just hot air, hot blogosphere ? Come on, you put yourself out there as a journalist. Do some investigative journalism!

  50. Heraldo
    December 23, 2006 at 11:19 am

    I too would like to see the “entire” article as printed by the Rolling Stone.

    As Eric pointed out, HSU probably has a copy. So far I’ve been unable to get a good copy of it that could (somehow) be available here. I would like to make it available, however.

    How can anyone “spot” a meth lab from the air?

    Good point. Apparently he didn’t, but that was used as the justification for the raid.

    you did know that BNDD changed to DEA in about 1973?

    I didn’t know that. Thanks for the clarification.

    I also recall that with all the cops there only the one guy shot and he hit the guy on the run at 70 yards with a snub nose revolver! It sounded almost like an accident.

    According to the article, two agents stood side-by-side on Dickenson’s back porch and had their guns pointed at him as he ran away. Only one of them, Lloyd Clifton, shot. Clifton said he fired because he saw one of the other agents fall to the ground and assumed he’d been shot (he hadn’t, he simply tripped). Clifton didn’t know for sure because there was a Huey helicopter landing right next to the house and the sound was deafening. No one could hear anything – agents couldn’t hear each other, and gun fire couldn’t have been heard over the roar of the Huey.

    you say that the Undersheriff Bollman “ordered” the guy from the T/S to go on the raid and report it? Just seems unusual that an undersheriff can “order” a journalist to do something of this sort.

    This is what prompted the T-S editor to say what he said about Bollman’s ego (6th paragraph). But perhaps “order” is the wrong word. The article says “Bollman dramatically told the managing [T-S] editor to assign a reporter to film the next day and make sure that man brought his camera.”

    It does seem that you, H. Herald, are trying to agitate, enflame, rally people against EPD for what the sheriffs department and DEA did over 30 years ago.

    Not at all. Just sharing some Humboldt History that seems relevant after the events of 2006.

  51. Anonymous
    December 23, 2006 at 5:03 pm

    Thankyou for sharing it, Heraldo. It is totally relevant to today. Establishment corruption and criminality have not gone away. If anything they’re stronger, more sophisticated and devious.

  52. Anonymous
    December 23, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    I want to share a few things about the shooting on the bank of the Eel in 1973.

    I was personally offended by that shooting for several reasons. Mostly, because I was living in Ferndale at that time, and I had gotten into the habit of riding my little trail motorcycle to Fortuna using the very same trail where the shooting happened. When I heard what had happened, I could imagine myself, a long-haired college student in his twenties, seeing those two pot plants, stopping to investigate, and being shot dead by a Deputy Sheriff. I was enraged at the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office. Both because my life might have been ended if fate had steered my bike and my eyes in the direction of those two worthless pot plants. And because I could not imagine anyone taking the life of another human being for a less sensible reason.

    In fact, I participated in a meeting at the Community Center in Arcata on north G Street with about a dozen like-minded individuals who wanted answers as to how such a thing could happen. We were mostly HSC students who had been active in anti-war activities and social causes.

    The meeting was with District Attorney William “Bill” Ferrogiarro. Mr. Ferrogiarro treated us respectfully, which surprised some of us who had been slandered by local public figures in the past because of our political views. He answered our questions as thoroughly as he could, and he did it while acknowleging our right to ask those questions and to demand answers from our government.

    We left with a better understanding of the process that would be used to determine whether the shooting was legal. More that that, we left with a gut feeling that the D.A. was going to do the right thing in regard to that shooting on the banks of the Eel River.

    Years later, I made the choice to live in Eureka in part because my experience with the Eureka Police Department led me to believe that the Eureka police also treated the citizens with respect, that they saw themselves as people whose job it is to help their fellow-Eurekans, and who use only as much force as is absolutely required to do their job.

    My experience over the years confirms that my decision was a good one. Except for threats made against Police officers with a flare gun, a knife, and a pistol, three people would be alive today. I still live and walk the streets of Eureka without fear of any of the members of the Eureka Police Department. If I were in trouble, I would run straight to a Eureka Police Officer, not away from one.

  53. Heraldo
    December 23, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks for your comments, 5:14. I was hoping that people who were around at that time would give their two cents.

  54. Anonymous
    December 23, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    That’s about what it’s worth. I think EPD has hired a professional PR flack to pose as commenters who paint a rosy picture of it.

  55. Anonymous
    December 23, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    Thank you, Heraldo. I wrote that piece, and I am also hoping other people who know about those events will share what they know by commenting here.

    As to 5:58, who believes I was hired to write that piece, it doesn’t hurt my feelings to know you think of me as a professional writer. I have a liberal arts degree and I do appreciate the craft of writing. I also worked on that piece for over an hour because I wanted to make sure it said exactly what I wanted it to say.

    Every word was the truth, bought and paid for by the years of my life’s experience. No other payment was demanded or accepted.

    So rest assured, the EPD had no part in creating it.

  56. Anonymous
    December 25, 2006 at 7:23 am

    I am so very assured.

    5:58 PM is quite the clown.

  57. Anonymous
    December 26, 2006 at 9:47 am

    going back to the Rolling Stone article of 1973. as I understand it back then it was OK, as in legal, to shoot a fleeing felon. And as I understand it possession of a joint (a gram of marijuana) was a felony then too? So would it be OK to shoot the guy for running as a fleeing felon? As the laws were in 1973?

    I heard that in the 70’s a (humboldt)deputy shot a guy who ran out the back door to keep from getting arrested on a felony theft or stealing arrest warrant. And that since the guy was hit in the leg it was no big deal? but I’ll bet that guy never ran from the cops again!

    Did the cops find any drugs or guns on the property that Dickenson was shot on back in 73 ? Did his old lady sue or get any kind of a settlement? Did she go to jail for something?

    I guess that must be what they mean by “the good old days”. Just think how crime would be affected today if cops could shoot at fleeing drug dealers? Marijuana growers? Car thieves? Wife beaters? I think the cops do a very good job overall. There are bad people in the world, mentally distrubed people. Meth use makes them worse. Sometimes unfortunate things happen but not because of some thirty some year old conspiracy of local cops.

  58. Anonymous
    December 26, 2006 at 1:33 pm

    There are bad people in the world, mentally distrubed people.

    Yes, I’ve noticed? Particularly after reading your comment ? Maybe the cops should shoot you too? The world would be that much better a place?

  59. Anonymous
    December 27, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    “There are bad people in the world, mentally distrubed people. Meth use makes them worse.”

    Here’s what I think about that.
    I found the comment in which these words appeared pretty sensible, but these words struck me as unthinking.

    Bad people, I think, are people who make a conscious choice to hurt other people for their own gain.

    Mentally ill people become mentally ill through no fault of their own, as a general rule.

    Beside, only a tiny minority of Mentally ill people commit crimes against other people. Mentally ill people are far more likely to be hurt by bad people than they are to hurt good people.

    People who use illicit drugs such as methamphetamine can become mentally ill as a result, I guess. Either that or their drug use causes behavior that mimics mental illness.

    Main point:

    Mentally-ill people are not bad people.

    And also:

    Don’t fear mentally-ill people.

  60. Anonymous
    December 28, 2006 at 3:44 pm

    Unless they’re armed.

    A great many mentally-ill people are definitely bad people. They make a conscious choice to hurt other people for their own gain, or just for fun, or in a futile attempt to ease their own pain.

    Mentally-ill people aren’t just raving in the streets or locked up in asylums. Many are professionals of all kinds, many wear uniforms, some are very wealthy, and some are very powerful, like the psychopaths running this country.

    Into the ground, that is.

  61. Anonymous
    December 31, 2006 at 8:10 pm

    I see that no hordes of bloggers have rallied to support your point, or mine either.

    That should teach each of us a little humility, eh?

  62. Denny Marcome
    February 4, 2007 at 10:17 am

    I note that Blue Lake police chief Dave R. Gundersen has been formally accused by the Humboldt County Grand Jury of malfeasance in office, reportedly for filing a false DMV report.

    Needless to say, this story has only gotten s few lines in the Times-Standard and even less in the Eureka Reporter.

  1. September 27, 2009 at 10:55 am
  2. July 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s