EUREKA- Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills shared the results of the Community Shooting Review Board at Tuesday night’s Eureka City Council Meeting.
The board examined if police officers followed department policy correctly during the shooting death of 22-year-old Thomas McClain last September. The group was made up of two police representatives, one attorney, the former Humboldt County Coroner and two Eureka City Council Members. Chief Mills shared that the board unanimously agreed that officers’ actions were within EPD policy on that day. Community members at the meeting told News Channel 3 that the board was not transparent.
"The people were chosen by the police chief. Two active members of the eureka police department sat on the board and all the presentations given to the public about the board have been by the police chief, so if this is an independent review of the police and their policies, I'm just not seeing that," said a Eureka resident.
"I don't know how much more transparent it can possibly be. What transparency is to them is that they are the ones who are able to sit on this and people who have an ax to grind or people who for their own personal reason, want to sit on these boards and we're looking for the greater good of the community, not just the perspective of one individual who may or may not like the police," said Police Chief Andrew Mills.
Chief Mills shared the internal affairs report at the meeting as well. The report showed that complaints against the department went down in 2014, from an average of more than 17 to 10.
"Sometimes, it's just cyclic. Sometimes, you get fewer complaints than other times. But also, there's been a great emphasis on our part in police administration and discussions inside the department that we really want to make sure that we're treating people well, that we're talking to people appropriately and that there is zero tolerance on not doing that," Police Chief Mills said.