EUREKA - Every October, protests are held nationwide to end police brutality. For 19 years, the annual event has taken place on October 22. But for protestors on the North Coast, one day is not enough. They continued their march through the night on October 22 and into the 23.
“If a civilian accidentally kills someone, they're first arrested. And we're seeing this across America now, that when it's an officer that kills someone, even when it's an accident, there's no arrest,” one protestor said.
The rain didn’t stop this local group from joining the national effort against police brutality and bringing justice on a local level.
“Yesterday was the national days of protest and today we also protest in Eureka on October 23 because on October 23, 2006, Christopher Burgess, a 16 year old person in our community was shot and killed,” another protestor said.
They protest for Burgess and also for Tommy McClain, another victim in an officer involved shooting in September.
“We have to change this. We have to start holding the police accountable so that in the future, they will show restraint when dealing with members of the community rather than treating people like they're in a combat zone,” the protestor added.
The protestors are carrying their message on posters starting in Arcata Wednesday morning, with an all night vigil at Cesar Chavez Park over the night, and finishing in Highland Park Thursday evening.
“Living here long enough, I’ve seen this happen again and again and it keeps happening and keeps being perpetuated because there's no recourse. There's no accountability for the officers,” the protestor said.
And they march with a mission. One stop along their way was at the coroner’s office to petition an inquest into the death of Tommy McClain.
“We just want the judicial system to treat the police like they treat anyone else who was accused of a murder, especially if there is evidence proving that that person did murder someone,” the protestor said.