EUREKA, CA. (KIEM) – A local cleanup team is speaking out against HACHR, the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction, for claiming pictures of a large amount of syringe needles found during a cleanup were staged.
The PacOut Green Team is a volunteer group which hosts cleanups around Humboldt County.
Back in September, pictures and videos were spread widely on social media showing hundreds of needles they apparently found near the skate park at Cooper Gulch Park.
The reason for the mess? Fingers were pointed towards HACHR – who oversees a needle exchange program.
PacOut now has a statement on their website responding to blame for faking the viral photos.
“A lot of the needles we found – there was probably 300 or more needles, a lot of them were uncapped, some of them were capped,” said Aaron Ostrom of the PacOut Green Team, “At that point we put them all in containers. We actually ran out of containers. That’s what we found, despite people saying otherwise. We know the community appreciates what we do, and we will keep doing it. Because there is a need.”