Posts Tagged ‘excessive force’

On August 9, 2007, Martin Frederick Cotton II was brutally beat to death– and refused medical treatment -by Eureka Police and Humboldt County Sheriff “Correctional Officers” (in the jail).

Since September of 2008, there has been a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by Martin Cotton’s baby daughter (through a legal guardian) and by his father, Martin F. Cotton.


There is a trial scheduled in the Federal Court in Oakland in front of Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong and a jury WHICH WAS JUST POSTPONED (Dec 15, 2010). There will be at least ten cops exposed and on trial for killing Martin.

Please begin organizing where you live to be there and make sure that it is known what these cops have done, what violence this system inflicts, and we want it to be understood- We will not tolerate intimidation, beatings, and murder by the police!!


Redwood Curtain CopWatch will be organizing people to travel to the Bay area to be present at the trial.  If you are in the Bay Area (or anywhere somewhat close), please organize support and presence in your area.   And if you can help folks from Humboldt get there, contact Redwood Curtain CopWatch.



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Why is it that so many are unaware that one of us was beat to death here in Eureka?! Please get the word out.

This is from Redwood Curtain CopWatch:

Sun August 12 2007
Eureka, CA

On the afternoon of Thursday August 9th, Martin Cotton II was beaten severely by the Eureka Police Department [EPD], a sack was thrown over his head, and he was taken to jail. According to the Sheriff’s Dept, he died two hours later.

Local papers have given only one side of the account, spinning the story to support a police department whose image is already marred by several murders in the last two years. People’s reports to Redwood Curtain CopWatch share many common threads; facts that stand out starkly against the media’s uncritical parroting of the Sheriffs’ Department press release.

Martin was involved in a confrontation at the Eureka Rescue Mission. Rescue Mission staff called the police, who arrived after Martin, unarmed, had already been ejected from the Mission. The EPD pepper sprayed Martin, kicked him, beat him with night sticks, and punched him with fists. EPD pummeled Martin all over his body, including heavily attacking his kidney area while he was on the ground. There were 6-10 EPD officers present and involved in the beating.

EPD officers intimidated people attempting to photograph the public incident.

Contrary to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s press release, it is clear that excessive (deadly) force was used.

Martin’s brutal beating was cruel and undeserved; absolutely unwarranted under any circumstances. EPD took Martin to jail to die, rather than immediately bringing him to the hospital. This is unacceptable and only adds to the outrage that we feel.

Redwood Curtain CopWatch believes that as a community we can work towards creating real justice that heals and transforms rather than destroys and erases. Police violence does not make us safe. The police, as a structural component of our society, have not outgrown their long legacy of protecting the rich ‘from the poor’; and have accelerated their practice of further marginalizing the people most trampled by our socio-economic system.

Martin was houseless… And he is someone’s son, grandson– and a brother and friend to others. We are tired of community members dying at the hands of police.

Please help us imagine alternatives to the violence of police. Let’s work towards justice that is nourished by knowing our neighbors, taking care of each other, and relating to each other as dignified human beings.

Please contact Redwood Curtain CopWatch: copwatchRWC@riseup.net

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