Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Humboldt COVID-19 Cases Surge Again

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 5:43 PM

SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
Public health reported nine additional COVID-19 cases today, bringing the county's total to 245.

Of those, 126 people contracted the virus through contact with another known case, 67 acquired it through out-of-area travel and 34 were a result of community transmission. Eighteen cases remain under investigation, according to a news release. No new hospitalizations were reported.

The Hoopa Valley Tribe announced there are six active cases on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation yesterday, which prompted the tribe to shut down non-emergency operations for the next two weeks to allow for contact tracing and the formation of reopening safety plans.

The county COVID alert level — which runs on a scale of 1 to 4 — remains at 3. Level 3 is described as: "High risk — many cases with conditions for community spread, with many undetected cases likely. Limit everyday activities to increase safety."

To date, the county has seen 17 hospitalizations and four fatalities, all of them residents at Alder Bay Assisted Living. One hundred and eight-nine of the cases are considered recovered, while the rest remain active.

Humboldt County Public Health is urging residents who aren't experiencing symptoms to get tested free of charge at the mobile testing site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. (People experiencing symptoms should contact a healthcare provider, officials say.) Asymptomatic individuals can make an appointment to be tested by visiting https://Lhi.care/covidtesting or calling (888) 634-1123. Tests will be administered free of charge, whether or not people have health insurance.

Basics of COVID-19

The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, state that symptoms of novel coronavirus include cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell.

Emergency warning signs needing immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to awaken, and bluish lips or face.


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Eureka Police Staging on Central

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 5:27 PM

Officers at the scene. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Officers at the scene.
Eureka Police are on Central Avenue near Winco after multiple people called 911 reporting that a man with a pellet gun was in the backyard of his prior residence yelling he wants to die.

Officers escorted a woman who was in the residence out of the home.

UPDATE 5:19 p.m.: According to a report from the dispatcher to the Incident Commander, a mental health negotiator has just reached the scene and was being directed to the correct area to contact the man.
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Sheriff's Office Searching for 'Armed and Dangerous' Kidnapping Suspect

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 4:17 PM

Kidnapping suspect George Rose, kidnapping victim Joy Hong and the vehicle they may be in with the camper shell removed. - HCSO
  • HCSO
  • Kidnapping suspect George Rose, kidnapping victim Joy Hong and the vehicle they may be in with the camper shell removed.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public to report any sightings of  a kidnapping suspect who is believed to be armed and dangerous and was last seen in the Orleans area with a 27-year-old female victim.

The HCSO identified the suspect as Humboldt County resident George Rose, 43, who is believed to have kidnapped Joy Hong of Fieldbrook. The two are believed to be traveling in a burnt orange 1999 Ford F-350, California License plate number 5T93690.

“Sometime between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on August 3, 2020, Rose reportedly forced entry into a residence on the 1600 block of Fieldbrook Road in Fieldbrook,” the release states. “Rose, reportedly armed with a firearm, forced three residents, including Hong, into a vehicle at the residence and fled with the three. Rose and the victims reportedly knew each other prior to this incident.”

A roommate reported the three missing after returning home and finding items missing and a vehicle stolen. Two of the roommates were later released in Orleans, according to HCSO. Hong remains missing.

“Rose is believed to be armed and dangerous,” the release states. “If you see Rose, do not approach but call 9-1-1 immediately.”

Read the full HCSO release below: 
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a kidnapping suspect, believed to be armed and dangerous, last seen in the Orleans area with a 27-year-old female victim.

Deputies are searching for 43-year-old George Rose of Humboldt County. Rose is believed to have kidnapped 27-year-old Joy Hong of Fieldbrook.

Rose and Hong are believed to be together, traveling in a burnt orange 1999 Ford F-350, California License plate number 5T93690. Sometime between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on August 3, 2020, Rose reportedly forced entry into a residence on the 1600 block of Fieldbrook Road in Fieldbrook.

Rose, reportedly armed with a firearm, forced three residents, including Hong, into a vehicle at the residence and fled with the three. Rose and the victims reportedly knew each other prior to this incident. Another resident of the home returned later that evening, reporting her roommates missing, several items taken from the residence and her vehicle stolen.

At some point in time, Rose reportedly stopped the vehicle in the Orleans area and removed a camper shell from the truck. Rose then left the two victims in Orleans and fled in the vehicle with Hong. On August 4, in the afternoon, one victim was able to locate a nearby residence on the 2800 block of Cedar Camp Road in Orleans and contact law enforcement for help.

Both victims have been contacted by emergency personnel and confirmed to be safe. It is unknown where Rose and Hong are going at this time but are believed to be leaving the area.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol are actively searching for Rose and Hong, and request the public’s assistance in reporting any sightings of the two to law enforcement.

George Rose is described as a white male adult, 6 feet 1 inch tall, approximately 180 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Joy Hong is described as an Asian female adult, 5 feet 5 inches tall, approximately 175 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Rose is believed to be armed and dangerous.

If you see Rose, do not approach but call 9-1-1 immediately.

This case is still under investigation. Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539. 
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Coast Guard Crew to Receive High National Honors for Rescuing Trapped Firefighters (with Video)

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 2:47 PM

A screenshot from a video capturing the U.S. Coast Guard's rescue of two injured firefighters from the Middle Fire.
  • A screenshot from a video capturing the U.S. Coast Guard's rescue of two injured firefighters from the Middle Fire.
A flight crew with Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay will be honored with prestigious national awards Thursday for their role in rescuing two injured firefighters trapped on a mountainside being engulfed in flames during last year’s Middle Fire.

Lt. Cmdr. Derek Schramel, the aircraft commander, and Petty Officer 1st Class Graham McGinnis, a rescue swimmer, will be presented with Distinguished Flying Cross Awards while Lt. j. g. Adam Ownbey, the co-pilot, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyler Cook, the flight mechanic, will receive Air Medals, according to a news release.

The public is invited to observe the ceremony scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on the Sector Humboldt Bay Facebook page.

“Battling bouts of vertigo, fire updrafts, and night vision device blinding, the crew established a prolonged precision hover above a narrow 20-by-30 foot hoisting area, surrounded by towering trees with wildfire flanking the zone on three sides,” the release states. “The firefighters were hoisted expeditiously despite the crew having to overcome fatigue and choking smoke that filled the helicopter cabin. The firefighters were successfully rescued and delivered to advanced medical care, saving their lives.”
The release notes the Distinguished Flying Cross is “our nation's highest award for extraordinary aerial achievement” and is awarded to “recipients for heroism while participating in an aerial flight.” The prestigious Air Medal, the release states, “is presented to an Armed Forces member who has distinguished themselves by heroic or meritorious achievement in aerial flight during the rescue of survivors.”

Rear Adm. Penoyer will present the awards for the crews’ service during the Sept. 16, 2019 rescue.

“The flight crew's outstanding airmanship and devotion to duty reflect great credit upon themselves and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard,” the release states.
Read the full Coast Guard release below:


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Hoopa Valley Tribe Announces Six COVID-19 Cases, Two Rivers Tribune reports

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 1:52 PM

hoopa_valley_tribe_seal.png
The Hoopa Valley Tribe announced yesterday that there are six active COVID-19 cases on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation and the tribe is shutting down non-emergency operations for two weeks to allow for contact tracing and the formation of reopening safety plans, according to a Two Rivers Tribune Facebook post.

Read more here.
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UPDATE: Red Salmon Complex Continues to Grow

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 11:23 AM

The Red Salmon Complex continues to grow. - SIX RIVERS NATIONAL FOREST
  • Six Rivers National Forest
  • The Red Salmon Complex continues to grow.
UPDATE:
The Red Salmon Complex has reached 3,420 acres and remains at zero containment, according to the evening update.

PREVIOUS:
The Red Salmon Complex — including the Red and Salmon fires — has reached 3,315 acres with zero containment as it burns in rugged terrain of the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity national forests.

A base camp is being set up in Orleans today.

“Air operations continue to support crews on the ground as visibility and smoke conditions allow,” today’s morning update states. “Crews will continue to go direct where possible, strengthen indirect control lines, while using minimum impact suppression tactics in the wilderness, and work with resource advisors to avoid disturbance to cultural resources.”

An air quality monitoring specialist is providing daily smoke forecasts and air quality information for the surrounding communities, which can be found here.

For updates, click here.
Read the full release below:

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Monday, August 3, 2020

EPD Releases Video on Fatal Police Shooting

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 10:12 PM

MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
The Eureka Police Department this evening released a video briefing on the July 23 fatal officer-involved shooting of John Karl Sieger, which includes a timeline of the events that took place.

The briefing by Chief Steve Watson and Capt. Brian Stephens also contains audio of 911 calls as well as images and videos from the scene, where officers arrived just after 5 p.m. on a report that Sieger, 51 was making suicidal statements and texting a friend images of alcohol and a handgun.

The incident lasted just over three hours from the time officers first arrived at the 2800 block of Lowell Street to when the shooting took place, during which neighbors were evacuated and two family members safely exited the home.

“This tragic outcome is not what we expected or wanted to happen,” Watson said in the video.
A crisis negotiator was brought to the scene, according to the briefing, but multiple attempts to talk with Sieger were unsuccessful although he continued to communicate intermittently with the friend, at one point reportedly saying he would shoot if officers saw him and that he respected police and didn’t want to be forced to kill one.

Not long after the family members left, around 7:30 p.m., an officer gained entry to a second story room in the house and observed Sieger in the backyard, where about 15 minutes later he is believed to have fired three shots in an unknown direction, with casings later found near the back fence.

Sieger, Stephens said, left the backyard at 8:23 p.m. through a gate and was told to show his hands, to which he responded, “No, fuck you,” raised his right hand and pointed a gun at officers in the adjacent alley before being shot.

An autopsy found he died of multiple gun shot wounds, according to the briefing, with four officers firing their weapons.

“We have no physical evidence to show Mr. Sieger fired his weapons at officers,” Stephen said in the briefing.

A news release sent out with the video also names the officers involved, all of whom were cleared to returned to active duty today after being placed on temporary paid leave, which is protocol in officer-involved shootings.

The incident remains under investigation by the Humboldt County multi-agency Critical Incident Response Team, with EPD also conducting an internal probe. Additional audio and video recordings will be released by Sept 6, according to the EPD release, with complete records related to investigation released by Jan. 19, if not sooner.

Watson noted that the information being released tonight was “based on what we know now” and that the situation is still in the early stages of investigation.

“While we wait for these final investigative determinations, please join me in keeping the family of Mr. Sieger and each of the involved officers, dispatchers, and their families in our collective thoughts and prayers. Many are hurting as a result of this tragic incident and need our understanding and support,” he said in the release.

Read the full EPD release below:

The Eureka Police Department and the Humboldt County multi-agency Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), including investigators with the District Attorney’s Office, are continuing to investigate the officer-involved shooting incident that resulted in the death of John Sieger on July 23, 2020.

This is an ongoing, active investigation and additional information will be released in the future as it becomes available and authorized by law. If anyone has further information related to this incident, they are asked to contact Detective Corrie Watson at 707-441-4032. The Eureka Police Department is committed to transparency and safeguarding the community’s trust in our daily efforts to protect and serve you.

As part of this commitment, we have prepared an informational critical incident community briefing video that includes audio from 911 calls, officer/dispatch radio transmissions, video from officers’ body-worn cameras as well as additional information.


This briefing video is designed to expeditiously share important, relevant information with the public about this officer-involved shooting incident. It is intended to provide significant, early details about this tragic incident as we currently understand them. However, it does not represent a conclusion to this investigation or a final report evaluating officers’ actions.

It is important to note we are still in the early stages of this investigation and our understanding of the incident may change as additional evidence is collected, analyzed, and reviewed. We also will not draw final conclusions about whether or not the actions of the involved officers were consistent with our policies and the law until all the facts are known and the investigation is complete.

The critical incident community briefing video can be viewed here:

The names of the involved officers and their roles in this incident are as follows:

• Captain Patrick O’Neill was the Incident Commander. Captain O’Neill oversees EPD’s Field Operations Division including Patrol. He arrived on scene from home around 6:37 p.m. and assumed incident command from Sergeant Omey. Captain O’Neill did not fire his weapon. Captain O’Neill has 26 years of law enforcement service and has been employed with EPD since March 1995. Captain O’Neill has had formal training in tactical communication and crisis intervention (CIT), and he is actively involved in Humboldt County’s CIT training program.

• Sergeant Jon Omey was the patrol supervisor on scene. Sergeant Omey has 11 years of law enforcement service and has been employed with EPD since April 2009. Sergeant Omey fired his patrol rifle during this incident. Sergeant Omey has had formal training in de-escalation and tactical communication*, crisis negotiation, special weapons and tactics, and crisis intervention (CIT).

• Officer Patrick Bishop has over 17 ½ years of law enforcement service and has been employed by EPD since September 2007. Officer Bishop fired his patrol rifle during this incident. Officer Bishop has had formal training in de-escalation and tactical communication, crisis negotiation, special weapons and tactics, and crisis intervention (CIT)

• Officer Andrew Endsley has 16 years of law enforcement experience and has been employed by EPD since July 2010. Officer Endsley fired his patrol rifle during this incident. Officer Endsley has had formal training in crisis negotiation, crisis intervention (CIT), and tactical communication.

• Officer Brian Wilson has 3 ½ years of law enforcement experience and as has been employed by EPD since December 2016. Officer Wilson fired his handgun during this incident. Officer Wilson has had formal training in tactical communication.

As is standard protocol, all involved officers were placed on temporary paid administrative leave following the incident. Following a review of the investigation based on the best information we have currently, all 5 involved officers have been cleared to return to full duty effective Monday, August 3rd.

Additionally, in our department’s continued commitment to our officers’ health and well-being, all personnel involved in the incident received counseling services through a licensed therapist.

In total, officers, mental health and crisis negotiation specialists attempted to negotiate with the Mr. Sieger for nearly two hours. They used a variety of de-escalation techniques and 3 “T” measures: Time, Talk, and Tactics, which included distance and cover, in an attempt to manage the incident without use of force.

As can be seen on the videos included in the critical incident community briefing, the final contact with Mr. Sieger occurred very rapidly and did not allow opportunity for dialogue with him before he presented an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury by pointing a loaded .40 caliber, semi-automatic Glock 22 handgun at officers. While the critical incident community briefing video is intended to provide the public with facts, details, and context concerning Mr. Sieger’s death as we currently understand things, the public will have the opportunity to draw their conclusions in the coming months.

When the investigations are complete, these records including the full investigation, findings, criminal and administrative reports, officer and witness statements, audio and video recordings, photographs, and other related investigative and evidentiary material will be fully disclosed to the public as authorized by SB 1421 and AB 748.

The audio/video recordings will be released in their entirety by September 6, 2020 in accordance with AB 748. The complete records related to this investigation will be released by no later than January 19, 2021 pursuant to SB 1421 though EPD will seek to release them earlier if possible.

The Eureka Police Department again sends our heartfelt condolences to John Sieger’s family with whom we’ve been in close contact. This tragic outcome was not what we wanted and we are deeply saddened by what happened. “While we wait for these final investigative determinations, please join me in keeping the family of Mr. Sieger and each of the involved officers, dispatchers, and their families in our collective thoughts and prayers. Many are hurting as a result of this tragic incident and need our understanding and support.” ~ Chief Steve Watson

Disclaimer: The critical incident community briefing video states the autopsy was done on Monday, July 27th. It was actually completed on Tuesday, July 28th.

*A California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified de-escalation and tactical communication course modeled from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) program Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT). While ICAT is designed especially for situations involving persons who are unarmed or are armed with weapons other than firearms, and who may be experiencing a mental health or other crisis, the basic principles are applicable across a wide-range of situations.

The training program is anchored by the Critical Decision-Making Model that helps officers assess situations, make safe and effective decisions, and document and learn from their actions. ICAT incorporates different skill sets into a unified training approach that emphasizes scenario-based exercises, as well as lecture and case study opportunities. The training blends in-depth discussion and realistic scenarios requiring officers to apply the tactics and communications skills they learned.

Topics include: - Critical decision-making - Crisis recognition - Tactical communications - Operational tactics EPD is holding another ICAT training on August 10th with nearly two dozen more EPD officers participating. This pre-scheduled course is reflective of EPD’s ongoing commitment to equipping all of our officers with this important de-escalation training.
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Public Health Reports 3 New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 5:32 PM

PUBLIC HEALTH
  • public health
After a record-breaking 100 confirmed COVID-19 cases in July alone, public health reported three additional ones today, bringing the county's total to 236.

A news release on the latest numbers notes that while there are a wide range of symptoms — from cough and headache to muscle aches and chest pain — about one in 20 local residents who have tested positive report no symptoms at all, based the most recent data.

“Viruses need to find people in order to spread. It’s really that simple,” County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in the release. “I’d encourage county residents to continue staying home as much as possible. For people who can’t stay home, wearing facial coverings, maintaining physical distancing and avoiding gatherings are the best prevention tools we have. Avoiding non-essential travel is also critically important. If we can interrupt transmission from one person to another, we can drastically reduce the spread of COVID in our community.”

The release states that cases have increased by 7.27 percent since last Monday, with the 20-29 age group having the largest weekly increase at 11 new infections.

The county COVID alert level — which runs on a scale of 1 to 4 — remains at 3. Level 3 is described as: "High risk — many cases with conditions for community spread, with many undetected cases likely. Limit everyday activities to increase safety."

To date, the county has seen 17 hospitalizations and four fatalities, all of them residents at Alder Bay Assisted Living. One hundred and eight-nine of the cases are considered recovered, while the rest remain active.

Humboldt County Public Health is urging residents who aren't experiencing symptoms to get tested free of charge at the mobile testing site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. (People experiencing symptoms should contact a healthcare provider, officials say.) Asymptomatic individuals can make an appointment to be tested by visiting https://Lhi.care/covidtesting or calling (888) 634-1123. Tests will be administered free of charge, whether or not people have health insurance.


Basics of COVID-19

The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, state that symptoms of novel coronavirus include cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell.

Emergency warning signs needing immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to awaken, and bluish lips or face.

In an emergency situation:

Call ahead to the emergency room or inform the 911 operator of the possibility of a COVID-19 infection and, if possible, put on a face mask.

Symptoms or possible exposure:

In the case of a possible exposure with symptoms — fever and cough or shortness of breath — contact your doctor’s office or the county Department of Health and Human Services, which has a hotline that can be reached during business hours at covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or at (707) 441-5000. Residents seeking medical advice or questions about testing are asked to contact Public Health at hhsphb@co.humbldt.ca.us or at (707) 445-6200.

St. Joseph Health has also set up a virtual assessment tool as an aid to assess risk factors for contracting the illness, which can be found at here.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has started a rumor-control webpage that can be found here.

For the Journal's latest COVID stories, updates and information resources, click here.

Read the county's release below and view its case dashboard here:


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“Pervasive Failure to Investigate:” Report Finds Lack of Scrutiny in Cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 4:55 PM

2018 Women's March San Francisco attendees raise fists and hold signs in support of missing and murdered indigenous women. - PHOTO BY PAX AHIMSA GETHEN VIA CREATIVE COMMONS (CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • Photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen via Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • 2018 Women's March San Francisco attendees raise fists and hold signs in support of missing and murdered indigenous women.

For generations, order and cleanliness had been Christina Lastra’s family’s way of fighting off poverty. But the day in July 1991 when her mother’s mysterious death was ruled an accident marked the end of the orderly life Lastra had been leading in Humboldt County.

“We didn’t get peace. No one ever even thought of looking further into the death of a Native woman, of my mom,” said Lastra, who identifies as Indigenous and Chicana. “Until now.”

A new report by the Sovereign Bodies Institute, a data-driven nonprofit based in Humboldt, details for the first time the lack of scrutiny and data surrounding the cases of 105 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across northern California, from the Bay Area to the Oregon border. Using state and federal data, other research, police reports and community-based information, the institute found more than 2,300 cases in the United States.

Of the California cases classified as murders, law enforcement solved 9 percent, researchers found. The statewide clearance rate is more than 60 percent in the past decade, according to the state Department of Justice, meaning that murders of Indigenous women in northern California were about seven times less likely to be solved than homicides involving all other victims.

“Women after women, disappearing,” said Annita Lucchesi, the executive director of SBI and a Cheyenne descendant. “It creates a sense of hopelessness. It makes it feel like this is a world that we can’t live in anymore.”

The cases documented in the institute’s report span over a century, but 72 percent occurred after 2000, and problems collecting data on crimes against Native American women suggest the actual number is much higher — around 1,700 statewide since 1900, according to researchers who extrapolated from existing data.  

California is home to 700,000 Indigenous people, the largest Native American population in the country, but there is no reliable data on missing Native women in the state, according to Lucchesi, who said more than half of the cases in the state were not in official missing persons databases. When records were available, the report found, Native women were often misclassified as white, or their deaths were labeled accidental even when family and friends thought otherwise. Much about the cases remains unknown because of difficulties in data collection and a “chronic and pervasive failure to investigate,” the report said.

Almost a year after she learned her mother, Alicia Lara, had died in a car accident, Lastra said she reached out to the county coroner. She had heard that someone from Weitchpec, where her mother was found, had seen her shortly before her death, badly beaten up. That’s when she learned that her mother’s body had been found in the passenger seat of her car.

“If they’d just ask around, I think people in Weitchpec knew that she didn’t have an accident,” Lastra said. “But she wasn’t important enough to open an investigation.”

Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal, who has headed the department since 2013, said the case report for Lastra’s mother didn’t strike him as particularly suspicious. But he said he did have trouble understanding how Lara had gotten in the passenger seat. “It’s hard to see how this could’ve happened,” Honsal said. No investigation was opened.

“There may have been things that have happened in the past, things that didn’t go well, where communication didn’t happen,” Honsal said. “We’re learning from past mistakes, trying not to repeat that in the future.”

Lastra’s perception that local police didn’t put enough effort into her mother’s case isn’t unique. Lucchesi said the report found deep mistrust toward law enforcement among Indigenous women.

Policing in tribal areas is tricky. Jurisdiction is shared with the tribes, who have police forces with limited powers, and communication between county and tribal departments has historically been limited, something many tribes would like to remedy, according to Abby Abinanti, chief judge for the Yurok Tribal Court and a co-author of the report.

The lack of resources experienced by some northern California police departments, combined with the sheer size of territory officers have to patrol, adds to the difficulty of investigating cases, the report found, a problem echoed by sheriffs across the region. High poverty rates, which according to the 2018 American Community Survey bordered 40 percent for the Yurok and Hoopa Tribes, two of the largest tribes in the state, also make it hard for victims to advocate for their family members and for tribes to build efficient police forces.

Last fall, in recognition of the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, the Justice Department launched Operation Lady Justice, to combat violence and human trafficking of Native Americans. State Assemblyman James Ramos, a Democrat from San Bernardino County, is pushing for a bill that would establish a task force to study the disappearances and provide financial assistance to law enforcement and tribal governments.

In the meantime, Indigenous women are leading the effort to investigate. “I want to find those bodies,” said Abinanti, who was the first Native American woman to pass the state bar. “And then, prosecution is at the bottom of the list, but it’s on the list.”

But the main priority remains for victims’ families to find closure.

“We’re treated like we don’t count, but you know what?” Lastra said. “My mother counted and I am her legacy and I count. This report makes me feel like she is finally being honored.”

This article is part of The California Divide, a collaboration among newsrooms examining income inequity and economic survival in California.

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Kneeland Road Blocked After Logging Truck Crash

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 4:44 PM

A logging truck flipped on Kneeland Rd. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • A logging truck flipped on Kneeland Rd.

Just before 2 p.m., a logging truck flipped over on its side near mile marker 37 on Kneeland Rd. The driver was stuck inside the vehicle and Kneeland Rd was blocked as of 3:45 p.m.

According to Humboldt Bay Fire, “Fortunately, crews were able to extricate the driver who was pinned during the crash, sustaining only minor injuries.”

Kneeland Volunteer Fire Protection District, Humboldt Bay Fire, the CHP, and Arcata Fire District assisted at the scene.

Humboldt Bay Fire offered thanks to Samoa Peninsula Fire District and Loleta Volunteer Fire Department “for helping to cover HBF jurisdiction while several crews remained committed to this scene.”
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