APD Chief Ahearn asks officers to step up for human rights

Mad River Union

ARCATA – The following are two emails sent today by Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn.

The first is to the Law Enforcement Chiefs Association of Humboldt. The second is to the employees of the Arcata Police Department.

The messages:

Subject: Make A Statement-This Monday

Good Morning All;

Chief [Steve] Watson [of Eureka Police] and I have both received inquiries from community members to make a statement regarding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.  his is a complicated request for Chiefs and the Sheriff and this email is not intended to discuss in depth what should be said, how it should be said and the risks of saying anything publically.  However, this is an opportunity to make a statement of how hate is not tolerated in Humboldt County.

APD Chief Brian Ahearn. City of Arcata photo

You may recall the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission’s presentation to LECAH regarding their #humboldtkindness campaign. This is an opportunity to perhaps incorporate that message into our statement.

Chief Watson and I are inviting all of you and all community members to the front of the Eureka Police Department this Monday at 1300 hours to make statement as a community of how every life is valued. No press release is intended to be sent.  We will simply agree on a message, have someone videotape it and send it to all who are present to then post to their social media accounts. Should take only a few minutes.  Please bring a facial covering. Hope to see you all on Monday.



Hello APD;

Community members are calling upon law enforcement leaders to denounce the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis PD. The video shown in the news is troubling in a number of respects. People expect answers and they expect answers now. To delay comment until the investigation is completed is no longer acceptable. Chiefs and Sheriffs have to find a way to communicate and take a stand on what is known at the time.

Policing must be delivered in a just manner; at all times.  There are no exceptions.  Compassion must rule and all human life must be valued and protected.

Chief Watson and I are inviting all of you to the below event this Monday if your schedule will allow you to attend. There is no compensation for attending other than the satisfaction of knowing you came together as a law enforcement community with other community members to make a statement of how Humboldt County values all life and all people, all of the time. The institutions that discriminate against people of color and the unjust use of force by law enforcement against people of color must stop.

What are we willing to do as a Police Department to change the course of Policing so that all people can live in peace and not feel threatened or frightened by law enforcement Officers?

I am asking you APD to step up and answer the call. Be a leader. Set the example.  Do not sit back and watch an unjust application of force take place or tolerate inequality or discriminatory conduct towards a person of color or anyone who is being treated differently because of who they are. Take risk. Do the right thing.  Intervene. Always. There are no exceptions. Serve with honor  For all people.

Thank you APD for your humble service to our City.


Sent l e c a of hum



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