My Word: We need to do better in Humb...

My Word: We need to do better in Humboldt

There are 16 comments on the Eureka Times Standard story from Oct 1, 2010, titled My Word: We need to do better in Humboldt. In it, Eureka Times Standard reports that:

When I returned home after being out of the area for the past month, I was saddened to hear about the law enforcement shooting death of Robert Garth of Blue Lake that occurred on Aug.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Eureka Times Standard.

Domino 21

Redding, CA

#1 Oct 1, 2010
Ms Rush, if someone repeatedly attacks a hitch hiker with a metal rake, a device somewhat similar to a halberd, than tries to attack the police with it. And he is a known headcase that is not in touch with reality, what would you have the officers do? Think quickly, too late, your partner is down and the bad guy has his gun.

Lots of people tried to get people upset, but this guy was just too dangerous to the community. Mr Garth will not be a missed member of the community. Sorry, but there it is.
Hard to believe

United States

#2 Oct 1, 2010
So it is law enforcement that is responsible for these deaths because of the lack of less than lethal force available? There are enough options, when some one comes at you you have a split second to make that life altering decision of what force to use. You are trained to stop the threat to avoid further harm to the public or officer...not the aggressor. No matter how many weapons you have there is always someone second guessing you from the safety of their home.

Responsibility is a key word here. Not just the responsibility of law enforcement, but the public also. Obey society's rules and there is less chance of being a so called victim of law enforcement. Act responsible and law enforcement doesn't need to take aggressive actions. Law enforcement can't be blamed for every death when threatened with hostile actions against them or others. Even society needs to take responsibility for allowing unstable people to continue with their unruly behavior towards others. We ignore the people acting violently or strangely until they turn those actions towards us then we call on law enforcement to act. when it works out good we don't say anything, but if we don't like the results we blame it all on them and don't accept any responsibility.

When tasers came into use they were considered a good less than lethal weapon. They are until you start placing drugs into your body that increase your heart rate and alter your natural body chemistry. the ACLU is always waiting to jump into a legal battle against law enforcement for their actions, but never against the criminal elements for their actions. Why not sue the criminals for not using less than lethal weapons while doing their crimes? I agree law enforcement has problems and even more so as more of them see that they are fighting a losing battle against crime. They take the easier route after watching criminals be rewarded by our courts.

Want to change things? Then start by looking at responsibility. I agree law enforcement should be responsible for explaining their actions, but make people responsible for their actions before placing all the blame on law enforcement. The blame game is an easy escape from accepting responsibility. Why didn't society take action and protect Mr. Garth when he began acting strangely before he resorted to violence against another citizen? And by the way, a garden rake makes a very good weapon....a lucky strike or well placed strike can end a life also.
flutterbyehue123

Millbrae, CA

#3 Oct 1, 2010
You might think differently if YOU were one of Garth's victims
Living In Eureka

United States

#4 Oct 1, 2010
Arm chair coaches are a dime a dozen. The police in our area are over worked & under paid. Yet day after day, they go out there to protect us from criminals like Mr. Garth!

The police did their job & I thank them for it. Mr. Garth beat a man with a rake. When the police arrived to save this victim , Mr. Garth turned on the police with his weapon of choice. Sad for him? Not in this lifetime! I would only be upset if the one of the officers were hurt trying to bring this low life down.

Our community is safer today because these officers' action. I will not morn Mr. Garth's passing. He was a waste of good air space!

“I don't know who I am”

Since: Dec 07

Fortuna

#5 Oct 1, 2010
I don't think the writer was criticizing the Sheriff’s Deputies involved.

The point the writer was making had more to do with the tactics used by the deputies, which were the result of the deputies’ training and Sheriff Department policies. The writer was asking that police departments, and society in general, take another look at how deadly force is employed in policing.

However,“Hard to Believe” made several excellent points in his post. Especially when pointing out that police officers still get their hinders fried by Rights Groups even when using less than lethal force. It's hard to figure out just what these groups think a police officer is supposed to do.

Just one minor point or two concerning “Hard to Believe’s” post: Criminals do face additional penalties for using deadly weapons, usually as "enhancements" in sentencing guidelines. For instance, using a gun in a robbery is usually worth a few extra years in prison.

Also, the rake in question:“Hard to Believe” describes a very scary weapon. I've never heard an official description of the rake (except it had a metal handle). Lawn and garden rakes range from long ash wood handles with heavy tool steel heads to five-and-dime store rakes with aluminum handles that bend easily with light plastic heads. Just what kind of weapon did this guy have?

Memory Rush was not going after the deputies, or police officers in general. For the sake of this discussion, lets try not to loose sight of that.
uyfiufjvb

Beverly Hills, CA

#6 Oct 1, 2010
I don't know Mr. Garth's story, but I have read he was mentally ill. I do know that we have inadequate mental health services for most people. If people with mental illness or just depression or anger had access to counseling and drug treatment for as long as it takes, we would have less police shootings, less crime, less homelessness, etc. etc. The underlying problem in this situation isn't law enforcement, it is our lack of mental health services.

Personally I think this whole situation is sad, but I don't blame the police. A rake can indeed be a deadly weapon, and reports stated Mr. Garth was chasing a man onto the freeway - how could that NOT be a dangerous situation? It is plausible this shooting was completely justified.
Fun time

Eureka, CA

#7 Oct 1, 2010
uyfiufjvb wrote:
I don't know Mr. Garth's story, but I have read he was mentally ill. I do know that we have inadequate mental health services for most people. If people with mental illness or just depression or anger had access to counseling and drug treatment for as long as it takes, we would have less police shootings, less crime, less homelessness, etc. etc. The underlying problem in this situation isn't law enforcement, it is our lack of mental health services.
Personally I think this whole situation is sad, but I don't blame the police. A rake can indeed be a deadly weapon, and reports stated Mr. Garth was chasing a man onto the freeway - how could that NOT be a dangerous situation? It is plausible this shooting was completely justified.
Sure there is a lack of services, there's a lack just about anywhere you go. There are more mentally disturbed people than there are qualified medical personnel.
There's a lack of funds, facilities, transportation and reasonably priced health care insur.
It's not likely to improve as more people become unemployed, people returning from war and all the others.

A problem that probably will always be with us unfortunately.

Police are trained to shoot to kill if they consider it necessary it's that simple.

We better stay mentally aleart.
David H

United States

#8 Oct 1, 2010
So many words I have never interpreted to make so little sense than the words I read in the "discussion" (*argument) preceeding.
If an officer is in immediate danger, use a firearm, that's what it's there for. If someone has a rake and you can just as easily reach a taser or spray as you can your gun, then wtf are you shooting for? It's refered to as unecessary force.
Bullets were unwarranted by the sound of it. I wasn't there, however, so all I can do is merely make my brief statement in regards to how things SHOULD be under the explained circumstances. Chalk another soul up for EPD.
KnowItAll

Schuylkill Haven, PA

#10 Oct 2, 2010
To all you a**lickers out there. No one said the cops couldn't shoot the guy and walk. The question REMAINS: why did they think they had to shoot him?
KnowItAll

Schuylkill Haven, PA

#11 Oct 2, 2010
If that's as well-trained as they are (and one of them was a trainer) then we're all in danger.
Fun time

Eureka, CA

#12 Oct 2, 2010
KnowItAll wrote:
If that's as well-trained as they are (and one of them was a trainer) then we're all in danger.
BS! We're all in danger if we have any item that could be used as a killing weapon and are looking to use it in a criminal fashion.

I wonder how many of you would react in the same circumstances if someone came at you with a large rock, pronged rake, ball bat, whatever in a threatening manner and you could not run away.

Many of these idiots are drugged and/or boozed up and totally out of control and only want to kill you. The police tell them to stop, put the weapon down, etc. The crazy doesn't do so, BANG!
Problem solved.

The trainer is the one who trains them to do what they do. It is basically thge way ALL police are trained across the country.

Stay normal and you will have no problems.
billybob

Hayward, CA

#13 Oct 2, 2010
KnowItAll wrote:
If that's as well-trained as they are (and one of them was a trainer) then we're all in danger.
We're only in danger from people like the late MR. Garth, not the deputies. When one person attacks another person with any kind of a weapon for no apparent or logical reason, as Garth attacked the hitchhiker, then we should all be afraid because it could be any one of us that idiots like Garth could and would attack. The deputies encounter all sorts of people every day. They break up fights, they calm distressed people that are upset over civil issues and they make arrests for a variety of reasons. The vast majority of time they do this without having to use force or deadly force. Why? Because those people are cooperative. As for the few that lose it completely, well we as a society should try to help those people but we should also not lose sight of the fact that we aren't Gods. There's no mystery to this. We simply can't fix everything. We are not in danger from the deputies or other cops around here. If you think you are then maybe you should consider relocating to somewhere that you won't feel that way.
Humkev

Eureka, CA

#14 Oct 2, 2010
Fun time wrote:
<quoted text>
BS! We're all in danger if we have any item that could be used as a killing weapon and are looking to use it in a criminal fashion.
I wonder how many of you would react in the same circumstances if someone came at you with a large rock, pronged rake, ball bat, whatever in a threatening manner and you could not run away.
Many of these idiots are drugged and/or boozed up and totally out of control and only want to kill you. The police tell them to stop, put the weapon down, etc. The crazy doesn't do so, BANG!
Problem solved.
The trainer is the one who trains them to do what they do. It is basically thge way ALL police are trained across the country.
Stay normal and you will have no problems.
YES!

I would only add that Memory doesn't seem to care much about the innocent person who was being beaten and tried to flee. I'm gonna guess she would love to see the cops if she was in that situation, and would support whatever they did to protect her.
KnowItAll

Schuylkill Haven, PA

#15 Oct 2, 2010
Blah, blah, blah. What two grown men, much less trained LEOs armed with billyclubs, mace, pepper spray, and tasers, couldn't take down a single person armed with a stick? Give me a break. We can hire anyone, give them a gun and tell them to shoot first and ask questions later. This was excessive use of force, and should be dealt with as such. It isn't as though law enforcement hasn't had ample opportunity to learn from similar and too often repeated incidents in this county in recent years. The mentally ill and the drug addicted are not targets for practice. The rate of LEO-involved shootings here is WAY out of whack, so stop with all the defending the indefensible.
think

Eureka, CA

#16 Oct 2, 2010
hey knowitall shut up put the weed down and join the force. if not just shut up.
Fun time

Eureka, CA

#17 Oct 2, 2010
KnowItAll wrote:
Blah, blah, blah. What two grown men, much less trained LEOs armed with billyclubs, mace, pepper spray, and tasers, couldn't take down a single person armed with a stick? Give me a break. We can hire anyone, give them a gun and tell them to shoot first and ask questions later. This was excessive use of force, and should be dealt with as such. It isn't as though law enforcement hasn't had ample opportunity to learn from similar and too often repeated incidents in this county in recent years. The rate of LEO-involved shootings here is WAY out of whack, so stop with all the defending the indefensible.
"KnowItAll"]Blah, blah, blah. The mentally ill and the drug addicted are not targets for practice."

You blah, blah, blah real well. It was not a stick stupid nso don't try to twist it around with lies.
What's out of hand are all the crazed druggies out there that need to be put away or put down when they attack people as that idiot did for no good reason.
The police always give them the opportunity to put their weapon down and when they are to drugged up and/or just stupid and attack the police then the problem is solved the way it needs to be. They are not practicing they are doing their jobs to protect innocent , law abiding people.
Bang dummy!!

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