PREVIOUSLY: Car Smashes Into House at Harris and C


When we received word, via a KSLG-FM listener, that a car had crashed into a Eureka home this morning, we asked our Facebook army if anyone in the neighborhood might send us pictures and a report from the scene.

Our army rallied instantly to the cause, like our army does.

But then our command post started to get disturbing reports back from the field. The Eureka Police Department, it was said, was acting gruff with people attempting to take photos.

My mind instantly wandered back to that recent brouhaha between the EPD and our colleagues at the North Coast Journal. A big EPD/media summit was convened in the wake of that thing; at that meeting, officers assured reporters that photographers taking pictures of police activity, from a safe and respectable distance, would not be interfered with.

And so your Lost Coast Outpost assumed that officers on the scene of this morning’s car crash had not gotten the memo. And so your Lost Coast Outpost was intemperate.

“C’mon, now, EPD,” your Lost Coast Outpost whinged. ”We’ve been through this before, and promises were made.”

Now, shortly after this post went up, your Lost Coast Outpost noticed that all-star contributor Mark McKenna posted a query of one of the people who had been turned away by the EPD. “Were you trying to take the photo from the sidewalk or from your car?” McKenna asked.

When it saw this perfectly reasonable question, your Lost Coast Outpost noticed a funny feeling in its tummy. And that funny feeling grew and grew, until head EPD traffic officer Gary Whitmer gave us a ring.

What we feared was the case was, in fact, the case, Whitmer said. The problem was not with people taking photos — it was from people taking photos from behind the wheel.

On Harris!

Whitmer reassured us that people standing with their feet planted on the ground, in a public place and at a safe and respectable distance, are free to snap away to their hearts content at any scene he controlled. Hell, he said — he’d even pose for them, taking a bite of a donut or whatever else strikes them as whimsical (within reason). But people have to stay safe and abide the law.

Thanks to the many people who responded to our call to action this morning. You are the greatest. I hope we did not inadvertently lead you into unpleasant encounters with the law. And to the EPD: Sincere apologies for mouthing off unfoundedly.