Lost Coast Outpost contributors Mark McKenna and Nick Adams were at yesterday’s public meeting at the Wharfinger Building, where law enforcement, county employees, clergy and the general public discussed the county jail’s policy on releasing inmates in the late hours of the night.

The meeting was prompted by the murder of Father Eric Freed on New Year’s Day. The suspect in that case, Gary Lee Bullock, had been released from jail onto the streets of Eureka, far from his Southern Humboldt home, shortly after midnight on the morning of Freed’s murder.

Photos from McKenna and Adams are below. The North Coast Journal and the Times-Standard (paywall) also covered the event.

Photos By Mark McKenna

Undersheriff Bill Honsal discusses how other rural counties handle prisoner release.

Sylvia Scott, center, and Lorene Dunaway, both of Eureka, take notes.

Eureka resident Lorene Dunaway takes notes.

Eureka Attorney Kathleen Bryson addresses the panel.

Jim Hill of Blue Lake asks acting police captain Tony Zanotti what governing body has the most authority to change police policy on the late night release of prisoners.

Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills, left, and Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey.

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos speaks with Rabbi Naomi Steinberg.

Betty Chinn discusses the questions she asks prisoners being released from Humboldt County Jail who have called her for help.

Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills speaks to Bill Damiano from the probation office.

Father Mike Cloney, a Catholic priest, sits with his cousin, Patrick Cloney.

Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills, left, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey, listen to discussion.

Phil Crandall of Humboldt County Health and Human Services addresses public concerns.

Brandie Wilson asks the panel what qualifications law enforcement has to assess the mental health of suspects and what qualifications mental health officials have in assessing the legal standing of a suspect.

Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey listens to discussion.

Eureka resident Dennis Scott listens to discussion.

Humbolt County Sheriff Mike Downey addresses questions.

Photos By Nick Adams

Undersheriff Billy Honsal.

Public Defender Kevin Robinson.

Betty Chinn.

Paul Gallegos.

Paul Pitino.

Reverend Kathryn Dunning.

Kathleen Bryson.

Timothy Crlenjak asks questions about hypothetical questions about what would happen to an inmate much like Bullock.