Highlights from last night’s Arcata City Council meeting webcast.
The Arcata City Council meeting was brought to an abrupt and early end last night when a group of activists took over the council chambers to demand justice for Josiah Lawson — an HSU student who was fatally stabbed at an off-campus party in 2017.
During the public comment period a group of outraged speakers accused the council of not doing enough to help resolve the Lawson case, for which no one has been prosecuted.
“Even when we have a room full of concerned community members who want to make change, you all don’t have our backs,” local activist Kelsey Reedy said. “People’s lives are in danger. People are dying here. And that can’t be the first thing on the agenda? Or even on the agenda at all?”
Several speakers said that there was evidence linking Kyle Zoellner to Lawson’s death and that Zoellner should have been prosecuted for the murder. After hearing the case last year, the grand jury determined there was not sufficient evidence to indict anyone for Lawson’s death.
Several speakers also accused Arcata Mayor Michael Winkler of racism, referring to a letter written by Winkler in which he likened the atmosphere at a meeting about the McKinley Statue removal to that of a “lynch mob.”
“As a person of color, as a woman, as a Puerto Rican, black, Mexican, student of color, working-class, I do not feel comfortable,” speaker Rosemary Grady said. “I do not feel safe in this community, especially as Michael Winkler sits in the mayor seat.”
After about 20 minutes of comments, Mayor Winkler called for a five minute break, after which the council did not reconvene and the meeting came to an end.
This is not the first time the council ended a meeting early due to disruption by the “Justice for Josiah” activists and several of the speakers indicated that they will continue to show up until they feel the council has done all it can.
The Outpost has edited together portions of the Justice for Josiah activists’ comments which you can view in the clip at the top of this post. For the complete section of protesters remarks leading up to the meeting’s end tune in below.
PREVIOUS LoCO COVERAGE OF THE LAWSON CASE:
- Jail Records Reveal Name of Suspect in Fatal Arcata Stabbing
- Arcata Police Receive Anonymous Email Detailing Specifics of Arcata Homicide, Beg Author to Come Forward; Suspect Officially Named
- ‘He Was the One’: Josiah Lawson, Humboldt State Student and President of Brothers United, Remembered at Campus Prayer Service
- Zoellner Pleads Not Guilty to Arcata Stabbing Murder; Bail Set at $1 Million
- United by Tragedy, HSU Community Celebrates the Life and Mourns the Death of David Josiah Lawson
- ‘It Should Not Have Happened’: Friend of Arcata Murder Victim Believes Racism Delayed the Emergency Medical Response That Could Have Saved His Life
- ARCATA MURDER HEARING: First Witnesses Cast Doubt on Whether the Police Department’s Suspect Could Have Stabbed Victim; More Testimony Coming Tomorrow
- ARCATA MURDER HEARING: Witness Testifies That Lawson and Zoellner Were Grappling as the Victim Bled; Police Officer Describes Chaotic Crime Scene
- ARCATA MURDER HEARING: Friends Testify on ‘Girl Fight’ Between Lawson and Zoellner’s Girlfriends Prior to Fatal Stabbing
- ARCATA MURDER HEARING: More Testimony on the Knife Found at the Scene; Lawson’s Friend Testifies He Saw Zoellner Drop Something Shiny
- Judge Dismisses Case Against Kyle Zoellner, McKinleyville Man Arrested in Stabbing Death of HSU Student David Josiah Lawson
- Arcata’s Police Chief, Vice Mayor React to Zoellner Hearing Ruling
- ARCATA MURDER HEARING: Kyle Zoellner to Be Released After Judge Reinholtsen Rules Not Enough Evidence to Hold Him For Stabbing Death of Josiah Lawson
- (PHOTOS) Protesters March Through Arcata Demanding ‘Justice for Josiah’
- HSU Faculty, UPD, Brothers United Participate in Radio Town Hall on Lawson Case Tonight; Arcata Mayor Releases Statement; HSU Walk Out Planned Tuesday
- (PHOTOS/VIDEO) After Busy Week, Family and Friends of Josiah Lawson Still Seeking Justice
- Josiah Lawson’s Mother Offers $10k Reward for Information Leading to the Conviction of Son’s Killer
- Arcata Calls in Outside Investigators, Approves $21K Reward for Info Leading to Conviction of Lawson Killer
- Kyle Zoellner Appears in Court to Request Law Enforcement Return His Cell Phone, Laptops; Judge Says No
- (VIDEO) This Morning’s Lawson Murder Press Conference Offers Few Updates
- Public Investigator Working With APD in Josiah Lawson Case
- Kyle Zoellner, Once Suspected of Homicide in David Josiah Lawson Slaying, Files Claim Against City of Arcata For Defamation, Pain and Suffering, Emotional Distress
- (PHOTOS) Hundreds Turn Out for Eureka MLK Day People’s Rally and March for Justice
- DA: Grand Jury Declines to Indict Anyone in David Josiah Lawson Case
- (VIDEO) Justice for Josiah Activists Hold First Monthly Vigil Since Grand Jury Decision; Charmaine Lawson Vows to Keep Fighting
- ‘Justice For Josiah’ Advocates Demand Arcata City Council Turn Lawson Case Over to the State
- Arcata Police Release Images of Potential Josiah Lawson Stabbing Witnesses, Ask Public’s Help
- TWO YEARS
- (WATCH) ‘Who Killed Josiah?’: Documentary Takes a Look at the Lawson Case
- California Attorney General’s Office Says it Will Not Take On Josiah Lawson Case