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During the second straight night of protesting in Eureka over police brutality and the death of George Floyd, at least one protester was struck by police with a non-lethal round — a pepper-spray ball to the ear, according to protest participants.
Two people who were in attendance last night told the Outpost that multiple rounds of these pepper spray projectiles were fired at protesters. Several people were “nicked” by rounds and one man was hit more directly, according to one protester who asked to remain anonymous.
“One person got hit in the ear and was bleeding a bit but sustained only minor injuries,” the source said. This protester said that if the substance inside the projectiles was indeed pepper spray, it wasn’t very powerful.
“I was right there and didn’t get any symptoms,” the person said.
The night appeared to begin on a positive note, as Sheriff William Honsal and Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson told protesters “We hear you” and joined in chants calling for justice. However, posts on social media revealed schisms within the large group of protesters. Some complained about a lack of organization, safety protocols and strategies for de-escalation during Saturday’s protests while others declared that hugging cops “only strengthens their grip on people’s minds.”
The chaos erupts at about the two-minute mark of the video below, which was streamed live on Facebook Sunday night:
Shortly thereafter, protest participant Meredith Baku posted a follow-up video, in which Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson says, “I don’t want you guys to get hit, that’s all. I know most people here are good people.”
Here’s that video:
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Grassroots Humboldt, an organization that was involved in planning the protests, reported on Facebook this morning that a protester was arrested last night for allegedly smashing windows.
According to Brittany Powell, a public information officer with the Eureka Police Department, two arrests were made during last night’s protest: one for vandalism and another for “taking a prisoner from custody.”
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CORRECTIONS: The headline of this post has been updated to reflect the fact that projectiles intended to be less-than-lethal have, in fact, killed. Also, a reference to a GoFundMe campaign misidentified the subject’s alleged crime and has been deleted. The Outpost regrets the errors.