The following press release, and the headline above, came from the office of Assemblymember Jim Wood:

Reading the Sacramento Bee article today about texts among officers of the city of Eureka’s police force was painful and caused me great sadness, anger and concern to see that some members of the Eureka Police Department have a pattern of behavior and culture extremely disrespectful to women, people of color, people protesting legally, and people, frankly, who are extremely vulnerable and down on their luck.

I will follow closely the investigation promised by Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson to ensure that this investigation begins immediately and is transparent and appropriate to the serious nature of this behavior.

We put our trust in law enforcement to follow the law and enforce the law in a way that instills trust in our community. We should not have to rely on anonymous sources to reveal unacceptable and egregious behavior. I can only hope that this investigation reveals that this behavior is limited to a few officers and that that actions taken against these officers will result in allowing us to trust the city’s force and its leadership.

I sincerely hope this does not reveal much deeper cultural issues within the police department and I am pleased that Chief Watson has taken immediate action this afternoon by opening an independent investigation and placing to the two officers in question on leave.