Arraignment only the first step in Moore case
Law enforcement bloggers weigh in on indictments
TS It's not just Humboldt County that is worked up about the indictments of two Eureka commanders stemming from the April 2006 shooting death of Cheri Lyn Moore.
”(The Police Officers Research Association of California [PORAC]) would be very interested in the eventual outcome of this case because of the far-reaching consequences,” said association President Ron Cottingham.
In his 33 years in law enforcement, he said, he has never heard of scene commanders being indicted in the aftermath of their decisions.
But Cottingham is far from the only one who will be watching the proceedings closely.
A criminal grand jury returned indictments of involuntary manslaughter, officially announced Monday, against former Eureka Police Chief David Douglas and Lt. Tony Zanotti for their decision-making roles.
Moore, who had a history of mental illness, barricaded herself in her apartment, brandishing a flare gun and threatening to burn down the building. The two-hour standoff ended when officers forced entry into Moore's apartment and shot her multiple times.
News of the indictments has moved quickly, and is now the topic of discussion on several law enforcement blogs, where many in the law enforcement community have weighed in on the possible ramifications. Not surprisingly, given the nature of the Web sites, most of the comments seem to fall on one side of the issue.
”This is crazy,” the poster wrote on www.policeone.com. “I have never heard of this. This is pure lunacy that the DA in Humboldt County would even think of bringing charges against the command staff. Are we not supposed to work together? Must be an election year, and the DA must be trying to make some news.”
In a similar thread on www.officer.com,, another poster had a similar take.
”Well, if this case gains any kind of credibility, we in California had our remaining free hand cuffed,” the poster wrote. “It used to be danged if you do, danged if you don't. Now it's just danged.”