Posted May 7th, 2017 on Humboldt County Craigslist:
“it was YOU Bro ! I know we are Brothers but I just cant get it out of my mind what I saw that night.i cant sleep at night.im hot and sweaty and so fuckin confused.I keep trying to block it out and change you from stabbing our President Josiah ,trying to change it to the whiteboy stabbing Josiah.But I cant,,i cant get it out of my head what I saw,and YOU know what I’m talking bout.YOU tried to stab the whiteboy while Josiah was holding him..and then…..Fuck nigga,,i cant get it out of my head,,,YOU missed the whiteboy and stabbed Josiah !!!!! I forgive you,i know it was an accident.Please forgive me God for not coming forward or if I’m wrong but it all happened so fast.”
Lawson was a sophomore at HSU from Perris, CA. He was stabbed at an off campus party April 15th, 2017 and died as a result of his injuries. He was 19.
Police arrested 23-year old Kyle Zoellner (who is not an HSU student) at the scene who admitted to police that he was involved in a fight with Lawson.
According to APD Sergeant Todd Dockweiler, they tracked down the guy who wrote the Craigslist post back in May and he has a history of writing crude and offensive comments online.
The Craigslist post would appear as frivolous or suspicious to the average level-headed person. However, take a small town and add anonymous online threads, racist trolls and well-intentioned people reading and sharing misinformation, this Craigslist post has shaped the way a lot of local community members view Lawson’s murder.
Although Zoellner was released by Eureka Judge Dale Reinholtsen due to a “lack of physical evidence” he still remains the prime suspect in Lawson’s murder.
In a request made through search warrants, APD was able to view the communications of the guy who made the Craigslist post.
“Going through some of his previous post, he is someone that you would call a troll. He has thrown out a bunch of stuff on news articles. Just this weird, random stuff. I think he has too much time on his hands,” Dockweiler relayed.
Although APD tracked down the guy, they never released an official statement regarding the post.
It is important for APD to release a statement for various reasons–which includes ensuring that a local jury does not have any preconceptions in Lawson’s murder trial.
“I guess it is in part our fault for not recognizing that people took that seriously,” said Dockweiler.
Read for yourself some of the online comments regarding Lawson’s murder posted on local media sites, which illustrates another important reason for the police to release a statement:
“It’s a shame that this man has passed and what’s worst is one of his friends know who did this and is covering up. Their slogan is “brothers before others” and it shows they are sticking to that dumb mentality.”
“Chandler is still trYing to get his 10 min of fame. Maybe when he fesses up to stabbing his bestie, he will get the attention he is trying so hard to get for himself.”
“See, the thing is: When dumb racist blacks label our entire community to be “racist”… the community will fight back against such bullshit. We WILL point out that dumb, racist blacks are dumb , racist & black. If dumb, racist blacks don’t like that… WHO CARES? This is OUR community, not theirs. NOT THEIRS. Go home, dumb racist murderers. GO HOME.”
“Take a look at the dead black’s facebook page. the guy was a total racist.”
“ Thanks for posting a photo of the “real” Josiah. Liberal outlets always show some kind of baby photo, making the deceased look like a child. Typical. But now???? Now we can see the real LL Dead J.”
“The only thing that could be more painful for the mother than not knowing what actually happened would be knowing that her son was killed while he and his gang were trying to murder the man they assaulted and lying to everyone.”
“Everybody knows that ‘Brothers United’ is a group for GAY blacks. Why are they hiding that? Too black… too strong…. yeah . uh-huh.Josiah was probably killed by a jealous boyfriend.savage.just savage.”
“Looks like Elijah = SUSPECT #1.”
“YESSSSSSSSS! It’s time for the ‘brothers united’ ( a violent, gay, racist group) to PAY for assaulting Kyle. JUSTICE FOR KYLE!!!!!!! I hope he sues HSU, Lost Coast Outpost, The Times-standard and the APD! (and if he can sue the lesbians who kept INNOCENT GrandMothers from their medications, more power to him!) It’s time to erase black privilege!!!!”
And there are hundreds of more comments just like these on various local media sites.
Well Humboldt County trolls, the joke is on you and shame on anyone who uses anonymous means to impede an active murder investigation.
It has been almost four months since the murder of Lawson and no one is currently in jail for his death.