Arcata, CA–Next week Thursday Mar. 22 2018, the City of Arcata will hold a public forum to address concerns of racism and safety for people of color in Arcata’s community.
These forums were asked for by the mother of Humboldt State University student David Josiah Lawson, who was killed at a house party last year April 2017. Although a suspect was arrested at the scene he was released three weeks later due to insufficient evidence to hold him for trial.
There is currently no one in custody for Lawson’s death.
The City of Arcata agreed to six public sessions which were abruptly ended after the fourth one turned “contentious” between city officials, HSU staff and students of color who were frustrated over the lack of progress in Lawson’s case.
The decision was made last month to resume the meetings after Charmaine Lawson had a meeting with Arcata’s City Manager Karen Diemer as well as the current Mayor Sofia Pereira. Members from the Eureka chapter of the NAACP’s Legal Redress Committee were also present.
To protect the integrity of the investigation, updates into Lawson’s case will not be discussed.
Although this press release was supposedly sent to all local media, it was not published on any local media platforms and this information is not listed anywhere on the city’s website or social media accounts.
In addition, this press release was sent out after public inquiry on why the city did not promote the meetings as they agreed to.
Update* The meeting is now posted on the city’s “Facebook” after emails were sent, but no word from local media and it is a “press release.” How can local media pick and choose what press releases to post when they usually post the city’s press releases super quickly? How is that journalism, in regards to keeping the public updated and informed? This is what happens when you have small town newspapers ran solely by white men. They don’t care about sharing the experiences of community’s of color or keeping up with them.