Eureka Police Department<br />Press Release Eureka Police Department
Press Release
Eureka Police Department
604 C Street
Eureka, CA  95501

Phone:  (707) 441-4060
FAX:     (707) 441-4334


9/4/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 090820
Subject :

Audio/Video Released from July 23, 2020 OIS
Contact : Brittany Powell, Public Information Officer, Police    (707) 441-4388
    bpowell@ci.eureka.ca.gov
, ,     
    

Addendum to Update to July 23, 2020 Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation:  Release of Video/Audio Recordings & Toxicology Report

 

 

The four involved officers who fired their duty weapons were all wearing body worn cameras.  Captain Patrick O’Neill was not as he generally doesn’t wear one in his assignment as a field operations commander, and he responded straight to the scene from his residence.  One officer’s camera ran and recorded the entire incident (Endsley).  One officer’s camera’s battery “died” around 2 hours into the incident (Omey).  Another officer’s camera had a dead battery/malfunction from the beginning and recorded nothing (Wilson).  The remaining camera was powered on but kept getting bumped by the officer’s weapon/equipment due to its position on his body causing it to record and then stop recording (Bishop).  This camera however, since it was powered up, still collected video that investigators were able to retrieve.  This type of video is called a “Recording-After-The Fact” and contains no audio.

 

The Eureka Police Department was an early adopter and leader of body worn cameras in Humboldt County. We have had our current batch of body worn cameras for almost 4 years and they are past their service life, so we are seeing battery issues with almost all of the ones we have that are still functioning.  EPD placed an order for 42 new body cameras the first week of June, at a cost in excess of $80,000.  Once they arrive, we will have top of the line cameras and a new, upgraded digital storage system.

 

Earlier release:

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Pursuant to California Government Code §6254(f)(4), modified by Assembly Bill 748 (AB 748), effective July 1, 2019, video and/or audio recordings depicting the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer shall be made public within 45 days of the event by the agency provided the release would not significantly interfere with a criminal or administrative investigation.

 

Today, the Eureka Police Department is prepared to release the audio files and transcriptions of phone calls and radio transmissions related to the officer-involved shooting on July 23, 2020, as well as an officer’s body worn camera recording depicting the discharge of the firearm.  Subsequent video and photographic material as well as the investigation of the Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) will be released within coming months in accordance with the law and SB 1421, as completed.

 

This material can be accessed through the Transparency Portal on the Eureka Police Department’s website under the section “Officer Involved Shootings.” Warning: The video/audio material may contain graphic and disturbing images along with strong language. Viewer discretion is advised. 

 

http://www.ci.eureka.ca.gov/depts/police/transparency_portal__sb_978/default.asp

 

The investigation into this officer-involved shooting is ongoing. The CIRT investigators involved in this case have completed the interviews of the involved persons and are continuing the process of examining all related evidence. The toxicology report related to Mr. John Karl Sieger showed a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit and the presence of prescription medication. All of the information collected by the CIRT investigators will be compiled in reports and forwarded to the District Attorney for review.                                              

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Media Release Prepared by:  Chief Steve Watson and Records Manager Amanda O’Neill

Addendum to Update to July 23, 2020 Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation:  Release of Video/Audio Recordings & Toxicology Report

 

 

The four involved officers who fired their duty weapons were all wearing body worn cameras.  Captain Patrick O’Neill was not as he generally doesn’t wear one in his assignment as a field operations commander, and he responded straight to the scene from his residence.  One officer’s camera ran and recorded the entire incident (Endsley).  One officer’s camera’s battery “died” around 2 hours into the incident (Omey).  Another officer’s camera had a dead battery/malfunction from the beginning and recorded nothing (Wilson).  The remaining camera was powered on but kept getting bumped by the officer’s weapon/equipment due to its position on his body causing it to record and then stop recording (Bishop).  This camera however, since it was powered up, still collected video that investigators were able to retrieve.  This type of video is called a “Recording-After-The Fact” and contains no audio.

 

The Eureka Police Department was an early adopter and leader of body worn cameras in Humboldt County. We have had our current batch of body worn cameras for almost 4 years and they are past their service life, so we are seeing battery issues with almost all of the ones we have that are still functioning.  EPD placed an order for 42 new body cameras the first week of June, at a cost in excess of $80,000.  Once they arrive, we will have top of the line cameras and a new, upgraded digital storage system.

 

Earlier release:

-------------------------------------------------------------

 

Pursuant to California Government Code §6254(f)(4), modified by Assembly Bill 748 (AB 748), effective July 1, 2019, video and/or audio recordings depicting the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer shall be made public within 45 days of the event by the agency provided the release would not significantly interfere with a criminal or administrative investigation.

 

Today, the Eureka Police Department is prepared to release the audio files and transcriptions of phone calls and radio transmissions related to the officer-involved shooting on July 23, 2020, as well as an officer’s body worn camera recording depicting the discharge of the firearm.  Subsequent video and photographic material as well as the investigation of the Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) will be released within coming months in accordance with the law and SB 1421, as completed.

 

This material can be accessed through the Transparency Portal on the Eureka Police Department’s website under the section “Officer Involved Shootings.” Warning: The video/audio material may contain graphic and disturbing images along with strong language. Viewer discretion is advised. 

 

http://www.ci.eureka.ca.gov/depts/police/transparency_portal__sb_978/default.asp

 

The investigation into this officer-involved shooting is ongoing. The CIRT investigators involved in this case have completed the interviews of the involved persons and are continuing the process of examining all related evidence. The toxicology report related to Mr. John Karl Sieger showed a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit and the presence of prescription medication. All of the information collected by the CIRT investigators will be compiled in reports and forwarded to the District Attorney for review.                                              

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Media Release Prepared by:  Chief Steve Watson and Records Manager Amanda O’Neill





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