Excessive use of force investigation of UPD officer still ongoing

An investigation into a Humboldt State University Police Department (UPD) officer’s excessive use of force on July 8, 2021 is still under investigation. It is unclear whether or not the officer in question is still on paid administrative leave.

We reached out to UPD Chief of Police Anthony Morgan for comment and were directed to Aileen Yoo, director of News and Information at HSU.

“We shared that the officer was on paid administrative leave to allow for the external investigation,” said Yoo. “At this time we are not able to share ongoing updates on this due to personnel rules.”

It is also unknown as to when the investigation will conclude. “We plan to provide more information when the external investigation concludes,” Yoo said.

On July 8, a UPD officer encountered an African American male sleeping outside HSU’s Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center in Eureka. The officer woke the man, who stood and began to walk away. The officer repeatedly asked the man to stop and provide his name. In an attempt to physically stop the man, the officer grabbed his arm. When the man attempted to pull away, the officer sprayed the man with pepper spray.

After being arrested and treated by paramedics, the man was released. The excessive use of force case was then submitted to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s office.

In an email from the CSU Chancellor’s Office on June 5, 2020, all 23 police chiefs for the CSU campuses across California denounced excessive use of force and lack of due care for human life. Currently, the investigation at HSU is still underway, according to Yoo, and no further details about the incident or investigation were made available.

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