> Video may capture loggers'
> "Everyone on edge' after Humboldt
> protest death
> Sep. 22, 1998
> By MIKE GENIELLA
> Press Democrat Staff Writer
> Humboldt County authorities Monday expanded
> their probe into last week's death of a
> Earth First! protester after activists
> videotape disclosing a heated exchange
> victim David Chain and loggers a few hours
> before he was killed by a falling tree.
> At the same time, Arcata police announced
> are conducting an arson investigation into
> weekend fires that destroyed a Redwood
> Co. logging truck and threatened several
> parked rigs at two locations.
> Police said physical evidence at both
> them to believe the fires were deliberately
> the same person. Police declined Monday to
> speculate on a motive, but timber interests
> they feared the incidents might have been
> retaliation for Chain's death.
> "Everyone is on edge. We're all taking
> security precautions,'' said a logging
> owner who did not want to be identified.
> Sheriff's investigators today plan to fly
> rugged and remote Pacific Lumber Co.
> site 17 miles east of Highway 101 at
> see if a pattern of falling trees exists to
> contentions by environmentalists that a
> Thursday knowingly cut redwoods in the
> direction of Chain and other protesters,
> the first fatality in a decade of
> protests on the North Coast.
> The logging operation has been shut down
> Thursday's incident, and the site sealed
> pending the sheriff's investigation.
> "We're going to get as much factual
> as possible, and then we're going to turn
> results to the district attorney's office
> said Lt. Steve Cobine.
> Activists on Monday demanded that sheriff's
> detectives conduct a "manslaughter
> in light of the video's contents.
> But Cobine said while the department is
> to conduct "an unbiased review'' of
> circumstances that led to Chain's death,
> investigators plan to leave it up to
> County District Attorney Terry Farmer to
> what, if any, culpability exists.
> "As investigators, we're not here to decide
> was right or wrong. The facts as we gather
> will determine that,'' said Cobine. He
> speculate on how long it might take before
> case is turned over to prosecutors for
> The expanded sheriff's investigation was
> prompted by a video tape apparently filmed
> scene by a trespassing activist within a
> of Chain's death.
> The tape, if proved authentic, contradicts
> reports by Pacific Lumber representatives
> logging crew was unaware Chain and others
> were in the area when the fatal accident
> happened. The company initially said
> worked undisturbed from 7 a.m. to about
> when Chain is believed to have been crushed
> death by a falling redwood.
> A video tape turned over to authorities
> an angry logger shouting obscenity-laced
> warnings at Chain and other intruders.
> difficult at times to hear every spoken
> logger at one point seems to threaten to
> tree falling in the direction of protesters
> don't leave.
> Pacific Lumber spokeswoman Mary Bullwinkel
> conceded Monday that initial company
> statements indicating the logging crew was
> unaware Thursday that activists were even
> site were incorrect. She said those
> stemmed from sketchy information first
> from company workers at the scene.
> "Things were happening very fast. We got
> best information we could at the time,''
> Bullwinkel said even with the tape's
> it's clear there had been no confrontation
> least an hour before the accident.
> "There is no way a logger could have
> targeted Mr. Chain by falling a tree in his
> direction,'' said Bullwinkel.
> Pacific Lumber President John Campbell said
> Monday he viewed the tape and found it
> "We could not identify the person speaking
> because the sun was shining behind his
> he could not be clearly seen. Nor could any
> the intruders, because their backs were
> the camera,'' said Campbell.
> Campbell said while it's clear the logger
> angry, "I don't think what he was saying
> Campbell admitted the obscenity-laced
> captured on tape "doesn't present a pretty
> "But given the circumstances, I think the
> frustration is understandable,'' said
> © 1998 The Press Democrat
David M. Walsh
P.O. Box 903
Redway, CA 95560
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Home (707) 986-1644
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