Did Mo’s Life Matter?

Meet the late Morgan James Davis — “Mo” or “Big Mo” to his friends — depicted above operating a dual spindle glass blowing lathe, a machine he mastered on his way to becoming an underground artist of some renown in far northern California, during the wild, wild west era of the state’s cannabis industry in the early 21st century.

Mo made some of the best glass water pipes around, his friends recall. His spun-out designs were thick and heavy duty. “My most cherished pipe was a piece by Mo,” claimed one customer and friend. Davis spent the better part of the past 15 years practicing his craft from Redding to Chico and beyond.

“The man was truly an artist,” said another close friend.

During the past five years or so, friends say Davis began transitioning from glass-blowing to truck-driving and other occupations. As much as Mo loved creating works of art, glass blowing just wasn’t paying the bills.

“Glass is a hard gig,” said another friend of Mo’s, a fellow glass-blower. “You have to stay in it for the art because you don’t make any money.”

The fellow glass-blower, who wishes to remain anonymous, worried about his burly friend’s attempt to leave the glass blowing scene behind completely.

About a year ago, out of the blue, he said Mo told him if he was ever confronted by law enforcement officers, he’d bite chunks out of his arm, smear his extra-large frame with blood and scare the cops off with the frightening spectacle.

It sounded impossible at the time, but that’s exactly what Davis did early in the morning on June 9 at the Americana Modern Motel in downtown Redding. It cost him his life.

The incident began when a woman at the motel called 911 to report a domestic disturbance between a man and a woman in the room above her. The same woman live streamed the Redding Police Department’s response on Facebook.

The RPD later posted her nine-minute cell phone video (shot through the partially open door of her motel room) on its Facebook page with a 524-word description of the incident.

The five RPD officers, including a K-9 unit that responded to the domestic disturbance call, encountered Davis howling incoherent nonsense from his motel room balcony; no woman in distress in sight. He was naked from the waist down and bleeding from a wound on his arm. The police kept their distance and were off camera early in the video.

“Come on downstairs,” one of the officers calls up to Davis. “We’ll get you a Band-Aid.”

After 90 seconds, Davis comes downstairs, still naked from the waist down and bleeding. The RPD Facebook post notes that Davis weighs “in excess of 400 pounds,” but it’s not all fat. He’s a stout man, and as he explores the police perimeter set up around him, he looks not unlike a sumo wrestler circling the ring, exploring his opponent’s weaknesses.

The following takes place in a matter of seconds.

As the K-9 unit barks and a beanbag gun goes off, Davis stops in the center of the ring, places his left wrist in his mouth and bites into it like it was a turkey drumstick. He pulls and yanks his left arm, shredding the flesh off his wrist and spitting it out. He repeats this four times before falling to the ground, either from his own momentum, or perhaps because he was tased.

The five RPD officers pounce on Davis. During the physical encounter, which lasted about seven minutes, the suspect was kicked violently in the head, struck with a baton, tased, shot twice with a beanbag gun, placed in various control holds and bitten by a police dog. The RPD Facebook post concludes:

“The subject was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment. He arrived at the hospital at 1:43 a.m. While at the hospital the subject began to have medical difficulties and eventually died. He was pronounced dead at 2:15 a.m.”

Morgan James Davis, Mo to his friends, was 37.

Morgan Davis, as depicted by Chico cartoonist Thorn Hart

Davis’s death is the 40th fatal encounter between a suspect and Shasta County law enforcement officers since 2000, according to Fatal Encounters, a national online database that documents killings by police. Shasta County continues to rank No. 2 in California for fatal police encounters per capita.

Full disclosure, I’ve worked for Fatal Encounters as an assistant researcher in the past and its CEO is a personal friend of mine. His database is considered one of the two best in the United States for tracking deaths involving law enforcement officers.

In fact, I consulted the Fatal Encounters database on my last story, about the death of Robert Lyon on June 2, the 39th killing by Shasta County law enforcement officers since 2000. The story was published on June 8, a week after Lyon was killed by a Shasta County sheriff deputy in Cottonwood, and the day before Davis’s death in RPD custody.

I’ll admit that even though I didn’t personally know Davis, his death while in the hands of local law enforcement, coming so quickly after Lyon’s death, and in the midst of a nationwide debate on police brutality, deeply depressed me.

Until law enforcement officials are stripped of qualified immunity and held legally accountable for their fatal and non-fatal errors, it’s not just Black lives that don’t matter. White lives, Red lives, Brown lives, Yellow lives? Forget about it.

No lives matter.

Perhaps that’s too cynical. Certainly, Mo’s life mattered, at least to his friends.

Graphic artist and cartoonist Thorn Hart from Chico is several decades older than Davis and has fond memories hanging out with Mo in the university town’s art and bar scenes.

“My most cherished pipe was a piece by Mo,” Hart said. “I lost the pipe and reconnected with him [online] several years ago, and discovered he was driving truck.”

“Morgan Davis — ‘Mo’ to his friends — was a good guy,” Hart continued. “A kind heart. A talented artist. He worked as a glass blower at Blazin’ J’s in Chico for years back in the early to mid-2000s. He was a bouncer and bartender at one of Chico’s most iconic college bars back in the day, Normal St. Bar. If Mo was your friend, you knew that he always had your back. He got along with everybody.”

Hart was disappointed Mo couldn’t make him a new pipe, but made a point of staying in touch with the truck driver through Facebook Messenger and texting in the years since then. It wasn’t always easy since Hart is a progressive liberal and Mo was a die-hard Trump fan. Mo’s last message to Hart was a Sean Hannity-style rant sent several days before his death:

“Well I guess we both believe the other side has lying leaders with a bunch of cronies trying to hijack and destroy the country with corrupted news media backing them. I’m pretty sure I can’t stand or believe anything from the left with as much passion as you on the right. To me this is all system overload stop trump at all costs election year tricks. I hope you pay attention to crossfire hurricane! Obama’s attempted overthrow of president Trump is finally being investigated and dirty Democrats and cronies gonna get indicted for real crimes against our country!!”

“My challenge was to keep my channel to Mo open, despite my abhorrence for Trump,” Hart says.

Eidem framed this 2007 issue of Cannabis Culture magazine featuring Morgan Davis’s glass work.

Anthony Eidem, owner and operator of the Gearhead Barbershop and Social Club, which features shops in Chico and Reno, also goes back to the early 2000s with Morgan Davis. At the time, Eidem had a barbershop and tattoo parlor just up the street from Blazin’ J’s. Eidem decorated his shop with Mo’s work, cut Mo’s air and inked Mo’s body.

Mo would often hang out and swap stories with Eidem after haircuts and the two grew close over the years. The RPD said it found “suspected methamphetamine, cocaine, acid and other prescription medications” in Davis’s motel room. Eidem freely admitted that he had done drugs with Mo in the past, but said Mo had given up controlled substances because he faces regular drug testing as a truck driver.

“He was truly an artist,” said Eidem, who last saw Mo in person about a year ago, when he stopped in at the Gearhead Barbershop in Reno for a haircut with his sister in tow. Mo would sometimes confess to having the blues, but Eidem said he and Mo shared a similar approach to fighting depression: stay busy, and that’s what Mo appeared to be doing.

“He wasn’t drinking or taking any drugs; he was goal orientated,” Eidem said. “I find this all very hard to believe. Even if he was under the influence, he would never attack anyone. That’s not Mo. That’s not the guy I know. He was sweet. He was good.”

But the anonymous glass blower says Davis had a darker side.

“He’d come in the shop and be depressed,” he said. “It’s hard to get behind a 1400-degree torch and you’re putting all this work in and not making any money. He was at it for 15 years.”

He was aware that Davis was driving truck and attempting to better his life financially. About a year ago, Davis told him what he’d do if he ever found himself surrounded by police.

“He said he’d scare them by biting chunks out of his arms. He had this mentality that he was unstoppable, along with the fact that he’d be bleeding and looking crazy.”

Davis was a big man who was aware his size was intimidating, the anonymous glass blower said.

“Sometimes when he’d catch a buzz the big burly person would come out of him,” he said. “We all knew he could be that kind of guy.”

Morgan James Davis, shortly after being kicked in the head by police and just before he was struck with a baton.

According to RPD’s Facebook post, no woman in distress was found in Davis’s motel room. “It is currently unknown if a female was ever in the room with the subject.”

The post also says Davis feigned a charge after descending the staircase, but as the video shows, it was a weak feint at best. The suspect was clearly more interested in harming himself than police.

Two minutes into the cell phone video, Davis falls to the ground after repeatedly biting himself. Four RPD officers and a K-9 unit immediately pounce upon him.

They have difficulty controlling the writhing behemoth. Some 55 seconds later, Davis flexes his massive body and grunts out a mighty “Argghhh!” The RPD realize they can’t control him, release their holds and back away.

The big man in the XXXTRA Large black t-shirt sits back with his bare ass on the concrete and is at least self-aware enough to cover up his exposed genitals with both hands, looking somewhat like a humble Buddha prepared for the inevitable blows to come.

A split-second later, a RPD officer standing directly behind Davis and outside the suspect’s field of vision kicks Mo in the back of the head like he was kicking down a door. Davis’s head whiplashes as the officer follows through with his black boot and shoves Davis back to the ground.

A second later, as Davis struggles to regain all fours, another RPD officer strikes the suspect across the skull with a baton. Davis continues to resist for several more minutes, but the battle is over. Slightly more than one hour after encountering the RPD, Morgan James Davis, Mo to his friends, dies at the hospital.

His life mattered to his friends but not to most of the hundreds of people who commented on the RPD’s Facebook post. While a few commenters begged the RPD to take the video down out of respect for Davis’s surviving family members, most congratulated the RPD for a job well done. This post was typical:

“Policing is now a thankless job … thank u officers for keeping society safe … white fat guy, obviously out of his mind on drugs, dies in police custody, no one cares … what is going on with our society … I didn’t see anything wrong that the police did … sometimes ppl die…don’t do drugs!”

I emailed a series of questions to both Redding Chief of Police Bill Schueller and Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini regarding the deaths of Robert Lyon and Morgan Davis, and despite several reminders, they’ve failed to reply.

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it comes from the anonymous glass blower, who broke down sobbing several times while we talked about Mo’s death on the telephone.

“He had talked about doing this sort of thing while he was high,” he said. No one took it seriously. “Then, when he was surrounded by police officers, he found out he had made a bad decision.”

“I don’t want stuff like that to happen ever again,” he said. “He was my friend. I don’t want that to happen to other people.”

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas. He can be emailed at RVScheide@anewscafe.com.
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140 Responses

  1. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Thank you R.V.

    Police brutality must be stopped. They are not employed to be cop, judge, jury and executioner, and I believe most cops don’t want to be anyone other than a peace officer. This incident must be investigated.

    Defunding the police, does not mean eliminating police departments as Trump and some hard right conservatives would like us to believe.
    It means training on use of non deadly or nonviolence in policing unless an officer or citizen is clearly at risk .
    It means imbedded use of social workers and medical – mental health professionals.
    It means transparent reports of force to the Justice Department and a national registry of misconduct by law enforcement officers.
    It means required body cams.
    It means a community board to be implanted into all investigation of deadly force and misconduct, by any governmental agency.
    It means valuing and saving the live of any citizen, including a person in custody or one about to be placed in custody.
    It means changing a “use of force standard for peace officers from ‘reasonablenes’ to only when it is necessary to either prevent death or “serious bodily injury,” requiring peace officers to use deescalation techniques and only resort to force as a last resort, and would condition federal, state and community funds and grants to local department on their adoption of this standard, as monitored by communities.
    It means citizens care about people like Mo as much as they do themselves.
    It means money to pay for change.
    It means adoption of a National Standard for all peace officer workers.

    Mo didn’t have to die. At last resort, a simple shot of cheep medication could possibly have calmed Mo down if mental health worker could not deescalate him. Mo was clearly not armed, was not putting the life of anyone at risk, was out numbered, wasn’t going anywhere and time could have been given to do the right thing.

    Sadly, we see so much good talk coming from our law enforcement department heads… It’s time they, as well as our community does the walk.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Just give him some time–that’s exactly what I thought Christian. When he sits up the first time, it’s pretty clear he’s exhausted and isn’t going anywhere. Talk to the dude! But no, the rookie cop kicks him in the head.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        R.V., when a pilot operating commercially is in an accident, he or she has to submit to a drug test. Do you happen to know if that’s the case with LEOs in the aftermath of an encounter leading to a civilian death? I have a fair amount of experience working with law enforcement and training ex-law enforcement officers, but I’ve never thought to ask that.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Hal, I asked questions on both of those issues to Chief Schueller and Sheriff Magrini. Sent them my email a week ago, reminded them several times. They were straight-up serious journalism questions. Still no answer.

          We may be finding out whether RPD regularly tests its officers for marijuana and cocaine when and if the Will Williams case gets to court. LOL.

      • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

        Yes, time. What’s also disturbing is the gentleman could have been handcuffed or leg cuffed at any point. From there simply left alone until medical professionals could arrive and assess the situation. So much went wrong and unfortunately is most likely going wrong at any given minute on any any given day in this nation. Until we as a nation stand up and fix this we are complicit in a lot of death.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Christian, I didn’t want to get too grotesque in the story, but one of younger cops was assigned the job of cuffing Mo, who not only had thick wrists but had seriously mutilated his left wrist. In the video you can see the cop has trouble getting the cuffs on. The job obviously required those big zip ties.

          As you note, this is a completely botched arrest, which makes it even more amazing that RPD has left the Facebook post up.

    • Avatar Marcia A Parker says:

      After this incident and the shocking amount of in-custody deaths that occur here, I reached out to Doug Lamalfa and pleaded with him to vote for police reform. He didn’t. Audrey Denney has my vote this November.

  2. Avatar StJude says:

    The one giant RPD officer draws his baton all the way back like Babe Ruth ready to knock his cranium out of his skull across the street over to Taco Bell and that’s exactly what he did in video as you can hear strike echo all through that motel court yard. Chief Bill Schueller should be terminated…

    This is one reason among many that Redding Police Chief Bill Schueller and Sheriff Magrini Must Be Fired !

    FIRE Sheriff Magrini ! Fire Redding Police Chief Bill Schueller ! Protest Event Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Saturday at 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM 300 Park Marina Cir., Redding


    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I have to admit, Magrini is starting to make Bosenko look like he was competent.

      Schueller is a bullshit artist who claims his troops are already fully trained.

    • Avatar Laurie says:

      The protest is on SUNDAY, tomorrow, June 28, at 6:30 -9:30 pm, 300 Park Marina Circle, Redding.

      Let’s make the police department aware that we refuse to tolerate this kind of systematic brutality and secrecy/coverup in response to legit questions by journalists and citizens, nor will we tolerate Sheriff Magrini’s outrageous buddy relationship with the local militias, which is obviously unethical, and—as we saw at the courthouse demonstration—is a clear threat to public safety.

      The fact that RPD, a tiny department in a small town, is #2 in the state in police killings is an outrage, pure and simple. Join us tomorrow evening to demand reform and accountability, so that Redding and Shasta County citizens won’t have to live in fear of our own law enforcement. And fervent thanks to R.V. Scheide for bringing this ugly situation to light. RIP Mo.

  3. Avatar Annelise says:

    Outstanding. Thank you for humanizing someone most of Redding would never have thought of as a real person. Surely there are better ways to police.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Actually, I kind of see Morgan Davis as representative of most of Redding. He was a hard worker with skills who just wanted to get by doing what he loved. He needed therapy, not the police.

      • Avatar Annelise says:

        RV I agree I just mean many would have judged him by the single police encounter they saw on video.

      • Avatar mark stolzoff says:

        I’ve been a BLM supported and since day 1 and been fighting against police brutality for even longer but I’m baffled as to what you think should have been done in this case?

        • Avatar Kathryn McDonald says:

          I am a trained mental health professional with experience including director of a San Francisco mental health facility. Mo was clearly psychotic and needed to be held under a 5150, not murdered.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Mark, maybe your white privilege is getting in the way? White privilege as in Mo had it coming. It’s a common attitude, and one reason why this problem is so hard to solve. Watch the video again Mark.

          • Avatar Candace says:

            R.V., I can’t bring myself to watch another tragic video. In fact, I’m sorry to have read this which in no way means I’m sorry you wrote about it; I’m just sorry that there’s a need to do so.

  4. Avatar Jessica says:

    Wild West, Indeed.. We can only assume that our local law enforcement believe they are judge, jury, and executioner in Shasta County, and it seems the community agrees.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      It’s the community agreeing with it that’s the hard part for me to swallow Jessica. This is bad policing, and RPD is taking a victory lap on Facebook.

    • Avatar Jist Cuz says:

      “… and it seems the community agrees.”

      In a pigs eye literally +!+

  5. Avatar Karen Calanchini says:

    Redding police do what they are trained to do, to protect and serve. This was a person in a crazed state of mind, doing damage to himself and possibly others. They handle the situation, as it is when they arrive. They must remove the threat to themselves and those in the area. Take away their training and power to remove the threat and you are going to see many more officers killed or badly hurt. Already, many are not going into law enforcement as planned.

    Let our police do the jobs they were hired to do. We are in a world, many of us have never seen before. It is not fun and games. I am thankful for the high degree of training our local police get, and I trust them to do the right thing given the circumstances. Until you walk in their shoes or have worked in law enforcement, you have no idea what they face each and every day.

    • What if someone you loved was suffering a mental health episode? Is this how you would want them treated by police?

      If this is an example of how RPD protects and serves, then I say our local law enforcement system is clearly broken.

    • Avatar StJude says:

      As a firefighter trained EMT you can notice no talking, no de-escalation, no simply asking him what do you want? etc……Who are you? etc….. in video

      I will never forget my EMT training by a nurse Cox I believe at Shasta College so long ago.
      He related a story of an individual they responded by ambulance of crazed out of his mind individual on heavy drugs causing a scene .

      Mr Cox asked him whats wrong, who are you ?

      The drug crazed individual said he was a duck…..

      So Mr Cox pointed to ambulance gurney to drug crazed individual and said look at this cool refreshing pond, etc…..

      Drug crazed individual climbed right up on gurney,

      and ambulance took him to hospital….

      Lot better than beating a man to death don’t you think?

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        One of the few bits of distinct dialogue I can hear at the start of the video is “Come on downstairs, we’ll give you a band aid.” It’s said with a sarcastic snarl. Now ain’t that a kick in the head.

    • Avatar Randy says:

      Here is a 400lb dude. He cannot run away. Is kicking the dude in the back of the head while he was sitting on his ass responsible police work? Until police can be held personally responsible for their irresponsible, abusive actions there will be rogue cops who get off on abuse of their authority. When someone kills a policeman it is called capital murder because LE are in a special level of authority. Why should LE not be held to higher levels of responsiblity that reflects the ‘special level’ they hold?

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        What LE have is QUALIFIED IMMUNITY. It can be easily taken away with legislation, and individual officers would be required to carry liability insurance, just like any other occupation, doctor, lawyer, journalist, etc. Officers with frequent infractions will see their insurance rates rise until it’s no longer profitable to be a policeman. This is a capitalist solution to capitalist problem.

    • Avatar Jist Cuz says:

      “I am thankful for the high degree of training our local police get, and I trust them to do the right thing given the circumstances. Until you walk in their shoes or have worked in law enforcement, you have no idea what they face each and every day.”

      Ray Foust, National Park Service Superintendent, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and RPD Chaplin told me a story one day in 1994 when quiried about LE violence. ” I got a call a few weeks ago from an RPD Captain at 1am on a Wednesday morning. RPD detective is losing it and his wife called the station. I get dressed, go to the address. This guy is totally naked, near emptly bottle of whiskey in one hand, service revolver in the other standing on the roof of his house in an upscale neighborhood crying like a baby mumbling that he’s a piece of shit and wants to die.” Ray then laughs and explains how they talked him down and that was that. No incident report. No reprimand. No psyche counceling. He went on to explain that the average IQ of a police recruit in all LE fields in 64. All that is required is a high school diploma and some rudimentary training. This behavior is common in LE profession. Cops cover for each other and corruption, drug use, theft and extortion are common tools in the streets. Word from the inside people. NO BODY CAMS, NO SLACK, PERIOD +!+

      • Avatar Richard Christoph says:

        “He went on to explain that the average IQ of a police recruit in all LE fields in 64. All that is required is a high school diploma and some rudimentary training. This behavior is common in LE profession.”

        That supposed statistic is highly questionable. Care to cite any evidence of that claim?

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          A few years ago in an interview with RPD Chief, If I remember correctly, it is arounf 85% of RPD officers that have at least a Bachelors degree.

          • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

            Your remembrance is not factual.
            It is what you “remember correctly “.

            I do believe there are many paid incentives for people to continue their education, on the taxpayers dime, from the agency they work for.
            For the record, equivalent bachelor degrees from religious schools, many achieved through on line programs, or GOD forbid, schools like trump university have deleted the significance of a bachelor degree.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            If you insist my numbers are wrong, then I assume you have the actual numbers of the education levels of RPD?

          • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

            Nationwide under 25% of cops have bachelor’s degrees.
            Your 85% number is questionable.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Karen, do you think that officer who viciously kicked Davis in the back of the head was trained to do that? I guarantee you he wasn’t trained to do that. He did it because he was afraid. He should look for new work.

    • Avatar Candace says:

      “We are in a world many of us have never seen before”. Yep, lucky “us”. Defund the police.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Many things such as “Defund the Police” can be relegated to only exist in terms of “memes”; doing so should not give less weight to the original intent of the sentiment nor should it preclude any further investigation into its meaning before one simply tosses it off as ridiculous.

  6. RV, thank you for this excellent piece of journalism. This story is a heartbreaker, and illustrates why traditionally trained police are ill-equipped to handle someone suffering a mental health crisis. Morgan’s death was tragic and completely unnecessary.

    To those who knew and loved Mo, I am so sorry for your loss.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I agree, his death was completely unnecessary.

      • Avatar mark stolzoff says:

        How do you subdue a 400lb dude running around naked threatening everyone? or do you think he should have been allowed to run amok?

        • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

          Was he threatening anyone?
          He was in a sitting position, surrounded by cops, a K9, and witnesses.
          Which of the cops offered up a discussion, a proposition, any effort to defuse the situation.

          Is a vicious kick to the back of the neck/head a proper reaction to an obvious mental crisis?
          I think not.

          If LE cannot respond without the use of deadly force they are not doing their job.

          • Avatar mark stolzoff says:

            “He was in a sitting position, surrounded by cops, a K9, and witnesses.”

            That only happened because he was threatening people, why do you think cops were called

          • Avatar Kathryn McDonald says:

            Mark Stolzoff, I have seen no indication that he was threatening anyone. The criteria for involuntary hospitalization under section 5150 of California’s Welfare and Institutions are danger to self, danger to others, or gravely disabled. Mr. Davis obviously met criteria one and three but I see no evidence that he met criterion three. Note that the code refers to hospitalization, not murder.

          • Avatar chad magnuson says:

            so true.
            5150 used to mean something. The public and LE at large have made that distress signal a joke.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Mark, the only person Morgan James Davis was threatening was himself. When he overpowered the RPD officers and they released their holds on him, he just sat there on his bare ass and covered his genitals with both hands in submission. They could have tased him again right then and there, and it would probably have been over. If Mo was attempting to commit suicide by consuming the drugs found in his room, could then have administered the appropriate antidotes by the EMTs standing by.

          Instead a rookie cop kicked in Mo in the back of the head and the struggle continued for a total of 7 minutes. Can’t wait to see the autopsy.

  7. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    I often think that LEOs make the same mistake that pilots can fall prey to when faced with an emergency: the compulsion to do something RIGHT NOW.

    I’ve never had formal training in law enforcement, but it really seems that the parallels are there–there are times when you have to do something RIGHT NOW, but there are many more situations in which taking a deep breath and truly identifying the problem at hand will lead to a desirable result.

    It seems that in law enforcement, as in aviation, getting in too much of a hurry, and failing to identify the problem, can lead to an undesirable outcome: death.

    RV, this is a compelling piece of journalism.

  8. Avatar Anita Brady says:

    I have sent request to CA State AG to have this and the June 2 LE citizen fatality investigated at the State level. The RPD is investigating the Cottonwood incident of the Deputy killer and the Shasta County Sheriff Dept is investigating the June 9 incident described above with RPD thugs.


    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Thank you Anita. There’s a long list of similar incidents involving every law enforcement agency in this county.

  9. Avatar Karen Calanchini says:

    St Jude, that is a beautiful story on how a trained health care individual can deescalate a tricky situation. Police are not trained, mental health professionals. I had a situation at my home with my husband, who has dementia. I needed to call for an ambulance and because of the situation, the dispatcher also dispatched RPD. I watched the ambulance folks, handle the situation without force, and finally got my husband to get on the gurney. Still, I was happy to have a police presence, because I had been threatened with the three tactical flashlights he was in possession of . In many situations, there is not time to call in the health professionals. Maybe, a time will come in the future where each law enforcement agency will have that type of staff on board to go out on specific calls for service.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Karen, when people are talking about “defunding the cops” one of the things they mean is bringing more mental health professionals into the mix.

  10. Avatar Tucco Salamanca says:

    Obviously Mr. Davis’ head would not whiplash rearward if he had actually been kicked in the back of the head (about 3 minutes into the video), but hey you had your jackbooted thug narrative to sell.

    Good luck getting a social worker to effectively deal with a violent methed out 400 pound ex bouncer who was allegedly fighting with the woman he checked in with. The police used every less lethal tool in their disposal: taser, bean bags, K9, control holds, baton strikes, etc. Take away those tools and they’ll be left with nothing but verbal wishes and jacketed hollow point bullets.

    The new owners of the motel have done such a great job cleaning it up that it would be a crying shame for its owners, its guests, and all of Redding to allow it go back to its former flop house infamy. I care a heck of a lot more about them than some super morbidly obese drug user who spent his life slowly killing himself and fantasizing about resisting arrest. Why should I celebrate someone whose greatest lifetime achievement was manufacturing implements intended for drug use?

    • Avatar Randy says:

      Who this guy was, what he weighed and what ever chemicals he ingested is none of your business. The overwhelming majority of mass shootings have been carried out by people on perscription drugs and some of them were skinny.

      “The RPD said it found “suspected methamphetamine, cocaine, acid and other prescription medications” in Davis’s motel room.” Can the police not test substances instead of offering their guesses as evidence?

    • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

      Mr. Salamance,

      As a social worker that has worked in a psychiatric hospital and in a jail system, I can state state you are wrong.

      I do literally fear your attitude, lack of compassion for people, lack of understanding the justice system’s mandate of equality and a peace officer’s duty to preserve and protect (all citizens), as well as a lack knowledge of mental heath and a practitioners practice, as a part of the violence problem we have in society today; it’s disturbing and dangerous.

      But sir, I don’t blame you, not nearly as much as our society, that seems to propagate and accept violence, as indeed there are a few people out there that do think like you, and sadly, as a society we are failing to change this paradigm. However, I must continue to believe that you sir are the minority in this regard.

      Best wishes.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Tucco, as the video clearly shows, the cop kicked Davis right at the base of his skull, then followed through with the kick. That’s why there’s a whiplash motion with his head. This was an extremely dangerous move by the cop. This isn’t a manufactured narrative, it’s a description of a video tape. You can’t see it because you’re biased in the extreme. Davis does not make any threatening moves toward the police, and the woman, assuming there was a woman, hasn’t said a word to anyone about Davis allegedly harming her.

      • Avatar Gm says:

        Oh geez. And you’re not biased anti LE RV?

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          I’ve got a point of view Gm, it’s true. I hate bad police work. I played it pretty straight in this story though. I’m not anti LE in the sense that I’d support the “defund the police” meme. You should know that with every single story I’ve written about Shasta County law enforcement over the past six years or so, I’ve always contacted LE to get their perspective and defend their actions that I’m criticizing. 50 percent of the time, they don’t respond to my queries, as was the case this time. Sometimes, they call the publisher and ask her what’s the freaking deal with the RV dude? Public officials whine about me to there constituencies on social media. All I did was point out how good we are at killing people. No. 2 in the state! That’s a pro LE position.

    • Avatar SB says:

      Hey Tucco Salamanaca, I think it’s spelled “Tuco”, but I like “Breaking bad” also.

  11. Avatar Jist Cuz says:


  12. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Reminds me of a training video I saw once as a young medic, supporting the notion that a tourniquet could successfully and effectively be applied to the neck, despite medical advice to the contrary. Six on one, how much danger could these cops have felt? Is there a covert meth lab in the basement at RPD?
    Thanks for the read, RV…

    • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

      Bill, I laughed at your meth lab reference, but it prompted a thought.

      A pilot operating under FAR 121 or 135 has to take a drug test after an accident. When an LEO is involved in an encounter that results in a civilian death, does he or she have to submit to a drug test?

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “…does he or she have to submit to a drug test.”

        If it’s not police policy, perhaps it should be, along with a psyche profile that confirms that no external components of emotion may have influenced the response. Allegations of excessive force resulting in death should require at least as in-depth an investigation of involved officers as certificated airmen are subject to in the wake of an aircraft incident. I have worked with the FAA and NTSB on several occasions. They are very thorough. The cop shop should be subject to similar investigative oversight.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Bill, I believe actual trained police would have felt little fear over confronting a subject like Davis. Clearly the officer who kicked Davis in the head did it out of fear and anger. He’s trained NOT to do that! One of my questions to both the Sheriff and the Chief was, what training do your officers get for handling mentally ill / high on drugs suspects? Neither official responded to my queries.

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “Clearly the officer who know caked Davis in the head did it out of fear…?”

        Or perhaps he is in the midst of an ugly divorce …
        …battling over child custody, envisioning what like to do to his ex…
        I’m not trying to be humorous here, simply suggesting that such unwarranted force may be due to externally-driven emotions having nothing whatever to do with enforcement response. If this video tells an apt tale of the incident, there appears to be grounds for a civil lawsuit by Davis’ survivors. The burden of such a civil lawsuit eventually rests with the common taxpayer. Each of us should be concerned. This is not only a violation of suspect rights, but a potentially very expensive litigation in the making.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Bill, it’s all that, and if I’m not mistaken, the same officer (I’ve seen him referred to as the human component of the K-9 unit) got the job of handcuffing this guy with gargantuan sized wrists and forearms and a left wrist that he’d taken five bites out of. Four guys are trying to hold Mo, and this guy his trying to latch the handcuffs on that totally mangled wrist. One of the questions I asked the Chief and the Sheriff was, how does this kind of stuff affect our officers and deputies. They did not reply to my questions.

  13. Avatar Karen Calanchini says:

    Many times when a person is loaded with drugs and has been for a good amount of time, the interaction with law enforcement, and what inspires is enough to kill. The human heart and body can only stand so much abuse. Law enforcement, done properly. which appears was the case in this situation, is not always to blame for someone’s demise. It is their own unresponsible actions.

  14. Avatar Karen Calanchini says:

    Sorry, I should have said “irresponsible”.

  15. Avatar Anita Brady says:

    Our LE could use this training: https://apple.news/ASiMoDaMdT7C1rQeLjMuyBQ

    • Avatar Jist Cuz says:

      Good job with the letter to State Attorney General Anita. You are correct, dirty cops abound in Shasta w/ ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY to date…. +!+

  16. Avatar Karen Calanchini says:

    Doni, I get it about the loved one. On the other hand, what if a crazed person, because LE cannot do what they are trained to do, goes off and kills a mother and her child? How would that make one feel?
    Really, the best solution is to have trained mental health personnel on staff, and ready to go on specific calls for service. Much like the police who are trained in hostage negotiation.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Where were the mother and child who were in immediate danger in this situation?

      If mom & kid weren’t right there, you might as well ask, “What if he went off and strangled 100 puppies?

      You’re rationale is that absurd. It’s as absurd as me saying, “What if the cops hadn’t killed him and he woulda later cured cancer.”

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Maybe we should just kill everybody, because they might kill everybody.

  17. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Nobody should be beaten to death for failing to comply with a LE officer’s order, unless they are putting someone else’s life in immediate danger.

    People who claim to cherish freedom and distrust the government, but defend this sort of thing, are the biggest phonies in America. There is no greater act of violating your liberty than to have your life ended prematurely and unnecessarily by an agent of the government.

  18. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    “Policing is now a thankless job … thank u officers for keeping society safe…”

    The irony of this self-canceling quote made me laugh. Very few professions are afforded more gratuitous @$$-kissing than cops. People LOVE to pretend that it’s the most dangerous job in America (it’s not in the top 10) and that it’s only cops separating us from dystopian anarchy. I must have a half-dozen neighbors who fly thin blue line flags.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Steve I recently read this interesting article on the origins of the thin blue line flag and the artist’s intention symbolically were rather profound: the top 50 percent represents the lambs to be protected, the bottom 5o percent represent the wolves.

  19. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    Certainly the death of a citizen while in custody of LE should never be assumed to be acceptable. The role of LE is not to terminate the situation in the shortest possible time frame. Whatever happened to evaluate, call in assistance, defuse the situation in stead of killing the suspect?

    While Mo’s death is tragic, the real tragedy is the number of deaths, 40, at the hands of LE since 2000.
    This disgusting Accomplishment at the hands of LE in our area is what defines our community as something far short of humane, caring or welcoming.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      “…defuse the situation in stead of killing the suspect?”

      Was the result of the autopsy released? Do we know the cause of death?

      • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

        We know RPD had a person in their custody die.
        Sounds like you are OK with loss of life and giving cops the benefit of doubt.
        Oh yeah I forgot you did a ride along! Consequently cops are always innocent.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          It was a rather simple question, Chad that you made a lot of assumptions over. Perhaps the prudent and fair thing to do is to wait for the autopsy report to determine the cause of death. I’m not blaming the victim, nor am I ready to indict the officers. Why not wait until all the information comes out?

          • Avatar Jennifer Shaul says:

            My questions to you, Doug..Why do you have such disregard for human life? Why so callous? I’m sorry for whatever happened to you in your life. It’s obvious that you’ve been through challenging times yourself.
            We all express anger and depression in different ways. You express yours in the comment section of a local news outlet instead of biting your own arm off. But don’t worry, I’m not waiting for your autopsy report to conclude that you are hurting. I see you.
            Doug, we all feel debilitating pain we just express it in different ways. Maybe it’s time to ask why everyone is feeling so much pain?

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Jennifer, How do you make the determination that I have a disregard for human life? That’s rather random. My query was simple. What was the cause of death? Could have been an overdose, a heart attack, it could have been caused by the actions of the police. We don’t know that. Before we rush to judgement, which seems to be a common occurrence on these pages…let’s see the results of the autopsy. My guess is the report isn’t completed yet.

            From that simple question you make the determination that I have a disregard for human life and I am hurting? Wow… a bit judgmental there Jennifer?

      • Avatar Jist Cuz says:

        We have the video proof, murder by cop +!+

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        Doug, the Sheriff is also the Coroner in Shasta County, and questions about cause of death reports and the current availability of them were included in the email query I sent to the Sheriff on its official channel. The Sheriff did not reply to my query.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          RV…I’m pretty certain that the autopsy report isn’t completed yet. It takes awhile. in 2011 when I was on the Grand Jury, there was a police shooting by RPD of a Native American on hwy 273. The GJ was able to follow the complete investigation all the way through, I even attended the autopsy of the victim. I think all of us that went through and observed all the inquiries, investigation, the interviews all came away with the feeling that the entire process was done professionally and fairly. and not all of us were pro-police, we had GJ members from all walks of life and some quite critical of law enforcement.

          This particular incident happened just 3 weeks ago, they are in the very early stages of investigating, probably why the lack of response to your query. I just believe that it is way too early to cast judgments and jump to conclusions before the facts are known. There is a possibility that the autopsy hasn’t even been done yet.

          • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

            You certainly were a busy Grand Jurists. Multiple ride alongside, attending autopsy’s, performing investigations on your own. All the while working full time.

            Funny comment from you concerning Grand Jury members being critical of LE. It has been my personal experience here in Shasta county that being critical of LE is a non starter for being chosen to serve on the GJ.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            If you believe that, then you don’t know much about the Grand Jury, Chad. My GJ was a good mix of liberals and conservatives and middle of the road types. If you read our report from that year, you would see an investigation that was initiated by a prisoner complaint to the GJ. The report was highly critical of the Sheriff and the correctional officers in our county jail. our findings and recommendations were ignored by the Sheriff, however. Ask Annelise, she was a GJ member also, I’m sure she could attest to the mixture of political ideology of the jurors

            Yes, I kept very busy in my two terms as a Grand Jury member. I devoted about 20-25 hours a week to Grand Jury business, while working nights. We would normally work 4 days a week from about 9am to 2pm, then I would rush off to my other job. I took my duties as a GJ member quite seriously, which is why I was encouraged to be a holdover to the next term.

          • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

            Yes Doug, we realize you are the exception to the rule as you have professed repeatedly.
            Perhaps both my written and verbal responses eliminated my application.
            So much for honesty among GJ applicants during the selection process.
            Or perhaps it was desire to champion LE reform including a citizen review commission for LE.
            I would not of had the choice to dedicate 20-25 hours a week to the GJ. But I do not recall that as a prerequisite for service.

          • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

            Doug, are you captain obvious or what? No kidding the autopsy isn’t done yet. I was also inquiring about Robert Lyon’s autopsy, which should be done. I sent the chief and the sheriff multiple questions, with plenty of time to answer. They didn’t answer any of my questions. Too bad you didn’t do a better job on the Grand Jury. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Chad, not all jurors spent that much time on the job, Some did little but show up to the weekly mandatory meeting. Out of the 19 jurors, maybe ten of us were responsible for the lion’s share of the work.

            I see you are upset that your application was turned down. All applicants are made to write a brief essay on why they want to be GJ members. If you come across as having a particular bone to pick with the local government, you will be rejected.

  20. Avatar Jist Cuz says:


    I’d call them myself if they weren’t already involved. Civil Rights Violations?


  21. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    Since our local LE lack a sense of formal training in so many aspects of their job, are taught their lives are more important than keeping the peace, are taught killing a suspect is a reasonable response, and forget the basic premise of serve and protect, perhaps training for the public is in order.
    1. Only answer lawful questions from LE.
    2. Never assume you are guilty.
    3. Never pull over till you are in a public well illuminated area.
    4. Never trust what LE say. Remember, they are protected from lying to you. They can legally lie to you to trick you.
    5. Never trust LE when they attempt to engage in what seems like a friendly conversation.
    6. Always challenge and question authority.
    7. Remember a cop is taught to be concerned about their own safety, not your safety.
    8. Remember, a call from someone complaining about your behavior or actions is not an indictment of your guilt or innocence.

    So many more cautions should be taught.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      No. 3 is pretty hard to do if you get lit up on a lonely country road!

      • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

        Yeah that is difficult.
        I got ‘lit up” by chp and did not pull over for 3 miles.
        I acknowledged the blue lights but waited for 3 mikes before pulling over. I simply thought it was not safe.
        The chp officer said he was ok with me not pulling over immediately.
        Although I doubt many cops would be as understanding.
        However, I have instructed my wife to not pull over and drive to the nearest well lit and occupied area.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          I suppose if I got lit up between Whitmore and Millville, I could wait till I got to Millville. It’s scary. What if I got pulled over by a cop who knew I’d written stories about cop killings>

          • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

            If that were the circumstance, I would hope someone would take up the cause as you have for MO.

            Your hypothetical question defines the issue with policing today.
            Why do our opinions or questions, especially those that “question authority” stir negative responses?
            When people accept police actions as acceptable, as several people expressed on these pages are proud to support without question, is almost as disturbing as the systemic racism that infects LE today.

  22. Avatar The Old Pretender says:

    Seeing similar videos, I’m a bit surprised LE aren’t gunned down in the streets more often because of citizen fear for their safety. I often hear harping about how dangerous the job is, but LE is 16th in the nation of the most dangerous jobs–behind construction helpers. Excessive violence in policing, and an armed public, may start to raise that rank if de-militarization is not started and soon. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      You bring up an interesting contradiction OP. Why aren’t more police gunned down in the street? Because gun owners tend to be strong supporters of the police. But what would happen if all the Trump-supporting gun owners suddenly went Sovereign Citizen nationwide, attacking police depts. courthouses, etc? Could such a scenario be possible if, say, Trump loses the election?

      • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

        RV, the scenario you describe is happening today.
        The nation, world wide protests focused on the greatest country. On its lack of morals in every element of society. Economic, police, religion, government.
        We are experiencing some significant inroads to exposing LE racism in so many ways unfortunately at the expense of blacks and minorities .
        And we are only touching the surface of the problem. We are only reacting to the most obvious. The systemic element of racism will be long and tough battle.

      • Avatar Jist Cuz says:

        STATE of JAY RISING #OMG +!+

  23. Avatar Joanne Snyder says:

    Thank you for this article R.V. You made Morgan Davis “real” for us. Only an autopsy and thorough investigation will help explain what happened that day.
    Was he being arrested for disturbing the peace or public nudity? Would he have survived if he had stayed on the balcony and said…”We’ll keep the sound down.”
    I remember the day a big young man marched into my class room, towered over me and said “Who gave you the right to call my probation officer?” I had in my favor that he weighed only 200lbs, I knew him and I had gained some experience with threating behavior in my work. I said the right things in the right tone of voice and he marched out of the room. Whew.
    I like the idea of t having a negotiator along with LE calls of this type. Again, great article R.V. I hope you can follow up with more information about this man at the time he was killed.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Thanks Joanne. Your comment about the big kid in your classroom reminded me of a time I was subbing at the problem kid high school, lost my temper with this one big kid, and said the wrong thing. I probably could have whipped him, but I was really glad I defused the situation by instantly apologizing.

  24. Avatar Ted Woodward says:

    Violent sustained exertion while on methamphetamine can easily lead to cardiac arrest (other local examples are Scott Wininger and Steven Motley).

    But the rules governing police use of force are more stringent when dealing with someone in the throes of a mental health episode. Here I’ll copy part of the ruling from another local example of excited delirium, Matthew Robinson: https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20190502e25

    First, as of 2001, the Ninth Circuit had observed that “[t]he problems posed by, and thus the tactics to be employed against an unarmed, emotionally distraught individual who is creating a disturbance or resisting arrest are ordinarily different from those involved in law enforcement efforts to subdue an armed and dangerous criminal who has recently committed a serious offense.” Deorle v. Rutherford (9th Cir. 2001). There, an officer shot an “emotionally disturbed” individual in the face with a lead-filled “less-lethal” beanbag because the individual, who was drunk, verbally abusive, suicidal and carrying a can or bottle, was walking steadily towards the officer. The beanbag round, “akin to a rubber bullet” and potentially lethal at distances up to fifty feet, constituted force capable of causing serious injury and was permissible only if compelled by a strong governmental interest. It “knocked Deorle off his feet, removed one of his eyes” and “left lead shot implanted in his skull.” While the court did not adopt a “per se rule establishing two different classifications of suspects,” namely, “mentally disabled persons and serious criminals,” it emphasized “that where it is or should be apparent to the officers that the individual involved is emotionally disturbed, that is a factor that must be considered” in determining the reasonableness of a use of force.

    In 2010, Bryan v. MacPherson applied Deorle to new facts, finding on the merits that an officer used excessive force when he tased the plaintiff, Bryan, in dart mode and without warning, when Bryan was “a half naked, unarmed, stationary, apparently disturbed individual shouting gibberish at a distance of approximately twenty feet,” during a traffic stop. (9th Cir. 2010). The scenario was “tense” and Bryan’s behavior was “bizarre,” but the government had only a “minimal” and thus “insufficient” interest in using intermediate force to subdue Bryan. Rejecting the officer’s contention that “use of the taser was justified because he believed Bryan may have been mentally ill and thus subject to detention,” the court explained, “if Officer MacPherson believed Bryan was mentally disturbed he should have made greater effort to take control of the situation through less intrusive means.” Confirming the principle it had articulated in Deorle, the court observed:

    “A mentally ill individual is in need of a doctor, not a jail cell, and in the usual case—where such an individual is neither a threat to himself nor to anyone else—the government’s interest in deploying force to detain him is not as substantial as its interest in deploying that force to apprehend a dangerous criminal. Moreover, the purpose of detaining a mentally ill individual is not to punish him, but to help him.”

    Thus, while “[t]he government has an important interest in providing assistance to a person in need of psychiatric care; the use of force that may be justified by that interest necessarily differs both in degree and in kind from the use of force that would be justified against a person who has committed a crime or who poses a threat to the community.”

    • Avatar StJude says:

      Im glad you brought up Steve Motley Ted…..

      “Shasta County Judge, her Husband Sheriff, her Uncle the DA, Josh Lowery and Redding Police”


    • Avatar Miguel says:

      Thanks, Ted. The citations are clearly relevant to this episode — and how it unfolded to it’s tragic conclusion.

      R.V. — Man, that made for some difficult reading — but also clearly important and relevant. Thanks to you also, for giving us that picture of something that we really needed to see — unpleasant and disturbing as it might be. This is good reporting.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Thanks for those citations Ted, they do appear to be relevant here. Whether the person is mentally ill, out of his mind on drugs, or both, it falls outside the sort of criminal behavior that justifies some police shootings, such as a bank robbery for example.

      Several of David’s friends I talked to said they doubted very much that RPD found methamphetamine in David’s room. Cocaine, LSD yes, meth no. At this time RPD had not officially ID’d the drugs found. It’s possible David died by ingesting a toxic cocktail of legal and illegal drugs. If police had realized that from the get-go, they might have saved his life.

  25. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    Did LE find the meth, prescription drugs and other drugs in MO’s room before or after the brutal LE actions contributing to his death?

    If he was a 5150 suspect, why would a vicious kick to head be required? Even if the police could not handle MO, as the reporting claims, it appears they backed off to regroup and reassess the situation.
    During the reassessment what lead to the decision to kick him in the head? Or was the decision the cops alone?
    So many questions that will probably never be honestly answered.

    Just think. Another 1% city tax hike could hire more head kickers.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      “…why would a vicious kick to head be required?”

      If you look at the video closely, the officer did not kick him in the head, the officer used his foot to try and get him back on the ground, as he was resisting. He used his foot to push him back into a prone position. The officers foot did not contact his head, but his upper back.

      In order to have questions honestly answered, you have to have honest questions.

      • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

        Obviously your interpretation is skewed by your premise that LE is always innocent.

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        Doug Cook, you’re an unreliable witness and narrator as numerous commenters have noted at ANC for years. Watch the video. When the cops let Davis up, he was exhausted and clearly not a threat to anyone. The cops in Davis’s field of vision have backed off and perhaps are even trying to de-escalate the incident. Then the K-9 kicker cop, acting on his own, totally blindsides Davis from behind with a fierce kick that whips Davis’s head back and forth on his way to bouncing off the ground, where a second later he’s struck in the head with a baton. I’m not surprised that you think there’s nothing wrong this. It’s been your schtick for years.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          I was responding to Chad’s assertion…and others for that matter that said he was kicked in the head….the video clearly shows he was not kicked in the head. It is also very clear in the video that he wasn’t struck in the head with the baton. As a matter of fact, he moved at the last second and it appears from the sound that the baton hit the sidewalk. He did not get hit in the head.

          Making up facts is being an unreliable witness…pointing out the actual facts is in my estimation being reliable and responsible. I have not in any comment on this story said there was nothing wrong with what the police did. I made it clear that we shouldn’t rush to judgement or jump to conclusions before any facts are released. But it is irresponsible for anyone to misrepresent the video.

          • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

            JMO, but it’s probably wise at this point to wait on any further interpretation of the video till the coroner weighs in with a cause of death. At a point in time beyond that, it will be instructive to weigh the circumstances of the beating against the physical damage revealed by autopsy, along with officer depositions.

            In such situations, the aggregate of information must be cross-referenced to preclude interpretive bias, of which you seem to carry your fair share, Doug.

            As the ANC token conservative, you appear to be enshrined and assigned to a pedestal of conservative perspective that you have carefully constructed for yourself over many years. These folks seem to know you pretty good, and don’t hesitate to call you out on your interpretive bias.

          • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

            Doug, just exactly and specifically, what “facts” do you need to justify what 99% of us see in this video?

            Split hairs all day long, I’ll assert there’s definitely a better way to do policing.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Bill, You and I seem to be on the same page. Perhaps the timing of this article is wrong. Why put it out before any facts are known. Why the rush to judgement? I find it hard to believe that anyone viewing the video can come to the determination that he was kicked in the head and hit in the head with a baton. It is very clear that did not happen. But it is a narrative needed to be pushed to bolster the police brutality claim.
            It is not an interpretive bias, Bill…there is nothing interpretive of the video. It is what it is. Go back and look at the baton strike. See if it is anywhere close to his head. It is not. I’m not an expert on police tactics, so I wouldn’t Monday morning quarterback the response of RPD. I’m not a jump to conclusion type of guy.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Christian,I don’t necessarily disagree with your comment of maybe there is a better way to respond to these type calls. But I can’t believe that 99% of you that saw the video sees a kick in the head and a strike to the head with a baton. We can still have a police brutality discussion without exaggerated claims.
            It is no different than the narrative that the vop that murdered Floyd was a racist. As of now we have no proof of that. We have proof that he wad a bad cop and a murderer, but maybe it is just that and that alone..he is just a bad cop. A rush to judgement.

          • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

            No one said the kick in the head killed him. Doug Cook said the kick in the head wasn’t a kick in the head. For all we know, Davis could have died of an overdose. Or cardiac arrest. Every articled that criticizes cops is “too soon” for Doug Cook.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            No…you characterize it as a kick in the head…it was clearly not a kick in the head by looking at the video. , nor was the use of the baton a strike to the head.

            “.. I’m not surprised that you think there’s nothing wrong this”

            My comments have nothing to do with criticism of the cops, or excusing the cops. I will withhold judgement until more facts come out.

            What I can’t allow is your misrepresentation of the video. You said the “…suspect was kicked violently in the head”. He was not kicked in the head. Then you say, “…another RPD officer strikes the suspect across the skull with a baton.” An examination of the video clearly shows the baton was nowhere near his skull, the strike hit the pavement closer to his hip.

            As journalists should attempt to be somewhat objective, I don’t understand why the need to misrepresent what the video clearly shows?

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          “… a fierce kick that whips Davis’s head back and forth on his way to bouncing off the ground”

          That is another statement that does not coincide with the video. After the officer pushed him down with the foot to his back…not his head, Davis put his arms out and landed on his hands, not his head..he then lied down in the prone position. His head did not ‘whip back and forth and did not bounce off the ground. Are we looking at the same video?

  26. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    Signing off on Dirty Cops makes you culpable per #KARMA. Murder is murder no matter who you think you are +!+

  27. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    #NO.SLACK +!+

  28. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    Holy Crap Doug!
    A knee on the neck is simply bad policing!
    Killing a man is simply bad policing!

    Acceptance of the outcome of George Floyd, MO, and so so many others is simply bad policing!

    What has driven relatively intelligent people to accept the fate of people being killed as simply bad policing?
    What is it? Is it that police are simply doing their job? Is it denial of seeing for oneself what appears on recordings?

    Or is it a simple case of political obedience versus science fact?

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Having trouble with reading comprehension today Chad? I said that Derek Chauvin was a bad cop. I never said anything about bad policing. Chauvin should have never been a cop. I said that there is no proof that Chauvin was a racist. He very well could be, but you and I don’t know that. He had about a dozen complaints about him. If everyone of those complaints or at least most of them were African American interactions, that would go a long way into proving he is a racist. But we don’t know that as of yet. Have you heard, seen or read any account that proves Chauvin is a racist? I certainly haven’t. Maybe it is as simple as Chauvin is a bad cop and a horrible person. Not every horrible person is a racist.

      If Morgan Davis was a black man…there would be cries that the RPD are racists, right?

      • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

        True not every horrible person is a racist.
        But every racist is a bad person, a bad cop.
        The killer cop Chauvin had a long list of police misbehavior as reported by his own agency. Around a dozen or so circumstances. Yet there he was, acting in the position of a training office.
        There is no such thing as a “good cop” when they turn their eye to LE misconduct.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          And that is the conversation we should be having, Chad. Why this bad cop was allowed to remain on the force, or how he was hired in the first place. It’s true that he had a long list of complaints against him but we don’t know the specifics of the complaints, do we?

    • Avatar Richard Christoph says:


      Although we may disagree with Doug’s views and opinions, let’s at least be fair. This was clearly stated in Doug’s sentence above:

      “…. the cop that murdered Floyd…”

  29. Avatar Jist Cuz says:


  30. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    I apologize if this topic has been previously broached:

    A GoFundMe page is a relatively simple endeavor, and might gain some traction if properly presented:

    Please help uncover “Why Big MO died in the custody of Redding PD”

    …and might be the only last straw resource to being stonewalled by RPD.
    Cheers all…

  31. Avatar Doug Cook says:

    “…and might be the only last straw resource to being stonewalled by RPD.”

    What makes you think RPD is stonewalling? There is no autopsy report yet, the investigation of the incident is not completed, probably has just started. So tell me how they are stonewalling?

    • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

      “What makes you think RPD is stonewalling?”

      I am predicting it, Doug. It’ll begin soon enough…
      In the meanwhile, remember, only the truth will set you free…
      Best learn to recognize it, old son…

      Your buddy, Nostradamus

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        “…only the truth will set you free…”

        That is why I spent an inordinate amount of time on this story pointing out the actual truths. To correct the claims of violent kicks to the head, and the head bouncing off the pavement, and the claim of an officer striking the suspect across the skull with a baton, which did not happen.
        So yes, Bill…or Nostradamus…I recognize the truth.

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