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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Video of CSI for the officer related murder of Robert Garth

Update 08-26-2010:
Link to Redwood Curtain Copwatch's Youtube channel for more video, as much more video is continuously being added:

Also, read the Copwatch press release to catch up on this continuously developing story:

So I get the word that my buddy's brother was shot and killed near his house in Blue Lake on 08-07-2010. I ran down to the crime scene and see that the entire hwy 299 from the Glendale/Essex lane to the Blue Lake exit was shut down to traffic, including the press and the family of the officer related murder victim, Robert Garth.

I grabbed my digital still camera that has low quality video and audio and ran down through the pumpkin farm property on the north side of SR 299, just west of the Blue Lake exit. I climbed a Spruce tree about 150'-200' from the crime scene and started shooting, praying that the cops wouldn't discover me and shoot me too!

I feel the audio of these videos will demonstrate the lack of compassion by law enforcement for the victim, as they are laughing and joking about the incident. My apologies for the quality of the videos, but I was trying to avoid getting arrested or shot. I was also about 30' from the ground, level with the highway and could have been easily seen from the crime scene, if cops had any brains...

I soon ran out of battery power for my camera, but was provided another camera after returning to the victim's family and friends that were gathered in front of the victim's home, a digital video camera with a better zoom. That footage is much better quality and captures most of the crime scene investigation, including the arrival of the Coast Guard helicopter as well as interactions with District attorney Paul Gallegos and the grim reaper man Frank Jager(Update 8-13-2010 Coroners identified in video by Copwatch: Van Buskirk(corrupt) and I think, Dave Paris (the shorter guy from the coroner's). Frank Jager is a Eureka City Council guy now, and is running for mayor. He was the coroner for years- and a coverup criminal himself.)

Since law enforcement and investigators were unaware of my presence, the videos(especially the one pending release) is a rare look into the lack of professionalism and sympathy for the murder victim. The other video is 2-3 hours long, and ends with Roberts body being bagged and removed as well as the arrival of the Blue Lake fire department to spray the blood off of the highway and guard rail. The video is out of my possession and is in the hands of multiple people with multiple copies.

The other video(s) will be released as soon as possible after editing and formatting for relevant events and highlights captured.


Anonymous said...

Do any of the videos show anything? I watched the first two and only saw you playing in the trees.

Jeff Muskrat said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do any of the videos show anything? I watched the first two and only saw you playing in the trees.

August 11, 2010 2:07 PM

Fuck you anonymous. I know exactly what you are trying to do. I explained your question in depth in the above post, even before you asked it. Listen to the audio. And much more footage in better quality is coming soon.

capdiamont said...

I'm thinking, this is why RG trees need to come down, to prevent cover ups of the cops.

Carlos Quilez said...

I don't know if the above was simply misplaced attempt at humor or what. What it does show is just how INSANE capdiamont has become. It is beyond senseless to try to bait folks by using this tragedy. Nice try cap, you just got yourself promoted form simple asshole to insensitive, venomous, hateful, incredible/non-credible, pitiful asshole.

TRA said...
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TRA said...


I have read your piece here, and the entire “copwatch” press release (more on that in a minute) AND your additional comments at

I’m well aware that there are conflicting accounts of what happened.

I’m simply not ready to make up my mind, with anything near certainty, about what REALLY happened. Not being there to see it happen myself, I don’t have a lot of PROVEN, or even *substantiated* facts to look at as of yet. In fact I have a hard time seeing how ANYONE who was not there to witness it directly can be anywhere near certain, at this point, what really happened and much less that the shooting was a “murder,” as the copwatch press release says.

I’ve been around the block long enough to know that I should NOT automatically accept, uncritically, the version of events as described by the police. And I’m also quite painfully aware that the accounts given by cop(s) involved in any shooting or other situations where an officer uses deadly force, ALWAYS present a version of events that, if believed, would exonerate their actions — and accordingly I am always quite skeptical of those accounts. [That's "skeptical" meaning that I don't take the police accounts at face value and would want to see what other evidence either corroborates the police accounts or conflicts with the police accounts -- not "cynical, meaning that I would automatically DISbelieve them].

But I also know that I should not automatically, uncritically accept the version of events given by one or two non-police witnesses (selected by copwatch to be quoted or paraphrased in their press release) whose versions of events differed from the accounts of the police. Nor should I unquestioningly believe those accounts just because they are then repeated by a group like “copwatch” and treated as if they were proven facts (which is shown by the copwatch press release claiming that the deputies “murdered” Mr. Garth).

TRA said...

As you are probably aware, there are almost always some significant conflicts between what different witnesses believe that they saw and heard, or didn’t see or didn’t hear, at the scene of any chaotic incident. Some of this is due to the witnesses being in physically different positions and so they literally have a different “point of view.” Other differences stem from each witness having their own unique sets of biases and per-conceived notions, and yet other differences are simply due to the fact that neither human perception nor human memory are anywhere near 100% accurate.

That’s why I would want to know ALL THE AVAILABLE DETAILS before jumping the proverbial shark by accusing the cops of “murder.” Where were each of the witnesses standing — how far away, which direction, uphill or downhill, which way was the wind blowing (which can have a huge effect on what various witnesses could be expected to hear)? How good is each person’s sight and hearing, what kind of background noises were there, and how loud the background noise was (for example the highway, the wind)? What do ALL of the witnesses agree on (if anything)? How many witnesses (if any) saw a version of events that was reasonably consistent with what the cops described? How many witnesses describe a version of events that amounts to excessive force, negligent homicide, or in the extreme version “muder,” and do these witnesses’ accounts corroborate each other’s accounts, or do they contradict each other’s accounts in important ways.

The answer to all of these questions, and many other questions, together with the physical evidence, is what is needed for a full and fair investigation of the shooting. Making sure that all eyewitnesses are heard from and their testimony is fully recorded and examined, and compared and contrasted to the testimony of all other witnessesm, and that all of this is done in a fair and unbiased way, including by investigators from outside the sheriff’s office or DA’s office — all this is extremely important and, in my opinion, that is a great place for people to focus their efforts at this point.

TRA said...

The “copwatch” press release was either designed to purposefully destroy the credibility of “copwatch,” or else the authors somehow managed to do so by accident. First, they begin by stating their conclusions — that Mr. Garth was “murdered” by the deputies, then they go on to assert, ahead of time, that the motives of the DA and other investigators are corrupt and that the investigations will therefore amount to a cover-up. Then they quote one unnamed neighbor, and his paraphrased statement is presented as if it is proven fact and justifies the accusation of “murder.”

Then there are a lot of fact-free insinuations of a cover-up (including the insinuation that they were inappropriately “hiding” the body from public view, which is especially ironic given that other critics of the duputies post-incident actions have complained that the cops didn’t obscure the body quickly enough, which in those cases is given as evidence of the cops’ supposed callousness toward the deceased).

Then Mr. Van Buskirk is treated to a little bit of guilt-by-association with the former coroner, whose own guilt of “covering up other deaths” is also presented as if it was proven fact. Then there is the anonymous third-hand hearsay claim about what Van Buskirk supposedly said to a family member of a deseased person in another case.

Then, in your [Jeff's] comments, there is the inevitable dehumanization of the deputies by using the inflammatory and ridiculously, almost cartoonishly antiquated term “pig,” to decribe them.

And, then, just as the icing on the cake, you follow this with a final passage conveying a shameless blame-the-victim frame — and this account is related second or third-hand from, of course, an unnamed person — where the hitchhiker who was attacked by Mr. Garth is accused of bringing on the attack by defecating on Robert’s property (which I would think you, Jeff M, of all people, would not consider any kind of justification for attacking someone with a rake, or anything else).

So, in short, this copwatch press release creates an unintentional self-charicature of the copwatch group that adds weight to the description of this group as a collection of “cop-haters” (which until now I had considered unfair, though now I’m not so sure).

The authors of this press release offer quite a lesson on how NOT to maintain even a shred of credibility, and therefore how NOT to persuade anyone who does not already agree with you 100%. The press release demonstrates how this group, through their press release ENSURED that most “undecided” people who read this press release will be utterly repulsed by the rush to judgement, by the assumption of guilt (of “murder”) as opposed to an assumption of innocent until PROVEN guilty in a court of law, by the use of hearsay and guilt-by-association to smear people, by the insinuation and cynicism and misanthrope, and yes, HATRED that is fairly dripping from that press release.

As fucked up as our court system can be, I’d rather face a thousand juries of my peers than one jury made up of the “hangin’ judges” who wrote this copwatch press release.

I couldn’t have written a more counter-productive press-release even if I had tried. O.K., let me correct that — I guess I COULD have thrown in the always-persuasive “fuck the police” or “off the pigs” at the very end. But that would really have been gilding the lily.

Despite this revolting display of bias, lack of critical thinking, and the use of some of the most despicable tactics of propaganda, I am determined that I will not let this copwatch press release bias me against Mr. Garth. It’s not his fault that those who have appointed themselves as his virtual vigilante squad have taken such a counter-productive approach.

TRA said...
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TRA said...
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TRA said...

Jeff Muskrat said: “I’ll say it again, fuck the police!”

Jeff, I’ll say THIS again: More strident does NOT equal more persuasive. Often being very strident in your comments is, in fact, quite a bit LESS persuasive. If you’re just venting to make yourself feel better, that’s one thing, but if you actually hope to persuade anyone who is not already 100% decided in your favor, more measured comments have a much better chance of persuading these “undecided” folks in your favor.

That being said, I certainly understand why friends and family (and friends of the family) of the deceased cannot really be expected to remain objective.

One last note: in the Michael Franti lyric, the full sentence is “fuck the police…WE can keep the police.” Sadly, in this case, “we” were not there to keep the police, and an innocent guy was getting the crap beaten out of him by Robert Garth. That is not to suggest that it has been proven that the shooting was justified, just that “fuck the police” really is an incomplete solution, to say the least.

My condolences if Mr. Garth was a friend of yours. Whatever the circumstances, there’s a lot of heartache and outrage that goes along with a violent death like this.

I’ll also add that, for many of us, intense anger is much easier to cope with than deep sadness, so it should surprise nobody that people close to the deceased or his family are likely to be quite angry as well as very sad. There’s going to be a lot of need for healing, including but not limited to there being a full and fair investigation of the circumstances of this shooting death.

Beyond that, I hope that when the full measure of sadness hits home (if it hasn’t already) the friends and family of the deceased, and those close to them (and, yes, even deputies and the friends and family of the affected deputies who may be feeling defensive and under attack), get plenty of love and support from their friends and extended family, and if need be from spiritual guides and/or professionals who are trained and skilled in helping people work through their grief and loss.

TRA said...

Interesting...the comment form on this site claims that "violent or hateful speech will be removed."

I guess you'll have to remove (or edit) your own post, Jeff, with its "fuck off pigs" and "fuck the police" and "if pigs had brains" and the totally unproven claim that this was a "murder" (not even *alleged* murder, or *apparent* murder).

TRA said...

Having watched (and listened to) all of these videos, Jeff, it seems to me that all they really convey is that (a) you were in a tree nearby the crime scene, (b) cops were present, (c) some birds and plenty of tree branches were present, and (d) there was a fair amount of wind and other background noise.

If, indeed, you heard cops "laughing and joking" about the incident, it is not audible on these videos (at least not to me).

I applaud you for wanting to record the police response and "ground truth" the situation, but I must say that I don't quite understand why you posted these particular video clips...they seem devoid of any relevant information and felt like, frankly, a waste of 10+ minutes of my time. (However, as my time ain't all THAT valuable, its not really that great of a loss, so I'll try again if you post some new ones.)

I'll check back tomorrow and see if there is any additional video posted, containing anything of consequence.

TRA said...

I do agree that, no matter the troubled history of the man who was shot, this death and pretty much all other violent deaths are indeed tragic (OK I might make an exception for Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Stalin, or a handful of others), especially for the friends and family, and often (though to a much lesser degree) for the officers as well. And I certainly agree that some people (you know who you are) are just incredibly callous and inconsiderate in their comments, rushing to judgement one way or the other, and making mean-spirited characterizations of the dead man and/or his family, or of the officers.

The Times-Standard Topix forum comments, for example, are dominated by a particularly nasty collection of immature, crude, and incredibly cruel comments from people on both “sides” of this question (none of whom even have all the facts yet). The gloating over a man’s death, and the excoriation of his family members are particularly repulsive.

And I do think it’s fair to ask whether pepper spray and/or a taser and/or police baton and/or hand-to-hand methods might have been safely deployed to avoid the necessity of shooting and killing this man.

Again, just to be clear, I’m saying that it is “fair to ASK,” not that it is fair or appropriate to jump to conclusions about the answer.

capdiamont said...


We have quite a few videos that give nothing, audio, or visual to support any claim of wrong doing by the police.

At worst in their CSI, they displayed gallows humor, ie the same type our DA displayed in his "broken baby" comment.