Use of Force Incident by HSU Officer in Review

An independent review of the use of force by a Humboldt State University Police Department (UPD) officer is being conducted.

At 9:55 p.m. on Thursday, July 8, a UPD officer was conducting a security check of HSU’s Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center in Eureka. The officer encountered an African American male who was sleeping outside the building in violation of University encampment regulations.

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 he tried to pull away, the officer proceeded to spray him with pepper spray. The officer took him into custody for resisting a police officer and called paramedics, who treated the man at the scene, flushing his eyes with water.

The man was arrested, subsequently released, and his case has been submitted to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s office.

The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an external investigation into whether his actions aligned with California State University’s use of force policy and UPD protocols.

“We are committed to transparency and ensuring responses to incidents align with the values of the institution, department protocols, and governing policies,” says UPD Chief Anthony Morgan.

More information will be made available following the conclusion of the review.