Petitioning Department of Justice

Bring in California Department of Justice to investigate the Murder of David Josiah Lawson

In the early morning of April 15, 2017 a young, bright life was extinguished forever. Humboldt State student David Josiah Lawson was only 19-years old, yet he was already well recognized for his leadership prowess and charisma.

His full potential was never realized because on that morning in April, he was pepper sprayed and stabbed at an off campus party and died as a result of his injuries.

Kyle Zoellner who is not a student but a resident of Humboldt County, was the only one arrested out of four people he was with. Zoellner was called to the party by his girlfriend who was upset over her missing, recently purchased Iphone 7.

On May 5th, after five days of preliminary hearings, Judge Dale Reinholtsen dismissed the murder charges against Kyle Zoellner due to a lack of physical evidence.

It has been almost two months since Josiah's murder and a month since the release of Zoellner. With more and more time passing without anyone being held for the murder of Josiah, justice seems to be slipping away. Most of the witnesses have left Humboldt County and the Arcata Police Department does not have the resources to adequately investigate the case which has been apparent since day one. The mayor of Arcata has publicly admitted to the need for outside help.

There has been serious allegations of police incompetence and overall negligence on behalf of the Arcata Police Department as well as the EMT's who arrived at the scene of Josiah's murder.

We plead with the California Department of Justice to get involved with the investigation to make sure that David Josiah Lawson's murder, does not fade into obscurity as has happened in Humboldt County before.

Humboldt County is not safe with a murderer on the loose and all residents should be concerned for the safety of their community. In addition, we ask that you think about the students of Humboldt State University as this tragedy is a direct reflection of students of color who are recruited into this area, who should be safe within this community.

How To Help:

Email- piu@doj.ca.gov

Send a letter To:

Public Inquiry Unit, PO box 944 255 Sacramento Ca 94244-2550

Please call (916) 445-9555

Press #6

Then choose the your preferred language (press #1 for English, or press #2 for Spanish)

Next press #7 to leave a message or press #0 to speak to D.O.J Staff

Speaking Points:

- David was a HSU student murdered April 15, 2017 and no one has been arrested and held for his murder.
- Key witness have left the county.
-City of Arcata has publicly stated that they need outside help!

Note: David Josiah Lawson is not the first Humboldt State University student of color to be murdered and those responsible for their death to remain at large. Corey Clark was a HSU student murdered in Eureka in 2001. To this day his case remains unsolved by the Eureka police department. 

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