Nagging Questions about the post-APD-encounter Death of Chris Eisinger.

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“Just not adding up” doesn’t even begin to describe the dissonances between the official story of what happened to Chris Eisinger on March 2, and what we know to be true.  I already wrote the first story about the tragedy last week, but here are three more thoughts before we head off to the protest in front of the APD (5PM today – Friday March 16.)

ONE.  When he got to the hospital March 2 he had not only a cerebral edema – fatal brain swelling – but a broken nose, a broken cheekbone, a broken jawbone, and a broken “orbital” – eye socket.  To all appearances he had had his face crunched into concrete, possibly by someone’s boot.  In anticipation of everyone soon knowing this, the APD spokesmen emphasized that Chris had had some sort of unspecified rough encounter “two weeks before” the incident resulting in two black eyes, and whatever facial damage we’d see may very likely be from that. 

Pero no.  Chris’ brother Nicholas confirms that he’d had a fight with a fellow homeless person – actually MORE than two weeks earlier, maybe three or four – and sustained two black eyes.  (“He didn’t know how to fight, he probably accidentally got into somebody’s space and got punched out.”)  Chris stayed in Nicholas’ van for a few days recuperating, and by the time he left, a few days before the March 2 incident, he was looking fine, the black eyes were gone.  Nicholas got this picture of his brother sleeping peacefully around the end of February:

Nicholas also talked to Chris a few hours before the APD incident, and he was fine.  It’s hard to imagine a scenario where all that damage to Chris’ skull was not a result of his encounter with Anaheim police.

TWO, THE “STICK.”  APD spokesmen, in the habitual mode of trying to make the victim sound as armed and dangerous as possible, described him as “dropping a stick or stick-like weapon” as he began to run from the police.   First of all, if you’re dangerous and you have a “weapon,” what’s the sense of ditching it when you’re in danger?  But my wife thought about this “stick” and the homeless people we know, and suggested it was just something he was using to dig through trash for recyclables.  In fact there’s a good chance that this “stick” was one of those cheap “pick-sticks” pictured at right, on sale at The Dollar Tree for a dollar.

This would make a lot more sense out of what he was doing prowling around west Anaheim yards – most likely NOT trying to break into people’s homes and cars, but looking for junk to recycle as so many homeless do.  Sure enough, his brother concurs “Chris was always looking around for recyclables and other abandoned things to sell but I never knew him to commit burglary.”  It’s still possible and understandable that some west Anaheim lady was terrified to see this strange man in her yard, but as hard as the police try to make Chris out to have been a scary menace, we are equally sure they retrieved his “stick” and we’d like to see if it looks anything like the above picture.  And how that would be either a) a weapon or b) SOMETHING YOU’D CARRY AROUND WHILE YOU WERE TRYING TO BREAK INTO HOMES AND CARS.

FINALLY, METH AND HOMELESSNESS.  We’ve said it before, and we say it knowing it’s true, but it’s still something that will never sink into the heads of the self-righteous judgmental bourgeoisie:  Much more common than drug abuse leading to homelessness is the exact reverse.  Living on the streets is stressful, and it is hell of dangerous at night.  Nobody wants to sleep at night and risk getting mugged, robbed, raped, or killed.  Much safer to stay awake while it’s dark and sleep in the day.  Meth is available everywhere, cheap, and soon becomes the best solution to your plight.  Not saying this even applies to Chris or not, but fuck a bunch of hateful anonymous commenters who try to write things on this blog like “another meth-head gone” – Karma Sez it’ll happen to you or someone close to you soon.

WE’RE MEETING AT 5 in front of the APD.  We want answers.  It’s “not policy” to let the public see the body-cam footage before the DA’s investigation is concluded?  THEN CHANGE THAT STUPID POLICY.  


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.