The remote hills and mountains that stretch across Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties have served for years as the unofficial capital of marijuana cultivation in California and possibly the nation.
People who live here have a strong independent streak and skepticism of government.
That’s why for years local groups have monitored the work of police and drug agents. But there’s now a debate about how far some groups should go in reporting on police operations as they happen.
Should a local radio station broadcast information on the real-time movements of police and drug agents? Community radio station KMUD, based in southern Humboldt County, says their reports are an essential tool in protecting the community from police abuse.
The broadcasts grew from a citizens’ monitoring project that began after the Reagan administration launched the major pot eradication campaign known as CAMP.
Now, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman is asking KMUD to stop broadcasting listeners’ reports on police operations. He’s worried the reports could tip off Mexican drug gangs and endanger his deputies and other drug agents.
So far, KMUD isn’t budging. There’s more on this story on KQED’s California Report.