North Coast
North Coast
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Justice for Aaron and Jacob Steichen

by Robert Maxim
Jacob Steichen's family called emergency services, mandated reporters, and local police department 8 times over a 5 week period. Authorities deliberately refuse emergency psychiatric care; Jacob is charged with PC187(a) after stabbing Aaron.

Justice for Jacob is Justice for Aaron
Aaron Steichen was a tattoo artist and muralist most recently working in Oakland, California. He was a native of Modesto and the oldest of four siblings. Aaron was but one component of a tightly-knit group, brought together under one mother and a group of friends spanning a distance from the East Bay to Portland. Aaron was stabbed to death by his brother Jacob around September 20, 2020.

Jacob Steichen is Aaron's younger brother. Mr. Steichen's paranoid schizophrenia becomes apparent to psychiatrists in 2016, and he relocates to Arcata to be with his mother to be surrounded with support. After returning home from abroad amidst the coronavirus pandemic in July 2019, Jacob is in a psychotic and presumably unmedicated state.

Aaron moved to Humboldt with his fiancee Anisha, and had only been living with her for five days when the unthinkable happened. If one rewinds the tape to ideas expressed moments before, Jacob's schizophrenia was at a crescendo. Having been barricaded in his room for the better part of five weeks, mandated reporters are called an estimated 8 separate times for emergency mental health intervention.

The Steichen family call Arcata Police Department, who allegedly state on recorded lines that there is a need for emergency psychiatric intervention; they proceed to schedule said emergency intervention for six days in the future, in a scenario where both ideas do not comport with one another. This intervention likely would occur under Welfare Code 51/50, as a 72 hour hold, or under 1799.111, which is an emergency 24 hour hold pending psychiatric evaluation.

On numerous occasions, mandated reporters can be proven to have direct knowledge of Mr. Steichen's need for emergency psychiatric intervention. The system discriminates against Mr. Steichen for his intellectual disability by refusing emergency psychiatric services while he is clearly in a state of total and grave disability. Mental health clinicians, police officers, "crisis intervention teams," all had knowledge of the very real possibility of suicide or homicide. Arcata Police Department, mental health clinicians, the "team with a high rate of success," all fail Jacob. Consequently, the system's failure of Jacob lead's to the death of Aaron.

Aaron Steichen did not have to lose his life. Jacob Steichen's life did not need to be permanently and severely altered, with consequences inescapable. The opacity and blue wall of silence will be put on blast for the world to see. As small minds in a small town hope to sweep this carefully under the rug, this screaming inside of us will generate a movement which will try this case in the court of public opinion first. We all know that litigation and trial have zero to do with the truth, and only deals with a select presentation.

At arraignment, Mr. Steichen explains to the judge that he was simply defending his home from intruders. As local media write stories with salacious headlines, "Steichen Flips Off the Court," strikes one and two are dealt to a man in psychosis represented by a public defender.

It is coming to light that Mr. Steichen was on Medi-Cal; thus he receives substandard medical care. While mental health clinicians accept liability and state that there is clearly a need for emergency intervention, Arcata PD state on recorded lines that they "do not see the point, " in sending a team to offer emergency intervention for Jacob. Understood--people who cannot pay deserve to be thrown away. But Aaron or Jacob didn't deserve this.

Justice for Aaron is Justice for Jacob.

§Donate to Beverly Steichen
by Robert Maxim
There is no equal access to justice. Donating to Beverly Steichen means donating to a movement which demands change and reform of our mental health system.
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


$78.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network