Five Fullerton Cops Beat Homeless Man To Death

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless schizophrenic, is shown on the left, after his confrontation with Fullerton California police officers, and on the right before his brutalization. He was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange County in critical condition on life-support and died five days later. Kelly was unarmed, had a slight build, and of medium height.

Witnesses claim that officers continued hitting Kelly with the butts of their flashlights even after he had stopped moving.

Kelly’s father, a retired Orange County sheriff’s deputy, didn’t recognize his son when he visited him at the hospital, and said “This is cold-blooded, aggravated murder.” Kelly’s father said his son was probably off his medication and couldn’t understand the officers’ commands.

An investigation is underway by the Orange County district attorney’s office and witnesses are sought.

In Olmstead v. L.C., the Supreme Court held that, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, individuals with mental disabilities have the right to live in the community rather than in institutions. One consequence is that even people with serious mental disorders, that are controlled by medication, are members of society. The side effects of the medication are claimed to be worse than the illness they’re supposed to treat and individuals are reluctant to continue the treatment.

This incident demonstrates a lack of self-control by the officers who have manifested sociopathic tendencies.

The video below doesn’t show much of what took place but other videos may surface.

H/T: LA Times, Orange County Register, Reason Hit & Run.

123 thoughts on “Five Fullerton Cops Beat Homeless Man To Death

  1. Thank you Nal….This is sad and happens more often than a lot of folks are willing to admit…Not all towns have Sheriff Taylor…

  2. About the time you think it cannot get worse, it does. I have been working with law enforcement agencies for close to forty years and while I have seen officers and supervisors do some dumb things, nothing comes within a country mile of this. Most officers just want to do their job and go home safely to their families at the end of the shift. Unfortunately, some departments seem to have a culture of lawlessness. I blame leadership–or more accurately–lack of competent leadership.

    In the video below is another example of the same kind of unthinking lawlessness. Note also the lame excuses given by the Captain for his officers behavior.

    After an “investigation” the officers involved were cleared of any wrongdoing.

  3. An elementary thru high school classmate of mine was a cop for many years with a suburban police force near where we grew-up. Even if I hadn’t become a psychologists and done police candidate evals during my early career, I would have guessed that he was ill-suited to being a cop. Police forces often know it but are faced with hiring less than desirable people during periods where hiring funds become available after a long drought. Eventually, my classmate was kicked off the force for a sexual offense. Given how difficult those are to bring against police, I can imagine that it wasn’t the first time, he’d done something to abuse his position.

    Police departments often know who is a problem and the better ones try to find a way to keep them away from situations that would create litigation and other problems for the police department. Given the number of officers here, I suspect, Fullerton wasn’t so careful.It probably helps that the victim’s dad was a cop. the death of guy whose dad was an ordinary schlub would have gone unnoticed.

  4. Dredd, I saw that story a day or two ago. Chilling that an honest researcher would have his work the subject of a criminal investigation for reporting his findings. Even if his data are proved to be wrong later, for a scientist to be suspended and investigated is way out of line. The message is clear: report only what the overlords want or pay a personal price.

    Given what we hear about agencies like the TSA, ICE, and many others, it reminds one of the old adage, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

  5. “Kelly’s father, a retired Orange County sheriff’s deputy, didn’t recognize his son when he visited him at the hospital, and said “This is cold-blooded, aggravated murder.”

    “Till was returned to Chicago and his mother, who had raised him mostly by herself, insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing.”

    The father should do the same as Mrs,Till in exposing the brutality of the beating.

  6. Police should have videocameras on their hats and belt buckles, with an extra microphone on their lapel. Every second of their shifts should be recorded, including their breaks (many companies have cameras in the break room, after all). Most importantly – cops should never be entrusted with the ability to turn off theses cameras.

  7. “The father should do the same as Mrs,Till in exposing the brutality of the beating.” -eniobob

    I agree.

  8. Tim in SF, one local law enforcement agency is doing exactly what you suggest. They got some grant funds and that is what the money is going for. I have to applaud the administration of that department.

  9. Orange County cops are the worst in California. And Fullerton? It’s a white, racist trailer-park. Tom Metzger and the White Aryan Resistance movement found a welcoming home in Fullerton. The cops in Fullerton would fit in fine in New Orleans or Miami or behind the wheel of a tank in Tiananmen Square.

    AVOID FULLERTON. If you’re driving through it, obey all traffic laws and posted signs.

  10. Here’s a little pertinent irony in my own experience:

    Over the past 30 years, I’ve been called for jury duty 6-8 times, I’d guess, only to be excused (by the defense) when it’s found that I’m a paramedic.

    The thinking, I’ve learned, is that medics relate to law enforcement too closely, and therefore tend to favor the prosecution.

    At no point in any voir dire proceeding, have I ever been able to explain that I’ve seen far too many brutality cases similar to that of poor Kelly Thomas’, to ever reflexively favor law enforcement.

    The mean streets of America provide ample opportunity for paramedics to speak out when we witness incidents like this.

    But there are precious few of us who ever speak out on anything.

    For the sake of this young man, I sincerely hope there really is an invisible Man in the sky, and preferably one who tracks inhumane behavior on a very accurate moral abacus..

  11. This is one of the sickest episodes I have ever seen. The picture of him in the hospital is beyond sad, it is criminal. Every one of those officers who struck him while he was on the ground should be spending the rest of their lives in prison. Maybe that will send a message to the goon squads that exist in almost every police force.

  12. Raff, do not hold your breath. Like the incident involving the 16-year-old in Ozark, MO, the officers are likely to be found blameless and that they “acted appropriately.’ Following a “thorough investigation,” of course.

  13. Raff, sometimes I hate it when I am right.

    I failed an officer on his new hire exam a while back. I thought he was too unstable. He went home and put a 9mm round through his head. As I told the Chief: “Damn, I hate it when I am right.”

  14. This stuff isn’t going to stop until the so-called good cops quit circling the wagons around the “bad apples.”

  15. Rafflaw: “This is one of the sickest episodes I have ever seen. …”
    —-
    What Raf said, this is grotesque.

  16. This was simply unprovoked murder and the perpetrators psychopathic. No
    other reasonable explanation is possible. I’ve no doubt Fullerton is bad, but so are many other locales. I would guess most people are attracted to policing for the right reasons, however, their acculturation to their jobs is badly done and too many of the “bad” apples are held up as good examples.

  17. Mike, there are departments and there are departments. I blame a combination of poor pre-employment screening and poor supervision. Some department seem to have a culture of violence against citizens. Other department heads would have 1) never hired these guys, and 2) canned them a long time ago if they had been hired.

    I have been fortunate to avoid the bad departments in my consultations. If an agency like this one ever tried to retain me, they would let me play by my rules or I would not work with them. About thirty years ago, I failed a guy on his pre-employment screening, but the department head told me I was wrong and hired him anyway. It was the last work I did for that department, and I told the agency head why.

  18. Otteray Scribe:

    I did not mean anything by that other than to comment that some crazies would come looking for you instead of doing it to themselves.

    Like when an unstable person gets fired and kills the boss and any coworkers he thinks were against him.

    My apologies if you took it the wrong way.

  19. Roco, I understood. I did not take it as a negative comment. I am a pro at this and take those kinds of contingencies into consideration. As a colleague once commented to me, only partly in jest, I do not present a stationary target.

  20. All we ever hear of on the news, in every form of media, etc. is about the Nazi’s, the terrorists, the radicals that threaten us from behind every bush. These swine, excuse me police, are nazi’s, if not worse. The police chief and everyone involved needs to answer some serious questions, NOW!! These cops are out of control. As one caller said to the John and Ken Show, if this happened to a “minority” with the Los Angeles Police Department there would already have been riots. You stupid people better wake up.

  21. timwayne, if it’s racist, meaning I presume favoring whites, then how come they beat this white guy to death. I don’t buy the racism crap. It’s plain cops out-of-control that need to be fired and the chief investigated for not giving a damn for a month–so far. If I was his father I’d go for bankrupting Fullerton.

  22. Every offense imaginable is being carried out under color of law. One hopes the five murderers above spend the rest of their lives in jail but what distinguishes a knowingly false accusation like the one below from common criminal behavior. Why is the possibility of remedy civil instead of criminal? The law itself seems to have become the enemy of the people.

    “Wal-Mart Goes Nuclear Over Chicken Necks; Newlyweds Lose House; Husband Deported”

    “BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CN) – Newlywed shoppers claim Wal-Mart’s false accusation that they tried to steal $2.90 worth of chicken neck bones caused the wife to be falsely arrested and lose her job, her husband to be deported, and both to lose their car, all their possessions and their house – though Wal-Mart’s security video showed they had paid for the damn chicken bones.

    …. The guard refused to look at the video, but an assistant manager did.

    The complaint continues: “The assistant manager said in presence of plaintiff and her husband: ‘I see where she scanned it, I see where it’s been rung up.’ Plaintiff responded: ‘I did scan it, I told you.’ Ricky, plaintiff’s husband said I’ll pay for it again if you want me to. The assistant manager then said to the security guard: ‘Well what do you want to do?’ The security guard said he wanted to put plaintiff and her husband in jail.”

    When the security guard found that Mary Hill Bonin had worked at another Wal-Mart, he called that store and informed it “that she was being charged with a Theft of Property in the Third Degree,” even though the assistant manager already had told him that the chicken bones had been bought and paid for, the Bonins say.”

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/07/26/38455.htm

  23. “This is cold-blooded, aggravated murder.”

    yup

    I’d say they were pigs but that does such a diservice to those intelligent 4-legged creatures…

  24. Disturbing on so many levels. And it happened out on the street, in full view of multiple witnesses and other cops. I’m going to set up a google alert for this one – I want to see what happens to those murderers.

  25. what does it say about us when the people witnessing this simply walk off saying “i can’t watch this anymore”? and “this is going on youtube”

    can we afford to wait until it’s our friends or relatives getting beaten to death

  26. I feel like I just watched what amounts to a snuff film. And now I feel sick. Literally. This was murder. If a civilian (non-LEO) citizen or group of citizens did this to someone, they’d be charged with murder. These officers should be charged with murder. There is simply no justification for this.

  27. Most of the Cops I come in contact in Fullerton are pretty good guys. The new police chief Mike Sellers was a teacher of mine and seemed odd, but ok. The former Chief Pat McKinnley I think is at the heart of this atrocity. The general mood of most police departments is based on the policies of the upper management. There are many good cops on the Fullerton Police Department. However this situation shows that some of the more experienced cops allowed and promoted this problem. I wonder who the officers are.

  28. anon nurse, thanks for the link. It is about time the FBI looked into that apparent murder of the mentally ill man.

  29. Lottakatz,

    Thanks for the Courthouse News Service posting.

    From the article:

    “This act of calling the Alabaster Wal-Mart by the Loss Prevention Officer of Adamsville Wal-Mart, was intentional, with malice, and made with the intention of causing the plaintiff to suffer with a bad reputation or to suffer consequences of being labeled a thief. …
    “As a result of being in jail and being accused of being a thief, plaintiff Mary Hill Bonin lost her home, her car, all of her personal belongings and her husband was deported. Mary Hill Bonin seeks punitive damages for loss of income, loss of personal property, lost profits, lost time and imprisonment, libel and slander, mental anguish, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false arrest, malicious prosecution, slander, negligence and conversion.” And she wants Wal-Mart enjoined from searching and accusing customers without proof.”

    This sort of thing is becoming systemic. When a Walmart guard is able to overrule an assistant manager and set in motion a chain of events with the disastrous consequences described in the article, something is terribly wrong. This story has its own bells and whistles, but there is more of this kind of thing going on than many realize.

    (I hope that things are better on the home-front with your cats.)

  30. What do you expect from bullies in High School who steal lunch money from the weak and those who could not defend themselves? Later no compulsion of writing a ticket that steals thousands of dollars when they pull someone over for a split second decision on a red light. Beating a poor defenseless person to death is an easy next step for a bully.

  31. Yes, I agree with the last few comments. I was really injured by the false finding that I had sex with Jane Bennett by molesting her. A woman I would barely recognize and was never alone with whose statements under penalty of perjury were contradicted by her own employees a week later. She said I had gone on her property and all her employees were afraid of me. They testified they never saw me on her property and weren’t afraid of me at all. She even told the police that I was very careful not to go on her property. That is in the police report. All she cared about was money and her drug dealer husband Kevin Bennett was a bully who carried a gun around and reportedly threatened to shoot the family of someone who wanted to buy my extra lot because he was afraid it would hurt his view. But of course he didn’t want to buy the lot or the development rights, he wanted to get them for free by being a bully to me and to our school aged children. And he was president of the city council in Steamboat Springs Colorado, which presents itself as being a great place to live.

    Years ago bullies in government used to worry about being sued. That was when we had federal courts led by Thurgood Marshall. Now, all we have are courts for businesses and a government that claims they can imprison citizens without a criminal charge. Now they claim that prosecutors can do whatever they want, lie as much as they want, fabricate evidence, and skip all the steps and do so for their own financial benefit and that they have “immunity” for doing so.

  32. Pete, that is their first offer. You can bet they want to make it go away. The final settlement will have another comma in the number. A wrongful death often goes a little over a million, but this case could run more than that due to the outrage factor. The last thing they will want is a trial with all the attendant publicity that will muster. One wonders how Nancy “law n order” Grace might spin it. Breathlessly of course.

    Do not be surprised if defense lawyers for the department request that depositions be sealed from public scrutiny.

  33. “The last thing they will want is a trial with all the attendant publicity that will muster.”

    But that’s what they’re going to get. One pertinent piece of info that seems to have been overlooked is that the dad of this poor guy is…a former Fullerton police officer.

    He knows where all their bodies are buried, he’s not looking for a payday, and a bunch of his former co-workers just killed his son.

    This is going to be a very long process, but I bet a lot of bad cops are going to lose their jobs in the end.

  34. “Fullerton police chief and the DA’s Office investigator handling the Thomas case” have a cozy relationship, according to the Gawker article posted earlier.

    “And speaking of “absolutely nothing,” that might be what the DA’s investigation amounts to, considering that the Fullerton police chief and the DA’s Office investigator handling the Thomas case seem to be pals. Friends for Fullerton’s Future, which has been documenting much of the goings-on related to Thomas’ case, received a note saying as much:

    [Fullerton police chief ] Michael Sellers and his wife Rita Fraser-Sellers, are close personal friends with [investigator Stan] Berry and his wife, Kristen Berry, the Dispatch Supervisor in Seal Beach. They socialize together, vacation together and entertain each other in their respective homes.

    Of all the DA investigators, why choose Berry, other than he will help cover for his friend.”

  35. Wow,
    I knew this guy.I gave him a pair of shoes once.These police have a place in hell next to hitler.They pick on the weak thinking no one will care.they are like gang members.I hope he will be waiting for them if there is an afterlife to take revenge.

  36. I viewed all of the available YouTube videos regarding this event. I think there is sufficient, credible evidence to charge the officers with voluntary manslaughter–although most likely not murder.

  37. Former Federal LEO,

    It would seem to me that they exhibited “extreme indifference to human life”… Why voluntary manslaughter and not murder?

  38. Anon nurse,

    Perhaps we can get some resident attorneys’ opinions first. If not, I will respond later.

  39. These animals will walk, just like the savage Johannes Mehserle who murdered Oscar Grant by putting a bullet in his back while he was pinned down by another neanderthal with a badge. Mark Fuhrman boasted “police are like Gods, we can do anything we want”. I guess that racist lying sack of excrement was right.

  40. Honestly,

    Perhaps those involved will be held accountable this time…, but you’re probably right.

    I hadn’t heard that particular Mark Fuhrman quote, but it’s not surprising… I think that he ended up in the Sand Point, Idaho area.. A friend of mine told me that the locals found him to be arrogant and aloof…

    This is such an egregious example of police brutality… Maybe things will be different… Always the naive optimist…

  41. My sister, a schizophrenic, was in Mexico when she became aware she was descending into that hell of losinng touch with reality. Heat is very bad for her condition and no we didn’t know she was in Mexico.She started for home (NC) but by the time she reached Baton Rouge, La. she was no longer sane. I’ve seen her many times in that condition and there is no mistaking her her behavior for sanity. Yes she can be beligerant, not that she is out to hurt anyone even in her deepest hell, but she can be dangerous because she is afraid of everyone. She was apprehended by the Baton Rouge police for odd behavior. And what did the police do? Send her to the hospital and try to find her relatives? No they put her on a bus heading “North”. Several days later a bus station attendant called my mother from Gulf Port, Miss. She had been there for a while he said and he had finally gotten a phone number from her and paid the long distance charges himself, Bless his kind heart. I spoke to him and asked that he call an ambulance and gave him the information to give the paramedics.I called the hospital and told them of her condition and to keep her there till I got there. I had to drive because I couldn’t bring her back by plane. We got her home safely tho with a lot of difficulty. But If a kind man hadn’t had the patience to deal with a crazy woman she would have wandered homeless for how long? The more the stress the longer the break with reality. And the Baton Rouge police? Protect a crazy woman ? help her find help? Don’t make me laugh.

  42. Jo,

    How lucky your sister is to have you. And your story serves to remind that there are still kind, sensible and decent strangers (the bus station attendant) who will do the right thing… As to the actions of the police in Baton Rouge… you’ve said it all…

    I’m reminded of the following:

    “The moral test of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members.”

  43. The worst thing about mental illness in this country is the lack of knowledge about it by the average Joe. The Average Joe in this case being anyone without a degree in psychiatry. (Well maybe even a percentage of those with a degree from my experience) We as a society are frightened of those who talk to themselves or an invisible “playmate”. Who act different . Look different. And the police are after all just a segment of society with all its prejudices and ignorance. But we as a society often hate the ones who make us afraid. We have spent decades trying to educate people out of racial prejudices. ( I hope we are succeeding) I wish we could start trying to educate people about those with mental illnesses. But it should be mandatory training for all law enforcement. I cant see that a brutal beating of a mentally ill man can be anything other than based on ignorance , prejudice and hatred. It can be difficult and dangerous to interact with a mentally ill person. I know. But they are out there and its about time that something other than “immediate compliance” be accepted when dealing with the mentally ill. And the macho self aggrandisement often seen in those with a badge . The attitude of Respect My Authoritay ala South Park, needs to be changed . The mentally ill are still trying to process an order when they have already been thrown to the ground, tased, beaten murdered. Its so heartbreaking.

  44. This incident demonstrates a lack of self-control by the officers who have manifested sociopathic tendencies

    … psychopaths…

    The problem with these kinds of statements is that we are assigning blame to so-called “rogue” officers or a mental defect on the part of the LEO. Blame actually lies with a police state mentality that is highly encouraged and rewarded by our government. Blatant abuses of power do not require a sociopath to perform them.

    This case was written up at Pro Libertate:

    Incidents of this kind display a standard morphology:

    A cop confronts a citizen and encounters brief, trivial, and often justified resistance. He summons “backup,” and a thugscrum – which is a phenomenon similar to a criminal “flash mob,” but generally more lethal – quickly coalesces and deals out hideous violence while terrified citizens look on in horror and apparent helplessness.

  45. Jo,

    Very well said, and I agree that it’s unbelievably heartbreaking.

    I’ve worked with the mentally ill for years… and within certain populations (law enforcement, mental health “professionals”, residential counselors/staff, ER staff) I’ve seen a sort of disconnect, at times. All the education and training in the world won’t help certain people — there must be a readiness to learn.. and it’s missing in certain individuals, it seems. Having said this, a certain amount of training and education are essential, as you note. Also, I think that it’s essential to get rid of those with a predisposition towards violence…

    The man in this story was known in the community and among the police, which makes this story even worse.

  46. Anon nurse,

    I have not forgotten–I would still like to hear from M72, Mike A., Frank M. III et al. regarding their opinions, if possible.

  47. Former Federal LEO,

    I completely understand where you’re coming from and never doubted for a second that you would take it up again at some point in the future. It speaks well of you that you would first want to hear from the lawyers on the blog — your professionalism comes through clearly in your postings. I jokingly chided you, but didn’t mean it seriously… As things develop, perhaps we’ll even see a new article/thread…

  48. Anon nurse,

    I am unsure of any restrictions that attorneys here might have–based upon any legal codes of ethics, et cetera–about stating opinions regarding potential and/or pending litigation, as in this case.

    Therefore, there have been times when I wondered if the attorneys here could not comment on certain topics because of certain standards of conduct, if they simply missed the discussion, or if they did not have time to reply. This blawg would just be another blog without their input; however, I understand if their comments must be measured.

  49. u cant even trust no one these day not even men in uniform their just crooks on uniform think their the shit cuz they a gun and a teaser ect . their going to burn in hell!!! most officer need some anger management… poor guy its so heartbeaking

  50. Anon nurse,

    I do not think a charge of second-degree murder would stand for the six officers involved. Like it or not, LEOs are given great deference while performing within their line of duty. They were called to the scene of a crime and found a suspect who fit the description of the person burglarizing vehicles. The suspect ran from the police and appeared to have items in his backpack that did not belong to him, which raised the suspension level. He also resisted arrest. Therefore, the LEOs had every legal right to be where they were, apprehend the suspect, and what ensured thereafter was likely not within the realm of premeditated murder. Had a Fullerton LEO walked up to Mr. Thomas and shot him dead, then a first-degree murder charge is appropriate. The Fullerton D.A. should not over-charge in this case for the best chance at seeking justice for Mr. Thomas–that is, if they file charges at all.

    As an example, the D.A. originally charged BART officer Mehserle,, mentioned above in a previous post, with second-degree murder for the fatal shooting of a suspect in the back at close range. However, the jury only found him guilty of *involuntary* manslaughter, which is 2 steps lower than second-degree murder. I think that juries most often are not going to charge an LEO with murder if there are mitigating circumstances. Mehserle was recently released after serving just 11 months for homicide. Justice is in the eyes of the jury…

  51. Former Federal LEO,

    Thanks for your insightful response. I’ve heard that there may be a video that hasn’t yet been released. (I’m not certain of the source and it may just be a rumor.) It’s been said that this video gives one a close view of what transpired but, again, I don’t know if it even exists. If it does, it might be helpful in sorting out this mess. If it doesn’t, as you’ve said, “Justice is in the eyes of the jury” and, hopefully, the jury will reach the correct decision.

    Having said this, and I realize that you may not want to respond…but, what could possibly be the rationale — the explanation — for continuing to pummel a man even after he has stopped moving? Sure, the adrenaline was flowing, but something just doesn’t seem right. The response wasn’t, in my opinion, proportional to the alleged crime.

  52. These officers that beat this man to death should be tried for 1st degree aggravated murder, but we all know they will only lose their jobs, if even that! All law enforcement is above the law! If an officer is killed they always drop every other case and put EVERY OFFICER THEY HAVE on the case and have a suspect in custody within hours! If you or I are murdered, we’re lucky if they even take a report, let alone investigate. I know this from personal experience. All law enforcement believe they are Gods and deserve special treatment! Law enforcement in this country is evil! At least 90% are corrupt! Whether they blatantly commit crimes or simply speed while off duty or except a free cup of coffee, corruption is corruption! These officers should pay with their live as Kelly Thomas did, our justice system is seriously OUT OF CONTROL!

  53. Robert M. Lacy Jr.,

    “Our justice system is seriously OUT OF CONTROL!”

    It is, but not enough people realize it yet… And then we have the “wanna bes” who are participate in some of the street and community games… Yep. Out of control…

  54. What’s going on in Quartzsite, AZ… and why isn’t the MSM covering it? (… or have I missed the stories…)

  55. This story has disappeared from MSN. It’s taken this long to surface and now it looks like they want it gone. He’s not Rodney King, but he’s dead. Where’s the outrage? Oh, I forgot, he’s “homeless”. I get that makes a difference and the fact that maybe he’s not a “minority”. The media should have been all over this one. But what can you expect these days from the media?

  56. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/08/05/us/AP-US-Katrina-Bridge-Shootings.html?hp

    Jury Convicts 5 Officers in Post-Katrina Shootings
    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Published: August 5, 2011 at 1:30 PM ET

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal jury on Friday convicted five current or former police officers in the deadly shootings on a New Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina.

    Former officer Robert Faulcon, Sgts. Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen, Officer Anthony Villavaso and retired Sgt. Arthur Kaufman were convicted of charges stemming from the cover-up of the shootings. All but Kaufman were convicted of civil rights violations stemming from the shootings. Kaufman, who investigated the shootings, was charged only in the cover-up.

    However, the jury didn’t find that the shootings amounted to murder.

    (end excerpt)

  57. It amazes me, with the way the United States is today, that we citizens have not risen up and revolted. Police, politicians, medical providers, oil companies, etc., they are all part of an establishment that makes them think they are invincible and untouchable. Something drastic needs to happen to get us back on the right track of society.

  58. It is the mission of the Police Department to facilitate and administer the laws of governing bodies, the orders of the courts, and to direct all energies and resources toward maintaining the health, welfare and safety of citizens.

    Am i reading that right? For some reason im confused.. i wonder why, oh yeah flashlights and tasers..

  59. Years ago, it was acceptable for police officers to brutalize Blacks, Mexicans and other unfortunates who could not protect themselves. Being homeless puts you into the abuse category and thus allowing their badges to become hunting licenses. It’s absolutely cowardly and dispicable, but this is going to be downplayed for the folllowing reasons:

    1) President Obama will not weigh in on this one, even though this goes way beyond acting “stupidly”.

    2) The media doesn’t really want to make any sound that sounds like a rally cry. This event could become a flashpoint.

    3) At least 5 officers involved could be leaving the force and possibly those in the chain of command to the top. No one wants to lose their job, pension or freedom. They’ll fight tooth and nail to avoid trial and publicity.

    I sympathize with law enforcement that wants to keep things calm. However, the Rodney King riots didn’t break out until after the biased verdict. Now is the time to deal with this before it looks like a cover-up.

  60. Where’s Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson? Why is there no rioting and looting? Oh, yeah right. The poor guy is white. This will just embolden them and when they do this to a person of color then the feces will fly. They aught to take a lesson from Costa Mesa cops and just haul them off,cap them somewhere quietly and cremate them.

  61. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-fullerton-death-20110812,0,6171933.story

    “Cops saw video of deadly incident with Kelly Thomas before writing reports
    Supervisors allowed Fullerton officers involved in a violent confrontation with a homeless man to view the footage to help them write up accounts of the incident. A former LAPD official calls it a ‘bad practice.'”

    “Embattled Fullerton police chief goes on medical leave Embattled Fullerton police chief goes on medical leave”

  62. UPDATE:

    Kelly Thomas Death: Officer Manuel Ramos Charged With Murder

    “Officer Manuel Ramos was charged with one count each of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas after a violent confrontation on July 5 with officers, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said at a news conference.

    Police Cpl. Jay Cicinelli was charged with one count each of involuntary manslaughter and excessive force, he said.”

  63. These scum bag so called cops if you can call them that they are just a bunch of scum bag punk gang bangers all six of them, one may have killed this man but all where involved just being there they all had weapons and could have stop there scum bag buddy from this horrific crime but just help in the crime of murder, these cops in orange county are mostly hot headed punks most look like gang bangers, also LAPD are a bunch of scum bag liars they will arrest you for what ever reason they think of maybe even beat the shit out of you or if no witnesses around kill you, here’s the good shit these half ass cops after being on duty after a few years if they start to feel burned out they just commit a horrific crime and they receive a vacation pay or life with all benefits how’s that looks like an incentive to commit a criminal act for a early paid retirement, will any of these punks see jail time may one of them and maybe a year or two ? the system needs enema ASAP

  64. UPDATE:

    “The two officers charged in the July death of a homeless man in Fullerton will be placed on leave without pay starting Oct. 8, Fullerton officials said Thursday after a closed-door meeting.

    Officer Manuel Ramos and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli have been on paid administrative leave since early August, along with the other four officers involved in the July 5 incident that led to Kelly Thomas’ death.

    Last week, the Orange County district attorney’s office filed charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter against Ramos and of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force against Cicinelli.

    Both officers have been released on bail.

    Acting Police Chief Kevin Hamilton released a statement saying, “The intent to change their pay status was made after consulting with our city attorneys regarding law that is relevant to this area.”

    The officers have until Oct. 7 to appeal the decision.”

    Read the rest at the L.A. Times. Article includes mug shots of Ramos and Cicinelli. See if you can tell the difference between their mugshots and those of other criminals.

  65. We cannot asssume that every person who puts on a badge and straps on a gun is a hero. When the police beat and kill suspects, they are only cowards hiding behind a badge. Those higher up that allow this and even cover it up are only more corrupt. We need to hire grown and mature men who will not revert to a child-like irresponsibility when in a group of fellow officers. The cowardly behavior only justifies anarchy when we can no longer trust our heros to be men first. (read Scott Peck)

  66. There is an update in this case:

    3 Fullerton City Council Members Ousted In Recall Election

    Three long-time members of the Fullerton City Council have been ousted in the wake of Kelly Thomas’ beating death.

    Residents Tuesday voted to recall council members Don Bankhead, Fred Jones and Pat McKinley.

    They will be replaced by businessman Greg Sebourn, Planning Commissioner Travis Kiger and business attorney Doug Chaffee.

    Recall supporters say Bankhead, Jones and McKinley failed to accept responsibility for the 2011 beating involving several Fullerton police officers.

  67. First I have many freinds in law enforcement and they all told me never trust a uniformed officer.You could have a 2yr teck certificate in finger painting.and U qulify!!Now I don’t mean this in a derogatory manner..but if that were my son..I’m not so sure I would be able to control my self..I am a father of 2 boys 1has brain dam from ambilical cord…I LITTERLY protect him 24/7 after watching this.just remember there are 2 kind of cop.1who makes the badge & 2 the badge makes the cop.becouse Ill tell you were I live If thst happened …well lets say country people can do more than fish..and u know that if you just touch an officer.even by acsdnt u go to jail for felony asult on an officer NOT ALL COPS ARE LIKE THAT!.BUT WHo knows with agenceys hireing mostly millatary ..Who knows……hitlers brown shirts? Let hope the good ones out number the bad 1000to oneI said earlier my son has some brain damage I’v raised him every scence he took his first breath ..I’ll tell u this if a person/s take his last breath.there taking there own as well a person can by no means put in that kind of time without the love for his son is greater than for himself …personaly…I would not want to live if I didn’t send those

  68. BREAKING STORY: Jury acquits police officers of all charges in death of Kelly Thomas. From CBS.

    ” An 8-woman, 4-man jury found two former Fullerton police officers not guilty in the beating death of a homeless man.

    After about eight hours of deliberation over two days, former Fullerton police Officer Manuel Ramos and ex-Corporal Jay Cicinelli, a former LAPD officer, were acquitted of all charges in connection with the beating death of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas on July 5, 2011.

    Ramos faced charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, the first law enforcement officer in the history of Orange County to be charged with a homicide. Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and using excessive force.

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/01/13/jury-reaches-verdict-in-trial-of-ex-fullerton-officers-charged-in-death-of-kelly-thomas/?utm_source=mobile&utm_medium=text-messaging&utm_campaign=text-messaging

    More from blogger JPMassar Daily Kos:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/13/1269430/-Breaking-Kelly-Thomas-Murderer-Former-Officer-Ramos-Found-Not-Guilty

  69. puzzling wrote:

    All too believable, unfortunately.

    I would expect these officers to be reinstated, promoted, and given retroactive pay.

    ————

    “Unbelievable” was all that I could muster at the time but, you’re absolutely correct, of course.

  70. “Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said prosecutors would not pursue charges against a third Fullerton officer accused in the Thomas case. That officer’s trial was pending.” -from the LA Times link, below

    Excerpts:

    Ron Thomas, Kelly Thomas’ father, said he was stunned by the verdict, saying he’d never seen such a miscarriage of justice.

    Thomas also suggested that federal authorities should look into the case.

    Ramos’ attorney, John Barnett, told reporters: “These peace officers were doing their jobs…they did what they were trained to do.”

    Prosecutors said the video captured a real-time homicide with the officers beating a homeless man, even as he called out for help. Defense attorneys said it showed two policeman trying to restrain a violent suspect who possessed abnormal strength.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-live-verdict-in-kelly-thomas-police-murder-case-20140113,0,5661959.story#ixzz2qNOlF9X8

  71. L.A. Now Live: Discuss Kelly Thomas verdict, what’s next

    Excerpt:

    “Kelly Thomas’ father echoed the sentiment.

    “I’ve never seen such a miscarriage of justice,” he said. “It’s so blatant. It means none of us are safe.”

    After the verdict, the FBI said it would examine evidence and testimony “to determine if further investigation is warranted.””

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-kelly-thomas-20140113-dto,0,2979053.story#ixzz2qNRb2pk7

Comments are closed.