A little over 2 years ago I wrote this post concerning the brutal murder of a homeless kid, perpetrated by 6 thugs that should know better. The wheels of justice turn slowly, witnesses have to be contacted and the initial investigation has to be prepared so that it is trial ready. Additionally the defense always tries to prolong the actual trial, out of sight out of mind so that the incident ( as well as the outrage) has a chance to dissipate. But through out the wait, I felt strongly that the evidence would speak for itself, that justice would be done, and that these thugs would end up behind bars…………oops.
The father of Kelly Thomas told reporters Tuesday that he viewed a jury’s decision to acquit two Fullerton police officers in the beating death of his son as one setback in a “prize fight” in which there are still “several rounds to go.”
Two former Fullerton police officers were found not guilty Monday in the beating death that was captured on film, and charges against a third officer will be dropped.
Ron Thomas, Kelly’s father and a former sheriff’s deputy, said at a news conference that the verdict was in no way the last word.
“I look at this like a prize fight,” he said. “It’s not over, we still have several rounds to go.”
When I heard about the verdict this evening, it was like a kick to the stomach, what on earth were those jurors thinking? As a strong advocate of the criminal justice system (and my ramblings about the Zimmermann verdict come readily to mind) I just can not wrap my brain around this unexpected verdict. Without going into the shear weight of the evidence, the dozens of witness statements, the several actual video tapes, the recorded statements of the cops showing true intent to do harm to Kelly, and the photos of him lying in the hospital, I don’t get it.
Much as been made about the lack of training cops have wrt to subduing mentally ill suspects, horseshit. They have at their disposal a variety of weapons to chose from, and a clear understanding the law that mandates “reasonable force” only. Factor in that the reason they call for back up is that “reasonable force” is available, not batonning him, not Tazing him, and not shooting him but actually using shear body weight of the officers to subdue him, this is how they are trained. They threw all that training out the window, went outside of policy, and literately beat the snot out of Kelly,a 140lb mentally ill homeless guy, who in his last dying throws was calling out desperately for his dad to save him, it makes me cry just thinking about that.
God bless Ron Thomas, he is a fighter who is not giving up. The feds now get to look at these guys, maybe civil rights charges are in the wind and the bad guys could go to jail over those. A civil suit is also in the works. I hope the city of Fullerton gets hit big, they are the ones that hired these clowns, they did a rotten job of it and need to pay. But mostly I hope these two ex-officers (it should have been 6) need to be hounded for the rest of their miserable lives, they need to pay monetarily for their actions. Hopefully any honest buck they ever make in the future will have a judgement attached to it. But mostly society needs to shun them, they are bad evil men who do not deserve to live among civilized folks. We cannot take their lives like they took Kelly’s, the next best thing is to make them a pariah.