A few months ago 6 members of the Fullerton Police Dept. beat a man to death. The murder took place in front of several eye witnesses and so it was clear to me when I read the story that justice would be done and the murderers would have to answer for their crimes. I was going to write a post about it then but I wanted to wait for official charges to be filed, they have since been filed:
Two Fullerton police officers have been criminally charged in the violent confrontation that left a homeless man dead, Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas announced Wednesday.
Charges against police in homeless man’s death Officer Manuel Ramos has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the beating of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic man. Officer Jay Cicinelli has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.
These cruel sadistic thugs were not even smart enough to drag this kid into some dark alley, away from the prowling eyes of witnesses, no, they somehow thought their actions justified and warranted, so no attempts were made to conceal the beating.
Rackauckas said the department reviewed 151 witness statements, videos of the beating, medical reports and police statements.
The district attorney’s office had been awaiting the coroner’s determination on the cause of death before deciding whether to file charges
You can view one of the video’s here.
I would like to know why charges were not filed against the other 4 cops, they were present and complicit in whatever actions the two offending cops were part of. They clearly did not intervene and come to the aid of Kelly. Even if they sat idly by on the sidelines, which the D.A.s crop of videos should determine, they had a duty to act in Kelly’s defense, they did not, so justice must bitch slap them as well.
It should be noted that Kelly’s dad, the principal force behind the investigation into this murder, is a retired Orange county Dep. Sheriff, here is more on Ron:
My respect for Ron is only matched by the grief I share with him. He is absolutely right about each confrontation must be weighed on it’s own merits but training and protocol require a minimum level of force to be used up until that time that a higher level of force is justified. Factor in that the whole reason cops carry Tasers is so that they would not have to go toe to toe with suspects. The use of a Taser, properly applied and warranted, would subdue a suspect without any other unnecessary force needed, yet they not only Tasered him several times (outside of policy) but they beat him senseless as well.
The beauty of this story is twofold, the sheer amount of witnesses (video’s) available and the dogged tenacity of Ron Thomas. They killed his boy, Ron was not going to let anything be swept under the carpet. He not only fomented community outrage, but has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and has been a pain in the ass of the D.A., who got the entire investigation turned over to him from the city who wanted an independent entity doing the investigation.
The usual disclaimers apply, we are a nation of laws and the accused has a built in presumption of innocence, the case must be proven in court beyond a reasonable doubt. Given the scrutiny this case has garnered, I am confident that justice will be done.
I figured I should be the one to write something on this. I am no stranger to police misconduct working several years in investigations but I have to admit, this case really rocked me. I will be following the trial closely and hope that a proper investigation is done within the entire Fullerton Police Dept. as I expect the rot to go all the way to the top.