I have been wondering lately about the sort of personality of the policemen involved in the brutal Kelly Thomas killing, as well as the character types of the trolls who have been making comments attacking both the victim and the victim’s family.
For assistance in this matter I have called upon Dr. Reinhold Ott of the Schwabian Institut fur Psychologie in Tubingen, Germany, who has provided his expert psychological insights for us in the past.
Here is what the learned Dr. Ott had to say:
I believe the character study you have asked be to perform is relatively simple although, of course, not having the opportunity to study these subjects directly in substantive analysis, my conclusion may be considered tentative. Nevertheless, the personality profiles of the individuals involved in this horrific event and those who choose to gratuitously denigrate both the victim and his family for perverse reasons are actually quite common and easy recognize.
People who lack empathy completely, as is apparent in this instance, display a type of personality disorder known as narcissism; a disorder that is comparatively harmless in most cases, but that can become problematic when excessively narcissistic individuals are placed in positions of authority. The civilian overseers of police agencies and military forces the world over have always had to deal with this problem.
When this type of disorder is matched with a sadistic temperament (a temperament whose roots may extend from various sources) the consequences are bound to be disastrous, particularly when the individual is not only placed in a position of authority, but who is also heavily armed.
My suspicion is that the individuals involved in perpetrating this act on a helpless victim all suffer in varying degrees from similar childhood issues, most notably the absence of a strong paternal presence, or as is equally likely to be the case, the presence of a father who had an ambiguous relationship with the law and may have even been incarcerated. We cannot discount the strong possibility that a verbally or physically abusive relationship existed.
Such children find it extremely difficult to mature into a constructive adulthood, lacking a positive role model; their world view tends to be judgmental, parochial and self-centered. Moral confusion and self-aggrandizement lead to an exaggerated sense of self-esteem.
Equally problematic is the guilt/anger issues that attach to such children, most particularly boys, and if left unchecked, can generate into both a paranoia and, in extreme cases, a deep-seated sadism.
I would also be remiss if I omitted reference to the possibility of a pharmacological connection, the use of certain drugs tending to exacerbate already sever behavioral issues.
The drama of the night in question may be open to some interpretation, but the physical consequences of the encounter between Mr. Thomas and his assailants are fairly eloquent. I find it fascinating that the victim’s cries for his father appear to have caused no sympathetic reaction on the part of his attackers. Rather, the opposite seems to be true: at least some of the police seem to have been further enraged by those pathetic cries for help, and continued the attack until the cries were silenced – forever.
I would tend to ascribe the same analysis to those of your readers who choose to attack the victim and his family. My suspicion is that these individuals suffer from a severe personality defect in which pleasure in the attempt to induce pain on others is the result of a lack of positive accomplishment and more specifically, the absence of non-auto erotic gratification. The lack of mature observation and demonstrable education in the instances I have observed also indicates the strong possibility that these people may, in fact, be children posing as adults.
Well, thank you for that Dr. Ott. This explains a lot.