Is There Video of the Kelly Thomas Beating?

We heard that Tuesday’s beating of a homeless man to near-death by Fullerton police may have been within range of one of the city’s surveillance cameras at the Fullerton Transportation Center…and so we sent our camera man over to check it out:

It looks like the camera had a clear shot of the bloody event. I suppose that if there is a tape, we won’t get to see it unless it exonerates the cops who were involved.

On the other hand, damning evidence will be held tightly by the city so as not to embarrass anyone or facilitate the requisite citizen outrage.

All the public can do is ask and see what happens.

Even so, the last resort in the quest for transparency would lie with our elected councilmembers, who are ultimately responsible for ensuring the safety of the public and can demand to see the recording for themselves.

65 Replies to “Is There Video of the Kelly Thomas Beating?”

  1. I would certainly love to “Back the Badge” provided the tape exonerates those officers involved. The only way to know whether we are being bullied by the FPD into cowering sub citizens is to demand that transparency from the PD.

    Please release the tape. Thank you.

    1. The cameras are not fixed on a certain area to view and have to manually be moved to whatever area you want to see. For this very reason it may or may not have captured the incident. Just an FYI to hopefully dispel any future conspiracy theories. One more thing, during the incident it may have not been feasible to train the camera on the incident amongst all that was going on. Give Officers a break, they do the right thing 99% of the time.

  2. Such a video would undoubtedly exonerate our fine police from unfounded charges from the Monday morning quarterbacks on the sight.

    However release of such information would compromise the privacy of both officers and perpetrator alike, not to mention any innocent bystanders.

    1. Privacy of the perpetrater? We know who that is. We also know that he was allegiedly braking into a car. According to BTB he was also super-human tossing cars.

      So really this is about the officers. Well it’s only a matter of time until the family gets a police report of the incident. Does that have to be filed by the officers involved within a few days of the incident. However going by the past track record of this horribly run department we won’t see anything until November.

    2. What planet do you live on. There hundreds of court cases that say you have no right to privacy while in a public place. No one at the scene has any privacy rights.

  3. The privacy that people expect in a public place which is under video surveillance? What an odd notion.

  4. @nipsey, i’ll bet ya 20 that they will say, the camera was broke, the camera did not have a tape or as back the badge is already saying it will compromise the identidy of officers or by standers. not sure how that would affect anything if it was all within the scope of their training and department policy. if fpd really has to hold evidence then it sounds as if they r not really sure if the officers were really within policy or not. if command staff truely belived that their officers are the finest and highly trained then u would expect they would want to release that tape asap to clear their “good name” with the tax payers…it sounds like THERE IS DOUBT. if the officers really did act within policy….

  5. @back the badge, sounds like u may have an in with fpd. so tell us, how many officers are on administrative leave at this time????? and for what??? and how many were on admin leave in the past year and got away with whatever they did that put them on leave in the first place????

  6. @back the badge, plz don’t make some excuse that is confidential or will compromise ur investigation… the people signed up for the job and i would think fpd would have some mou that describes what is allowed and what is not. if those who signed up to do the job have an issue with pay or hours or working holidays or nights, then maybe they picked the wrong job. so if any of ur officers bitch and complain, then its simple, they can go find a new job which will enable them to work the hours and days that they want to… 80k a year plus and the idiots whine…..serioulsy . if ur officers can’t take it, then they need to move on and find something else they like to do…

  7. @the fullerton watcher, don’t expect any report any time soon. which ever officers and/or supervisors write the report it will be reviewed by several people from within. so i am sure many things will be changed around to paint a good picture of what fpd officers did…it really has to do with, how much money will the city pay out to make the problem go away. or if they have to make a sacrafice to appeal to the citizens then maybe they will suspend or fire a few of the officers involved. the report without a doubt will be “sugar coated”..

  8. Compromise privacy? There’s no expectation of privacy in a public place, especially one known to be monitored by surveillance cameras.

    I just cannot imagine how six trained, I assume trained to meet all situations, law enforcement officers, peace officers, could not have been trained in ways to take into custody one unarmed person behaving badly or not, without serious injury to themselves or to the citizen.

    Some time ago, a 30 year man with the PD of another city was telling me stories of how his brethren behaved; said all police officers after 5 years on the force become sadistic. What training is there to counter this tendency?

    1. Reminds me of a great episode of DEADWOOD I just saw the other night. The Sherrif, speaking to an ex-Sherrif who’s just come to town, says, “I once gave up the badge for a time. You get the urge to just beat on certain people.” And the ex-Sherrif said, “That urge never leaves you.”

  9. @feronia. yes they do become “salty” after a few years on. after the 1st year and probation is passed it is very difficult to terminate. as far as training well i would say “school of hard knox” . due away with rights that an officer simply can get away with almost everything. so all the complaints,whining and acts that are clearly morally wrong. u will rarely hear a trainee/probationer complain. so maybe have even the “salty” old guys stay on as an “at-will” employee. meaning they screw up then they can be terminated. just like any other type of employment. bet most officers would think twice before doing something stupid. if they knew their livelyhood would be cut off.

  10. and yes there would not be an expectation of privacy in a public place when cameras are rolling. but as for the tape, camera was broke, tape malfunctioned, tape was not in at the time, or got erased…. if they strongly believe in the officers they hire then to prove the public wrong, the tape should have been released first and foremost. but since officials really are not sure what the officers did or if the officers followed policy, they want to review and investigate. which leads me to believe that even supervisors are not sure what the field officers did…. so they will review but in the end fullerton will probaly just cut a check and be rid of this.

  11. There is no credible reason not to release this tape if it exists. I call upon Chief Sellers to let the public know one way or another by Monday. If he has nothing to say about it we will know that no one is running this department.

  12. maybe its time to hold a protest in front of the main police station, bet it would get some news coverage.

  13. If there is video it will only serve to confuse the public who are not experts in police training techniques. It should not be released.

    I, for one, will wait to see the official report from our fine FPD that will explain in detail how our wonderful police officers protected YOUR life and property in that dark parking lot on a hot July night. Let’s never forget that homeless man has a violent past.

    It’s too bad he’s in the hospital, but which one of you would rather have your car broken into or be harassed by these indigenous persons?

    Everyday these fine men and women strap on the gear and saddle up to ride to YOUR help. They put their lives on the line everyday to serve YOU!

    1. BTB, it’s always the fascists who think that withholding information is for the public’s own good because we are too stupid to make our own evaluations. This is supposed to be a democracy. If you want to offer expert advice and opinion on what the tape shows then do so. If your aim is to hide information from the public maybe you’d feel better living in Syria or some other dictatorship.

      1. I don’t know anything about Syria (I’m betting you don’t either). But I do know that I’m proud of a city that has a fine, upstanding police force made up of hundreds of highly trained and ethical police personnel.

        Just think about all this negative stuff when one of our FPD Heroes takes one in the head by a pipe-welding maniac defending YOU; or crashes his squad car in criminal pursuit of a dangerous gang member.

        1. BTB, FYI, Syria is a middle eastern country where tens of thousands of people are protesting the practices of their hereditary dictatorship of a government. It was just one example of a place where information is hidden from the public, in contrast (theoretically) to the USA where citizens operate a transparent government. Maybe you’ve heard of China. Will that example do instead?

          If the police are doing such a bang up job then surely they won’t mind sharing a video recording of how to properly subdue a suspect. People may interpret it any way they like. That’s democracy. If you can’t handle it, well…

          1. BTB You keep saying the police in the city are highly trained and ethical.

            What training does the department require?

            As far as ethical I think you need to look again at your department. Just in the last couple of weeks many stories have come out about officer abuses, theft and quid pro qou hiring. I don’t think ethical is the right choice of words.

  14. @back the badge….so how do u figure you can judge who has police training or not. do u know what all the people do for a living? the reason the tape won’t be released is because it probaly shows the fine fpd officers totally out of policy. like i said if u REALLY know that the “fine men & women” are doing their job and not out of policy then the tape would be released asap. since its being withheld, that only proved that supervisors want to review it first so they can come up with some defense plan. and protect life…they signed up for that and they are compensated very well. so if these “fine men & women” don’t want to do the job then they should move on. it is amazing how low the moral is at fpd, whiners,complainers and lazy…….don’t be so sure that i am not an employyee of fpd……and breaking into a car is a property crime. does a person have to have lethal force for a property crime? i guess fpd will cut a check, i bet the “fine men & women” won’t pay any funds from their pocket.. tax dollars spent on the incompitence of fpd finest….

  15. @back the badge, so how many fpd officers are on PAID administrative leave right now? or un paid leave? or lets go back about a year, how many officers have been on leave over the past year , got paid and still have their job no matter what they did wrong??? let me guess what the answer is, its not anyones business. well i beg to differ, tax money pays these “fine men & women” so yes, it is the business of the public. sorry but when to sign up to hold a public office job, u put urself in the eye of the public..

  16. Compton, wasn’t the last attempt at a protest in front of the police department that fake victims rally staged by the FPOA? I got a press release and after inquiring they could produce no victim or a perpetrater. Turns out it was a publicity stunt to slime candidate Shawn Nelson. The pathetic and hollow effort probably hurt the police effort more than helped. Worse still the guy the police were backing didn’t even live in the district and had been some kind of serial candidate.

  17. tax payer, Back the Badge cannot dictate any reason for “super citizens” who somehow have amazing powers beyond everyone else afforded the rights of the Constitution.

    BtB just spews whatever he can in an attempt to justify the behavior of government sanctioned thuggery.

    BtB could not answer my questions from the previous story and came here to run away from attempting to answer them.

    I am Jefferson Thomas and I am hereby requesting “super citizenship.”

    Whew, now that we got that out of the way, I am going to decide for everyone else what is best for them, whether it is beatings or stealing from you all or even kicking down the wrong door without using google maps.

    Thanks B2B for letting me in the “super citizen” club. 🙂

  18. There was a tape of John Cross’s beating back in 2005. The city wouldn’t release it despite pressure from the Observer.

    After that the city council tried to view the footage, but the city attorney “recommended against it” and so the council backed down.

    It took several years and more offenses before the bad cop was finally fired.

    1. Mmmm…Wasn’t McKinley Police Chief in 2005? If so, now he is on the other side of the fence as Councilmember…scary!

  19. The Fullerton POA is working overtime on this one.

    I doubt any of the “step 3’s” will have to pony up for thier own lawyers. Instead, you and I will cover that.

  20. @travis, so who else is on paid leave (paid vacation) right now???? over the past year there have been several officers on “paid vacation” ,so any of them fired or IA was “unfounded” and they are currently patrolling the mean dangerous streets of fullerton at a salary of 80k+ per year and full benefits…

    1. I have data on recent paid leaves from the PD, but the identities of the officers are super secret. Maybe there is enough detail for us speculate on who is who…

      1. Travis, I have a few suggestions…
        First, the data you have should have the pay and rank of the officers on leave. that should keep speculation high.

        Second, how about placing a list, starting with Cross, on this site of all the bad apples falling from the FPOA tree of taxpayer funded “heroes”.

  21. Distributing complete information will reveal the truth in this matter. Speculation and surmise are swirling.
    BTB- check you dictionary your message is incoherent. in·dig·e·nous –adjective
    originating in and characteristic of a particular region or country; native (often followed by to ): the plants indigenous to canada; the indigenous peoples of southern Africa.
    innate; inherent; natural (usually followed by to ): feelings indigenous to human beings.

    1. No, I am not Travis. I do not second guess our fine, upstanding police department. Those Heroes respond to the life threatening calls that protect us in our homes and businesses. They are the wall that stands between us and who knows what.

      There are criminals out there that want to rape and pillage, steal and destroy. It is the fine men and women of the FPD that allow us to sleep soundly in our homes at night.

      God Bless!

      1. Funny thing about the raping pillaging stealing and destoring, we know where most of them live, Valencia and Highland and Baker St. area. Yet for some reason it’s remained that way and really gotten worse for over 20 years. Just about the reign of one of the former boys in blue that sit on our council.

  22. This my friends is the most effective way to avoid this type of situation is De-policing, it’s very effective and is used in many larger cities in this county.

    De-policing is a “law enforcement strategy in which police avoid accusations of racial profiling and conflict by ignoring traffic violations and other petty crimes committed by members of visible minorities.” In a sense de-policing is the opposite of racial profiling.

    De-policing represents a de-facto police strike, where the police withdraw an aspect of their crime prevention services. It is a practical police protest at perceived political interference in their day-to-day task of policing and a way to avoid conflict.

    1. Smiley, that’s what they do when they want new job openings for friends. Sudden crime waves spurred on by a lack of enforcement is a mob tactic.

  23. @travis, what type of data do you have? and how could u go about getting the officer’s names? do u know which officers are “brady ” officers??? i have attended many city council meetings and there is never any mention of corrupt cops or paid leave. can not understand how an officer can do wrong, or some type of wrong that the department has to pull them out of patrol, lose the man power, possibly fill it it with overtime and yet the person is question gets paid. and i understand that leave can be a year or more… so 80k+ per year with benefits. sure sounds like a nice paid vacation….and to those who wonder why an officers name should be mentioned, well when an officer confronts a felony and/or misdemeanor, parollee or probationer, they say they like to know who they are talking to and their life can be in danger. well if i get stuck with one of them in my home, office or around my daughters , I WOULD like to know what type of offender I am dealing with. for the safety of my person and my property..i highly doubt any officers will inform u what type of criminal history they may have or if they are a brady officer or how many ia’s they have been involved in..i am in fear of MY safety .. so @back the badge, don’t worry, i sure won’t call fpd if i have a problem, i highly doubt they will provide safety to me or my family…….

  24. Back the Badge. You mention the fact that there is very little separating us from these people that want to rape and commit crimes.

    Your right, very little thanks to your “heros” removing the ability for me to defend myself.

    Now our option is only to call possibly corrupt “hero, super citizens” to protect us.

    Do you support this Back the Badge?

    1. I will continue to rely on the fine men and women of FPD who seperate us from those that would do us harm. Think it’s so aesy? Try it for a day!

      Our enemies are well-armed drug armies. And they are armies! Some of them have military-style weapons like grenades and things of that nature. Our wonderful police saddle up every day to ride out to protect US from these creeps and perverts and thugs.

      There’s nothing we can do for our police force that is too good for them.

      Time to back the badge – right down the line.

      1. Grenades? Honestly, BTB, you just sound like an idiot. Can you tell me in all of Fullerton’s history how many officers have been wounded by, or even seen a grenade? It sounds like you saddle up and ride our police cheif everyday.

        1. Can’t you tell that BtB is just baiting you people? Too funny. It’s really difficult to tell who the idiots are on this blog. Maybe everyone.

        2. Yes. And I read somewhere that some street gangs had got a hold of shoulder held rocket launchers. These gangs are part of a vast international drug cartel and have unlimited money and access to military style weapons.

          Opposed to this army of evil stands our fine police forces, including our own FPD. That Thin Blue Line is the only thing standing between YOU and anarchy. Remember that next time you Monday morning QBs criticize and slander our fine men and woman in blue.

          As you sleep soundly in your safe home remember to thank the Heroes at FPD!

  25. BTB I’m attempting to have a discussion here and you refuse to follow any sort of logical pretense.

    If all you want is a force to separate one portion of society from another while limiting the rights of those that obey the rule of law……then why have police at all? The military should simply patrol wherein creating Marshal law.

    The actions of the FPD of late that have been exposed are pointing toward a style of protection from, “well armed enemies that are drug armies with military style weapons” tends to point toward treating regular law abiding citizens as less than the force paid by them/us to protect them/us.

    How is it so difficult to understand for you that this is beginning the process of Marshall Law without it actually being declared. This is why the Constitution is so radical in that it allows “regular” citizens to protect themselves against the tyranny of ANY organization albeit gov’t run or privately run drug army.

    I applaud the Police Force….B2B….I PAY FOR THEM. What I refuse to do is place my brain in a jar while singing the praises of an entity that is obviously out of control…..WHILE THEY DEMAND THAT I AM UNARMED.

    How is this so hard for you to understand?

  26. @ christian or any other citizen, if confronted by the police, plz ask the question…
    1. are they on parole or probation
    2. if so what are the conditions of the parole or probation?
    3. are they a “brady” officer
    4. why IA’s have they been involved in?
    5.ask to see a valid form of id? ie…cdl or police id.
    6.and if they ask for consent to do anything “NO” should be ur answer
    7.check which officers r wearing a lapel mic?
    8.check to make sure their “dar” is on and functioning, to ensure ur safety and to make sure a brady officer or some other felon is treating u fairly.
    9. those who man up to DUIs..what are their driving conditions? driving only while in the course of their employment?
    10.mandated reports….child abuse, suicide,elder abuse…who actually follows that one, who looks the other way?
    11. theft, watch ur personal property at ALL times. esp eletronics, medication,credit cards, checks , cash and bike seats
    12. if booked , ask to make sure the camera in the jail is working properly to ensure , no theft takes place and also u can request that it is booked into evidence. i am sure they will say “no” cuz then if they steal its ur word against theirs.
    13.tapes and recording are ur friend, when lewd conduct is in question by officers it will protect u
    14. please keep ur minor children close, u never know when a fpd officer is going to go sideways and use less lethal or lethal force…or in plain terms “smack them around”
    15. keep all ur presribed medications of their reach.

    @back the badge, i have tried it and do try it. and yes it is very easy, pays well, good retirement & good benefits….. and please remember …THEY SIGNED UP FOR THIS JOB, KNEW THE CONDITIONS OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT AND EVERY OTHER WEEK RECEIVE A VERY NICE SALARY…. but they still bitch and whine. and get real, bombs and grenades…never seen that stuff in fullerton, maybe during my deployment in teh middle east….”creeps” “perverts” and “thugs” that describes many of their own… so i would keep away from those titles…should i provide u list of names to confirm?? or will that just be more of an embarassment?

  27. Going to Fullerton or even living in Fullerton is like enter “at your own risk”.

    You bet there is a video. It is high time to submit Public Records Request.

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