Open Letter to My Fellow Fullerton Liberals, by Steve Baxter

We all know why the right leaning Bushala blog, Friends for Fullerton’s Future and KFI radio hosts Jon & Ken are capitalizing on the murder of Kelly Thomas, and that is because, at least in part, they hate the police unions. Regardless of their motives, they are correct on this issue, and they, unlike you, are bringing attention to it. With the exception of current councilperson Sharon Quirk-Silva, who was the first to ask for resignations, and a well respected CSUF Professor, who have seen at the protest, so many of you established liberals, have an almost disinterest in the killing of a homeless man. The question is: Why? You are the royal opposition in this Republican demographic, we count on you, and yet on this one you decided to stay home.

Work demands have prevented me from hanging out with you lately, so please forgive me if I am wrong, but I’m not detecting any outrage at the actions of the police from most of you. I usually turn to you for leadership on a dozen other issues, but I don’t see that leadership here. I’m sure you are upset, but what seems to upset you the most is the fear that things will get disorderly, or that Fullerton’s image is soiled; not that one of the most vulnerable members of our community was killed by having his face beaten into hamburger by six of our police officers. I understand that you did your demo stuff in the sixties and that you still hate Nixon, but that check’s been cashed. I also understand that outrage on its own does not effect change, but sometimes an incident is so vile and so brutal, that to my mind one can’t help but get emotional about it. I’ve been to all but one of the protests in front of the police station and all of the council meetings since the killing.  I’ve looked for you and wanted to say hello. Where were you?

Long before we came creeping up your north Fullerton hills and joined you in the nicely paved part of town, my wife and I rented an apartment atop one of the downtown shops on Wilshire Boulevard. As someone who still spends a lot of time downtown, and someone who does not take a wide berth of the homeless, I was acquainted with Kelly Thomas. After the homicide, the story that was spun about Kelly by city officials was downright ridiculous to everyone that knew him. What the police did not count on in this case was that his father was a former sheriff, or that Kelly was not just another eyesore. Kelly was actually liked by many in the downtown community. I tell you this only because you do your mingling at backyard fundraisers on Skyline Drive and in this part of town people like Kelly Thomas could not walk two blocks before someone’s maid was told to call the cops.

There are some left-leaning Fullerton residents like Jesse LaTour and Jane Rand, who are present in the Justice for Kelly movement, but you consider these folks to be too fringe to support anyway don’t you? The votes from the last election show that many of you opted for Bankhead. In light of this I would now argue that most of you are not really liberals, progressives or leftists anyway; you are just pro-bedroom community.  After everything the police and city officials have done here, you are more comfortable advocating for bike paths, making sure your neighbors have period appropriate door knobs, and attempting to prevent development. I like bike paths, and I don’t want 760 homes built in Coyote Hills either, but that spying on your neighbor’s stuff in search of historical inaccuracies is a bourgeois wank. These things need to take a back seat while our city is still in the shadow of a murder and an ongoing, official stonewall. I’m an environmentalist, but if I was in Birmingham Alabama in 1963 after four little girls were blown to bits because of the color of their skin, my efforts to clean up the local swimming hole would have taken a back seat to my demands for justice. I suggest you do the same.

As a reminder this is why the actions of at least six of our police officers, and any number of city officials, is worthy of your usual scorn and attention:

  1. Our police department allowed the officers that committed this homicide to watch the video of the killing and script their report as if they were scoring a movie.
  2. It took a month and a lot of public outrage (what you call a mob) before five of the six cops were put on administrative leave.
  3. They were only put on administrative leave.
  4. After the homicide, the police proceeded to rape Kelly’s memory by pinning convenient and false charges around his crushed neck.
  5. Dick Jones is being Dick Jones.
  6. I pray this never happens, but you must know that if six homeless men were charged with beating one police officer in the same spot where Kelly Thomas cried out for his father, the tape of the “incident” would have been released to the public shortly thereafter, and the round up of all untidy pedestrians in Fullerton would have been on.

Kelly Thomas was most likely murdered for being confused. His confusion was perceived as disrespect and non compliance, and six giant dimwitted egos with clubs and badges lost control. Why does this not upset you? Why does this no longer resonate with you? Which of the following best describes the reason for your inaction?

a)       The Fox news crowd was correct about you. Too many of you liberals are, in fact, elitist. If you are asked to compost your refuse, or to donate to the library, you are on board. If, however, you are asked to stand in the sun and risk offending powerful and armed individuals that police our community, it’s best that we remain calm and wait for the authorities to get to the bottom of it.

b)       You are white and mostly affluent. The police have always called you sir and madam, and you would prefer that we sacrifice a few dingy homeless to the nightstick than have Fullerton perceived as a safe haven for the homeless.

c)       You are cowards. It’s one thing to try to regulate the actions of some jerky developers with hideous Miami Mansion dreams bouncing around in their greedy heads, but it’s another to stand in front of armed police officers and demand that they do the right thing.

d)       You falsely believe that something as horrible as this could never happen to your son or daughter

e)       And finally – no issue, apparently even police corruption and the murder of an unarmed skinny homeless man, would dare allow you, my fellow privileged Fullerton liberals, to ever be on the same side of an issue as an opportunist like Tony Bushala.

My hope is that after checking off one or more of the above, that you do a little reflecting and then come join the rest of us, of all political stripes, in front of the Police Station and in council chambers for Kelly Thomas.  You may find that demanding justice for those who normally do not have a voice is just like riding a bike.


Steve Baxter
Fullerton, CA

In the past I have had very little love for FFFF,  as I feel that this blog is equal parts, reward/vendetta, as it is political advocacy.  This time, however, we are on the same side, and I greatly appreciate the continue attention that FFFF is bringing to Kelly’s Thomas’s brutal beating and murder. I am happy to stand side by side with anyone who wants those responsible for Kelly’s murder as well as the subsequent obstruction by city officials, to be held accountable. For me at least this rises above politics. In this instance I would like to say KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

162 Replies to “Open Letter to My Fellow Fullerton Liberals, by Steve Baxter”

  1. Great letter and right on the money. Except our blog doesn’t “hate” police unions, per se.

    We do hate the financial hole they have put the taxpayers in and we hate the separate entitlements they have gained courtesy of their bought and paid for politicians, that we, as citizens, don’t enjoy. We hate the fact that they can watch us but we can’t watch them.

    1. And Tony hates the fact his brother George got a DUI in February and that he can’t smoke his bong in public.

        1. Yes, especially since it does not appear to be true according to OC Superior Court records. Check your logs for his IP number Tony, hopefully it’s static.

          1. It doesn’t matter whether it’s static or not. Records are kept by the ISP matching IP addresses and dates they were assigned.

      1. No DUI arrest there pal.

        Be careful, you are walking a very thin line. You might want to have your attorney explain.

    2. Great letter indeed, but “hate” is a word that gets thrown around far too much. The issue of whether agency that serves the public, especially when the employees wear badges and carry guns, should be allowed to unionize, shouldn’t be a question that only concerns conservatives. The conflict of interest inherent in unionizing public sector workers should be obvious to concerned citizens whether they are right wing or left wing, conservative or liberal. With police forces, even in a democracy, there are corrupting temptations that come with the immense power they wield, and maintaining civil authority over police forces is, historically, a challenge not to be taken lightly. When you add to the power of the badge the power of union organizing, you tip this precarious balance. This has happened in Fullerton, and it is happening all over the U.S., and police unions are the reason why. Conservatives and liberals can argue forever about the economic and fiscal issues surrounding public sector pay and benefits, but the way police unions undermine civilian authority in our democracy is a completely separate issue.

      1. Yeah, I think their guns and their virtual immunity to prosecution sort of negate the need for cops to also have a union. They’re the ones the elites use to BREAK UP demonstrations of uppity workers.


  2. Yep. I notice that Fullerton’s old liberals are completely absent from the front lines here. Too scary. The old boohoos like Vince Buck were bought off by tenure and easy teaching schedules and mortgage interest deductions long, long ago.

    Some, like Molly McClanahan never stood for anything but meaningless platitudes.

    The Observer is only interested in promoting the cop-supporters of the Human Relation Commission.

    Utterly worthless. Baxter hit the nail on the head. But the silence will be deafening.

        1. Don’t get me wrong, this letter is right on the money overall. But there are liberals and progressives out there too. Saw Vince with a sign not a camera.

          1. Should also mention Vince Buck’s piece on the protests and the police in the latest Observer:

            sample quote:
            “The left has become increasingly
            involved in the Saturday police station
            demonstrations. ANSWERLA (more
            “Old Liberals”?), the largest identifiable
            group at the August 20th demonstration,
            appeared to take over. They stated
            on their website that they were going to
            ratchet up the demonstration by leading
            a march, which they did, raising the
            question of who, if anyone, is in
            charge. The demonstrators represent a
            broad spectrum of groups and opinions
            and are not beholden to any single
            leader. And that is as it should be.”

  3. Why does he bring up Pam Keller? As far as I can tell, she has only used Kelly Thomas’ death to take pot shots at FFFF and promote herself.

    1. Yep. She used the opportunity to advertise her “collaboration” on homelessness. But the real issue here is protesting an out of control police force – which would take some real courage. Which she ain’t got.

      I also heard that she’s pals with a guy named Richard Fritcshe. Remember him?

  4. “the police spokesperson, clearly a graduate of Sadam’s Tariq Aziz’s school of spin, claimed that a 135lb malnourished, gentle, but often confused man, who did not care in the least about material things, had tried to steal a car and then broke the bones of two officers during the struggle. The latter of which is also now an admitted lie.”

    Wow, what a great summation of the bloat Goodrich.

  5. I’m sick you guys trying to turn this into a left vs. right issue. Police brutality and corruption affects us all regardless of party affiliation.

    The people protesting and speaking at City Hall were not republican or democrat, they were citizens concerned about their community.

    1. You’re missing the point of Baxter’s letter. He is chiding the “establishment” liberals for being noticeably absent in this affair. Just like the “establishment” right.

      These centrist dinosaurs are too scared to do the right thing.

      This isn’t about right vs. left so don’t be sick. Be mobilized.

  6. o thank you that really needed to be said,many so called good people don,t want to get thay hand,s dirty., at all live in big home,s and are scarded of the cop,s will if it was one of there kid,s that was murdered by the people we pay to keep us safe and not to say about the lie,s we where told at frist. by the police.GOD heard kelly the night he was killed y can,t the good people of fullerton hear him ?

  7. This post seems really off-base to me. I was at the recall meeting when Chris Thompson asked if there were any liberals in the room. Nearly half the attendees raised their hands. These are the people who volunteer to hit the streets to get petitions signed, clearly they are actively engaged, and they are Fullerton residents (a requirement).

    1. Of course there have been liberals showing up to help. Baxter is refering to Fullerton’s ESTABLISHMENT liberals, not the idealogical ones.

  8. I never saw myself as much of a liberal. In fact I have been a conservative GOP supporter. That was before Kelly was murdered.

    I have been at the protests. I would go to all of them but I still have a job…barely. I have yelled beside many a liberal and even some conservatives.

    Anyone who thinks this is a left or right issue is clearly stoned out of their mind. Kelly’s murder transcends parties and demographics.

    ALL of us know someone who is mentally ill. Maybe they’re bipolar, maybe delusional. Whatever their affliction, they need not be murdered for, as Mr. Baxter so aptly stated, “not complying with giant dimwitted egos with clubs and badges”.

    God rest Kelly and may his family find peace on earth.

    Justice will be brought to those culpable individuals. Only God may have mercy on their souls’.

  9. The so called Establishment Liberals or Conversatives are all about themselves. They only visible if it benefits their pockets and self-serving purposes. They don’t want to ruffles politicians feathers then they can’t buy/bribe the politicians to advance their self-serving agenda

  10. You mean to tell me there are liberals in OC outside of Laguna Beach? Wow, who woulda thunk? lol

    With all the derogatory references to ‘repuglicans’ here on FFF, and the complete absence of similar invective and name calling aimed at the ‘demorats,’ I’m very surprised that the writer considers FFF to be “right leaning.”

    And since when do right wingers have much use for bongs anyway?

    I’ve been critical on some issues, but keep up the good work Tony.

  11. Great letter, Steve. I’ve only lived in Fullerton 2 years so I just assumed that most of the people working for justice for Kelly were Liberals, and only recently found out they weren’t. I had a moment of thinking I would back off as I’ve stayed Liberal since the VietNam protests when I was in college.
    But, kudos to the Conservatives here and surely a lot of the people at the protests and City Council meetings must be Liberals, aren’t they? If not, this is very disheartening to me. I knew lots of 60s’ Leftists turned Republican when they started making money, but lots of us didn’t.
    This is the type of outrage that should re-activate us, not cause us to focus on bike paths(I’m a bike rider myself, but come on). In the old days, the Conservatives were for the status quo and stood by while people died; if things have switched this much, maybe it’s time for me to switch over(although many of their ideas seem illogical to me).
    Those of us who care about social justice must stick together against those who only care to keep their comfy little lives going.

    1. I have always thought of myself as a liberal with libertarian leanings. But I have never had so much respect for conservatives and libertarians as I do right now for their response to the Kelly Thomas murder. They are leading this charge and they are doing it for the right reason – basic human decency. We all saw something so obviously, horribly wrong, and we know we all need to come together and do whatever we can to right it. That doesn’t just transcend politics – that exemplifies what politics and “change” is supposed to be all about.

      You guys have already convinced me that an uncritical “support the unions” position is no longer tenable, particularly given the situation Jack Taxpayer describes above. Maybe at some point some of us will be able to convince some of you that abuses of corporate power are also something we need to watch carefully, just as we have to watch the abuses of government. Maybe not. Either way, I’m proud to stand with people of any ideological background for basic social justice.

      1. “Maybe at some point some of us will be able to convince some of you that abuses of corporate power are also something we need to watch carefully, just as we have to watch the abuses of government.”

        I think the first step is for both “sides” to realize that the corporate agenda and government abuses aren’t separate (let alone opposing) phenomena. Corporations buy the government, and get it to police us according to their wishes (downloading MP3s is basically terrorism, right?), and the government makes sure to “regulate” the corporations in the same way that a pyromaniac regulates fire.

        It is really sad that it took such a tragedy to get people to cross “right-left” lines to stand together. But at least that’s one good thing that I see coming out of this. That kind of division makes us, the people, weak. When we stand together in defiance of those labels and demand justice, we are strong.

  12. Mr. Baxter, your letter poked at me. Maybe I will dust off the flower and the bell bottoms this Sat. Lived in Fullerton over half my life, never have I been so ashamed to say I live in Fullerton. BTW FFFF has my attention. Never Blogged before, but here I am. Some of us that you think are silent, aren’t. FPD you are finished and so are the three blind mice. Keep it going, I’m here….

  13. This one stood out to me as the most probable:

    You are cowards. It’s one thing to try to regulate the actions of some jerky developers with hideous Miami Mansion dreams bouncing around in their greedy heads, it’s another to stand in front of armed police officers and demand that they do the right thing..

  14. I agree wholeheartedly with your letter. As an outspoken extreme liberal, I have felt very much in the minority at any event concerning Kelly Thomas. While I understand not everyone can give up a whole day, there are plenty if events that are leas time consuming. We need the voice of everyone, not just a few!

  15. Really great message. I can not understand why the old powerful men and women in Fullerton won’t stand up and fight for justice. Where are the morals? This could’ve been their child or grandchild, friend or neighbor! What the hell are people so afraid of? Right is right. Why do people want to protect the bad cops…and the silent city government? This makes me so sick and it just keeps getting dragged on and on. The DA is a joke. I keep hoping this has been a bad dream.

  16. This is about Police abusing their powers, resulting in death. Politics does enter the picture and derails justice from being done. The O.C. D. A. is obviousing favoring the killer Police, who are members of the Police Union (the union makes political donations and endorsements). The D.A. is an elected political position.

    Does make me scratch my head as to where are the ACLU, mental health activists, civil rights advocates, etc. WHERE ARE THE POLITICAL LEADERS? Why aren’t any of them speaking out?

    This outrage crosses political lines. Matters not if you are liberal or conservative. Thank God for John and Ken, Channel 5, hopefully others media outlets, that are informing us and keeping this injustice of the killing of Kelly Thomas from being “swept under the rug”. All of us care about this stunning, shocking, and vicious killing of a defenseless and innocent person. Not even probable cause to question or stop Kelly Thomas, yet they ended up killing him. Deadly force was neccessary to “subdue” a familiar, scroney homeless man. Ya right.

  17. It’s possible that these older powerful men and woman have that old school thinking that police are always the good guys. I recall in my teenage years, spending some evenings at a park, drinking beer and enjoying other things. Back then, when a dozen of us were present, only one cop car would show up, often with only one officer and he would simply tell us neighbors were complaining about noise and tell us to go home. Nowadays you will see six cop cars showing up, with at least 3 yelling at the youngsters like angry Hitlers throwing kids to the ground. Either these older folks are afraid of the new-style rogue cops or they are simply in denial, like their bosses.

    1. Exactly..those were the days that adult, kids had respect for the law. One cop was enough. Those days are long gone. There is no respect for authority anymore. N people don’t like cops..why? Because they want to get away with doing whatever they please. If you get a ticket, its cause you were doing something wrong..hello?? You were stealing or whatever you get busted..Its wasn’t my fault, its that bastard cop that arrested me. Yeah those were the days. Kids were scared of their parents or a neighbor. Know a days, kids can give a shit about anything. They disrespect their parent and that neighbors. Yep, that is the society we live in. So be very afraid.

  18. I think a lot of people who get heavily involved in such issues are “fringe” on both sides of the political spectrum. However, that is always necessary in order to get the pendulum in motion, so I understand. However, it does start to deter people who are not so far in one direction or another from getting involved in a situation because they may not want to be associated with such extremism. If the focus were: “Look what happened. This was wrong. Let’s fix it.” then I’m sure everyone would be more than happy to do their part. It’s when extreme comments start being made that people get turned off and no longer want to have anything to do with whatever the situation may be. Unfortunate but true.

    1. and yet, according to what EYENEVERSAYNO says, FFFF always attacks Republicans and never Democrats, so why haven’t there been more Demos here? Seems they would welcome being associated with these ‘extremists.’

  19. I think they are cowards, it’s hard to be in denial with all coverage the press has given to this tragedy, especially lately. This could’ve happened to any citizen here in Fullerton, that is why it is so distressing to me…why the silence? There are agencies in Fullerton, who help the less fortunate, staffed and supported by the wives of the egotistical influential men in Fullerton, who are probably mothers and grandmothers and they are not outragged? Boggles my mind.

  20. Also, my mother is moderate to liberal and, for I think the first time ever in her life, stood out at a protest in front of the police station last month proudly holding a sign for everyone to see. It was when people started passing out addresses for the accused, yelling at one another, using extreme language, and bringing politics (unrelated to the specific incident) into all of it that we all decided that perhaps we didn’t want to play such a large role in what’s been happening. Which, quite frankly, makes me sad because I was so fired up in the beginning. The last thing I wanted was for all of this to head in a direction where I didn’t feel comfortable being.

  21. I am the guy who made the “threat” according to the Oc Register, for simply suggesting the officers names and public information be released (the same way criminals addresses, names, and places of employment are put in the paper), it was not a call for violence but for transparency.

    We can not, and must not let, political opportunists get in the way of our real goal. This is not about white and not white, liberal or conservative, pro union or anti union.

    This is about a mentally ill man who was murdered by thugs with badges and guns and we must never forget that.

    1. I agree that the suspects in this case should be treated like any other. However, it was a little different to be posting their addresses in public forums with the implication that someone ought to do something with the information (which I saw in a Facebook group). In this particular case, everyone was so heated (myself included) that there was the danger of people slipping into a mob mentality and feeling justified to do threaten the officers, their families, etc. Every time a criminal hurts somebody, there is the chance that someone will retaliate against that person. However, in this instance, there were countless people ready to seek justice (but perhaps not in the best way). That’s where I was concerned about the release of their personal information. Not so much because of the offices but because of their families (and the otherwise good people who may have been tempted to do things they’d later regret).

      1. it was never top secret who they are or where they live. i did get their names here but i found everything else on Intelius,MyLife etc

        1. I’m not talking about this blog. I’m talking about everyone involved in the whole thing. I actually quite enjoy this blog. My point was that the people in the city who were starting to appear like a mob or push their own agendas that have nothing to do with what happened to Kelly Thomas are what pushed more level-headed people away from the situation.

          1. My point is that I’m 100% on the side of justice for Kelly and for fixing all of the problems that exist in the Police Department and City Council. It’s just unfortunate that a lot of people who agree have been turned off from getting involved because they don’t want to be associated with people hacking systems, any violent or vengeful comments, or other political agendas, etc.

  22. I am going to be a Fullerton cop when I grow up with nice salary, pension, above the laws and huge benefits with respect bloody uniform. Then join cop union to go through the ranks. Kiss up and kick down are the way to go.
    I can lies as much as I want too beat the shits any people who could not defense themselves, giving as many as traffic tickets to generate profits for department and city.
    I will go back to Fullerton college and join Orange County District Attorney Office with more power and invincible.
    After 15 years with enforcement, I can collect nice benefits and become the best Fullerton politican or city official. I am beyond touch.
    What a grand plan with little efforts. Watch out for me when I grow up. Neighbor kids and friends at my school must treat me nicer. Otherwise, I am going to beat the shit out of you, until there is no live left.

  23. That was obviously NO threat whatsoever to any of us reasonably minded people. But these guilty liars will use anything and jump to rediculous conclusions as a tool to cover up their so-called investigation. That was a GREAT suggestion Chris, not a threat.

  24. Also, how does anyone know who is conservative and liberal at a protest? I’m genuinely curious as to why the impression is that there are many conservatives and very few liberals present at them.

    1. Conservatives have short haircuts, and wear polo shirts tucked into jeans with no belts. Liberals have moppy haircuts, and dress in clothes other people threw away. Also, you can tell a conservative by the expression of love for Jesus they have on their face. You can tell a liberal by the fact that they either look like Jesus, or are dating someone who looks like Jesus.

      Wait… no?

  25. Why does everyone keep saying “with the exception of Quirk-silva” what has she done lately? big deal she waited almost a month after the beating to say anything and finally did, only after the media and othes brought it to a frenzied light. wooo-big hero, and how long has this one been on the council? long enough to make some changes-maybe?

    1. I would think those interested in justice for Kelly Thomas would welcome her support.

      What the point of being such a Negative Nancy anyway? Seems kind of self-defeating.

      By your logic a politician is damned if he or she supports justice and damned if her or she does not… that is unless he or she meets your unreasonable criteria by being among the first. Dumb.

    2. i do wonder how much she actually knew before. she may have been kept semi-blind too not really being in the inner sanctum

  26. steve baxter defines provincial liberalism in his open letter to FFFF. Provincial liberals do care more about pristine hiking trails in fullerton, than they do about the murder of a disabled, homeless man by fullerton police officers. However, I depart from Baxter’s analysis that Fullerton’s liberals’ apathy primarily stems from lack of concern; their apathy is to protect the “establishment” they possibly once railed against as unjust. All those members of our city and county government who continue to protect those fullerton officers who beat kelly thomas to death must be politically isolated and continuously targeted for recall and resignation for aiding and abetting a murder in our town.

  27. This statement is from an earlier blogger on FFFF, maybe most of us in Fullerton don’t want this to happen …

    “Wrong Guy. I’ve been promoting “Open Carry” on this site for 2 months. Look into California penal codes 12025 and 12031. If I could get some mutual support, I’d bring my weapon to work (I have a business near the bus station) tomorrow. Anyone care to join me? I’m not out to create trouble, but it’s time for all of us to exercise our rights and send the message that we will DEFEND ourselves from ANYONE (badge or not) trying to deny our constitutional protections.
    Anyone care to organize in an open carry peaceful demonstration?”

    Yeh! statements like this make me stay away, to extreme for me….

  28. No, the last thing we need is various groups piggy backing on the Kelly Thomas beating.

    The sheer brutality of the beating speaks for itself.

    By the way, if Kelly was open carrying they would have just shot him and that would be the end of it.

    1. It’s not, and that is my biggest gripe with FFF, but in Tony’s defense, politics was obviously a big part of this blog long before Thomas was murdered.

      1. i thought that perhaps. then the facts keep making their way out. it’s pretty scarey. even tony didn’t expect this. we need change. ffff is not event about tony anymore

  29. Susan Kang Schroder, chief of staff for the Orange County District Attorney’s office, said it is impossible to draw any conclusions without the coroner’s report.

    “They’re allowed to use force,” Schroder said of police officers in general. “There’s no question if there was force used. That doesn’t answer the legal question of whether force was excessive or not.”

    1. “Susan Kang Schroder, chief of staff for the Orange County District Attorney’s office, said it is impossible to draw any conclusions without the coroner’s report.”

      Excuse me? This from the young lady who almost broke down and cried when the CNN anchor asked her if she saw the video? Must be trying to salvage her job.

      1. Oh, no! She was promoted to an “Executive Manager” without any justification. Review of this affront is on the Board agenda Tuesday. So now she gets a massive monthly car allowance to help pay for that Lamborghini her old man bought her.

    2. “That doesn’t answer the legal question of whether force was excessive or not.”

      For fuck’s sake, HE DIED. Susan Kang Schroeder is the devil, only dumb.

  30. I will refrain from giving out my political beliefs here, as they are NOT relevant to the issue at hand. What IS relevant, is the amount of force, weapons employed, and tactics used, among other pertinent facts.

      1. soundguy, don’t be fooled by his handle, 9c1copcar is not an FPD troll. Initially I jumped to the same rash judgement.

        Read 9c1’s posts. He’s levelheaded and knows about police procedures. He’s one of the good guys.

  31. Ron was just on J&K a couple minutes ago. There’s a protest outside the OCDA’s office tomorrow (Thursday), 11:00-2:00.


  32. Wow. Read this anonymous letter to the editor of the Observer;

    All are Terrible

    I am a former Fullerton police officer who
    worked with the six accused of beating Kelly
    Thomas. Two officers are directly responsible
    for the death; one has been a ticking time
    bomb for years. He lives in Corona. Both the
    Fullerton and Corona Police Depts. have covered up his numerous previous altercations.
    All six are terrible police officers and
    deserve to go to prison for manslaughter, pergury, and lying on police reports.
    Chief Sellers is a disgrace to the profession.
    He has made it his captains’ mission to find
    out who is the “leak” at the department and
    has said not only will that officer be terminated, he will be prosecuted. For what? Telling the truth?

    I left the department because it is corrupt
    and full of “Good ol Boys Clubs,” but I still
    know people at FPD. They are appalled by
    the actions of the six officers. The man who
    died, did not need to die.”

    So which of the six had a home address in Corona?

      1. …you may also want to direct y’all’s attention to the story on page 4 about two rogue Fullerton Police officers that then Chief McKinley covered for in 2005. The officers beat this man while in custody and afterwords when the story was exposed, he and his family were directly threatened by the Fullerton PD. Although the two officers were eventually fired, it only because they continually got caught lying and stealing so much that the city’s hand was forced and they were quietly dismissed.

        1. Wouldn’t it be libel?
          And since I just cut and paste it from the Observer, wouldn’t be me facing the libel suit.

          But that would be one I’d like to see filed.

    1. I doubt this letter is from a former fullerton police officer. Though this site has had many opinions that insinuate most police officers are stupid, this is not a fact. A police officer would know perjury is not spelt “pergury”. Also, the writer believes “pergury” and “lying on police reports” are two separate unlawful acts; they mean the same thing. ased on the spelling errors and grammatically slaughtered sentence, it is likely sharon kennedy , editor of fullerton observer, wrote this letter herself and inserted it into her paper to boost readership of her paper. Since onset of FFFF and Fullerton Stories, the fullerton observer is history.

      1. I don’t know, that sounds a bit too conspiracy-theory to me. And why the Corona mention?

        I don really know or care about the history between the Observer and FFFF and really at the end of the day, who cares? Latest Observer issue had some good coverage of what has been happening. I appreciate any source of accurate information. Their story on a prior abuse case was interesting, and the Baxter post above was in the Observer first. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize.

        1. JT, Fullerton Observer editor is sharon kennedy brother of rusty kennedy, Rusty is executive director of the orange county human relations commission . at a fullerton city council meeting in mid-august of this year, rusty and pat mckinley’s eyes kindly met at a city council meeting packed with persons protesting the obfuscation of the kelly thomas murder evidence by fullerton city council members. rusty reassured the audience but mostly pat mckinley who still is a member of rusty’s commission that Giannaco would “independently”investigate thomas “death”. rusty’s commission is monetarily dependent on the beneficence of law enforcement within our county. out of gratitude, rusty runs interference between community angst over police abuse and police departments. Giannaco rarely finds sufficient evidence that policie violated a person’s civil rights. U R correct, lets keep our eyes on the prize and not confuse the limbs of trees with the snakes that twist around them.

          1. Thanks Van. I was sitting in the chamber watching that and I found it pathetic that at a meeting where people could barely restrain their anger and indignation that the head of a human relations commission would act like this was just a training problem and could be addressed by his (co-opted) commission. We need civilian oversight of FPD and it has to be done independently, with no connections to LE and no conflicts of interest.

  33. I am happy to stand side by side with anyone who wants those responsible for Kelly’s murder as well as the subsequent obstruction by city officials, to be held accountable. For me at least this rises above politics.

    Amen to that Mister Baxter. Perhaps the liberals haven’t been showing up because they are so often attacked on this blog, along with the Republicans? Too many here want to make this about politics, oblivious the fact it hurts the cause of justice for Kelly. jmo on what I’ve been reading here for the last month

    People need to get over the political garbage and focus on the issue at hand, horrific murder by cops of one helpless man under color of authority. THAT is the issue!

    Abe Lincoln said, “No man is free until All men are free.”

    Let’s amend that to include, “no man is safe from police brutality until all men are safe police brutality.

    1. And yet the reality is that elected politicians are supposed to be representing us in Fullerton. Instead they have let a culture of corruption prevail in the FPD, the Redevelopment Agency, even in the way they’ve ripped off water users over the decades.

      The Kelly Thomas murder is part of a larger picture of misfeasance. But the arrogance you new bloggers have seen is systemic of Fullerton’s political elites and has been going on for years.

      We need to respect the Thomas family and their quest for justice; as a society we need to pursue that, too.

      But Fullerton is endemically sick and in need of a strong political purgative.

      RECALL. NOW.

  34. They have brought shame to your door. This makes Rodney King’s treatment almost seem bearable in comparison….and that shakes me to my core. I spent the better part of 2 decades as a member of the armed forces, standing watch over our nation’s safety and security. We can’t even do what we’ve witnessed here to our sworn enemies in combat! To see such thuggery conducted under the guise of municipal enforcement leaves me physically ill. I too was once counted among the homeless, when depression swept over me and for too long a time I cared not if I continued on in this world, this could easily have been me. It was a long road back from that place to where I am today….sadly a road that Mr. Kelly now may never pass. Hold any trial, inquiry, press briefing, fact-gathering and spin doctoring event you chose to. In the end Epictitus states it best, and all to obviously.

    “Any person capable of angering you becomes your master;
    he can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.” …..may you learn your lesson well from the hapless master sent before you to teach it……

    “Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.” …..and may you someday find the ability to gaze upon yourself in the mirror and see what we now, all too clearly, see ………grown men…..shamed beyond explanation or redemption. You might be forgiven….. exoneration may be shyster-ed into the DA’s deal…but you shall forever be shunned….by the man in the mirror….for there-in…lies truth.

  35. Those of you who are Fullerton residents, no matter what your political affiliation are going to be paying for the settlements. The payments are in CASH and they are taken right out of the budget because Fullerton is a self insured city. The more this issue stays alive, the more the civil settlement will be. So if you are a fullerton taxpayer, you should be extremely upset as this is not the only major civil suit overhanging the city due to police problems. Your city council has been ineffective, the police force out of control due to hiring a weak chief who was hired to keep sweeping the bad stuff under the rug so it did not come back to hit the two ex police city councilmembers. Your political persuasion of liberal or conservative means nothing. Your wallet is being attached!

  36. Paint a house the wrong color and the Old Guard can’t buckle their Birkenstocks fast enough and fill up City Hall.
    A killing South of Chapman?
    A little too messy, and it was, Down there with all “those people”.

    1. OMG, I remember the birkenstock shoe store part of the Fox theatre complex at chapman and harbor blvd. the shoes were ugly, clumsy and uncomfotable much like the people who bought and wore them

  37. i want to astablish my business in fullerton. i just happened to make friends with tony and george. it seems they wanted to bring good things to this town. they got beat down and made some enemies. that was years ago. now it’s more about making positive things happen in our community…. if i could get my biz going with all the hassle from cops and gangs. i guess i can’t get help from the police or city. good thing i made friends with tony and george. with these guys’ help i’ll take anyone on. t’s a long shot to carry on the name of leo fender and others. what do i have to lose? come hassle me again now that i know my rights. i’m not afraid of any of you weaklings on this blog. you really want a fight? i join in this cause because i must. i’m ashamed of my community… because of the PD and the way they think they can treat ME! that’s why i choose to expose myself and what i feel is right. not kelly. i saw him driving in my car. he was a freak. so am i. am i next? my late july experience reminded me of teenage days or the dukes of hazzard. some comment’s i like, some are too emotional. a lot of good people on here. somebody’s gonna get a real good ass-kickin. ain’t gonna be kelly or me. keep up the good work! thanks guys for making it possible to open a business in your way fucked up town. can we go after the gangs that are all over the NE side of town now? thanks!

  38. We liberals are here and actively participating in all aspects of the justice for Kelly campaign. We march, we spread the word, we write letters, we make phone calls and we will continue to do so until Kelly gets justice. I give credit to this blog for shedding light on this story but it was the work of lots of anonymous and hard working people that spread this story to all corners of the globe. We may not be drawing attention to ourselves in the same way that others have but i can assure you that we are here. I must confess that I’m not the only liberal a bit suspect of Tony Bushala so in that regard you are correct.

    1. Maybe you are “suspect” of me because of what you’ve been told by your “liberal” friends.

      I’m not hiding any ulterior motives. I want accountable government in Fullerton. And I don’t want any more felonious cops doing what they did to Kelly in our city.

      Stop by my office at 110 East Walnut and let’s talk.

    2. “I give credit to this blog for shedding light on this story but it was the work of lots of anonymous and hard working people that spread this story to all corners of the globe.”

      It’s not worth arguing with this claim, but it isn’t true.

      The reason the story went viral was because Tony Bushala published the hospital photo of Kelly when the cowardly MSM wouldn’t touch it – too gruesome. That triggered almost immediate world wide attention. This blog was getting over 50,000 hits a day for a while.

      As to your letters and phone calls, thank you very much for whatever they accomplished. How about an actual presence at a protest – like today at the DA? “Drawing attention” to yourself is how you get things done, but your anonymous good wishes are always welcome.

  39. Hello Mr. Baxter:

    I have never read such an uninformed and judgmental post. Congrats to you! You have reached a new level of stupidity and judgmentalism! Yay for you!

    “We all know why the right leaning …”

    No, we don’t. You’re full of assumptions today, aren’t you? Quite pathetic.

    “I’ve been very busy with work, so we have not hung out in a while . . .”

    Sorry, but your excuses are not accepted. I think your failure to post is based on one of the following:

    1) The Fox news crowd was correct about you. You are in fact elitist. If you are asked to compost or to donate to the library, sure no problem, but if you are asked to stand in the sun, risk offending powerful and armed individuals that police our community, it’s best that we remain calm and wait for the authorities to get to the bottom of it.

    2) You wrote a letter in support of Mumia in 1984 so you feel that you should get a pass this time.

    3) You are white and mostly affluent. The police have always called you sir and madam, and you would prefer that we sacrifice a few dingy homeless to the nightstick, than have Fullerton perceived as a safe haven for the homeless and risk disorder, or god forbid lower property values.

    4) You are a coward. (I think this is the most likely case.) It’s one thing to try to regulate the actions of some jerky developers with hideous Miami Mansion dreams bouncing around in their greedy heads, it’s another to stand in front of armed police officers and demand that they do the right thing.

    5) No issue, apparently even corruption and murder, would dare allow you, privileged liberal, to ever be on the same side as an opportunist like Tony Bushala.

    So, which is it, Mr. Baxter? I think that it’s you’re a coward. A despicable, police-boot-licking, yellow-backed coward. You want everyone else to do the work for you. You write into websites and say. “Hey, why isn’t one else doing my work for me?” Hey, guess what? THAT’S NOT OUR JOB, ASSHAT!

    “so please forgive me if I am wrong about you, but I’m not detecting any outrage . . .”

    Sadly, forgiveness cannot be granted. Fullertonians of all genders, ethnicities, political persuasion, etc., are offended and outraged by this event, and we have expressed our offense and outrage and will continue to do so until justice has been rendered.

    The HUGE apparent fault here is your personal ability (or rather, lack of ability) to detect what has been going on in Fullerton since July. Don’t judge others by your own stupidity and failure to recognize what others are and have been doing.

    Please go screw yourself. Thank you very much.

  40. Just couple things worth pointing out:
    1. Creepy Van Guy is correct, this thing needs serious editing. I know this only because a friend had already edited it for me, before I submitted the letter to the Observer. He did not, however, prevent me from attaching the wrong version when I replied to Tony late last night. I sent Tony the pre-edited draft. This draft version is sadly a better representation of my limited skills behind a pen.
    2. I bring him up only because it was suggested earlier that Dr. Vince Buck should be counted among the liberals in town who are disinterested. This letter came about because I was so pissed off at not seeing any of the old liberal guard at the early protests, or the first public council meeting. Since Vince knows them all, I wanted to know WTF was going on. Where were the yellow shirted hill people, where was NUFF, where were the 1930’s awning Nazi’s? I pretty much went off on him, and instead of getting upset he told me I made a good point and he suggested that I submit something along those lines to the Observer, which I did. I’ve also seen him at several protests.
    3. Pam Keller is my friend, and I respect her, but she was dropped from the final version. It was disingenuous of me to claim that she was one of the exceptions. Pam and I differ on how we best insure that justice is served in this case, I wish she would come around.
    4. For what it’s worth, I was probably attacking the Observers core list of subscribers (I am one of them) and I was not asked to change a single word, nor did they edit content.
    This issue is not going to bring all of us together, but thanks to this blog, Kelly’s father, and the diverse group that shows up every Saturday in front of the cop station, I know that this time at least, it brought enough of us together to make a difference.

  41. The main reason I am an “undeclared” voter, and have been for many years, is because of what I am now reading on this blog. I hate the division created by identifying with a particular party. I vote with my conscience, and don’t want to be pushed into voting for someone just because I am a Democrat or Republican.

    The reason I support this site and all those protesting in front of the FPD and everywhere else, is because a human being was murdered in cold blood. And anybody with even a 1/2 ounce of compassion should be outraged.


  43. admin :
    Great letter and right on the money. Except our blog doesn’t “hate” police unions, per se.
    We do hate the financial hole they have put the taxpayers in and we hate the separate entitlements they have gained courtesy of their bought and paid for politicians, that we, as citizens, don’t enjoy. We hate the fact that they can watch us but we can’t watch them.

    I didn’t know about FFF’s website before KT. I’m glad to know of it now and will continue to read. So glad someone is keeping on eye on things in my city, because apparently I HAVE NOT.

    I’ve learned that the three blind mice are either former police, or police/union supporters. It feels like the City Council is just an extension of the Police Department! So then it seems like Fullerton is being run by the PD !!

    I don’t like it.

  44. Baxter is right this blog allows lots of brainless, hateful bloggers to express themselves… so what! This is America! Everybody’s demanding justice for Kelly, everybody wants to grease the wheels of justice so they move faster. That’s all great on an emotional level. But, lets move forward a few months. The investigation is rushed, the DA’s prosecution is sloppy (remember back to OJ Simpson) and the cop or cops on trial get off. Or, they get found guilty of murder 2 or manslaughter and it gets overturned on appeal.
    Face it, one or two of these cops are going to be charged. You have to let the DA do his job. With the media and public outrage, this crime won’t be forgotten, we have to be patient with the system.

  45. Give the Observer some credit. They printed Baxter’s letter intact without the usual side rebuttals. Vince Buck’s column in the same issue was pretty good, too.

  46. Wow, haven’t read anything like this indictment of fake liberals since the early 70s. You are the real thing, a liberal firebrand. Maybe you should switch places with Dick Jones. I think I still have that old army coat in my attic.

    1. Meadow,

      I was stunned this evening, when Chris matthews, and company on MSNBC, ridiculed Obama for falling short of “Give em hell Harry”.

      You are right, too many of our so called “liberal” thinkers are stuck sucking the machines cock!
      Examples abound:
      The Liberal OC, Voice Of OC, Jose Solorio……….

      But, if these “liberals” looked closely, and we could settle down the “maniacs” opposite, theres alot we agree on.

      Beating to death a harmless man would likely be close to the top of that list.

      Hopefully, Kelleys death counts for something bigger than a reminding OC we have a shitty DA, Fullerton is run by a ignorant government and people do count.

  47. hey Steve. Im a democrat. I dont think Im what is considered a Liberal. But I was there with Tony today in Santa Ana. And ill be in fullerton on saturday registering voters.

  48. I was gonna be a “Hard Rock Promoter” for $750 but everybody in that group was a big-time land developer and I don’t socialize with slugs like Steve Sheldon.

  49. Why is it if you dont smile and say “thank you sir, I’ll have another” you are branded as hating? thats the sheep mentality, right? if I dont like something why cant I voice my opinion?

  50. When I first encountered this blog, I figured it was leftist. I was pleasantly surprised to learn quite quickly, obviously, that it’s libertarian-oriented conservative – my own political leaning. Unfortunately, I think beginning with Bill Clinton, liberals became all “tough on crime “statists. Phony conservatives joined forces with them to up the numbers of cops needlessly and the prison guards.

    But this is a great opportunity for both sides to unite and fight. Liberals will have to concede that it is union power that prevents us from getting rid of bad cops or even finding out their names. Conservatives need to realize that if they criticize teachers unions, they need to do the same for the police and not react in knee jerk fashion to police abuse.

    I’m not from Fullerton. I’m a native of LA who lives in Cabo. This is a nationwide problem. I now follow this blog every day because I think this is a case that could help change things nationally. I love the fact that people have put party barriers aside here for the most part.

    Traditional liberals and civil liberties-oriented conservatives are naturally on the same side here and we should relish this. This needs to be a national trend. No more Eric Holders and no more Alberto Gonzales’. Both of these types are scum interested only in abridging our freedoms.

    1. It has nothing to do with “politics” geeze, it has to do whats right and whats wrong, This is wrong and Im voicing opinion thats it.

      If it happens to line up with someones poitics, well goodie, but thats not what this is about

      1. I agree that is shouldn’t have anything to do with politics, but the reality is (no reference to the commenter) that it does, Many on the left blindly support unions and unaccountable government. Many on the right blindly support the police no matter what. This needs to change and this blog is helping to do that.

    2. “Liberals will have to concede that it is union power that prevents us from getting rid of bad cops or even finding out their names.”


  51. Good Morning Peeps. Reading the blogs today, I see it is about politics. This is not a political issue, rather a serious problem with a police department having officers who use excessive/deadly force, when the situation does not mandate such a response.

  52. If Pam Keller ever runs again, she has my vote. We disagree on how to react to this murder to best assure accountability, but she is outraged at what happened and seeks solution in ways I am not capable of. I would love to see her at the protest tomorrow, but she would love to see me volunteer at the homeless shelter.
    if anyone wants to be part of this movement, you are welcome to join us. 9am to 1pm. I will be there approx 10 – 12:30.
    Justice 4 Kelly!

      1. I guess it’s time for me to get up there too.

        I think I’ll bring my 11 year-old daughter. Last time she marched with me for a cause she held a sign we made together that said “teach your children that hate is uncool.” That was for yes on 8. We’ll have to come up with something similar for tomorrow. See you guys there.

  53. Tomorrow, I will be with my 2 wonderful boys, so I will be there in spirit. Watchout for FEDUP though, as she has a wicked set of knuckles.

  54. Enjoy your day with your boys 9c1. We’ll be thinkin about you. And of course, I’ll be very nice as usual around Fedup.

  55. There are MANY facts to this case, and as cut-and-dry as the evidence may seem, this is not going to be ajudicated anytime soon. Each officer will more than likely have his own attorney, and each will be arguing their client’s innocence.
    I am not sure about FPD, but many depts. will NOT cover their officers legally, if such actions can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, to be egregious and out of policy. I would be very interested to see if FPD recuses themselves legally from the actions of their officers. This, in no way, lets them off the hook as to the actions of their personnel.
    Also, if it can be proven that the Watch Commander did IN FACT watch the incident, and did NOT communicate to his officers to cease their physical assault, then he is as guilty civilly as the officers on the scene, for it IS he that has the ultimate control in matters during his shift. It is he/she that can call off a pursuit if the perceived danger factor to the public is deemed hazardous.
    I know swift justice is the order of the day to us, but being fair to all, I do not want any swift decision, as sickening as the thought is to me, these officers should be afforded all rights afforded by the Constitution, even though that was totally denied to Kelly.
    Respectfully Submitted

    1. I agree with the last paragraph, 9c1. I think it’s the unions that would pay for representation and not the dept themselves. If I remember correctly, the police protective union for the LAPD paid for the defense of the officers in the Rodney King case. Can’t remember if they paid for both the state and federal trial, but I bet they paid for the state trial representation.

      1. The city pays none of the defense bills. Each officer pays monthly into a legal defense fund that is funded by like 100,000 cops. This fund will pay for their entire defense. They get the best attorneys in the business. They will be backed and funded until the end in both the criminal phase and admin phase.

    2. I think it’s odd that you always say the watch commander watches and you expect him to stop the fight. This will never happen as you say it.

      Let’s say I’m the WC and I have 2 guys checking someone at a location. I see them searching a backpack on the trunk lid of a car. I see the other officer talking to the subject on the curb. I see the curb subject get up and run. I see the cops chase him and a struggle ensues. I hear on the radio that they are calling for more units. Now we are assuming I’m not able and ready and watching the entire time, and able to move the camera to keep a view of the fight now at the other location.

      Do you really ever think that a WC is going to get on the radio and say stop the fight, let him go, or make a judgement like that? How long was the fight for from the time he ran until the time the 4th cop got there? I forget the timeline but it was like what, 3 minutes?

      I’m just trying to figure out, as a person that was in law enforcement, why you actually think this would ever actually happen. Now if I was WC and was watching something and was able, knowing all of the facts, to stop some type of police action without putting the cops or the public at risk, I could see it happening.

      I’m sure you have your reasons, but when you say this, which you do over and over, I don’t see how it would ever happen.

  56. Wrong Guy,

    FEDUP will be packin’ sharp knuckles. Have her show them to you. They have me shakin’ in me boots.

  57. Great post. You get it: the left today is about the collective, not the individual. They control what time we water our lawns, how fast we cross the street, what kind of doorknobs we use. We even sort our own garbage so their backers don’t have to hire people to sort it. They want Big Government and Big Unions enable Big Govt. Big Unions, like the police and public employees, take money from their members and give it back to mostly Dems in campaign donations. And Big Unions enforce their nanny state rules. All for the greater good! All for the children!

    They call libertarians and tea partiers vile names, but they are the guilty ones.

  58. Tea partier are like ultra conservative republicans in drag, just change the name and maybe they’ll get more votes. The tea party is like a trojan virus on your computer, they represent themselve as one thing, but are something else. They want to take charge of the federal government so they can destroy it from within.

  59. Good letter, but as Tony has said –there’s no hatred for either the police or unions, rather the corruption that has prevailed in this case. There is also a dislike of the longstanding cronyism between the city council, manager and the chief of police which has led to such uncivil actions.

    But sorry –you might have had no love for FFFF before –and may I point out the very reason why is you put too much stock in your liberal friends. Rather than thinking every issue that has been put up on this board, or hearing what dissenters had to write, perhaps you were persuaded by your social set –the Kennedys, the Bucks, and everyone else, to see FFFF as just a bunch of troublemakers.

  60. Steve maybe you are not capable of believing that many times in our Great Nation people set aside their idelogical differences for the good of us all. Give it a try

  61. Meadow Muffin you are so right just like Jimmy Hoffa said ” Take the Son of a Bitches Out” ! They are being misguided by the Judas Goat Billionaires right to the slaughter house

  62. I agree with Bax for the most part–except his love for Council woman Sharon Quirk. His view for her is personal because he knows her personally. She only said “release The Video” when she saw shit started to get hot and heavy, oh and PUBLIC~!. Too much of a political move for me…as a Fullerton resident I expect and demand transparency and accountability–NOT political moves OR motives….

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