The Fullerton 6: A Death Penalty Case

Here is a guest blog from Mark Cabaniss, an attorney who has worked as both a prosecutor and as a public defender. Mark has written several interesting pieces on the Kelly Thomas case over at GreaterLongBeach.com.

Reportedly, the Orange County DA is waiting for the coroner’s report before deciding whether to file charges against the six Fullerton police in the beating death of Kelly Thomas.  As the medical evidence comes in, it looks increasingly likely that charges will be filed.  But will the charges, if they are brought, be minimal, or will they be serious?  Will they be the most serious charges warranted by the evidence?  We don’t know.  What we do know is that Kelly Thomas died after six Fullerton police severely beat him.  The DA is still waiting for the official cause of death to be determined, but for the sake of this article, I am going to assume that the death came about as a result of the beating.  Now let us make two further assumptions:  First, that the police were committing a crime during the beating leading to the death, and second, that the death was unintentional, i.e., an unplanned consequence of the beating.  If that is what happened, that the police illegally beat Kelly Thomas and he subsequently died as a result of that beating, then there are two ways to charge the case under California law, depending on whether the police were committing a misdemeanor, such as simple battery, or a felony, such as kidnapping or torture.  If the underlying crime was a misdemeanor, then the case would properly be charged as involuntary manslaughter.  But if the underlying crime was a felony, then the case would properly be charged as felony murder.

The difference is simple.  Suppose you get in a bar fight and get your arms around a guy, trying to throw him down.  He stumbles out of your grasp, but, unfortunately for you, (and him,) he trips and falls, smacking his head on something hard, killing him.  This would be a textbook case of involuntary manslaughter, because the death was an unintended consequence of your misdemeanor, i.e., simple battery.  Now consider the same hypothetical, only this time you grab the guy not in a bar fight, but in a kidnapping.  Again, he trips, falls, and dies.  Now this is a case of felony murder, since the death resulted from your felony, i.e., kidnapping.

The important point regarding these two hypothetical examples is that in both cases it does not matter at all whether the death was intentional or not; you are still guilty.  Whether you are charged with involuntary manslaughter, punishable by imprisonment of 2, 3, or 4 years, or with felony murder, punishable by 15 years to life, or death, is entirely dependent on whether the DA has what it takes to charge you with a felony. In the Kelly Thomas case, the DA has already said that he has seen no evidence of intent to kill; but, as we have seen, with a felony murder charge, the DA doesn’t need to prove intent to kill:  Any death, even unintentional, is a murder if it arises out of the commission of any of many dangerous felonies.  It is remarkably easy to prove.

Consider the following example, the recent California case of People v. Wilkins.  A burglar was driving down the road when some of the stolen items from the burglary spilled from his truck onto the road.  A driver behind him swerved, wrecked, and died.  The burglar was guilty of the murder of the driver, because the driver’s death, even though completely unintentional, occurred as a result of the burglar’s felony, i.e., the burglary.  Wilkins is currently serving a sentence of 25 to life for his crime of felony murder.

Turning to the Kelly Thomas case, and again assuming that witness accounts that have appeared in the media are borne out by the investigation, there are several felonies, such as aggravated battery, torture, and mayhem, that could be charged to make a case of felony murder.  But the best of these is felony murder with the crime of mayhem, California Penal Code 203, as the predicate felony.  The death is easy.  Obviously, the death came as a result of the crime, if there was a crime.  So the hard part in this case, if there is a hard part, is proving mayhem, which is defined thus:  when a person “unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the nose, ear, or lip, [he] is guilty of mayhem.”  In the common law, mayhem meant literally cutting off a finger, etc.  But California courts have interpreted mayhem to cover injuries such as a broken ankle, because it took over six months to heal; burn scars; and permanent vision impairment.

The recent medical reports released by the attorney for Kelly Thomas’s parents say that he  suffered from a severely broken nose, a broken cheek, three broken ribs, taser wounds, a collapsed lung and a brain injury.  If his facial disfigurement would have led to extensive facial scarring, requiring plastic surgery to correct, that could qualify as mayhem.  If a physician were to testify that Kelly’s brain injury would have been permanent had he lived, that could also qualify as mayhem.

Obviously, Kelly did not live to complain of blurred vision, loss of hearing, etc., so any such evidence of mayhem type injuries would have had to have been noted by the physicians at the hospital or collected by the coroner from the cadaver.  Perhaps someone found a detached retina, part of the tongue bitten off, damage inside the ears, extensive damage to the throat, or other evidence to prove the crime of mayhem as a predicate felony for a capital murder case.

Capital murder, as in, death penalty?  Yes, aside from being easy to prove, the really nice thing about a mayhem charge is that it makes this a death penalty case, and, better still, all six cops could be executed.  That is important, because as Samuel Johnson observed, “when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”  A charge that could kill all six would be very useful to the DA, because he could use it to persuade those with less involvement to testify against those with more involvement, in exchange for plea deals with no death exposure.

In this case, there have been reports that one of the cops was attempting to put handcuffs on Kelly, but had to stop because another cop was still bashing Kelly’s head in, splashing so much blood around that the cop with the handcuffs had to stop.  The DA might want to give the guy with the handcuffs a deal to testify against the basher, for example.

At any rate, none of the cops is talking to the DA’s investigators.  When faced with the blue wall of silence, the DA could use a nice sledgehammer to break it down, such as a mayhem charge, putting all six police in jeopardy of death.  And the DA wouldn’t have to worry about intent to kill, since it is legally irrelevant to a felony murder charge.  The case would be simple:  Did the police commit a felony during the killing of Kelly Thomas?  Did they commit the crime of mayhem?  Only a jury can answer, if a jury is given a chance, if the DA brings charges, if the evidence that the DA awaits supports charges.  We shall wait and see.

187 Replies to “The Fullerton 6: A Death Penalty Case”

  1. We must not rush justice. They still have a ton of evidence to go over but I have no doubt the DA will bring this to trial.

    …Just give them time, people!

  2. Really? What an idiot, even Ron thomas’s attorney even said it wasn’t 6 but yet again you have idiots talking out of their asses without the facts! What a waste of an article! Admin keep up the good work your boring everyone !!!

    1. Not boring me. I love hearing from a real authority. The quotation from Samuel Johnson made my day.

      Now, it’s probably true that the six goons have virtually no powers of concentration anyway (think a circle of monkeys with a bright red rubber ball) but a capital murder charge will certainly give at least a couple of them cause to pause – and then start to sing.

      And when the fat cop sings, the donut opera is over.

      1. This whole GED thing is so funny. I haven’t heard about a GED as much in my life as I have since this Kelly incident and this blog. Most cops don’t just have GEDs. I wonder where that comes from. I guess just a way to make something up and bash them. Makes sense I guess.

        1. I might have been giving him too much credit. I just assumed there was no way someone could graduate high school without learning the difference between your & you’re.

  3. The DA is dragging his feet. People forget that the DA’S office is made up of several officers who transferred from different orange county police agencies, including at least 10 from Fullerton pd. FACT!

      1. I know alot of names, ask around you can find the names. If you can’t find them I will post them later.

    1. Most DA officers have former cops as their investigators. Obviously the attorneys aren’t usually former cops, a few are, but that’s not as common. Almost all investigators are former cops that quit to do that, or cops that retired and are now working in DA offices.

  4. That all makes perfect sense if you believe that the D A will not be looking for any and every reason to rule out mayhem, which reasons Mr Cabaniss gives several. As the allegations that the cops were punishing Kelly for Slimebar Jeremy Popoff’s benefit proves to be true, I see it more along the lines of “torture”. PC 206.1 entitles the big tough guy Cops to “a term of life”.

  5. If the police provoked kelly into resisting or not complying and then beat him viciously because of this and used deadly force on his head(being unarmed) and tazered him near the heart at point blank range then I believe it could warrent a death penalty case . all those things I believe do in fact apply in this most unfortunate event, because all those things have been testified to by witnesses.

    1. There may have only been two cops cops beating on Kelly originally…but four more stepped up to the beating and aided and abetted in multiple felonies being perpetrated on Kelly . If none of them stopped the activity they are equally liable and culpable!

  6. wow really get great write up. yeah and if the da preses really weak charges it seems so blatantly obvious how in collusion they all are.

    and with all the public interest and media tension and the general feeling of distrust of government this is not going away.

    this is not going away

  7. This is exactly what I’ve been saying for weeks.

    Now where’s “fedup” when you need him for some two-bit, barroom commentary that he picked up on Law & Order?

    Interesting but irrelevant side note: under the traditional common law (the historical root of most American law), “mayhem” was defined as “the crime of disabling a man’s fighting arm”. That has nothing to do with what we’re talking about, I just always found that hilarious.

      1. There you are. I was wondering how long it would take you to chime in with some attorney-wannabe commentary. Nice zinger. I see you’re recycling my old favorites.

        Now go study your coloring books.

      2. There you are. I was wondering how long it would take you to chime in with some attorney-wannabe commentary.

        Nice zinger. I see you’re recycling my old favorites. That’s the thing about jokes; they get funnier every time.

        Now go study your coloring books.

  8. Those responsible should be punished but with legal process and not the lynch mob mentality of revenge.

    I don’t agree with the felony murder at all.

    There have been cases where people with no prior and not having anything to do with the murder have been sentenced to life in prison under this law.

    http://felonymurder.org/

  9. Sorry, this is a highly flawed analysis. Mayhem can be added to first degree murder as a special circumstance only if the actor “*maliciously* deprives a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the nose, ear, or lip..” (CA Penal Code Section 203)

    “Maliciously” means the actor must have *intended* to commit mayhem as defined in 203. If any or all of the officers had taken out a knife and cut Kellys tongue out, sliced his nose ear or lip, or propped a leg against the curb and stomped on it to break the bone, etc., that would be mayhem. Injuries incidental to the beating don’t automatically rise to the level of being malicious.

    In any case, overcharging would be a certain way to make sure all or some of the officers involved walk away scot-free. We just saw this happen very publicly in the Casey Anthony trial.

  10. “A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.”
    John Stuart Mill

  11. That is why we “common folks” are duty bound and still extremely powerful. I say press on everyone. Justice will prevail.

  12. When 1 of the fpd6 dropped his knee repeatedly across Kelly’s throat would that not qualify as being done “maliciously” with the intent to silence him from crying out further? A kneedrop does not appear to be a restraining technique.

          1. HAY I HEAR PEOPLE GET AID,S IN THE PEN, THAT CAN,T BE TRUE, WELL O NOW I KNOW HOW WHAT CAN HAPPEN {:( SORRY GUY,S R NOW DALL,S MAYBE CAZE BENO CAN GIVE YALL SOME POINTER,S ON HOW TO HAVE A SEX GHANG.

    1. Give them the choice of pleading guilty and the death penalty.

      15-40 years in prison is not justice, it is revenge.

      1. Addendum

        The above is meant for them if they are found guilty of murder.

        Give them a last choice between death and attonement or incarceration and insanity.

        Neither is a good choice, but it is a choice I would give to anyone.

  13. nomad :
    When 1 of the fpd6 dropped his knee repeatedly across Kelly’s throat would that not qualify as being done “maliciously” with the intent to silence him from crying out further? A kneedrop does not appear to be a restraining technique.

    I would say any more than oh.. 5 minutes of beatings from the first couple are grounds for beheading…

    but truly.. how does society or anyone not just freakout when they comprehend all the beating a man took for being a homeless person in fullerton california…

    I am most disgraced by the people in charge of the animals who

    1. WATCHED THE VIDEOS in their entirety WITH the officers
    2. Helped them write police reports together that made sure the fucking bum didn’t get no leniency or respect
    3. LET THE ANIMALS IMMEDIATELY PUT BADGES
    BACK ON
    4. ^^FOR THREE WEEKS

    If the FBI doesn’t just slaughter that whole force and the community shitbags who weren’t concerned that their cops murdered a citizen… then it will all be a shame on humanity as a whole

    1. Easier said than done. It’s not that easy just to hang people the next day. We all still live by the concept innocent until proven guilty, even though it doesn’t seem that way much anymore.

      1. Didn’t seem that way for Kelly Thomas yet I notice you’ve never shed a tear over that brutal denial of justice.

        P.S. Screw you.

        1. Justice? That’s funny. You just rendered your own justice and want me to accept it from you. No thanks. I’ll rely on the DA. PS Screw Me.

  14. suppose six police officers who are held to a higher moral standard of conduct use the authority of their badge to detain someone, then these six officers bash him to the ground and continue to bash the back of his head while shooting numerous tasers into his torso. suppose these officers use of unreasonable force supercedes misdemeanor battery and in fact the beating is so brutal and prolonged that it becomes premeditated murder. I argue it is premeditated murder because after the initial blows to kelly thomas , thomas was subdued. Yet, these same officers continued to beat him knowing he was not moving and thus more than likely unconscious. what is the difference between manslaughter and murder? Manslaughter is the death is unintended and due to proximate, unanticiapted cause such as falling on the ground and causing a lethal brain damage. Premeditated murder is knocking someone down who then lies still and then continuing to beat on him directly resulting in his death.

    1. True. But you have to be careful in what you charge someone with, especially someone authorized to use deadly force. You charge right away without thought “Murder”, that will be easy to beat in court and then if someone did wrong, they get nothing.

      Look at the BART case. Cop on video shoots the kid in the back while laying on the ground. Millions of dollars on the defense and the cop gets a year in jail. Chino, cop shoots unarmed guy after pursuit. All on video. Cop innocent due to millions of dollars spent on the defense and the jury seeing it the other way. This case same thing. Millions and millions will be spent on the defense, same attorney as Chino, so the charge has to be right or if they did wrong, they will still walk free with nothing.

      1. Wrong. They walk away without a job and with a gargantuan legal bill. It will break somebody. And if that’s the union, so much the better.

      2. Yeah, I think EyeNever (maybe someone else?) and others have been making this point quite a bit. The more serious the charge, the higher the burden of proof, the greater chance you have of acquittal. I think those of us who want justice for Kelly do need to take this point seriously.

    2. We have been brainwashed to believe that there a good cops! They are all bad. A department won’t hire any good people because they would be whistle blowers after enough time on the job. Bosses can’t have that!

      1. Please stop.

        You are promoting fear mongering.

        If you think the Rodney King riots were bad, then you ain’t seen nothing if due process is denied even to these people.

        I have a friend who is a police officer in Northern California. The problem I have with him is that he is way too nice a human being for the job he does. Even after 30 years on the police force, he’d lay down in the street and sacrifice himself if he saw an injustce being done.

        Don’t paint all law enforcement officers with the same brush. We have a system in America that we have to have faith in. It IS our system. Sometimes it falls short of our expectations and when that happens, we, the citizens, work to change and improve the system.

        The FBI is now on the case. There is so much publicity that I truly believe the disinfecting work of sunlight is the best cure and justice will be done. There is no guarantee I personally will approve of the ‘justice’, but if I don’t I can work to change the system in the future.

        It wold be difficult if not to impossible to do this in the majority of countries in the world today.

        In the 60’s there was a television drama starring Richard Crenna that had a caveat at the beginning of each show. It went, “The American system of justice is not the best in the world, but just think how much worse all the others are.” Food for thought.

  15. Just specuculation, is anyone aware of any other homeless or mentally disturbed people that that have been injured or reported missing from Fullerton in the last 2 or 3 years. Is this the first time something like this has happened, or just the first time fpd have been caught. The level of brutality inflicted upon Kelly and the coruption involved at all levels in the attempted cover-up, it would no longer suprise me if this story took another sinister twist.

    1. Nomad you may be on to something. Easy pickings for animal bastards who conspire all the way to the top. Homeless and runaways are convenient targets who are lost in the crowds.

        1. That’s right. When those assholes were kicking Kelly’s innocent head, they were also unwittingly kicking a hornet’s nest the likes of which they could never imagine. That hornet’s nest is us.

          Don’t listen to the trolls. Kelly’s murderers are not lollygagging about at a Newport beach home on a slaphappy paid vacation. No way.

          The dirty six are in serious, serious legal trouble and they know it. This is a big deal. We know it, they know it, the DA knows it, and the world knows it.

          There will be a murder conviction. Who, and how many, we don’t know. But there will be justice for Kelly Thomas.

        2. YES I THANK YOU ARE RIGHT BUT THAY KILLED THE WRONG ONE WHEN THAY MURDERED KELLY MAN DID THAY MAKE A BAD CALL BLUE CODE WAS BROKE THAT NIGHT!!!! PIG,S ARE STARTING TO TALK TO FBI TO SAVE SOME BUT LATER.{:*O

    2. Nomad, it does appear that the Fullerton police may have a history of victimizing homeless/mentally ill people and previously getting away with it.

    3. nomad,

      “…Is this the first time something like this has happened, or just the first time fpd have been caught.”

      It seems pretty fantastic this would have been the first FPD murder. If Ron Thomas had not the credibility of having been in law enforcement before himself, and were not a very determined individual, this would have been swept under the rug and ‘invisible killings would have continued in Fullerton for God knows how long. Was Kelly Thomas the first? That seems dreadfully unlikely. jmho

      “The level of brutality inflicted upon Kelly and the coruption involved at all levels in the attempted cover-up…”

      Seems to have an air of the practiced about it, does it not?

      The union is running scared because their boyz have finally been publicly caught (deer in the headlights) with blood on their hands. From the total disregard of many eye-witnesses, the FPD seemed to have suffered the illusion because they have always gotten away with it before this time would be no different. That exact same attitude permeates the troll posts here too. They just don’t get why everyone is so upset this time when no one was ever upset about it before, except immediate family members (when they even found out). This time it is more than just the family involved, it is the world. Pretty scary stuff for brutal petty tyrants. It s no longer six on one. Wonder how many times a day Reality-Cakes has to change his Depends?

      “…Is this the first time something like this has happened, or just the first time fpd have been caught.”

      When yellow-stripe Rackaukas finally makes a determination I believe the FBI will finally release the dogs. My only hope is they will do a thorough investigation and that should include combing through the records of unexplained deaths in fullerton for the last decade.

      1. Hi there lover boy.

        It is what it is. No stress here. As I said Day 1, if someone did wrong then punish them. If not, life will go on.

        I hope all agencies look at everything. Do it now. The faster the better. The longer it takes the more Fullerton will suffer.

        Have a good weekend. Beach is beautiful!

  16. What a great piece, laying it all out in understandable terms and scenarios to illustrate. What I like about it is that it focuses on “facts” and “law” vs emotion. The emotions are justified, but the knowledge of the law gives power (and balance) to the emotions. Thank you for taking the time to share.

  17. If he was tased 6? times.. wow.. one each or did one or more shoot more than once

    I have heard more than one tase is grounds for charges filed against an officer

    The chief and allllll commanding officers knew exactly EXACTLY what happened to Kelly Thomas but since he was just some homeless … ???

    I suspect they have a HISTORY of abusing Homeless and maybe some of the local deaths of Homeless people could be attributed to the killing machine cops of fullerton california?

    and yes.. from the first day I stated that they knew they were going to murder him and so did he.. It was late enough and they had just had enough of those bums etc.. and just wanted to kill one **Finally, or AGAIN??”

    1. And where do your suspicions come from? This one incident? Did you just create them out of thin air.

      Hire a lawyer or file for police brutality reports to be released.

      Don’t create your case without evidence. Without it all you are doing is rabble rousing.

  18. Fullerton Cakes Reality :
    True. But you have to be careful in what you charge someone with, especially someone authorized to use deadly force. You charge right away without thought “Murder”, that will be easy to beat in court and then if someone did wrong, they get nothing.
    Look at the BART case. Cop on video shoots the kid in the back while laying on the ground. Millions of dollars on the defense and the cop gets a year in jail. Chino, cop shoots unarmed guy after pursuit. All on video. Cop innocent due to millions of dollars spent on the defense and the jury seeing it the other way. This case same thing. Millions and millions will be spent on the defense, same attorney as Chino, so the charge has to be right or if they did wrong, they will still walk free with nothing.

    Sad that the cops don’t have to pay for their own defense.. like CITIZENS.. or at least have to use the same public defenders office

    Murder a citizen.. get the most powerful defense team all of california can pay for .. all for free

    If there was better obudsman oversight at FPD this would not be costing the citizens millions and millions of dollars…

    Here is the funny.. they might get their little year or whatever and FREE RETIREMENT if kicked off force.. bet they can’t take that away.. t/arrgh

    1. Wrong. They do pay for their own defense. The state pays nothing. Statewide legal pool everyone pays into monthly from their checks.

  19. nomad :
    Just specuculation, is anyone aware of any other homeless or mentally disturbed people that that have been injured or reported missing from Fullerton in the last 2 or 3 years. Is this the first time something like this has happened, or just the first time fpd have been caught. The level of brutality inflicted upon Kelly and the coruption involved at all levels in the attempted cover-up, it would no longer suprise me if this story took another sinister twist.

    Someone replied to a post of mine earlier saying there were 4 homeless youths going through town and then the next day one was found dead and it was called a suicide but they said that (the dead) kids belongings were at the police station from some incident earlier the evening.. ???

    They said it was just before Kelly.. *shrug.. I do not know the story validity at all

  20. As I have said in a previous blog, NOT ONE of the 6 officers stopped the assault. Whether one of them hits/kicks/tasers Kelly, ALL acted in CONCERT in the crime. All it would have taken was ONE officer who realized that things were way out of hand, and stopped things, and the end result MAY have turned out differently.
    It is a sad say when people do not fear gang members but police.

    1. You are assuming that all 6 had a chance to stop something. Maybe once you see the timeline and arrival times, you will see how it all actually occurred.

      1. Far be it from me to try to censor any blog poster, and I too have used a few names at times, sometimes even someone else’s name on here for the purposes of satire..

        But it might be counterproductive to keep hijacking Cakes. I don’t know when I am responding to something he actually wrote and when I am responding to someone else parodying him. There have been two Cakes I’ve observed. One can actually be thoughtful and nuanced in his positions and gives some indications of actually being in favor of meaningful police reform. The other is inflammatory, blames the victim, hates the homeless, dismisses public concern, and just generally pisses me off. I like talking to the first one better. So if someone is hijacking him, it would be nice if you’d just pick another name for clarity’s sake. And Cakes if you’ve got a split personality we prefer Dr. Jekyll.

          1. LET CAKE DO HER THING SHE IS LIKE GAS ON THE FIRE IN FULLERTON SHE ONLY MAKE,S KELLY LOOK BETTER EVERY TIME IT OPEN,S HER HOLE,S IT BURN,S BURN,S LIKE A RING OF FIRE DOWN THERE.

        1. Jt
          My thoughts exactly. At times cakes can be rather rational and borderline empathic, then at other times he’s a sociopathic provocatuer spewing statements like ” I’d like to kill Kelley…” Maybe the evil cakes is just some bored teen, without a life, who relishes stirring the turd and causing a big stink?

      2. Here is my take PattyCakes,
        Hampton (and some other dolt cop, we will call ‘Dolt#1’) arrive at the scene, after discussion with Kelly, Hampton threatens Kelly, kelly runs from Hampy, Take down\beat down starts. Perhaps he is tasered in the back here by Dolt#1.
        (Sissynelli is the 3rd officer on the scene), Hampton and Dolt#1 have kelly on his back punching and kicking him.
        Sissy walks up from behind and pistol whips Kelly with with the taser buttend, sadistically, precisely, and repeatedly. Hampton backs off as blood is getting all over him. 4th officer arrives (Dolt#2), “STOP RESISTING” and more beating.
        Now they flip him over on to his stomach where Sissy tasers a not moving Kelly in the back. “Stop RESISTING” and more beating “STOP RESISTING”. Kelly is no longer breathing, officers are tired of punching and kicking and finally stop.
        Last two officers arrive. Kelly’s destroyed limp body on the ground in a pool of blood. Several officers are now keeping witnesses away from the scene, intimidating photographers, taking cameras. Sissy and Hampton slap cocks together back in the locker room and have a laugh, etc.

  21. What I am alluding to is, is this a case of a beating that got out of control that resulted in the murder of a single homeless individual or the latest in a string of serial killings to rid Fullerton of mentally ill & or homeless? What we know already about this case is so unbelievable as to question to what depths those involved would sink to. Again just SPECULATION on my part, something that came up over a conversation about this case.

    1. Nomad – I don’t know whether the scenario you mention has any credibility. But I would say this. Something that I think would be invaluable to this community and to this “movement” is some sort of list of police brutality accusations against the FPD. We’ve read about some cases here and on the Fullerton Observer; we’ve heard people describe their experiences at the City Council meetings; and many of us have heard disturbing anecdotes in person. If someone could put a lot of this information to together into some kind of document we would have a better change of ascertaining whether there have been patterns of excessive force/brutality or not; whether the same officers have been consistently involved; whether these cases have resulted in any disciplinary measure being taken, etc.

    1. No. All 6 didn’t roll up and the chase and fight started. 2 got there when it was over and 2 in the middle.

  22. i guess as they arrived and saw Kelly’s face imbeded in the curb they decided “why not?” before taking their shots- yeah heres your timeline…you see a smashed up head with blood, you either stop or keep beating

    1. It will be reenacted digitally with cars and all for you, just so you can see exactly how it all happened. 3D even.

      1. I’m in Boston Ma and I thought we had corrupt cops,politicians and FBI officials. Your town is catching up to us, The DA’S office trying to get these maggots of the hook. The DA has higher political ambitions. LEARN TO LIVE WITH IT.

        1. Nice to see you got out of lock up Whitey, say hi to Billy for me when you see him. I grew up in Boston and I just took it as a fact that corruption and graft were the norm for the city and state. What other state in the country can lay claim to having three out of the last four senate presidents charged with crimes when the fourth one was guiltier that the other three combined and he got away with it. This bunch in Fullerton is something else, The cops responsible for Kelly’s death might just walk, and coming from Boston originally I know that such mysterious things can, and do, happen. The odds that these cops get off – 3 to 5.

  23. The law, what a tedious subject, though it is nice to read Mark Cabaniss’ down and dirty primer on the fine distinctions among malicious intent, mayhem etc. Is this attorney unbiased, if he isn’t it sure seems that he is trying to be. Just a side note, I computer signed a petition to the DA to open a speedy investigation into Kelly’s death. I know rationally that this may have been futile, my point is that over 11,000 people had already signed with a goal of having at least 20,000 signatures delivered to the DA. There seems to be a lot of very heated emotions among the citizens of Fullerton and beyond related to this incident. Kelly’s death has deeply resonated with many people across this country, and of course in Fullerton also. It is all up to the DA, Doctors, and lawyers right now. We can speculate until the cows come home and it will not in any way alter the course of this long legal process. I do fear that if these 6 officers are found innocent there is going to be some very serious social disruption in Fullerton. As it is, among the american population in general, there is a very palpable sense of anger mixed with increasing anxiety regarding the economy, joblessness, etc. I haven’t read or seen on TV or the internet, any good news for the last couple of years. It appears that the news may be bad for many years to come. From my cursory reading of history I believe that when enough people feel this way they may tend to behave irrationally and a tipping point could be approaching faster than we think regarding this. Mix these emotions with those concerning Kelley’s death and you have nitro. I believe that these men may just get off, or if found guilty they will get token sentences. On a feeling level I would like to see those responsible for Kelly’s death hanged, but I know that this will not realistically happen. Fullerton seems to be like a pressure cooker ready to blow, and I pray that this doesn’t happen.

    1. it happened in your sister city there. “‘code blue” and officers gathered with bats to beat the homeless to death

          1. blessusall :
            I am so deeply troubled by this story. It breaks my heart to think of how that man suffered at the hands of those we trust to protect and serve. To see the way people are casting aspersions on his family and him saddens me even more. It really doesn’t matter whether he was loved or cared for by his family (although I strongly suspect he was) or whether his father’s only motivation is to win a big lawsuit for money (although I doubt that’s the case). The issue at hand is that he was brutally and fatally beaten. My impression from following the story is that he was sitting on a bus stop bench when he was approached by police and at some point, he ran. This does not sound like someone who was threatening the police. I wonder if he had reason to fear the police, whether he’d been harassed in the past? Obviously, he had reason to fear them, in retrospect since he is now dead. I don’t know much about the law, but I wonder what the probable cause was? If a police officer were to ask me if they could search my backpack I would say no at this point. I would think I have the right to say no if there is no probable cause for them to search my bag? Or my car. Or my house. And I am a law abiding citizen, have never even had a traffic ticket. I have worked in the mental health field for 25 years and am currently working in an inpatient psychiatric unit and in all that time have never seen a patient, even an out of control, aggressive one, be handled roughly. We very rarely use any kind of restraints where I work, and on the rare occasions we do, it is done very, very carefully and with as much compassion as possible. And in all the years I’ve been doing this work, no staff person or patient has been seriously harmed, despite not having weapons and not using force. I don’t understand this world. At all. It scares me to think of what my child has to look forward to. It literally makes me feel physically ill to imagine my child one day screaming out for me to help her while she is being beaten to death by police officers.

  24. Fullertonians arnt your average idiotic orange county suburbanites. We can keep the pressure on and not blow the lid off prematurely. And there is good work in being Active in your towns affairs.

    1. Uh, yes, they are. But that may change if they realize that the old guard is finished and they can come out of their houses. Just like the Munchkins when the house fell on the witch.

  25. Not a cop supporter but “technically proficient teenager” is what we used to call virgin geeks. Wild west?!

    What a dork

  26. I am not saying that the Fullertonians are idiotic, or that they are going to blow the lid off prematurely. You’re reacting to things that I didn’t even write. As a matter of fact I bet you will be the first one with a molatov cocktail at hand when things don’t go your way. I have been active in town affair since you were doing doddies in your diapers. Stop being such a reactive touch hole and grow up!

  27. One thing for sure, the trial won’t be in Orange County.
    A cop trial will not be welcome anywhere.
    My bet would be Santa Barbara because this will make it very expensive. Close but not too close and great per diem rates for the attorneys.
    Finding an impartial jury will be a fiasco.
    Will they be tried severally(likely) or jointly(unlikely). The prosecution should endeavour to get those charged to turn on each other like mad dogs.
    Do you think their wives will be in the court room during the trial(s).
    These turkeys may be on admin leave for the next 20 years.

  28. Well done “JT” thats a great suggestion, to correlate patterns of abuse, names of officers involved, judgements against them and post this information. Start with an idea, it grows legs, refine it, turn it into action. Anyone know how to go about obtaining this information?

  29. Meadow Muffin :
    Nice to see you got out of lock up Whitey, say hi to Billy for me when you see him. I grew up in Boston and I just took it as a fact that corruption and graft were the norm for the city and state. What other state in the country can lay claim to having three out of the last four senate presidents charged with crimes when the fourth one was guiltier that the other three combined and he got away with it. This bunch in Fullerton is something else, The cops responsible for Kelly’s death might just walk, and coming from Boston originally I know that such mysterious things can, and do, happen. The odds that these cops get off – 3 to 5.

    Some sort of online empathy training classes and a book or two about homelessness and mental disorders should be good enough..

    Their Capt let them put badges on and reviewed the SNUFF FILM!!!! with them and helped them write some sexy asphyxiation-orgasm police reports all together signing “WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE” while snorting cocaine and raping random homeless kids they see roaming the side streets

  30. It just occurs to me that Murder is commited for gain, I dont think there was anything to be gained in the beating death of Kelly. Murder can be commited in the act of passion, but what could inspire such passion for the actions of a homeless drifter, then we have a thrill kill scenario, that typically is not a one of…just thinking out loud.

  31. Wasnt Mr Kelly Thomas yelling sorry,sorry,sorry before screamed for his father. On the video (not the one they wont show) you can tell he realizes he’s subdued then. Then they continue to beat on him anyways. Doing what cops always do when they beat on someone in public,yelling quit resisting quit resisting, when the person is not resisting. On the video they will not allow us to see there is no audio? That means they can twist the whole story? We are about to be introduced to some more shady characters as this moves on. And i believe “the people” will not like the outcome.
    Orange County will soon find out what kind of man the DA is.

  32. “MeYou” that is an unusual post you received re. a homeless kid leaving his belongings at the fpd and found later to have commited suicide. Wish there was some way to verify a story like that, get a name, more info. I just cant help but think ther is more than meets the eye here, this should have been a mundane contact and or aprehension, but it escalated from 0-60 in nothing flat, maybe roid rage, maybe something else..

  33. nomad :
    “MeYou” that is an unusual post you received re. a homeless kid leaving his belongings at the fpd and found later to have commited suicide. Wish there was some way to verify a story like that, get a name, more info. I just cant help but think ther is more than meets the eye here, this should have been a mundane contact and or aprehension, but it escalated from 0-60 in nothing flat, maybe roid rage, maybe something else..

    streets of fullerton :
    a suspicious death did occur down by the tracks with a homeless person about just prior to the july 5th death of Thomas. 4 homeless kids passing thru. Only three the next morning lined up on the wall being questioned by the police. It was rulled as a suicide but there are many suspicious things involved. I heard that his belongings where found at the police dept. where he suposedly walked in an left them the night before. It was interesting to note the death occurred by the only spot on the tracks near the parking lot.The alleged suicide happened at 4:30 on a wed morn. in June.

    from here
    http://www.fullertonsfuture.org/2011/uci-docs-say-kelly-died-from-blunt-force-trauma-assault/

    just search for word suicide

  34. On a link “Anonymous” left to reference the post about the so-called suicide of a young transient in Fullerton, I found another quote by another “Anonymous” that said to the effect “….its a good thing that the Kelly murder did not occur by the railroad tracks”… is thier common knowledge about the area around the R.R. tracks that the locals know about?

  35. Police abuse is one of the most chronic and widespread forms of human rights violations in Fullerton and California today. An epidemic of violence is sweeping the country. Police are being trained that the general public are the enemy and that they can engage in outright brutality without recourse. Taser deaths are skyrocketing because the police have been ordered to use “pain compliance”, otherwise known as torture, to subdue and oppress the citizenry.
    The abuse of power within police departments is an issue that is too often swept under the rug and is ripping communities apart at the seams. Police brutality is quickly undermining our ability to trust the people who are sworn to protect us.
    It is time for police to remember that their duty is to protect the general public from criminals and not act as enforcers for a tyrannical police state.

  36. Again just SUPPOSITION on my part but could Kelly have seen something he wasn’t supposed to see? I think for the most part this board is in agreement that this so called allegation of breaking into cars was 100% B.S. A secluded area like an R.R. underpass is a natural spot for someone who lives on the street to gravitate to spend the night without being harassed by the cops. It was posted that a homeless transients death under suspicious circumstances was ruled a suicide. This “suicide” it was reported, granted, by a blogger, occurred about a week before Kelly’s murder. Still, Kelly could have been singled out for a random act of violence, but then again, maybe Kelly ran because he recognized someone.

  37. You know, I find it very unlikely that Kelly Thomas was an isolated incident. We already know that one of the cops involved (Kenton Hampton) was in another earlier incident, which everyone knows about now – the one where he knocked that guy’s cell phone out of his hand and wrongfully arrested him, just because he was being recorded.

    And I really doubt that this was the first incident involving Jay Cicinelli. We all know that he was the most violent one, and he was most likely the cop who ultimately killed Kelly Thomas. As I had said earlier, someone had posted a comment a while back, where they said that Cicinelli was involved in other incidents, where he assaulted or wrongfully arrested other people.

    JT had a really good idea. I’ll bet that if we could start doing research and compiling information about other incidents, we’d start to see a pattern. Find out as much specific information as you can. It could be possible to even make a map, showing where all these incidents took place. I don’t know about Fullerton, but the city where I live assigns officers to “beats” which they regularly patrol. It shouldn’t be too hard to find out which officers are patrolling a certain area or beat…and then see if the location where these incidents happen coincides with that patrol area.

    Then you might find something really interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if you start seeing all kinds of suspicious things showing up in Jay Cicinelli’s patrol area.

    And now that Jay Cicinelli is on “paid administrative leave” (vacation), let’s find out who the cop is that replaced him. Get a couple of different friends to covertly follow him around in that patrol area with a video camera.

    My point is, people need to be smarter. We live in the Information Age and have technology on our side. The government can’t hide anything anymore. Corrupt cops can’t hide.

    We’ve all heard the cliche about “Big Brother”…well, how about we watch Big Brother for a change?

    Start doing research – start plotting where other incidents of police wrongdoing have taken place. Observe and find out which cops are assigned to which patrol areas. Get some friends to covertly follow them around with video cameras. Especially cameras with good optical zoom quality…getting police car numbers and cops’ faces would be really nice. And if you can, change the ISO setting of your camera so that it has higher light sensitivity and can record at night.

    Oh…and here’s a little helpful tip. Did you know that even a cheap $100 handheld video camera can pick up infrared? Try it. Get a tv remote and point the infrared lens at the camera. Then press a couple of buttons on the remote. If you look at the LCD preview screen on your camera, you’ll notice that the remote lights up like a light bulb even though you can’t see it with your eyes. That’s because the camera is picking up the infrared. So guess what, you can make a really cheap night vision system. Hook up some infrared LED’s (you can buy them at an electronics shop or online for dirt cheap) and then use the infrared to light up the subject. The camera will pick it up as if it was regular visible light…but no one will be able to see the light with their eyes.

    Like I said, we have technology on our side. The cops might start to behave themselves if they knew that literally anyone, anywhere could be recording them and they wouldn’t even know it.

    1. This could be done Chris. Some questions:
      What information is publically available in terms of arrests? Can we get officer’s names linked to arrests? Is this publically available or if not can we get it through FOIA requests?

      The mapping part would be easy.

      How would we go about getting citizens reports on abuses? We could create some kind of web forum where people submit info anonymously about their experiences with FPD officers. That would have to be moderated though so it couldn’t be trolled or flooded with bogus reports.

      There is a lot we could do on this actually, and i’m willing to work on it with other interested people.

      1. I’ve been reading your posts and they are all excellent. Is there anything I can do here from Texas? I would be very interested in helping in any way that I can. Also, if it’s possible to incorporate the help of individuals outside of the state, could that be used as some sort of leverage to involve the Feds because the range of the network would fall under intra-state rules? Maybe this could help bypass some aspects of the corrput local government if they were going to try and quash any evidence or story that was found.

        1. Have Texans move here, vote all these weirdos out of office, bring better management to the state, Adopt Texan laws, weave them into California law, and annex California to Texas. bla bla bla,

          This is why California is all screwed up. Its a melting pot of everyone elses ideas except the californians 5+ generations deep. Most of the people in California are transplants anyway.

          This state is in Chaos, where only the “fly by nighters” get to reep the rewards that the citizens are paying for.

          With a steady and increasing flow of people flooding in here, makes it seem we are in a river, swelling to the point it just takes over everything in its path, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

          It was pardise in its day and we dred seeing it get paved over in the name of growth

          We will miss you California.

      2. all police reports are public. copying fee. make sure you read between the lines of course. be specific with your FOIA request to names.

  38. nomad :
    Again just SUPPOSITION on my part but could Kelly have seen something he wasn’t supposed to see? I think for the most part this board is in agreement that this so called allegation of breaking into cars was 100% B.S. A secluded area like an R.R. underpass is a natural spot for someone who lives on the street to gravitate to spend the night without being harassed by the cops. It was posted that a homeless transients death under suspicious circumstances was ruled a suicide. This “suicide” it was reported, granted, by a blogger, occurred about a week before Kelly’s murder. Still, Kelly could have been singled out for a random act of violence, but then again, maybe Kelly ran because he recognized someone.

    Nomad, that’s a really good point. I had wondered the same thing a while back…that maybe Kelly had seen something earlier that he wasn’t supposed to? It’s definitely possible, although unlikely. I think it’s more likely that the 6 cops (mostly Jay Cicinelli) went into a rage.

    But like I said in my last post, it would be really interesting if we could map where these other incidents took place, and see if they coincide with any of the 6 cops’ patrol areas. I would not be surprised if that railroad bridge is within Cicinelli’s area.

    I noticed that the comments are starting to get out of order now…I hope everyone saw my last post, about how you can make a very simple night vision system with a video camera and infrared LED’s 😉

    It might be more handy than you realize.

  39. “Chris” it sounds as if you are very technology savvy, but unfortunatly not everyone is, perhaps a few commited individuals would be willing to become so if you would be willing to explain?! I dont know if any of these scenarios that I laid out have any validity, but I cant help but feel that the Kelly Thomas case, as heart wrenching as it is, is just the tip of the iceberg. How creepy would it be, cici suffering from some sort of P.T.S.D.turned out to be a serial killer with a badge…

  40. Oh, “Chris”by the way, I have to count myself as one of those that are not very technology savvy, but I would be willing to ride along with someone who is, and assist in whatever way I could

  41. Just a reminder to all those attempting to quash any and all who have spoken out against FPD: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jr. And Mr. Kelly Thomas mattered, no ifs, ands or buts. He may not have been the ideal human being in which you, the self proclaimed perfect, have become accustomed to but as you have told us to walk a mile in an officer’s shoes, you walk a mile in Mr. Thomas’s shoes. I HAVE walked many miles in officer’s shoes, for 14 years. I did not work for FPD but I knew of Mr. Thomas and had encountered him on a couple of occasions. On one occasion he asked for a cigarette to which I replied I did not smoke and had none. He replied back that he was sorry for asking. He seemed quite sincere. I asked him if he was thirsty as I would be going to Steamers and would get him something to drink. He thanked me but turned down my offer. To find this man had been brutally beaten to death apparently just for being a homeless “nuisance” in FPD’s eyes, saddened me deeply and moved me to tears. That the DA is dragging out this investigation for so long when it is bitterly apparent that the FPD admin have been doing anything and everything to make this all go away with fairytales and other fictitious blabber makes me ashamed for these 2 “fellow” agencies. We need to keep this in the limelight, we need to keep the investigation going. We need to keep calling for the resignations and prosecutions of the 6 directly involved and the numerous indirectly involved but working to cover it all up. NOT ONE OFFICER YELLED “WE NEED TO STOP THIS BEFORE WE KILL HIM”. Whether some of you wish to refute this, there is no denying, Mr. Thomas was a human being and while seemingly homeless and mentally ill, NEVER did one thing to deserve this. We cannot stop our fight for justice in the name of Kelly Thomas. Prosecution invariably will not bring the gentleman back BUT it will give notice to any future officers thinking they may perform these same horrific, barbaric acts on anyone else…or maybe your own family member or even yourself. For those who believe Mr. Thomas deserved this or was just some mentally ill homeless nuisance, there but for the grace of some higher being, go you. Turn a different corner and this could have been YOU! Gxd forbid I get called for that jury. Amen.

    1. No, not God forbid you get called to that jury but rather; God please grant it and God grant me the privilege to sit right there next to you.
      Amen and Amen.

      1. I believe all I’d be doing is yelling out “Hang the bastards” and disrupting the court. I’d probably get held in contempt. I just wouldn’t want to compromise the proceedings or have it end up in a mistrial.

        I simply cannot imagine what all Mr. Thomas was feeling through this whole ordeal. I was accidently hit by an asp in passing. No exerted force used. I never had experienced such pain in my life! Using this as a base for an idea, I can only imagine at some point Kelly begged in silent prayer for death to come if he couldn’t get the beating stopped. I want the immediate 6 to feel at least some of what they inflicted. I want those 6 grossly overweight thugs to experience the fear, the pain and the suffering Kelly went through as they callously pounded and dropped themselves on him over and over and over and over and over and over again. I want all those who attempted to cover this up, sweep it under a rug and insultingly offer to pay off Ron Thomas in pennies to get a taste of the fear as well and then to lose their jobs. Perhaps this may be hypocritical of my statements of treating people with respect but these people acted and continue to act inhuman. They are not my peers nor my fellow beings and I suspect they never will be.

  42. I am comforted by the fact that when these 6 are shown their new digs at a local California prison, that their jail mates will go out of their way to make them welcome. There’s nothing more a jailbird loves than a dirty cop as a cell mate.
    Oh, happy trails, fuckers!

    1. they will of course be put in with the other snitches and bitches unless they demand general pop. i dont see that happening. one swagger or fuck up they will see what merciless means to a CO. they will let you live just to put you back in the hospital over and over. sweeeet

  43. Maria :
    Just a reminder to all those attempting to quash any and all who have spoken out against FPD: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jr. And Mr. Kelly Thomas mattered, no ifs, ands or buts. He may not have been the ideal human being in which you, the self proclaimed perfect, have become accustomed to but as you have told us to walk a mile in an officer’s shoes, you walk a mile in Mr. Thomas’s shoes. I HAVE walked many miles in officer’s shoes, for 14 years. I did not work for FPD but I knew of Mr. Thomas and had encountered him on a couple of occasions. On one occasion he asked for a cigarette to which I replied I did not smoke and had none. He replied back that he was sorry for asking. He seemed quite sincere. I asked him if he was thirsty as I would be going to Steamers and would get him something to drink. He thanked me but turned down my offer. To find this man had been brutally beaten to death apparently just for being a homeless “nuisance” in FPD’s eyes, saddened me deeply and moved me to tears. That the DA is dragging out this investigation for so long when it is bitterly apparent that the FPD admin have been doing anything and everything to make this all go away with fairytales and other fictitious blabber makes me ashamed for these 2 “fellow” agencies. We need to keep this in the limelight, we need to keep the investigation going. We need to keep calling for the resignations and prosecutions of the 6 directly involved and the numerous indirectly involved but working to cover it all up. NOT ONE OFFICER YELLED “WE NEED TO STOP THIS BEFORE WE KILL HIM”. Whether some of you wish to refute this, there is no denying, Mr. Thomas was a human being and while seemingly homeless and mentally ill, NEVER did one thing to deserve this. We cannot stop our fight for justice in the name of Kelly Thomas. Prosecution invariably will not bring the gentleman back BUT it will give notice to any future officers thinking they may perform these same horrific, barbaric acts on anyone else…or maybe your own family member or even yourself. For those who believe Mr. Thomas deserved this or was just some mentally ill homeless nuisance, there but for the grace of some higher being, go you. Turn a different corner and this could have been YOU! Gxd forbid I get called for that jury. Amen.

    Consciousness.. I think therefore I am…

    Thank you for using your Heart before your Reptilian Mind… no matter where we came from.. “They” say our distinction from ANIMALS IS OUR ABILITY TO CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE

    Either way…”Human Evolution has been hijacked”

    ALL ONE OR NONE…

    Thank you Maria SO MUCH for knowing the Hearts Wisdom must be the first filter of our actions against one another

    1. sorry but i take a lot of pain med,s do to spinel injure,if i don,t spell that well please forgive me my heart is in the right place.god bless the good people of fulerton.

  44. Why isn’t anyone calling for the resignation of DA Tony Rackauckas? This foot dragging clearly demonstrates he is NOT competent to do the job of preserving (and fighting for) justice. Kelly Thomas was one of the sweetest homeless people I ever met. The videos that have made it to public view, the OBVIOUS collusion in the police watching the survelience video which they themselves acknowledge taints testimony, and the actions by FPD to actively cover up this crime. (Please, two officers with broken bones… and they ONLY admit the lie when they learn its going to be published in the press the next day?) FPD is a den of snakes. Tony Rackauckas is charged with being the flag bearer for justice in OC. We have 6 cops who need to face Murder One… and their coworkers who need to be charged with obstructing justice and aiding and abetting… and yet Tony Rackauckas is not to be heard from???

    We don’t just need to recall three Fullerton city council members… we need to can the DA.

    Tony Rackauckas pack your bags. Your career is over.

    1. I was very happy to see Norby do this. Good for him. I was not at all happy with Kamela Harris’s reponse.

      Also, got this boilerplate from Royce today:

      September 9, 2011

      Mr. REEDACTED
      Fullerton, CA 92832-1125

      Dear XXXXX

      Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns over the events surrounding Kelly Thomas’ death.

      As a long-time resident of Fullerton, I share your concern. The death of Kelly Thomas on July 10th is tragic. The events that transpired need to be investigated and all the facts need to come out.

      As you may know, the Orange County District Attorney’s office is looking into this matter. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has also begun a formal investigation, and is determining whether or not Mr. Thomas’ civil rights were violated. We must ensure there is a thorough and complete examination. With that in mind, I sent a letter to the Attorney General, the head of the Justice Department on the subject of this case, and I asked that he keep me updated on its progress.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to share your concerns over the death of Kelly Thomas. Rest assured, I will continue to monitor this case as the investigations continue.

      Sincerely,

      EDWARD R. ROYCE

  45. I’m from Montreal Canada and have been following this from here. Imo, I don’t believe the DA has the capability or desire to be impartial in this case and the police blue wall will prevent any of the Police thugs from talking.

    Police Brutality happens all over the world in most major cities. In each PD, there are 2 to 3 bad apples and an honest Police officer can not rat on fellow officers who brutalize or commit an offense as Police unions make sure officers stick for one another or risk being ostracized by fellow officers.

    There are thousands of youtubes of Police Brutality videos. if 1 video catches 1 officer brutalizing, imagime how many officers who don’t get caught on video, brutalizing?

    I hope you Kelly Thomas and family gets some justice.

    Best regards

    Molari

    1. The rest of the Fullerton cops by their silence in this case are all culpable. The huge lawsuits will take care of them and result in major budget cuts to the PD. Too bad, younger ones are terminated first!

  46. i was glad to read @ The Blaze that though the cops arent talking to the DA they are still really looking forward to the investigation.

  47. What about Fullerton Commanding Officers, city officials, politicans, and the rest of the cop?
    If you know about these heinous crimes and purposely quiet or cover up…We have to make good example.

  48. It took almost 2 years before W. Covina offered a settlement to the young man that was beaten to death 11/17/2008 and the 2 officers are still working there. T-Rack will never try these 6 officers and Fullerton will offer Ron Thomas $1.5 million to go away. That’s the problem and that’s why these rogue officers get away with it. This happens in the academy as well. When things go wrong, if they are caught cheating the tac staff looks the other way and this is what causes rogue officers. It starts with their training. In about 15 to 20 years the guilty ones will turn into drunks or eat their own gun. Look at the cheating that went on at Rio Hondo! Really, the cheating started at the local academy & the answers to all the LD’s were running a muck!!!! Everyone had the answers to the test and then the answers surfaced at Rio Hondo and an instructor gave the answers out. He said he didn’t know that he was doing something wrong. Yeah! SURE!

    1. He was offered 900,000 before all this surfaced. Your idea of 1.5 million is off by a factor of 10. Thomas attorney Mardrossian had a similar LA Sheriff’s case against 16 officers where the guy did not die. It was settled for $25 million. Fullerton residents need to get involved and find out what is going on in their fair city. I stopped buying things and going to the restaurants there. Sorry, you look the other way, Fullerton businesses and residents, I and my friends do not spend out money anywhere in Fullerton anymore!

      1. It’s a catch 22 to boycott Fullerton businesses. On one hand the lack of tax revenue hurts the city but on the other hand, you’re hurting innocent individuals living wages. Some of those individuals are on Kelly’s side and have been vocal. I tend to keep my spending business out of Fullerton as much as possible but this started long before Mr. Thomas was beaten to death by the 6 thugs who hid behind their badges. My decision however was based on an inappropriate vehicle stop by FPD on myself. Where was that cop that kept telling the lead officer to lighten up on me, the night Kelly was beaten? I wasn’t hit but I was cuffed to my steering wheel and called many inappropriate names. I was employed by another police department at the time as well. NONE of the 4 officers at my stop would call my Commander to verify this and/or my whereabouts prior to being stopped. 3 officers stood by and watched while 1 officer acted out. 1 of the 3 maybe twice said “Hey, you really should lighten up, maybe she does work for _PD.”. This happened 8 years ago and obviously nothing’s changed within the way the department is run.

  49. Jt :This could be done Chris. Some questions:What information is publically available in terms of arrests? Can we get officer’s names linked to arrests? Is this publically available or if not can we get it through FOIA requests?
    The mapping part would be easy.
    How would we go about getting citizens reports on abuses? We could create some kind of web forum where people submit info anonymously about their experiences with FPD officers. That would have to be moderated though so it couldn’t be trolled or flooded with bogus reports.
    There is a lot we could do on this actually, and i’m willing to work on it with other interested people.

    Well, I’ll tell you what I am going to do. I live in southern California, not too far from Fullerton actually. Well, kind of far but certainly within reasonable driving distance. At the moment, I don’t really want to say what city I live in, but I live in the Inland Empire.

    Anyway, when I get paid next week and have gas money, I’m going to take a drive to Fullerton and do a little “investigating” of my own. I want to see the scene for myself, and of course where the surveillance camera is, and where the infamous Slidebar is. In fact, I plan to do a lot of snopping. There are a few things I want to check out.

    As far as research and mapping goes, we might be able to get some information from the FPD itself. I’m wondering if they’ve ever published a map showing how their “beats” or patrols are divided. They wouldn’t say which officers are assigned to which patrol areas of course (except maybe give the name of the watch commander). But knowing how patrol areas are divided up could be VERY useful. You could check and see if incidents of abuse coincide with certain patrol areas.

    Even stories or “rumors” of abuse could be useful as long as they give specific information. You know, if we hear enough about incidents of abuse and corruption, and they give specific information like it happened on such-and-such street….well that is something you can actually use. You could map where those incidents took place, and compare it to patrol areas to see if they coincide. If a lot of incidents all seem to be happening within a certain patrol area, well then you know what’s going on.

    And I have a feeling that Jay Cicinelli and Kenton Hampton’s patrol areas are going to have a lot of pushpins on their maps.

    Most police departmetns are very open about where their patrol areas are. Heck, in my city, I’ve been to neighborhood assocation meetings where police give handouts with maps showing patrol areas. The watch commander for my area has been to our neighborhood meetings a bunch of times. The city even has a system where you can look on a map online and see where crimes have taken place.

    I’m sure it should be just as easy to get a map of the patrol areas in Fullerton. Even if the FPD doesn’t have a map on their website, someone, somewhere does.

    If anyone else knows about any other incidents involving Fullerton cops (besides the one about Kenton Hampton and the cell phone), please post them. I’m especially interested in Jay Cicinelli. I think that guy has been a walking time bomb for a long time, and he is the most dangerous.

    Of course he and Hampton aren’t the only bad cops. And that’s why we need to know about any other incidents.

  50. How anyone can continue to goosestep around the determination of whether there was ever any excessive force used upon Kelly Thomas, with the preliminary autopsy reports out, is beyond any realm of logical thought. The more this department hides behind the line of blue, the more they appear guilty as hell.

    1. I don’t think anyone has. The people like me say the truth will come out in time. We all have opinions about a month ago, a week ago, now, or another two weeks. Only the DA knows the plan and he’s clearly waiting on the coroners reports. If someone did wrong, they will be punished.

  51. I am so deeply troubled by this story. It breaks my heart to think of how that man suffered at the hands of those we trust to protect and serve. To see the way people are casting aspersions on his family and him saddens me even more. It really doesn’t matter whether he was loved or cared for by his family (although I strongly suspect he was) or whether his father’s only motivation is to win a big lawsuit for money (although I doubt that’s the case). The issue at hand is that he was brutally and fatally beaten. My impression from following the story is that he was sitting on a bus stop bench when he was approached by police and at some point, he ran. This does not sound like someone who was threatening the police. I wonder if he had reason to fear the police, whether he’d been harassed in the past? Obviously, he had reason to fear them, in retrospect since he is now dead. I don’t know much about the law, but I wonder what the probable cause was? If a police officer were to ask me if they could search my backpack I would say no at this point. I would think I have the right to say no if there is no probable cause for them to search my bag? Or my car. Or my house. And I am a law abiding citizen, have never even had a traffic ticket. I have worked in the mental health field for 25 years and am currently working in an inpatient psychiatric unit and in all that time have never seen a patient, even an out of control, aggressive one, be handled roughly. We very rarely use any kind of restraints where I work, and on the rare occasions we do, it is done very, very carefully and with as much compassion as possible. And in all the years I’ve been doing this work, no staff person or patient has been seriously harmed, despite not having weapons and not using force. I don’t understand this world. At all. It scares me to think of what my child has to look forward to. It literally makes me feel physically ill to imagine my child one day screaming out for me to help her while she is being beaten to death by police officers.

  52. I am certain that Mr. Cabaniss, Esq., is an excellent attorney.

    All of his arguments on this topic, however, deal almost entirely in the realm of the hypothetical, of the assumed, and of the make-believe.

    This approach is all well and good in an opinion column as one-sided as this clearly is, however, his many assumptions, rhetorical qualifiers, and conjured hypothetical “facts” would have virtually *no* probative value in either civil or a criminal court proceedings which -I am certain Mr. Cabaniss, Esq., would agree- require “evidence” based upon provable and “actual” facts, not the conjured “hypothetical” sort of (non) facts he has indulged in here.

    That this presentation is severely one-sided and clearly biased seems obvious by the many assumptions he makes, not in a balanced consideration of the actions of either Kelly Thomas or the Fullerton officers, but in clear efforts to condemn each of them, even when evidence could well prove that one or more of them did nothing to contribute, either directly or indirectly, to Kelly Thomas’ tragic death.

    The term “assume” or one of its derivatives appears several times in this article. The qualifier “if” appears no less than 12 times. Mr. Cabaniss Esq., himself is quick to clarify that until factual information is made available to us, this entire discussion must remain in the realm of the hypothetical, of the academic, of the assumed.

    As of this writing, the coronor has not yet officially ruled Kelly’s death as a homicide (a death at the hands of another). Absent such an official ruling, discussion of whether the causes of this potential homicide rose to the level of malicious or even negligent criminality -and, if so, what criminal charges might be most appropriate- seems extremely premature.

    I respectfully suggest that it is not seemly to advocate either for *or* against the Fullerton police officers based upon such unproven hypotheticals and academic guess-work.

    Those officers who commited misconduct (if any) must be held fully accountable for their actions. Such an accounting must be based upon provable and demonstrable facts, not conjecture or “what if’s.” This is what as known as due process, and Kelly Thomas and each of the officers who fought with him deserve the full measure of both…not only to convict and condemn the guilty but also to fully exonerate the innocent.

    I suggest that we should allow the multiple and concurrent investigations to proceed (including that in progress by Mr. Ron Thomas’ own attorney) and allow them to conclude, so that we might all have a better understanding of the acutal, provable, facts surrounding Kelly’s tragic death.

    The innocent in this deserve nothing less than a full accounting, first of as many of the facts as can be discovered and proven, and then of the actions of the officers as they are discovered and proven as a result of the various investigations.

    Many in the Fullerton community are already sufficiently outraged…and rightly so…over this tragic death. I believe for Mr. Cabaniss Esq. and others to indulge in these fanciful hypotheticals, and conjured non-facts, however well-stated they may be, serves only to inflame the community further, and under false pretences besides.

    I do not believe Mr. Cabaniss Esq.’s approach, here, is either productive or constructive.

    I am a retired law enforcement professional. As such, I want any facts concerning potential police officer misconduct discovered and well-documented so that the officer(s) who committed the offense(s) can be held fully accountable; professionally, civilly, and criminally.

    Because we are “a nation of laws, rather than of men”, for this to happen we *must* follow established rules and procedures of due-process. If we do not do so, whomever killed Kelly Thomas (if that can be proven) will not be held fully accountable for his/their crimes.

    If any one or more of these officers killed Kelly Thomas, I very much want him/them to be held fully accountable.

  53. Disagree with above discussion by Attorney Mark Cabaniss.

    There should have been no escalation of initial contact by the officers but once they decided to contain and restrain Kelly Thomas, they quickly used the standard incompetent prone restraint procedure (with a side of sadism). As always, the victim gets “extremely agitated” due to the inability to move the chest wall and ventilate the lungs which causes air hunger and panic. Officers then feel fully justified in escalating use of force to force compliance which results in death. The process is well known and usually results in manslaughter charges if committed by average citizens or healthcare personnel.

    DOJ statement in 1995 on avoidable death in restraint or custody: Positional Asphyxia and Sudden Death http://bit.ly/fWyJKg

    Homicide Ruling in Psychiatric Patient’s Death – NYTimes.com http://nyti.ms/pBP0pD

    Supervisor Held in Death of Autistic Man in S.I. Center – NYTimes.com http://nyti.ms/qTN0gp

    The medical examiner listed the manner of the death as a “homicide.” It said that Toll died from “suffocation” and “asphyxia during physical restraint.” http://bit.ly/rtBHP6

  54. Suffocation, beating and Taser-related death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas Recorded on Cell Phone Video – YouTube http://bit.ly/qYz4tn

    This is another example of LEOs forcing someone into prone restraint, putting weight put on their chest, then increasing distress with a Taser and failing to relent despite containment of the subject.

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