It’s not easy to do damage control when you keep inviting more questions that you are pretending to answer. Of course when you are dealing with the incurious stooges at the OC Register maybe you believe you’re getting away with it.
The latest episode in the FPD PR campaign is an attempt by Acting Chief Dan Hughes to deflect criticism by acknowledging the error of letting his cops watch the Kelly Thomas murder video before writing their reports, a thing he finally admits he’s never heard of before.
Hughes said he argued against letting the officers watch the tape, in part because civilians suspected of misconduct would not be given the same opportunity. He said he did not think it was illegal or unethical, but did fear it would erode public trust in the investigation. “That was a mistake from our department,” he said.
Here we see Danny Boy defending himself: he argued with some unnamed somebody, somewhere, somehow, against letting the killers watch the video, but we are meant to believe that he was overruled. But by whom? Chief Sellers wasn’t there. Was he contacted? He was Hughes’ only boss. Was it a fellow captain? If so what was that man’s name? Lou Ponsi doesn’t seem to be very curious. Of course there is the very real possibility that Hughes is just lying to protect himself well after the fact. And notice that the mistake was made by “the department” an entity that can’t be disciplined.
Eleven months after the fact Hughes would have us believe he was oh, so concerned about the severity of the incident. And yet we now know that last fall, many weeks after Hughes had seen the video and heard the audio, he was insinuating to protesters that the after they actually viewed the video their outrage would be mollified. Hmm.
But even as the officers collected their thoughts, crime-scene technicians and detectives were picking over the scene of the bloody confrontation with Kelly Thomas as if it had been an officer-involved shooting, Hughes said. The criminal case now facing two of those officers, he said, was built in large part on the police work done by their own department.
But, he said, it was Fullerton police work that put Fullerton police officers in criminal court. He pointed to the words of District Attorney Tony Rackauckas: “They went to the scene, they preserved the evidence, they did all the things they were supposed to do.”
A video of the confrontation spliced with audio from the officers’ recordings, produced by the Fullerton police, was the centerpiece of a recent preliminary hearing for Ramos and Cicinelli. They were ordered to stand trial, Ramos on charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, Cicinelli on charges of involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.
“It doesn’t matter who the defendants are,” Hughes said. “We are part of the prosecution team.”
Oh, brother, what a load of unadulterated bullshit passed along by the compliant scribes at the Register. Nobody “picked over” anything. We’ve already shown pictures of cops trampling all over the crime scene, and as far as collecting evidence is concerned, the only things collected were the cell phones and camera film of witnesses who happened to record the murder. The idea of the FPD investigating itself is utterly comical.
And, ultimately it’s still all about “poor communication,” really. Not much worse than a little bad luck if you think about it.
“I don’t believe there was any intention at all to mislead our community,” Hughes said. But, he added, “we should have did a better job” of communicating – a common theme in his account of the aftermath of Kelly Thomas’ death. In the future, he said, he and his top commanders will handle public communication duties during major incidents.
The department, he said, “did a very poor job of communicating to the community.”
Unfortunately the slug who was tasked with public communication, and who failed so dismally either through incompetence or malice, was actually just promoted a few weeks ago. What’s that Dan, we can’t hear you?
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out just a couple of the of the other instances of biased writing by the pathetic little fool, Ponsi. We have seen the obnoxious description of the cops “collecting their thoughts” as opposed to, say, “getting their stories straight.” You can’t note how Thomas is described as “rangy” a term that is certainly more threatening than “skinny,” because this has now been removed out of the post. But there is still the utterly objectionable use of the phrase: “As the confrontation escalated,” a literary device meant to deflect responsibility for the crime from the cops Ramos and Wolfe to some unknown cosmic force. Things just happen.