No Country for Old Men

UPDATE: I just re-read this wonderful post from my good friend Joe Sipowicz that he published last November. Damn. Read it. Savor it.

When you are done ask yourself whether or not, in good conscience, anyone can fail to endorse, help and vote to recall the Three Dim Bulbs.

– Grover Cleveland

There is a good essay in today’s Wall Street Journal by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. about the sort of trouble individuals can get into when they act, or fail to act, to shield and protect the institution they represent. And, conversely, the institutions that invest too much credence in the all too fallible figurehead run the risk of failing to employ objective and rationale controls on the latter. As decades of affiliation pass, the problems becomes more acute. Age becomes the enemy.

Of course the writer is talking about Joe Paterno and the disastrous and disgusting pedophilic events at Penn State University. But he may as well have been talking about Fullerton, and about how, after the Kelly Thomas murder, when the public demanded clear, honest, and forthright leadership, their long-term elected officials gave them silence, obfuscation, falsehood, and comfortable retreat behind legal advice they were all too eager to embrace.

Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, and Pat McKinley signally failed their constituents by placing the protection of City Hall and the FPD ahead of their responsibility to do what they were elected to do: lead.  Did they ever even attempt to fathom any particle of the truth? Would they recognize it if they saw it? It hardly matters now.

At first it probably seemed easier to simply ignore the Kelly Thomas killing; a whacked out homeless guy versus Fullerton’s Finest? Strictly no contest. After all there was a fight; bones were broken; the bum was a thief; probably a drug addict; an internal investigation would reveal all. Sure, Chief, take your two-week cruise.

Indifference to the victim and the victim’s family, although demonstrating a fundamental callousness, was the least of their dereliction.

Later as the pressure mounted and the glare of the media spotlight became intense, McKinley and Jones began to utter incompetent and ignorant remarks for consumption by the nation and the world: facial injuries are not life threatening; far worse injuries were survivable; the Coroner cannot determine the cause of death.

As public meetings became rancorous they relied upon the monotonous drone of their attorney to explain to an outraged public why they were weak as kittens and powerless to control any part of their own police department.

And they refused to display any concern about why the FPD brass had permitted the cops to review and re-review the evidence that the public is not permitted to see; why their superiors made them re-write their reports of the killing; and why the culprits were permitted to return to duty as if nothing had happened. They ignored the fact that the police department spokesman had lied about cops’ injuries and had deliberately mischaracterized the killing to the public and to the City Council.  They never addressed the fact that the “internal investigation” hadn’t even started.

The police chief, freshly returned from his cruise soon wilted like an old lettuce leaf. His replacement was a 30 year veteran of the same department about which a string of criminal behavior had recently been exposed. Bankhead, Jones and McKinley refused to accept what had become obvious to almost every one else: something was fundamentally wrong in the FPD.

As the weeks passed, Bankhead, Jones, and McKinley seemed to hope that temporizing and protracted investigations by the DA and Coroner would cause the situation to just wither away. It didn’t. The protests for justice got louder. Their answer? Characterize the protesters as a lynch mob.

The most telling gestures of all were the damage control employment of an outside investigator, and the appointment of a hand-picked committee to address homeless problems, hilariously suggesting that the real problem was that the poor cops just weren’t properly educated about how to deal with the homeless. The concept that Kelly Thomas was deliberately killed seems not to have been seriously entertained by Bankhead, Jones, and McKinley. No. The Fullerton Police Department doesn’t do that. Fullerton doesn’t do that. We don’t do that.

When the DA finally brought charges of Murder and Manslaughter against two of the cops Jones expressed elation and McKinley befuddlement as to how two of his boys could stray so far from their training. But it was clear that the damage control script was written to write off the two and then retreat back into their insulated bunker.

And yet, by now the public now knew all about what the Three still refused to acknowledge: the embarrassing string of stories of drug addiction, theft, fraud, brutality, false arrest, perjury, and sexual assault by members of the police force. This serial criminality has been met with a stony silence from Bankhead, Jones and McKinley. Why?

Asleep. Fried chicken. Hey, where'd my halo go?

It’s because if they ever could, they can no longer distinguish right from wrong when it comes to protecting the institution that they have come to completely identify themselves with. Those Fullerton lapel pins that they so proudly wear have become a symbol of inertia, dereliction, and blind dedication to an abstraction of their own creation: their own delusional view of themselves and their City. It is a perfect representation of the bunker mentality.

As with a sick patient, denial and inaction will only cause the illness to get worse. The patient is the City of Fullerton, and in the now-ironic words of Dick Jones, it is having a grand mal seizure; we don’t want to let go of the patient, but we need to get it under control. Damn straight. The patient needs medicine, all right.

And the medicine is Recall.

109 Replies to “No Country for Old Men”

  1. Penn State is no different than police departments that harbor criminal cops! To think, these schools are the places where our kids learn about corruption first hand! What a life lesson they learn!

    1. An unfortunate similar situation was just uncovered at The Citidal, a state funded public university in South Carolina. Another example of people hiding under the letter of the law instead of doing the right thing!

  2. What was also appalling is that the three recieved some serious tongue lashing at the city council meetings for two months, then Attorney Jones explained the legal ramifications which kept them hush.
    Why didn’t he come out and issue that ‘legal silence’ defense statement from the get-go?

  3. The “legal silence” nonsense was a strategy to keep the council in the dark. As Joe points out, Jones and Bankhead wanted to be kept in the dark. They like it. I believe McKinley was very active behind the scenes and knew a lot more than the others. I believe he was in the loop with what DA investigators were leaking to the FPD (only two will be charged) and I would bet that he lied when said he never saw the video.

    McKinley was lying through his teeth when he said he knew nothing about the Veth Mam case. I really do believe the man is a pathological liar.

    1. Dont’ forget that McKinley went on CNN and said the coroner “could not determine the cause of death.”

      Where did he hear that from?

  4. Jones, McKinley and Bankhead come from a generation of cover-ups. They were not ready for the cities outcry and disgust. They needed to be shut-up by the City Attorney. This is so obvious.. Puede que se queman en el infierno por el error de sus caminos!

  5. Makes sense FR. McKinley was also lying when he said on CNN that he HADN’T seen the video of the Kelly THomas beating.
    How was he so certain that only two officers would be culpable for this without seeing the tape?
    This is what happens when one holds a high-ranking position in law enforcement for many years without a psychological evaluation. All that entitlement sets in and they seem to able to justify (in their own minds) any corruptive actions on their part. He is still steadfast on getting his murderous cops cleared, based on a statement he made on Inside OC about Ramos having a ‘very competent’ attorney.
    Lying has become a way of life for this unmonitored, self-perceived ‘greater than all’ psychopath.

    1. Now you’re posting 22 years old articles from the Moonie newspaper to support your crazy conclusions?


      1. Go back to your pen and lick your balls, you flea-bitten government parasite. The same corruption that allowed government policymakers to buy young boys from Boys Town in the 80s and 90s is allowing those same people to buy young boys from a Penn State coach.

        I understand your sole purpose for replying here is to attempt to antagonize and incite. Fortunately you serve a greater good by showing everyone on this blog how important it is to run every one of you worthless assholes out of government so little boys can’t be used for sexual party favors, innocent citizens don’t get beat to death at city bus stops, and city coffers aren’t bled dry by greedy pensioners while potholes and weeds take over the streets.

        So glad to see you have such good company, asshole cop!

          1. lol! Actually, Donkey, I was going to post a retraction for being so harsh. Sometimes I make the coffee a wee bit strong and just go charging into a reply, flaming for all its worth, and then feel bad about it later. As long as SD understands it’s not personal, it’s just grandiose sword play.

            1. Please CackleFoos, never retract the truth about these PS RAGWUS feeders. I have had the opportunity to parley with SKdog for a long time now. It seems that he would be decent to his close friends but he has no conscience when it comes to anyone outside his cabal of PS feeders.:)

              1. Au contraire, mon ami! I was merely retracting the harshness of my speech, not the truth of it! Even though ‘flea-bitten government parasite’ is being charitable compared to what I could have said.

                For example, are you aware of the parasitic worms that live in the human gut? They can grow to several feet in length and can number into the hundreds, all living off the ingested food of the host, while they contribute absolutely nothing to their environment but distress. They eventually burst out the anus in a ball of writhing pus and fecal matter.

                Sound familiar? I could have used that analogy.


    2. Quite the thread here. Raccoon eyes and inverted smiles….hmmm. Just wondering as well ya know ….anyone …..

  6. Interesting similarities between Penn State and FPD. It took horrific criminal acts to blow the lid off major internal corruption, ironically, where it never should have existed.

  7. My grandfather used to say that if we knew what was REALLY going on in Washington D.C., we wouldn’t go to sleep at night. That was back in the 1960’s!

    1. I read it earlier today. That the whole football department and university dropped the ball (no pun intended), is truly sickening.

      Hiding the truth always makes things worse. Hubris will get them every time.

        1. The apologists for municipal bankruptcy by pensions will howl about sexual predators and murderers without seeing an ounce of irony. There must be an outbreak of ebola of the brain going on.

    1. Remember the Magna Carta.
      No one is above the law.
      We as a society must protect all, especially the small, weak, helpless. I believe it ultimately defines us collectively and individually.
      Silence is not always golden.

  8. It seems they got what they wanted, the demonstrators have gone away, the news cameras have turned to other things, John and Ken have moved on…in another month or so it’ll be forgotten and back to business as usual. I hope I’m wrong….

    1. I hope you’re wrong too.

      I’m not in Fullerton, but to me that doesn’t matter at all. Corruption is everywhere, and we ALL have a stake in this because…what happens in Fullerton will reverberate throughout the country.

      1. so true, Jane. The city of fullerton may be ground zero for restoring representative government with representatives who don’t outsource their morals and ethics to task forces and commissions, who courageously speak on behalf of the people instead of oppressing them with increased taxes of all things on the essence of life, water, who don’t believe back room deals with developers makes a better city for us, who don’t reap the profits of downtown’s booze courts to use these same profits to buy thugs and murderers to police our town. We, the good people of Fullerton, may be the first ones to effect political reform in our society

    2. We’re still here. Nobody has moved on. John and Ken will be there when news of Kelly’s case comes up — it does and it will, from now until the trials. And if justice for Kelly is somehow railroaded or denied, I figure the demonstrators will return with a vengeance.

      The recall drive is moving along, and this website is still actively shining a light into the roach-ridden cesspools of FPD and Cornpone Jones’s house o’ hillbilly horrors.

      These are the times when the wheels of justice turn slowly, but they are turning, definitely. The focus now is internal housecleaning and fumigating in Fullerton, and those of us on the outside looking in from all over the country support you in this. FFFF and the good citizens of Fullerton are an inspiration to all who struggle against rotten politicians and dirty police thuggery.

      Kelly Thomas has not been forgotten. This will never happen. Never.

  9. I like how the 3 lost mice are being handled by OC’s biggest pug.

    Say, what ever happened to them Invoices that Norberto Santana dug up proving Dick Ackerman with the Naussaman law firm broke the state lobbying law?

  10. I’m curious about F. Dick Jones, “M.D.”

    Is he still practicing medicine, or has his…income and other “perks” from his duties on the council allowed him to give up said practice?

    1. “no apparent suspicious circumstances,”

      Not true. We’ve heard that a cop coached the guy to do it, and then tried to destroy the evidence.

      1. Fullerton has been spiralling out of control and for too long the petty powers that be in our town, have denigrated human life by turning a blind eye to their police departments brutality while focusing on a housing development in chevron hills.

  11. Good essay, Joe. You hit the nail right on the head.

    Age is supposed to bring wisdom. Unfortunately it all too often brings delusions of grandeur, obtuseness, self-importance, paranoia and dementia.

  12. I have not been able to find more details on this. I do remember hearing that the cop tried to destroy his DAR to hide evidence. What is the name of this slimeball? This case sounds as outrageous as the Thomas beating, only no one saw.

    1. This suicide incident really reeked to Councilman Whitaker, and he started asking questions. After that, city insiders didn’t trust him (if they ever did). When the Thomas killing happened, Whitaker really smelled a rat. Felz, who was the liaison between FPD and city council helped keep Whitaker and even Quirk-Silva in the dark.

      1. I actually have a post written on the topic. I learned about it from a guy who works at the Trader Joe’s in Brea, who got it from a Fullerton cop at a party.

        Shall I publish the post?

        1. Heck yes! Anything to push that picture of Hogzilla down to the bottom of the front page. Please don’t ever post Goodrich in such a prominent place again!

        2. yeah, post, why wouldnt you post it? sounds like more shit rolling downhill-and send to john and ken while you’re at it

          cant wait to read it

        3. Please Joe. This should be brought up at the council meetings. I sure would like to know the officers name and status.

  13. here is a link to another story about that “suicide?”

    note the comment from the ex wife.. heartbreaking for daughter..

    it does seem fishy..

    1. I’m very curious as to who the arresting officers were. Also, embalming him looking for bruises? Meaning….there were many? I would suggest looking at the autopsy report for their findings about those bruises.

      Wasn’t there a problem with the DAR of the officer involved with this case?

      Very fishy to me too………..This case screams to be looked at further……

    2. Admin, please look into this case. I was told by an informant that the officer (unknown who) tried to pry open his DAR and also tried to smash it open. I don’t recall if the tape was taken out the DAR case. The Department apparently, sent the DAR to an independent forensics company to find out if it was tampered with. It was concluded by forensics that the DAR had pry marks. So it goes to show you that the department knows the officer was trying to cover up his tracks…so where’s the tape recording?

  14. and these three men, Jones, Bankhead and McKinley, reinforce their bunker with more of their lies, creating a homeless task force headed by Pat McKinley’s good buddy from his stint on the Orange County Human Relations Commission, Rusty Kennedy and hiring an independent ivestigator, Gennaco who has a lackluster history of finding law enforcement guilty of civil rights abuses. Gennaco’s true role is to counter FBI’s investigation that will show Fullerton Police Dept. has a history of civil rights abuses and corruption. Rusty Kennedy’s Fullerton homeless task force is mere propaganda to divert the public’s attention away from the fact that Fullerton Police officers intentionally killed a disabled, homeless man by glossing over this fact with blather about building police sensitivity towards the homeless will fix the Kelly thomas problem, except Kelly Thomas is dead not due to insensitive police officers but caused by civic leaders and a police chief promoting and protecting a corrupt police force.

  15. “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
    Why do we have to keep learning that the hard way?
    Fails to lead and lead to fail is the best representation about Fullerton City Hall and Cop Dept. Bloodstain has its own unique memory. Justice for Kelly Thomas.
    Vote your heart out…!! Recall these enteprise criminals.

  16. If a cop was coaching someone to kill an inmate it would probably be by applying pressure to the jugular vein or to the carotid artery. It only takes about 11 pounds of pressure to block the carotid artery, only about 4 pounds of pressure for the jugular vein – easily accomplished with one finger.

    Unlike manual strangulation that leaves telltale signs like a broken hyoid bone and petichial hemorrhaging, shutting off the blood flow to the brain by pressing on the jugular vein or carotid artery leaves no signs if done properly. Not even a bruise on the skin.

    Unconsciousness sets in within 10 seconds. If pressure remains applied for another 50 seconds death is almost guaranteed.

    A drunk passed out in a drunk tank can be murdered in 1 minute without any telltale signs.

    I’m not saying this is what happened, but it’s possible.

    1. “I’m not saying this is what happened, but it’s possible.”

      No, it’s not. You’ve been watching way too much TV.

      1. You must not have gone to the link. Blue Sheepdog is a cop training website. Either you’re being disingenuous, or you’re attempting to discredit the possibility that an innocent man was murdered at FPD headquarters.

        I’d put my money on the latter.

  17. I wish this artical could be sent out as a flyer to all the residence in fullerton. It really sums up well what outrage so many of us in fullerton.

    1. I notice other cities surrounding Fullerton honor their military by posting the names of their residents who currently serve our country in the military on banners on street lamps on main streets . If the city of fullerton honors its residents who are in the military, it is hidden from public view. what pour city offers us instead are silly, oversized three dimensial heart shapes. If you turn those hearts upside down then people would see this city is honors asses.

  18. This not just about Fullerton. Jurisdictional lines keep getting blurred when it comes to LEOs. They all love to hang out together when off duty. Look at this snippet:

    Sheriff’s Department used jail duty to punish deputies

    The department dealt in a similar fashion with another deputy, David Ortega, after he was charged with assaulting a bar security guard. In 2008, Ortega was at the Slidebar in Fullerton when the bouncer told him and another off-duty deputy that the bar was closing.

    Ortega yelled profanities, grabbed the bouncer’s shirt and spat in his face, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office. Ortega then threatened to stab the bouncer.

    Ortega was charged with misdemeanor counts of assault, battery, attempting to make a criminal threat and disturbing the peace. In April 2009, he pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace by fighting and was placed on probation.

    Ortega, 29, was demoted to custody assistant.

    In Munoz’s case, the department had tried to fire him on three occasions for misconduct. Each time, he successfully appealed his termination. At least two of those times, the department resorted to transferring him to jail duty as part of his punishment, records show.,0,5517696.story?page=2

  19. Why are their heads so small compared to their bodies? It’s like they are having their heads shrunk or something.

    Really creepy.

  20. “they relied upon the monotonous drone of their attorney”

    Yeah, that guy’s a monotonous droner, all right.

  21. This is a great post and I think gets to the real heart and thinking of the problem. But I would like to add one thing.

    Fifteen years ago or more, reading the Orange County Register, I noticed that public attornies were advising elected officials that their prime public duty was to shield the public entity that they represented from any monetary lawsuit. This included, at the advice of lawyers, refusing to read or hear information that would cause the public officials to take action if they knew about it.

    In other words, the lawyers were telling the public officials (and allowing their advice to be made public) that the public elected them so that if they knew A, B, and C, they would have to make a decission between course X, Y, and Z.

    But the lawyers were telling them that since there might be some liability for a contested decission X, Y or Z, they should refuse to even listen to the base information A, B, and C, even though the voters elected them for the purpose of hearing information A, B, and C and then acting upon it X, Y or Z.

    Instead, the lawyers were telling the public officials that the lawyers would hear the base information A, B, and C, and then tell the public officials what information they could know to make the important decissions X, Y, and Z without any posibility of liability for prior knowledge.

    I wondered, who is running the County, the elected officials, or the lawyers that control them.

    This process is so contrary to what I was brought up in Fullerton under the teaching of my father Ed Brow, my uncle Ralph Kennedy, the leaders of Fullerton First Presbyterian Church, and the leaders of Boy Scout Troop 292.

    All of these taught that to accept any position of leadership was a commitment to learn all avialable knowledge, even that which one didn’t know but should have known, and then make rational decissions based upon that. It was always taught that in leadership one must listen to the advice from others. It was never taught that one could hide behind ignorance or hide behind the advice of another, even a lawyer.

    I might expect Van to insert here the shortcomings of Uncle Ralph. But I must hold out that Ralph consistently brought up new ways of thinking rejected by 2/3 or 3/4 of the community, often me included. Ralph, however, never hid behind a lawyer to obscure his way of thinking. He always took responsibility for it.

  22. It seems that we read, nearly daily of a police involved shooting of questionable circumstances.
    The time is at hand for repeal of the Police Officers Bill Of Rights(POBOR).
    This may be possible through the referendum process.
    The general public would be very surprised to actually know how many agencies have policing powers in this country and are carrying weapons.

  23. Oddly enough, and I dunno if anyone else has noticed this/come to the same thought, but when watching McKinley in Council meetings, he almost seems to be near a breaking point as to his participation (i.e., regretting it) in the events leading up to and following Kelly Thomas’ death.

    Perhaps I ascribe too much introspection/emotion to McKinley; Bankhead is too sleepy to get it and Jones won’t ever get it. Sometimes McKinley seems like he gets it.

  24. four questions will be address in the Genacco report Tuesday 4:30pm. city hall.

    • The initial call made to the police dispatch office the night of July 5, 2011;
    • The contents of Thomas’ backpack;
    • Whether the booking photo supplied by the police department was Thomas; and
    • Whether there were injuries to the officers during the altercation.

  25. J. Sipowictz wrote: “they can no longer distinguish right from wrong when it comes to protecting the institution that they have come to completely identify themselves with. Those Fullerton lapel pins that they so proudly wear have become a symbol of inertia, dereliction, and blind dedication to an abstraction of their own creation: their own delusional view of themselves and their City”. Genius!

    I may have missed this in November, but it is spot on. I suspect that Joe and I may disagree on some the others issue, but I can’t think of a word he wrote in the above with which I could disagree here. It’s nice to know that when city officials have no moral compass, encircle, and are subsequently completely full of Sh*t, that reasonable people from all sides of the political spectrum have the same reaction. My neighbors have a “NO RECALL, FULLERTON IS NOT FOR SALE” sign on their lawn. I have news for them; Fullerton was sold to the likes of McKinley, Jones & Bankhead 20 years ago, and these guys have been pimping her out to the highest bidder ever since. Everybody got a turn, but the the thug police union and out of town developers were the regulars. In this context the FULLERTON RECALL = EMANCIPATION FROM OLD PIMPS.

    1. you don’t knowingly keep drinking poison because there is no antidote readily available.

      I vote for: Fullerton Recall= Emancipation From Old Chimps.
      Put that on a bumper sticker.

      Fullerton is not for Sale? what does that mean? Who would buy it? and why? you don’t knowingly keep drinking poison because someone keeps telling you to.

  26. The Honey Badger doesn’t like the sitting trolls, McKinley, Bankhead, or Jones, nor does he care for Jones, the city attorney, he is pimped out to more than one messed up city council! 🙂

  27. I’m sure these are three men of very high character, even if they completely mishandled the beating death of an innocent man at the hands of our police department. I wouldn’t be running unless I respected them and their legacy, even though I can’t get elected unless you throw them out of office. Do you follow my logic?

  28. One thing that leaps out as I re-read this is the comment about training and not being trained to… To me it’s about respect, and that’s something that can’t be trained, either you have respect or you don’t. If cops respect others, whether homeless, or drunk, or some sort of criminal, or just a driver they’re ticketing, whatever, if they respect me or you, that will come across and I’m sure reduce if not do away with a lot of these problems. Another problem is the police seem to be terrified of us, the biggest excuse for gunning down and murdering innocent, unarmed people is “I was afraid for my life,” or a variation of that. I said before sometime, that for some reason all police from the chief on down to the lowliest should be required to be evaluated monthly by a different psyciatrist each time, one they pay themselves. Doing it this way avoids someone being let through the cracks, because of friendship, or some other reason. The cost could be reimbursed by insurance, or written off as a job expensse.
    It just bothers me that there are so many cops in fear of their lives, who shoot first and ask questions later, if ever.

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