96 Replies to “Steve Greenhut’s Take on the 2012 Fullerton Recall”

  1. Mr. Greenhut hit it out of the ball park with his insightful article.

    Imagine now we have a majority of the council members who are concerned about me, my town and its people!

    I hope it catches on in every city!

    1. The only thing hit out of the ball park was that you didn’t win a council seat. Now you can focus on the skate park (bad call in opening that up)and the Fox while taking credit for work others have done. Please don’t run again

      1. I’ll just say that I live near the skatepark on the West side of Fullerton. The Fullerton Police department, in their infinite wisdom, have padlocked the majority of the parks on this side of town because they claim they don’t have enough officers to patrol them properly.

        As I drive up and down Euclid Avenue, I’ve seen a ton of kids every day with their skateboards heading over the the skateboard park to play. That’s a good thing.

        I know that when I grew up, that baseball was king in the parks. However with my children’s generation, skateboarding is what seems to be what they want to do when they go to play in the park, however it’s illegal for kids to ride skateboards in Fullerton other than at the skateboard park?

        What Mr. Levinson has done is work hand in hand with the community members, who had appealed to have the park opened o a trial basis. The community diligently worked together with the city council to address each and every concern.

        Working together with Barry Levinson as a Parks and Recreation Director was a pleasure.

        I actually wish that the more voters would have been able to see what I saw while appealing for the skateboard park to re-open, was that Barry Levinson truly cares about whether or not our children here on the West side of town have a safe place to play.

        1. I am glad to see it re-opened but I have doubts they can keep the bad elements out and it really is a safe place to play. Now they have a place to go vs destroying public and private property with their boards and the God-awful racket they make while doing so. I give Barry props for putting his name and efforts into this re-opening.

          If you haven’t already, you should see the documentary Dragonslayer. It is about the skateboarding life and follows Fullerton skateboarder, Josh Sandoval. It is really quite good.

  2. Steven Greenhut is the only male Register writer that has a set of cajones.

    The rest write like they’ve been castrated

    1. It’s just been reported that the OC Register has been sold again to some investor from Massachusetts. I hope he cleans house and restores the Register back to being a class newspaper. My wish is for the new owner to dump Whiting and some of the other journalists who have a difficult time reporting the facts. When a newspaper constantly changes hands you know there are big internal problem. Duh??? All you need to do is read the content to figure that out!

  3. Actually we are really lucky to have a well known professional journalist on our side.

    Every bit of the success of the Recall and election of a solid council majority is a Fullerton story of Fullerton people, and a Fullerton BLOG where we can read about it, BUT, it is still nice to be able to read a positive factual article in a newspaper which also reports and voices those facts!

    Thanks Mr. Greenhut!

  4. “The most trusted Voice in Policing.” Cal Chiefs News

    “As the confrontation escalated, other officers joined the struggle to subdue Thomas, holding him down, hitting him and deploying a Taser.”

    the problem with this interview is that its based on an assumption that all the officers where trying to subdue thomas and hold him down. This statement leaves no room for the possibility of the police staging the incident to look like a takedown but really a lesson they where trying to send to Kelly.

    ” D.A. did not formally assume the investigation until July 7 because the incident did not initially meet their criteria.”
    Because it was a case of the police against a homeless man did they wait to see if it would blow away? Do homeless people have civil rights?

    1. “(Officers) have endured […] comments on a local blog site designed to be critical of their every move.”

      Still blaming FFF for your problems, Hughes? You’re one sick pup.

    2. Poor Kelly he didn’t do anything wrong..If he would of cooperated and not been a jerk he would still be alive today. “Just give us your name and we can go home and you can go back to sleeping in trashcans”. Very simple. But he just wanted to be an asshole.

      1. > Poor Kelly he didn’t do anything wrong.

        You are exactly right Jay Cici. He did absolutely nothing wrong.

        > If he would of cooperated and not been a jerk he would still be alive today.

        I know I’m not going to get an answer from you but I’ll ask anyway. Do you think its right to beat, suffocate and ultimately kill a man because he was perceived as “uncooperative” and “jerk”?

        What are your thoughts on the beating of Giants fan Brian Stowe?

        > “Just give us your name and we can go home and you can go back to sleeping in trashcans”.

        Legally if he had not committed a crime they had no right to ask for his name.

  5. Overall Greenhut is a good journalist. But I wish he wasn’t so willfully ignorant on the topic of illegal immigration.

  6. Though the recall came about due to Kelly Thomas’ homicide; evidence may end up being equivocal on the role one-eye Jay had. The most significant item of Greenhut’s article is that a liberal city like San Jose is saying ENOUGH–we can’t afford carrying the financial load of expensive retirees, especially public safety ones. That’s what is revolutionary.

    1. If you think the majority of voters who voted YES on the recall did so because they were concerned about pensions you are gravely mistaken.

      This is about people standing up to abusive, out-of-control police. This is about people taking the power back from those who abuse their authority. This is a local reaction against the encroaching fascism of our law and order-military-prison-surveillance state.

      I went to a lot of protests and saw signs saying “F*** the Police,” “Police: Its a Gang,” “We want Justice,” “Say No to Police Brutality.” Anybody see any signs about pensions and taxes? No. You know why? Because compared to the crime of MURDER nobody gives a damn about pensions and taxes.

      Try and spin this how you want, this was about police brutality and corruption. Lose that message and you’ll lose the electorate.

      Taking power away from the police and corrupt politicians and giving it back to the citizens – now THAT’S revolutionary.

        1. I want to know the dates Rincon systematically sexually abused female detainees. Was Pat McKinley fullerton police chief when Rincon molested these women? I ask because I sense from McKinley’s comment a few months ago at his promo for shebear about the molested women not being nice women ties into an attitude held by our city council et al that women who are drunk and disorderly are immoral and thus fair game for sexual assault.
          there was one blogger on this site that actually stated that there are women you marry and then there are women who are just for sexual use by men. Is this an attitude held by some of our “civil rights activists” and city council members? Obviously the fullerton police chief held this opinion and used it absolve Rincon of wrongdoing while on duty as a fullerton police officer.

      1. Let’s be brutally honest. You can talk all you want about the noble citizens rising up — it’s the few, the people who have been wanting to change the Council, but couldn’t because they didn’t have a ’cause’. KT’s death was the cause, Tony’s blog and money was what made the recall successful. Let’s hope Bankhead is a dinosaur and not a phoenix.

        1. Those few couldn’t have done it without the many, and the many weren’t going to clean out city hall because of a water tax or bloated pensions. This blog did do the investigative reporting that showed everyone a corrupt police force with a long record of police brutality. I agree that the three should have been recalled for any number of other issues – hell, they should never have been elected in the first place – but the people of Fullerton ARE noble citizens and we DID rise up! And the most important aspect of this all is police brutality, because police brutality is the proof of the tyranny of government.

        2. I think that it was gracious of Mr. Greenhut to acknowledge our contributions to the success of the recall as FFFF bloggers…

          It was time for a change, and the pension-abuse issue, bolstered by these leaders’ duck-and-cover routine after the Thomas killing, was enough to spark the recall. They were bounced by nearly 2-1 margins, so it wasn’t a fluke. And the ground had been plowed by Bushala and his merry band of local-minded libertarians, thanks to their Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog. Granted, the three soon-to-be-ex-council members provided plenty of side-splitting fodder.
          But the blog set the stage, used publicly available video to expose and mock what the city’s leaders did every week in council chambers. The bloggers – none of them professional writers – used humor to highlight the not-so-funny way the council majority mismanaged the city.
          My favorite story: After Jones went on some tirade in which he misspoke and referred to a nonexistent country of Kharakastan, the Fullerton’s Future bloggers penned an apology to Jones, explaining that he was right, and they were wrong. There really is such a country, they explained, and they linked to a Wikipedia entry they created that listed Kharakastan’s most popular attractions.
          I laughed hysterically but sensed that the city’s leaders were none too amused by the satire.
          Just as Jon Stewart’s wonderful “Daily Show” on cable provides useful news presented with a dose of humor, this blog – and other successful ones across the country – did the same thing. Previously, few people paid attention to the goings-on in Fullerton. Now everyone does, and the group has provided a model for other local agitators who want to take matters in their own hands and exert some control in their own cities. Other localities might not have a local businessman willing to fork over that kind of cash to pay for a recall, but blogs and lower-cost political activism can produce real results.

        3. KT’s murder was the catalyst. the Arab spring began with a college educated Tunisian struggling to survive by selling vegetables being slapped by law enforcement for not having the money to purchase a license to sell his wares. Protesting the tyranny and oppression of tunisia’s corrupt government, this intelligent, humiliated man emoliated himself in a public street

    2. San Jose is a broke ass city. You cant compare it to Fullerton. It’s like comparing beer vs wine.

      1. …so not only are you incredibly diluted, you don’t understand there are different qualities of both beer and wine? Poor man.

  7. Had it not been for Bushala’s money and support – the recall would have never happened and the three stooges would’ve maintained their seats on the Council.

    That does not speak well for our political system – particularly when nearly 2/3’rds of the voters wanted them out. When 2/3’rds of the voters are in favor of any measure there should be a groundswell of support to implement it! It should not be a one-man show.

    That’s what worries me!

    1. I agree with this. Fullerton should be an example for the rest of the country, but other cities and towns across the country don’t necessarily have individuals with the guts AND money to take on the police and city hall.

  8. Having signed approx 2,000 people and talked to many more, I can assure everyone that the recall was not because of any one thing, including Kelly’s death. Many were fed up with the trio and their mishandling of Kelly’s death was the final straw. Also, let’s not forget that these three continued to give us reasons with awarding a development deal to pals against the findings by their own committee and a homeless task force that they put their pal in charge of. Furthermore, I had about as many people refuse to sign because they viewed it as solely about Kelly as those who signed it solely for that reason. Some who refused to sign sign when I pointed out other reasons.

    I don’t care if one person or a hundred financed the recall. No one bought any signatures and no one bought any votes. We all signed and voted as individuals and we are not for sale.

    1. *Some who refused to sign, signed when I pointed out other reasons.

      Punctuation and grammar are everything…

      1. Yeah, the truth is coming out that there actually was a call from the slidebar. Thank you Mr Reeves! Eventually everything is gonna come out and the DA is going to be shitting his pants for all the lies he made up…Stay tuned!

        1. I think what the District Attorney actually needs to do immediately, if not sooner, is to file criminal charges against Jeanette DeMarco and Jeremy Popoff for filing a false police report that ended with Kelly Thomas’s death.

          I think we can all remember how fast the man was charged with a capitol crime who filed a false police report in Pasadena, claiming that a couple of kids had guns had accosted him so that the police would respond faster.

          That incident resulted in the police shooting one of the boys to death.

      1. How about if we start with a preview from the link that was provided?

        Michael Reeves, previously a door host for the SLIDEBAR in Fullerton, has filed a Wrongful Termination lawsuit against Defendants SLIDEBAR and JEREMY POPOFF. Mr. Reeves alleges in the Complaint filed in the Orange County Superior Court on June 8, 2012 as follows:
        “Kelly Thomas died in the hospital at UC Irvine on July 10, 2011, five days after Fullerton Police responded to the false police report made by [a SLIDEBAR supervisor] and authorized and/or ratified by JEREMY POPOFF and SLIDEBAR.
        “Defendants attempted to dissuade and/or prevent MR. REEVES from providing information to law enforcement agencies regarding the false police report that he witnessed by warning MR. REEVES not to talk to anyone about Kelly Thomas or the false police and repeatedly telling MR. REEVES that SLIDEBAR had nothing to do with Kelly Thomas’s death.
        “When MR. REEVES would not be dissuaded or prevented by the Defendants’ constant warning and admonitions, the Defendants set out to punish and make an example of MR. REEVES by taking away, one by one, MR. REEVES’s privileges of employment, including his position at the front of SLIDEBAR, his responsibility of driving the company vehicle to promotional events, and, eventually, his employment at SLIDEBAR, in order to dissuade and/or prevent others from providing information to law enforcement agencies.”
        Mr. Reeves is represented by the Los Angeles Law Firm of Solomon, Saltsman & Jamieson. A conformed copy of the filed lawsuit is posted on the firm’s website at http://www.ssjlaw.com. Please contact Stephen Warren Solomon or Stephen Allen Jamieson at (310) 822-9848 for any questions.
        Source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1e7of)

        1. It looks like Jeremy Popoff set the wheels in motions by making a false police report and not Officer Ramos.

    1. It’s about blanking time!

      We all speculated about the Slidebar, and now it turns out to be the truth, as evidenced by the suit.

      Jeremy is a slimeball!

      1. So much for this blog’s conspiracy theory that there had been no such call from the Slidebar.

        Which blog are you referring to?

  9. Steven greenhut’s refreshing clarity comes from his arduous research done for his revealing book “Plunder “. Greenhut’ knows municipalities are falling like dominoes due to the exorbitant benefits ,salaries and pensions public servants have taken from the private sector in the form of taxes. But even excessive taxation can’t meet the financial obligations public sector unions demand from their communities. Cities must defer monies for needed infrastructure to pay their debt to public servants.
    FFFF blog site’s libertarian bent showed the populace that there exists options to increased taxes, frivolous local laws with exorbitant fines, excessive fees for permits and so on.
    Instead, our city’s government could remove the supercilious roles it has assumed at great cost to the public withmlittle benefit to the public, reduce public servants salaries and
    benefits and elect civic leaders who value more free enterprise than a politician’s myopic vision of utopia

    1. Thanks for the link Michael.

      From the complaint”

      “16. As a former rock star in the pop band “Lit,” JEREMY POPOFF was obsessed with SLIDEBAR’s image and how it reflected on his own image as the owner and face of SLIDEBAR. Homeless people had no place in the image JEREMY POPOFF wanted for SLIDEBAR, so he implemented a rule that banned homeless people from entering SLIDEBAR. Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man, was often seen in the parking lot near SLIDEBAR either picking up cigarette butts or watching one of the big screen televisions on SLIDEBAR�s patio. Kelly Thomas once entered SLIDEBAR when a patron offered to buy him a meal, but MR. REEVES followed JEREMY POPOFF and SLIDEBAR’s “no homeless people” policy and asked Kelly Thomas to leave.

      There is more.


      1. O.k. now only half way though and I’m feeling ill. This was so wrong.

        There is an amazing amount of information in this suit.

      2. Why did the DA totally ignore this part?

        I think this proves that there was some sort of conspiracy between certain elements within the FPD and Popoff.

      3. Shawn Nelson was also an owner of the slide bar and the continental bar in 2005 along with Shawn Francis. Wonder why he was not listed in the law suit?

        1. Don’t think you can sue someone based on the assertion they used to own a business that injured you. The owners at the time of the harm are the guys you sue.

    2. I just finished reading the lawsuit of Michael Reeves vs. Sidebar/ Jeremy Popoff.

      Everybody needs to read this lawsuit in its entirety. There is a significant amount of information contained in it and it is very disturbing.

      Thank you for providing the link. I intend to share it with everyone I know.

  10. I agree, this should be a future post on its’ own…….Not too long ago, Jeremy was quoted in the OC Register, I believe, “I can assure you, that phone call did not come from Slidebar.”
    Although only allegations, the suit is not good for ol’ Jeremy. More fuel for the fire for any civil rights cases, Jeremy will surely be named as a defendant in those cases as well…….Wonder if Cindy Thomas will sue him as well for violating Kelly’s civil rights…….Jeremy better have some good business insurance, he is going to need it…….

    1. Kelly Thomas Killing Prelude Didn’t Involve Slidebar, Bar Owner Claims

      The claim that a Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen employee may have inadvertently helped ignite the brutal, July 5 killing of a homeless man by Fullerton cops is not true, according to Slidebar co-owner Jeremy Popoff.

      In a Dec. 29 phone message to the Weekly in response to months of seeking an interview, Popoff–who is also a guitarist for the band Lit–addressed the rumor involving the killing of Kelly Thomas.

      “I can tell you it’s not true,” he said.


  11. Poor Kelly, he never had a chance. This just keeps getting worse. How long does anyone think Popoff will cover for his potential co-conspiritors in the fpd, if their was an understanding between them to file a false report against K.T. and they would do the rest?

  12. The title of the post, “Slidebro Sued”. His infamous quote about the phone call not originating from within Slidebar was titled, “Slidebro Speaks”.

  13. My apologies to the OC Weekly. How could I incorrectly identify the source of actual investigative, factual reporting to the Register?

  14. Will Ms. DeMarco be charged with filing a false police report? You know she will be named in any civil suit brought against Slidebar.
    Wonder if the FBI would file charges against a business for civil rights violations?

    1. See!!!!! FPD officers are MOMS TOO! You wouldn’t put a MOM out of work. WOULD YA?

      *cough* …So, Barry wheres my $1,500?

      1. In the photos: Sgt. Kathryn Hamel is congratulated by her niece, Madison Crum, after the ceremony, above.


        Do you think maybe that the niece, Madison Crum, could be related to newly minted Captain Crum of the FPD?

  15. I don’t think it’s a big surprise that Kelly Thomas was being harassed under false pretenses. If these cops had done their jobs properly they would have seen he had not stolen anything and let him go on his way. While it’s unfortunate that homeless in our society are treated this way, it’s a fact of life. When I was an 18 year old student at UCSB a homeless man said “thank you for acknowledging my existence.” after I answered a question, or maybe gave him change, I’m not sure which. While I try to show homeless people the respect they deserve as human beings, I have to admit, I don’t always give them money or go out of my way to converse with them. While Popoff may have been less than kind to the homeless people in Fullerton, I am not sure how many business owners would have acted any differently given the circumstances. It’s ultimately the officers jobs to show compassion, or at the very least restraint, when trying to prevent a homeless person from loitering.

    1. If you have so much compassion for the homeless, take one home. There is plenty of them walking around Bum City Fullerton.

      1. @John Doe, Do the FPD sociopaths have ANY compassion for the homeless or the mentally ill? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

        The horrific, brutal, MERCILESS torture and murder of Kelly Thomas, as he screamed in extreme pain and begged for his life, proved that the Fullerton Police Dept. has NO compassion.

        Cicinelli methodically delivering eight deadly, crushing blows with the butt end of his Taser to Kelly’s face, destroying Kelly’s left eye and causing massive head trauma, massive bleeding and choking on Kelly’s own blood; full body weight knee dropping on Kelly’s face and throat, crushing Kelly’s windpipe, and more Tasering AFTER Kelly was already unconscious proved that Cicinelli has NO compassion.

        The cops standing around, laughing, and never giving Kelly any first aid, proves they had NO compassion.

        And, you CONTINUE to prove it over and over and over, EVERY DAY with your vile, derrogatory comments, such as “Bum City Fullerton.”

  16. Kelly was assassinated by FPD. The can is open and worms are crawling everywhere. Many heads will roll by the time this is over. Slidebar will hopefully be ruined by this as well. Jeremy deserves whatever he gets.

      1. > Keep running your mouth asshole.

        Your ship was sunk a few days ago when the 3 blind mice got recalled. Buh Bye Now!

      2. It sounds like you’re very afraid of the truth and in serious denial. Perhaps “Disgusted” is a witness/cop and you are trying to intimidate or silence him??

        May I suggest that you Just have another drink/donut and enjoy listening to the orchestra play while your Titanic sinks.

  17. I suspect that lawsuit is half truth and half bullshit.

    Let’s see. He was fired 9 months ago as a bouncer, remains unemployed, and now wants $4 million from Popoff.

    That’s pretty hilarious…

    1. Let’s see. He was fired 9 months ago as a bouncer, remains unemployed, and now wants $4 million from Popoff.

      Let’s see. He mouthed off to a cop, didn’t comply, resisted arrest and injured an officer’s elbow, and now his Mom got $1 million from the City.

      …See, I can niggle over minutiae and pull total bullshit out of thin air to obscure and distort the facts too!

  18. Any business owners in Fullerton who make false criminal complaints like Popoff and his henchmen/women are alledged to have done, that leads to injury and or death to the victim, deserve to be sued for all they are worth, followed by the Feds. fileing civil rights violation charges.

    1. Seems like a criminal complaint should have been filed, or several. I’m no lawyer but:
      1. Filing a false police report
      2. Lying about doing so to the DA’s office
      3. Intimidating witnesses to lie to the DA’s office

      Are these not crimes? Why would they not be investigated and prosecuted? Why do we have to wait for a lawsuit for these fats to come out?

      Come to think of it, why wouldn’t Fullerton police investigate this, since there is a witness who can corroborate that the phone call to the police was made under false pretenses?

      Unless of course, the Fullerton police had perhaps mentioned to local businesses that if they had a problem with the homeless and needed them taken care of, that they should report it as a man breaking into cars. Is it likely that the manager of the Slidebar thought that one up all by herself?

      1. What makes you think they are not butt hole. Everything takes time. You cant have everything on a dime.

        1. I think that “Everything takes time.” for FPD to try to cover their own “butt holes.”

          I’m sure it “takes time” to figure out a way to silence witnesses and cover up a conspiracy to commit a felony, which resulted in the murder of an innocent man. Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock… P.S. I hope the FPD are being extra careful around Michael Reeves. NO ONE would believe that Michael Reeves “committed suicide” in the Fullerton Jail. Just sayin…

  19. I KNEW it. We all knew the whole thing about “car break-ins” was total and complete BS. This proves it. Kelly Thomas was set up. The call came from the Slidebar, as we suspect. And just as we have been saying all along…the FPD was in essence the hired goons of Jeremy Popoff.

    It’s no wonder that the Slidebar is known for being a cop hangout. It definitely looks more and more like Kelly Thomas was executed.

    Admin, can someone please post this as a new story. NOW. This is major news. It proves what we have suspected from the very beginning. The Slidebar needs to go down.

  20. You people need to get hip. Greasing bums is not my scene. The Slidebar is a corporation with the same rights as anyone else. The bum action was all squeezing the bottom line of the Slidebar’s profits. Can you dig that? Of course, this is America so the Slidebar has a right to maximum profits. All farm animals like to be scratched, so when they come around, I always oblige. They get oiled, no charge. How else would they get so big? Donuts? No, not donuts. They know free tune-ups are not really free. The Slidebar always gets its money’s worth. So how else would you expect them to pay? Only one way… by looking after the Slidebar’s bottom line. KT was collateral damage. Nothing personal. In America, corporate people are always more important than real people. If you don’t like that, move to Russia. Dig?

  21. JOSH SOBOTIK …a model slidebar employee

    Around July 23, 2011, media outlets began to disseminate a photograph of Kelly Thomas in his UC Irvine hospital bed after being beaten by Fullerton Police Officers, At SLIDEBAR, employees and managers, including JOSH SOBOTIK, gathered around a computer and looked at the photograph. JOSH SOBOTIK shrugged off the photograph and said, “Who cares? It’s just one less junkie to worry about.” JOSH SOBOTIK also made jokes, such as “don’t mess with SLIDEBAR,” in reference to the logo on merchandise that SLIDEBAR was selling at the time.

    kelly thomas bus stop detained on false police report

    The false police report came from JEANETTE DeMARCO, a manager at SLIDEBAR,
    who was following the instructions given to her and all other SLIDEBAR managers by SLIDEBAR’s owner, JEREMY POPOFF, to call the police and do anything necessary to get Kelly Thomas away from SLIDEBAR.

  22. Have it your way :
    The only thing hit out of the ball park was that you didn’t win a council seat. Now you can focus on the skate park (bad call in opening that up)and the Fox while taking credit for work others have done. Please don’t run again

    Whats the matter? Are you afraid of someone with balls and a conscience? There are tens of thousands of those in Fullerton if you haven’t noticed. He will be back I am sure. Fortunately for the good people of Fullerton people like Barry don’t go away-they just get stronger and better with age.

  23. Just wanted to thank all of you for coming out this past election to help screw Fullerton up! We now have total control and are going to be able to circumvent political process for our benefit!

    This is going to be a historical year as we work to drive Fullerton businesses into the dirt, and hopefully at least double the budget under the guise of fiscal conservancy. Our next goal will be to have all 5 seats and a super super mandate so that anything my cronies want will happen!

    Don’t worry, we will continue to drag this poor dead homeless guy through the headlines as much as we can because hey, what rallies people more than images of blood!

    Also, you guys better watch out. I’m talking to you Jack Franklyn, Jeremy Popoff, and Aaron Barkenhagen we are coming after you! If you don’t want to play ball with us, we are going to take our ball and your permits away!

      1. Actually, the lovechild of Chris Thompson and Travis Kiger. Unlike you Joe, who’s just the b**** of FFFF.

        Speaking of… Hey Chris where’s the child support? We all know that you’re no longer welcome at home!

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