This just arrived from one of our intrepid Friends via Facebook.
Mr. Oates is running for Fullerton High School Board.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Friends For Fullerton's Future
FFFF supports causes that promote intelligent, responsible and accountable government in Fullerton and Orange County
This just arrived from one of our intrepid Friends via Facebook.
Mr. Oates is running for Fullerton High School Board.
What’s wrong with this picture?
A very considerate friend just passed along this tidbit. Sort of an iffy news source. Still…
An ex-Orange County employee (and Fullerton native), Christine Richters is suing the County because she says her boss, 3rd District Supervisor and District Attorney hopeful Todd Spitzer wrongfully terminated her. Nothing unusual there. Apparently Spitzer goes through staff like normal people go through those disposable dental floss gizmos.
The hook here is that Ms. Richters, who disappeared from Spitzer’s staff last October, happens to be a former Playboy Playmate of the Month.
What qualifications Ms. Richters had to be hired as a County Supervisor’s aide first place remains to be seen, as do the merits of her lawsuit.
Of course all of this is bound to reflect badly on the megalomaniacal, hair dyed Dorian Gray of OC politics. Spitzer already has problems stemming from his gun-totin’ handcuffing of a Christian evangelist in a Wahoo’s restaurant a few years ago.
One thing is certain, though. There are very few people who can claim as their employer both Todd Spitzer and Hugh Hefner.
UPDATE: FFFF has received a copy of Ms. Richters’ legal complaint.
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc is a fallacy in logic. It means that just because B follows A, it doesn’t necessarily mean that A caused B.
With this caveat in place, Friends, please consider two events in their close chronological order:
Does the the first event have any causal relationship with the second? Well, not necessarily, right?
Of course, this topic is only a matter of interest because in 2011 in an effort, one supposes, to curry favor with the media and the public, Mr. Thomas promised to give all of any proceeds from a lawsuit against the people of Fullerton to “homeless programs.” Was it true? Is it true? Will it ever be true? Do you care?
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.
During public comments at last night’s council meeting, at least two members of the public remarked that during the protests of the Kelly Thomas killing last fall, then captain, now Acting Chief Dan Hughes told them to wait until the video came out, and then they would see things differently.
Well, now that these people have seen the video, their reaction is not exactly what Mr. Hughes seemed to be waiting for. And this begs a very important question that goes to the heart of both Hughes’ character and the FPD Culture of Corruption.
First let us suppose and dispose the notion that Hughes’ admonition to the protesters was nothing more than a ploy to stall for time. Coming from a department in turmoil that hadn’t got a clue what to do or how to do it, temporizing may be seen as an understandable, if pathetic strategy.
But now let’s give the situation a little more thought. By his own remarkable admission, Hughes had seen the video 400 times. That’s ridiculous of course, but he obviously watched his boys kill an innocent man lots of times. Dozens? A hundred? Enough times perhaps, that he became inured to the unnecessary and inexcusable brutality. In a mental effort to defend the indefensible and picking apart the video like a defense lawyer in order to come up with plausible explanations that would get the killers off the hook, Hughes may well have lost sight of the murder of a human being played and replayed in front of his very eyes. And that’s bad.
But it might be even worse. It may very well be that in watching the video our Acting Chief saw nothing wrong going on, nothing outside of the policy and training that he espouses. After all, there is a reason that the cops went to work the very next day as if nothing untoward had happened. There is a reason that four of the aiders and abettors still remain on paid leave, a weird limbo in which they continue to be remunerated until the Gennaco report can be used to justify some action or other. It’s as if there is no procedural mechanism in place at all to deal with the sort of cops who stand around as the object of their brutality is dying, untended, a few away.
For those who mistakenly believe that Sharon Quirk and Hughes have ushered in some new period of reform in the FPD I suggest you think again. Apart from some alleged sensitivity training I assert that nothing has changed in the FPD’s culture at all, a culture that recently rewarded a loyal purveyor of disinformation with a promotion.
If you’ve watched the now infamous video of six overfed Fullerton cops beating the life out of Kelly Thomas and then standing around joking as he gasped for his last breaths in the street, a few feet away, you will have probably felt some pretty raw feelings. Disgust, anger, fear, pity, and sorrow are what we have all experienced.
Upon calmer reflection we can use the video to start piecing together what really happened and what motivated our “officers.” The behavior of Joe Wolfe stands out as the most egregious and makes me wonder how in the world he escaped charges by the District Attorney. Many have already stated the obvious: that DA Tony Rackaukas’ supposition that Wolfe could not know what was happening right in front of him, a mere 15 feet away is patently ridiculous. But even if we accept the unlikely plausibility of this convenient surmise, one unalterable fact remains: Joe Wolfe assaulted Kelly Thomas. We have all watched Wolfe emerge into the video frame when Kelly raises his arms, palms outward in a submissive gesture. At this point it would have still been possible for the bloated, oafish cops to de-escalate this situation. But instead Joe Wolfe for some as yet disclosed reason attacked Kelly with his baton, and Manuel Ramos joined in the fun. The murder had begun. And Kelly Thomas, accused of nothing, cited for nothing, guilty of nothing was entering his last ten minutes of his life.
I don’t know about you Friends, but the fact that Officer Joe Wolfe is not only walking free, but actually still getting a Fullerton paycheck makes me nauseous. The fact that my tax dollars are paying this thug’s salary makes me feel even sicker, and somewhat accountable, especially if I don’t do something about it. I’m sure I’m not alone.
Hell, if anyone were caught beating an animal in such manner as the way those goons treated a human being, they would be in prison.
So what do we do? Provide helpful suggestion in the comments thread.
Here’s an article from the tanking OC Register about the Kelly Thomas murder case, that includes a delicious quote from Mr. She Bear himself, the egregious former Fullerton Police Chief, Pat McKinley, who nonchalantly admitted he hired all the brutal thugs involved in the remorseless killing of the schizophrenic homeless man. “Let the wheels of justice turn!” says Pat.
The Wheels of Justice. Anybody who has reviewed the checkered career and sayings of McKinley, or the activities of the gang of thugs, pickpockets, perverts, con men, petty thieves, perjurers, and casual liars that he loosed upon Fullerton, may well question whether McKinley has any concept of justice at all.
O Patience! preaches McKinley, now a city councilman. Surely all the evidence is not in! The pathetic plea for more time to clear his thuggish hirelings is telling, as was his previous wink-wink comment about how good his goons’ lawyers are. But for McKinley time is the proverbial double-edged sword. For even as he admonishes us to wait out a protracted legal process that is designed in almost every way to avoid prosecuting criminal cops, his own political time is quickly running out.
Oh yes, it’s hard to avoid the gratuitous sharing of the irrelevant tidbit that McKinley is on vacation. Is this a sly reference to departed, disabled former Chief Mike Sellers who went on vacation in the days following Kelly Thomas’s murder? Naw, because that would be clever and insightful. Rather, we are left to wonder if, with a mere four weeks until the recall election, McKinley has all but given up fighting for his job; or maybe he is so confident that the somnolent folks of Fullerton will turn a blind eye to his own perverse incompetence, that he can afford to vacation – after all, nobody has ever cared what he did, or didn’t do before.
Perusing the latest yellowing Fullerton Observer I noticed how various candidates responded to the question “How Would You have Handled The Kelly Thomas Situation?”
First the Three Bald Tires, poster boys for utter leadership failure, were given the chance to reflect on their actions, or lack of same. They offered up the same old “we were told by our lawyer not to say anything” tripe. On his way out the saloon doors Doc Hee Haw managed to serve up this beaut: “I regret that some have acted to circumvent the constitutional laws of justice,” as if to reassure himself that the whole gol’dern commotion was the fault of some “lynch-type mob” and had nothing to do with his own incompetence and fat mouth.
The candidates were all pretty uniform in their responses with the glaring exception of Doug Chaffee, who spooned out this idiotic pabulum:
“I am a strong advocate of community oriented policing. In a community oriented policing system, police officers partner with neighborhoods to build trust and positive community relationships. The system generates mutual respect between residents and police. Being pro-active, the focus is on preventing crime, as opposed to merely reacting to it, and results in a safer City.”
Not a single word about Kelly Thomas or his family, the brutal way in which he was killed, the conspiracy of silence in the aftermath, the disinformation peddled by Goodrich, the cops who were returned to duty, the disappearing police chief, the sick police chief, the pensioned-off police chief, or the charges of murder and manslaughter brought against the two cops by the DA. No explanation from Doug that Kelly was not committing a crime, and that the only criminals on the scene were members of the Fullerton Police Department.
Some have asked where Chaffee has been for these past nine months. I know. He’s been hiding from his own pale shadow.
It is apparent to me that this man is an empty suit, a coward and a damned fool. On the council he would be hardly better than McKinley himself. The last thing Fullerton needs is another superannuated do-nothing, say-nothing, stand-for-nothing yellow observer in office.
Imagine your delight when a faithful Fullerton public works crew shows up to repair those potholes that you and your neighbors have been asking the city to fix. Well, you really are delighted, especially since all records of your original calls were lost by the city.
Then imagine your disappointment when the city employee drives away and you inspect the repair job:
We will no doubt be told that there just isn’t enough asphalt or man hours to do the job properly, an excuse as old as public servantry. But whose fault is it that City infrastructure has been neglected go for so long?
Isn’t that the City Council’s responsibility?
The proudly ignorant discount the value of words. To them, people who use words to convey important ideas are contemptible. Their brainless brayings are pitched as the voice of the common man, the voice of common sense over intellectualism. Think: Don Bankhead, Pat McKinley, and F. Dick Jones.
Others are more savvy. Slightly.
Following in the footsteps of Dr. Josef Goebbels they are well aware that words do convey meaning. Powerful meaning. These mouthpieces are not particularly articulate themselves, but they know what Fullerton’s Three Blind Mice won’t admit. Words convey meaning; propaganda is power.
It is particularly annoying when an institution that represents itself as an independent, Constitutionally protected entity breezily and contentedly goes along with the bullshit a government promulgates to mischaracterize its criminal malfeasance.
And so we come (finally) to the Orange County Register, a pathetic collection of intellectual flotsam and jetsam, stranded on the beach as the tide of journalistic integrity and competence retreated forever. Composed of sad nitwits like Lou Ponsi, Jim Radcliffe, and David Whiting, this diminishing band of high school newspaper stringers bravely soldiers on, regurgitating the banal nonsense peddled to it by city hall press releases and chamber of commerce newsletters. That’s all they can do, and their paltry livelihoods depend on it.
Ever since the story broke about the homicide of the mentally ill homeless guy, Kelly Thomas, at the hands of the Fullerton PD, the dim bulbs at the Register have fallen all over themselves to pass along a vocabulary intended to diminish the story. First, of course, is the outright stoogery of the tool Whiting. More subtle is the way Ponsi and his ilk have used language to subtly portray as fact the utterly nonsensical.
First it was a “scuffle” and a “tussle;” a veritable pillow fight that went on until Thomas (somehow) “became unconscious.” As the the truth emerged and the hideous images and eyewitness testimony have been revealed, the Defenders of the Faith have decide that well, maybe, just maybe, it was an “altercation” or even, perhaps, an actual “fight.”
A fight. Yes it was a fight. As a Fullerton PD goon’s knee crashed into his windpipe Kelly Thomas fought for air. Then he fought for life itself as six animals beat the life out of him, or stood to the side and watched as it was done to him. Were they laughing as they smashed the Taser handles into Kelly’s face? Register readers will never know.
The animals that murdered Kelly have their own demons they will have to contend with, if, in fact, they are capable of feeling any sense of guilt or remorse at all. But I hope that a particularly low circle of Hell awaits those who, when they had an opportunity to disseminate the truth, decided to join the gang of killers; and did so under the perforated shield of “impartiality.” They are cowards and thieves. They have robbed the public of the truth.