Irony Meter Needle Jumps Into Red

Over at the big protest in front of the Fullerton Police Department, an arresting sight caught my eye. It was a banner hanging on the rail over the sunken court at department HQ.

Does this apply to the homeless?

And speaking of arresting, perhaps it should have read “Fullerton Police Alert: if approached by FPD assume a fetal position and hold your breath. Otherwise you will be targeted for resisting.”

Fullerton Police Department Dysfunction

Out here on Screech Owl Road I’ve been tuning in on the doings in sleepy little Fullerton that is sleepy no more. It’s hard to miss. You’ve made world-wide news – and not in the way anybody wants to become famous.

Anyway, I got to wondering the other day about the Police Department spokeshole, Sergeant Andrew Goodrich, a bumbling oaf who has made a real hash out of public relations in the aftermath of the Kelly Thomas homicide.

I know who I work for and it isn't you!

For a while I tried to make sense of the weird things he was saying, and obviously leaking to selected individuals, individuals who then exercised no intellectual scrutiny over what they were disseminating.

My friends back in Fullerton informed me that Goodrich is a shot-caller in the Fullerton Police Officers Association (FPOA), the local cop union. These are the boys (and girls) in blue who pour tens of thousands of dollars into Fullerton elections to get the most simple minded pro-cop lackeys they can find into office. Over the years they have succeeded marvelously.

Then all of Goodrich’s bullshit started to make sense: Kelly Thomas ran; he was combative; he had “legal documents” that didn’t belong to him; a photograph of a dirty, muscular, mean-looking guy was released purporting to be a two-year old booking picture of Thomas; two cops suffered “broken bones” in the encounter. All this trash was floated out to the public to discredit the victim and divert attention from the horrific bludgeoning death perpetrated by the police.

Of course, later it was revealed that there were no broken bones (the cops were back on the street); the identity of the man in the picture was challenged; the so-called legal documents in Thomas’s possession was trash Kelly had fished out of a dumpster; reports from people who knew him that Thomas was basically a harmless dude.

So who does Goodrich really work for? Fullerton taxpayers pay his salary, but it is crystal clear that he he is working for his brethren in the FPOA and will do anything he can to obfuscate, obscure, misdirect and mislead you – the very people who pay his lavish $130,000 a year salary plus benefits.

This becomes even more troublesome when you consider that he is one of the leaders of the union that has hired a lawyer to defend the six cops that participated in the Thomas beat down.

Who in God’s name permits a union officer be the official spokesman for a city department? The egregious Chief Mike Sellers, for one. And, naturally, the ex-cops on the city council Pat McKinley and Don Bankhead, as well as the buffoonish Dick Jones, of course – another individual embraced by the cop union.

Well this crap has got to stop. Sellers should be fired of course, and he should take his union spokesman with him when he goes.

A Serious Letter

We are in receipt of this letter to DA Tony Rackauckas which calls into question the actions preceding the beating of Kelly Thomas. Mr. Doherty hits the proverbial nail on the head and drives it though the board. Was the call to FPD about some guy burglarizing cars phony? Was it an orchestrated attempt to rid the Transportation Center of a nuisance to a business? If the DA and the FBI don’t find out who made that call and under what circumstances, you may rest assured Friends, we will. And thanks Mr. Doherty for your concern and citizenship.

Joe Felz In Wonderland?

This won't turn out well...

A quick trip to Fullerton Stories reveals a statement by Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz that claims the City never made any “settlement offer” to the family of killer cops victim Kelly Thomas, who was brutally bludgeoned to death by six members of Felz’s police department on July 5th.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

This is just about the shabbiest deception the City has tried yet; verbal hairsplitting to try to dodge the fact that your scumbag lawyer Bruce Praet presented “unofficial” proposals (oh, no not a “settlement,” that can only be authorized by the Council) to the family of the victim. Well, goddam, that’s a distinction without a difference! Felz, shame on you for running this turd up the flagpole, and shame on some stooge named Davis Barber at Fullerton Stories for accepting and propagating this ludicrous trash as pertinent to anything. Maybe now Felz thinks no one will we be inclined to ask who was responsible for authorizing Praet to contact the family in the first place. Was it you, Joe? Or did you even know about it?

Probably the worst part is the not-so-subtle insinuation that Ron Thomas, Kelly’s dad has been intentionally misleading the public.

Soon there will be nothing but a grotesque smile...

Up until now I was willing to give Felz the benefit of the doubt – that he was just some poor former museum director dufus in waaaaaay over his head. Now it would appear that he was either completely out of the loop (bad) or, complicit in a nasty plot to discredit the Thomas family (worse) and protect the assess of some crooked cops.

He needs to go, too. Now.


Who Was There? The FPD Six

Our local leaders have concealed the identities of the six officers who participated in the brutal arrest of Kelly Thomas. In the absence of official information, the public justifiably fears and distrusts every single member of the FPD.

That is probably why sources very close to the Fullerton police department have given us the names of the officers on scene that night. This information was reportedly determined from knowledge of patrol schedules and the observance of which officers have not been reporting for duty since the six were put on leave.

According to our sources:

Officer Jay Cicinelli was there
Officer Kenton Hampton was there
Officer Manny Ramos was there
Officer Joe Wolfe was there
Officer James Blatney was there

The sixth officer would have been a sargent called to the scene due to the use of a Taser.  There are two patrol sargents not reporting for duty at the moment who may have been on duty that night. When we figure out which one was there, we’ll let you know.


So, Who’s Responsible for the FPD Quagmire?

The official investigation by The Authorities continues...

In the past few weeks these pages have been littered with a startling list of charges of criminal behavior by members of the Fullerton Police Department, starting with larceny, and evolving through credit card fraud, assault, charges of sexual battery, and of course the gang-homicide of a mentally ill homeless man.

I believe the public is perfectly justified in assuming the worst and that the stuff that has come out recently is indicative of a systemic problem. After all nobody, especially the local “journalists,” were paying the least attention. The issue can’t be deflected by the childish “not all cops are bad” nonsense. The problem is that no cops should be bad – and if any are they should be weeded out quickly and the failure analyzed immediately. After all, these individuals literally hold the power of life and death over you and me. Just like they held it over Kelly Thomas.

And all this begs the simple question: who in the Hell is in charge at FPD? The obvious answer is nobody, if one discounts the unsettling possibility that the cops are in charge of themselves.

Okay, but who should be responsible for making sure the cops are on the up and up?

A carbuncle on the butt of Fullerton (image from Ed Carrasco & our Friends at the OC Weekly)

Well, the first answer, of course, is the the Chief of Police, Mike Sellers. True, he inherited a department, such as it was. But he’s been here a couple of years now. Early on he promised publication of his departments policy on Taser use; that was just a load of unadulterated bullshit. After the Thomas killing occurred, during the initial period when he obviously thought he could skate by on business as usual, he took off on vacation. Seller’s nonchalance backfired. It backfired badly. He failed to get the cops involved off the streets, let alone putting them on leave; tellingly this only happened when the media finally became interested in the Thomas death. And this alone justifies his dismissal.

Of course theoretically the FPD answers to the civilian authorities. Which brings us to the Silent City Council Trio: Mssrs. Bankhead, Jones, and McKinley.

You're not homeless are you?

Don Bankhead is a former cop, and as such should be the most savvy of the three when it comes to understanding the propensity of cop culture to veer out of control. Every time he runs for office he makes sure the electorate knows he is ex-cop. But Bankhead, apart from dubious mental faculties is also a tool of the police union that has supported their boy for over twenty-two years: twenty-two years and numerous pension spikes and giveaways to the union.

The HeeHaw jokes ain't funny no more...

F. Dick Jones? When Jones is not berating his constituents from the dais he is mangling the scripts written for him by City staff. He has never seen a uniform he didn’t like, and was once heard to say: “you don’t get anywhere in Fullerton badmouthing the Fullerton Police Department.” From a political standpoint truer words were never spoken. But Jones is fond of bragging about his service in military; and the military is all about rules and regs so Jones had better start explaining how the FPD came to be what it is today – during his 15 years in office.

McKinley is on the left.

And finally we come to councilman Pat McKinley, former Fullerton Chief of Police, a repuglican cipher dropped on Fullerton by the GOP establishment. McKinley’s got some serious explaining to do since it was under his seventeen-year watch that the Fullerton FPD seems to have descended into the morass in which we currently find it. He was the one who apparently hired a one-eyed cop who was rejected by the LAPD, a cop who seems to be intimately connected to the Thomas murder. He was the one who left his command structure behind. He was the one who, instead of overseeing his department, spent his days inventing a vest that could be sold to his department.

McKinley makes well over $200,000 a year in pensions. Pensions racked up during years supposedly in charge of the Fullerton Police Department.

When someone refers to the gang of thugs that murdered Kelly Thomas as “The McKinley Six” they are right on the mark.

Finally, it seems to have escaped the notice of these three council chimps that even as they plead to the public to wait for “the Authorities” to develop their cover-up, er, investigation, their slimy lawyer is offering Ron Thomas $900,000 to just go away. The irony is pretty profound. But something tells me irony is lost on these three.

“They Killed Him.” New Video Shows Aftermath of Fullerton Police Beating

Friends for Fullerton’s Future obtained this video footage from an OCTA bus that pulled into the Fullerton Transportation Center moments after the vicious beating of Kelly Thomas by Fullerton police on July 5th. Listen to what these witnesses have to say:

Our transcription of the recording is here.

This new video is more compelling evidence that excessive force caused the death of Kelly Thomas. First there was the video where the homeless, mentally-ill man’s cries for his father can be heard as he is beaten and Tased:

And then we saw the shocking photo of Kelly Thomas before he died, which has now been widely broadcast on network television and news websites around the world:

But still, the majority of Fullerton’s city council have refused to release the video that clarifies the police actions that lead to the death of Kelly Thomas on that night.

While we stand shocked at the brutality laid bare under their administrative watch, they quietly whisper behind closed doors, delay, obfuscate, make excuses and ignore the cries of the public for answers.

The people of Fullerton deserve to know right now: Are we safe from our own police?

Who is Jay Cicinelli?

The anonymous caller to yesterday’s KFI’s John and Ken program identified an Fullerton police officer with one eye as physically participating in the July 5th beating death of Kelly Thomas.

As hard as it is to believe, Fullerton does indeed employ a cop with one eye, and has been identified by our commenters as Jay Cicinelli. Cicincelli was a rookie cop in LA when he was shot multiple times in 1996 as described in this 1998 LA Times article.

2005 Orange County Register file photo of Hugo Garcia and Jay Cicinelli

Apparently in the aftermath of this incident Cicinelli was deemed incapable of meeting physical standards, was placed on permanent disability and separated from duty with the LAPD. Here’s where the story gets interesting, Fullerton-wise. Cicinelli’s career as a law enforcement officer was far from over.

A more recent image shared by a reader; Cincinelli is purportedly the officer on the right.

It seems that a high ranking LAPD cop, Michael Hillman took special interest in Cicinelli and eventually he used an old LAPD acquaintance to land Cicinelli a job in Fullerton. That acquaintance? Yep, Chief Pat McKinley, as detailed in this glowing 2009 tribute to Hillman on the OC Sheriff’s website, after Hillman had followed Sandra Hutchens to the OCSD. Here’s the operative sentence by Cicinelli:

“I think he had a lot to do with getting me this job, I know he was good friends with (Fullerton Police) Chief Pat McKinley. How many departments are going to hire an officer with one eye?

The implications of employing and deploying a one-eyed cop on the streets of Fullerton are rather worrisome; the possibility that Cicinelli may have undergone severe trauma that has never been adequately addressed is even worse. Of course this latter issue is speculation; but McKinley’s role in bringing this cop to Fullerton calls into question issues of cronyism, poor judgment, and ultimately, perhaps, responsibility for what happened to Kelly Thomas.