Remember Jay Cicinelli? The one-eyed officer who was so disabled from LAPD that he took a disability pension but was so-not-disabled that he was able to be a working Fullerton Corporal? Ring any bells?
He’s the guy who in July 2011 used his taser on Kelly Thomas to “beat him probably twenty times in the face” because Thomas had the audacity to not just sit still while former officer Manual Ramos played games and threatened him. Don’t remember that part?
Cicinelli was fired from the Fullerton Police Department in July 2012 (and the decision was later upheld by the Council). As we told you a while back, Cicinelli is trying to get his job back and in a “we told you so” moment it looks like he may get his wish.
How? Well, a Judge here in OC thinks the Council was mean to poor old Jay when they fired him and upheld his firing because something something bias.
HERE is the report.
On 14 September 2018, Judge David Chaffee (no relation to Council member and Supervisor Candidate Doug) made a Judgement that Bruce Whitaker and Greg Sebourn should recuse themselves from Cicinelli’s due process violation hearing. His reasoning? Whitaker and Sebourn had the audacity to think we rabble had a right to know what had happened to Kelly Thomas and a right to the evidence.
Judge Chaffee seems to think that because POBAR (the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights) and other as-terrible laws preclude the public from getting basic information about officer actions and alleged crimes that our elected officials shouldn’t be allowed to talk about the things our officers do on duty and under the color of authority.
Judge Chaffee made the point, several times, that Bruce Whitaker spoke out as a council member on items that had not been agendized. Because apparently Judge Chaffee doesn’t understand the Brown Act and that it would have been illegal for Whitaker to speak on those items in the public square had they been agendized.
What all of this leads up to is that this judge wants our current council to re-hear Cicinelli’s bias complaint and he goes so far as to say that not only should Whitaker and Sebourn recuse themselves, he actually recommends that the council wait until AFTER the next council is seated after the November election. He wants a 2019 Council to hear a case from 2011, because of alleged bias.
This is utter nonsense. The council now is Whitaker, Sebourn, Chaffee, Fitzgerald and Silva. Silva, mind you, who is the husband of Sharon Quick-Silva who was on council during the Kelly Thomas incident.
In November Silva is competing with Sebourn for District 3’s seat and Chaffee is running for Supervisor and will be off of council. Chaffee’s wife is the most well financed candidate in District 5. Thus the “very likely probability” is that Sebourn will beat Silva and Silva will stay on council until 2020 when his term expires. So one seat will change which could just end up swapping one Chaffee for another. This is hardly a reason to delay an action in front of our council – especially regarding something so important.
Here is the general premise of Cinicelli’s complaint and Judge Chaffee’s beef with the council and how it handled the case:
The argument against Sebourn and his alleged bias is just laughable. From the judgement:
Golly gee. Sebourn wanted a jury trial and for people to be able to know what happens and for people to not be forced to make decisions in a vacuum. The horrors. If this was the sole thing I knew about Greg Sebourn he’d get my vote every election. That the court thinks this is a problem would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.
The worst thing you can impugn Whitaker for after reading this judgement is his being too willing to talk to the public and help us know what was happening, which is something to be celebrated. He worried about a cover-up and the argument against that is that it’s legal for officers to cover-up things per POBAR. Don’t believe me? Then why are officers allowed to view evidence up to and including videos of their own actions before writing their statements? You, as a citizen, are not allowed such a privilege as that would taint your memory and allow you to change your story to coincide with the evidence. The officers who beat Thomas did in fact write their reports while watching the video and all subsequent testimony is tainted by that fact despite complaints to the contrary.
I submit as evidence a quote from the Gennaco special investigation report regarding this fact:So Whitaker asked questions the people of Fullerton, arguably the world, wanted answered and he’s being painted as a biased figure against this poor officer who wasn’t physically qualified for the job he had, while double dipping a pension, and who showed no remorse for his actions.
I guess Judge Chaffee missed the video evidence from that night. So HERE IT IS.
If that’s too much maybe this will suffice:
Is that inhumane and brutal?
What about in the context of having done nothing wrong beyond being an annoyance to a Slidebar Rock ‘N Roll Cafe employee (with a direct line to Police Dispatch)?
How about Judge Chaffee walk a mile in Kelly Thomas’ shoes instead of demanding that our City Council walks a mile in Cicinelli’s? After all, asking our council to walk a mile in Cicinelli’s shoes is asking them to walk a mile in the shoes of a sociopath (also from the Gennaco report):This is why we need police reform. This is why we need oversight. If you didn’t think the deck was stacked against you just keep in mind that a judge just ruled that Jay “Savage Person” Cicinelli was unfairly fired because a councilperson dared to ask questions and demand answers of our corrupt police force.
My hope is that the council tells Judge Chaffee to kick rocks. They should address this bias nonsense straight out and immediately, list all of the policy violations and problems with Cicnelli’s conduct on the fateful night Kelly Thomas was killed and then vote to uphold Cicinelli’s firing.