Homeless and mentally ill Kelly Thomas was not just murdered by a team of six Fullerton cops on July 5, 2011, he was arguably tortured to death. His ‘crime’ was apparently jiggling door handles in a parking lot.
While lying on the ground during the hideous confrontation, he was ‘choked, tased, punched, bludgeoned with batons, kicked and smothered for nearly nine minutes, only pausing when he stopped pleading for help’.
The coroner said the cause of his death after fie days in a coma was ‘insufficient oxygen to the brain’. Peace officers knelt on him as they delivered their punishments.
Before he finally lost consciousness, Kelly cried out over and over for his dad to help him 31 times. He cried “help me” 26 times and cried out “I’m sorry” 15 times. He responded “OK” to police, a full 29 times and used words like “Sir” and “Please” as they dispatched him.
“Dad help me.”
“God help me.”
“Help me. Help me. Help me.”
He may simply not have had enough air to cry in anguish: “I can’t breathe” at some point.
Officer Manuel Ramos was tried for second degree murder, and Ex-Corporal Jay Cicinelli, a former LAPD Officer, were charged with involuntary manslaughter and using excessive force. Neither was convicted. Apparently this charming ‘magician’ of a defense attorney convinced jurors that there was more context at play than what the gruesome video recording showed their ‘inexpert, civilian eyes’.
From CBS Los Angeles:
“A wrongful-death lawsuit brought against the city of Fullerton in the death of Kelly Thomas has been settled for $4.9 million, attorneys announced Monday.
The Fullerton City Council approved the deal during a closed-door meeting called just as opening statements were set to being in trial of the lawsuit, which was filed by Thomas’ father Ron on the one-year anniversary of his son’s 2011 death.
The lawsuit alleged assault and battery, negligence, wrongful death and civil rights violations.
An 11-woman, five-man jury was told to stay home and return to court tomorrow. The panel is still expected to come to the courthouse, but the judge presiding over the case will simply thank them for their service and dismiss them.
Several officers were involved in the beating but Manual Ramos and Jay Cicinelli were charged and went to trial, only for a jury to acquit them. A third cop, Joseph Wolfe, was never charged.
Fullerton city attorney Richard Jones tried to put a positive spin on the news, telling the Voice of Orange County there is a possibility an insurance company pay cover the cost of the settlement, so it would not have to come out of taxpayer’s pockets.
But it always comes out of taxpayer’s pockets, even if it goes through the insurance company first, which will be sure to jack up their rates if they do pay this settlement.”
I won’t embed the 39-minute video evidence at PINAC, although there are shorter versions on youtube, including one or two in which onlookers seem to be despicably treating his pulverization like a sporting event. Nor will I embed the ‘after’ photo; I had nightmares last night just recalling watching all those years ago.
Rest in Power and Light, Kelly Thomas, and may your spirit and your family eventually find some measure of peace.
‘Several people shot near protest site after police killing of Jamar Clark’; Early reports say five people have non-life-threatening injuries after incident close to demonstration marking death of unarmed 24-year-old last week’
Yes, protestors had been been engaged in a days-long sit-in at the 4th precinct station. The shooters are alleged to have been white supremacists. None of the gunshot wounds are apparently life-threatening. Jamar Clark’s brother have asked protestors to suspend their actions as a result of the shootings.
Today’s Guardian: ‘Chicago police officer who shot black teen 16 times charged with murder’; Officer Jason Van Dyke charged with murder one day before judge’s deadline for releasing video of shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald’
“A white Chicago police officer has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a black teenager, just one day before a deadline by which a judge has ordered the city to release a squad-car video of the incident.
Veteran officer Jason Van Dyke was indicted on Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times.
City officials and community leaders have been bracing for the release of the video, fearing an outbreak of unrest and demonstrations similar to what occurred in Ferguson, Baltimore and other cities after young African American men were slain by police. The judge ordered the dash-cam recording to be released by 25 November after city officials had argued for months it could not be made public until the conclusion of several investigations.
Several people who have seen the video say it shows the teenager armed with a small knife and walking away from several officers on 20 October 2014. They say Van Dyke opened fire from about 15ft and kept shooting after the teen fell to the ground. An autopsy report says McDonald was shot at least twice in his back. It also said PCP, a hallucinogenic drug, was found in the teen’s system.
Van Dyke is the first on-duty officer to be charged with murder in nearly 35 years while working for the Chicago police department.”
And much more on the Chicago police union’s ‘opinion’, the Peace Officer’s ‘complaint record’ and settlements (FOIAed by the Tribune), etc.
Updated: the video is now in the public sphere
‘He turns briefly toward one of the officers and is then shot, the impact of the first bullet apparently spinning him around before he collapses on the street. A puff of smoke or dust can be seen rising near his body as a bullet hits the ground. The camera continues to focus on his prone body as the officers, now out of frame, shoot him multiple times. An autopsy report from the Cook county medical examiner’s office showed McDonald was shot 16 times.’
On Tuesday night activists took up the chant “16 shots” as they formed a human circle at a busy intersection in Chicago.’
There really are just too many other grievous and outrageous police stories to bring for now…