• Remembering the Death of Kelly Thomas at the Hands of the Police

    July 7, 2015

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America


    If a video of ISIS doing this to an American played on TV this afternoon, all of the country would be in an uproar. When it happened in America, there was barely a whisper.

    This week marks the fourth anniversary of the beating death of American Citizen Kelly Thomas at the hands of the Fullerton Police. All three cops seen in the video were found not guilty. The victim, Kelly, is shown in the hospital just before his death.

    I’m sorry if the image offended you, or if you are thinking of clicking away and unfollowing me on Twitter, but I am offended by what is happening in our country.

    Who the Cops Work For

    Kelly Thomas was a homeless man diagnosed with schizophrenia who lived on the streets of Fullerton, California. He was known to frequent an alleyway near a swanky restaurant. The owner didn’t like that, and allegedly phoned in a fake 911 report that Thomas was vandalizing cars to get the Fullerton Police on the scene to “take care” of the problem.

    The cops did their job. The really cleaned up the stain of a homeless guy getting in the way of someone making money.

    Kelly Thomas was beaten and killed by cops Jay Cicinelli, Manuel Ramos, and Joseph Wolfe on July 5, 2011. Thomas was comatose on arrival at the hospital, where he was taken after the three cops had had their fill of beating him. He never regained consciousness, and died on July 10, 2011.

    For nine minutes and 40 seconds, the officers pummeled Thomas to the ground, with Ramos delivering volleys of punches and beating Thomas with his baton and Cicinelli tasing the homeless man twice in the face.

    Choked on His Own Blood

    Medical records show that bones in Thomas’ face were broken and he choked on his own blood. The coroner concluded that compression of the thorax made it impossible for Thomas to breathe normally and deprived his brain of oxygen. The cops who beat him into that condition did not render any first aid on the scene, which may have saved their victim’s life.

    Officer Manuel Ramos (the cop at the beginning of the video who asks “See my fists?”) was charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter; Corporal Jay Cicinelli and Officer Joseph Wolfe were each charged with one count of felony involuntary manslaughter and one count of excessive force.

    All three pleaded not guilty.

    Justice, American Style

    A judge declined to dismiss the charges against the officers in January 2013, finding that “a reasonable person could infer that the use of force was excessive and unreasonable.” The case went to trial and Ramos and Cicinelli were found not guilty of all charges. Following the verdict for the two officers, the district attorney’s office announced it would not pursue the case against Officer Wolfe.

    The defense argued cops must protect themselves when they believe they are in danger, without fear of prosecution for handling the incident with force.

    If this wasn’t wrong, then nothing can ever be wrong.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...


      Defense attorney: “It’s tragic but not a crime…”
      If he had been a homeless Iraq war vet with PTSD it may have been harder to get an acquittal but maybe not. The general public has become hardened and indifferent and I think many thuggish cops are gleefully thankful.

      07/7/15 9:31 AM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...


      Yes, Peter:

      “If this wasn’t wrong, then nothing can ever be wrong.”

      If one is unfree, all are unfree. It is Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, and we sit back and take in what is processed for us.

      One could say it’s been a predictable trek from Ronald Reagan’s emptying of the institutions to here. If one lacks the protections of a family, one is vulnerable to the cudgel’s of the State.

      Democracy is messy.

      07/7/15 9:38 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      I wonder is there has been a negative fallout for the restaurant owner with his 911 call ruse? Again, maybe not.
      We aren’t stepping over bodies next to the curb while shopping but we seem to be slowly getting there.

      07/7/15 9:49 AM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...



      I think the key is, we will not see the bodies, either literally or figuratively. We have means of dealing with / dismissing discomfort, and the paddy wagon shall be along shortly anyway to rid our vision of the unpleasantness.

      I had to cover the photo on this post in order to read it; I still feel revulsion. For many, it is no longer repellant to view representations of exactly the same type of visual, so long as they pay for it via their cable bill or theatre tix. They co-opt the spectacle, and therefore, make it acceptable (=palatable).

      As you wrote, “The general public has become hardened and indifferent.” Feeling dirty feels uncomfortable; just look at the HBA aisle in any drug store.

      We’re all about washing off the dirt in any way possible, except by actually seeing and smelling it.

      07/7/15 10:17 AM | Comment Link

    • Chuck Nasmith said...


      Was it the Terrorist Isis,Isil, or it is what it is, or others who used The House of Saud (U.S.) jets to kill over 40 or so recently at a Market place ? It Is what it Is…”War Is A Racket”.Is.Is.

      07/7/15 10:58 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      Bullies, ALL! From the ObamAssassin (of fellow Americans, including Their CHILDREN), Bush puppet; RIGHT Down to the pig on The BEAT!

      07/7/15 11:25 AM | Comment Link

    • Chuck Nasmith said...


      Is Blue your favorite colour?!

      07/7/15 1:05 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Sorry Chuck- I’m confused about your question and to whom it was directed Regards, John Poole

      07/7/15 10:20 PM | Comment Link

    • Steve Jones said...


      07/7/15 11:48 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      There are no words to describe the utter failure of the jury, other than sham. For a jury to see that picture, should have resulted in the unanimous conviction of these depraved animals. As for their bottom dwelling, scum sucking attorney..the difference between a catfish and a lawyer comes to mind. I can only wish these bastards a lifetime of misery. However, eternal damnation will suffice.

      07/9/15 6:31 AM | Comment Link

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