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Old 09-21-2011, 07:34 PM  
mohel
 
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Psychopaths need not apply

I'd heard some years back that some cities in CA (Sacramento & Fullerton were mentioned) that tolerated if not encouraged a climate of inappropriate violence in their police forces.



Quote:
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) ? The fatal police beating of a mentally ill, homeless man, prosecutors say, began with one officer snapping on a pair of latex gloves and a single threat.
Kelly Thomas was sitting on a curb in Southern California as police checked his backpack when Officer Manuel Ramos donned the gloves and made two fists in front of him. Prosecutors say Ramos then said: "Now see my fists? They are getting ready to F you up."
"This declaration was a turning point ? a defining moment," prosecutor Tony Rackauckas said, as he announced Wednesday that Ramos and another officer have been charged in Thomas' death.
Officer Manuel Ramos, a 10-year veteran, was charged with one count each of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, a 12-year veteran, faces one count each of involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.
In the 10-minute long beating, Fullerton police officers pinned Thomas to the ground so hard that he had trouble breathing. Prosecutors say he was shocked four times with a Taser, kneed in the head, punched in the ribs and bashed eight times with the butt of a stun gun.
Thomas screamed for his father, begged for help and cried out that he couldn't breathe. Then he lost consciousness. That, prosecutors say, should have alerted officers that Thomas was seriously injured.
"We simply cannot accept that in our community it is within a police officer's right to place gloves on his hands, show his fists to a detainee and threaten that he will 'eff' him up," Rackauckas said. "That is not protecting and serving."
The announcement, by a four-term prosecutor known for his strong support of the police, was met with cheers in a city that erupted in protests after seeing video of the beating. Angry residents had called for the recall of the mayor, two council members and a review of police practices.
Ron Thomas, Kelly Thomas' father, watched the prosecutor's news conference on TV with a group of supporters and said he was pleased that Ramos and Cicinelli were charged. "That's exactly what I hoped for," he said in a phone interview. "It makes me feel fantastic that this is happening. It's the justice we need."
At the news conference, Rackauckas laid out a graphic, blow-by-blow narrative of the violent encounter using props that included latex gloves, a Taser and the officers' verbatim quotes as recorded on their body microphones and surveillance video. Investigators had also interviewed 151 witnesses.
Ramos' attorney, John Barnett, disputed Rackauckas' account. Thomas violently resisted arrest by kicking and swinging at officers, he said, adding that he had seen the same video cited by the prosecutor. In response to claims about Ramos, the gloves and the threat, Barnett said, his client was using "the lowest type of force."
"It was an attempt by the officer to use words not force to get the suspect to do what he's supposed to do," Barnett said. "He sought to avoid physical confrontation with words. There was no compliance by Mr. Thomas."
Bill Hadden, Cicinelli's attorney, didn't return a call for comment.
Rackauckas said the beating began after two officers, including Ramos, responded to reports July 5 that a "homeless" person was peering into cars and rattling door handles at a transit hub in downtown Fullerton.
They found Thomas shirtless and wearing a backpack; Ramos knew Thomas because he often hung out in the city and the officers didn't feel the need to frisk him. As one officer searched his backpack, Ramos sat Thomas on a curb and ordered him to put his legs out straight and put his hands on his knees.
Thomas, who suffered from schizophrenia, had trouble complying. Ramos then put on a pair of latex gloves, leaned down and threatened him with his fists in front of Thomas' face, Rackauckas said.
"He made two fists with his gloves on, two fists. He lifted his fists in front of Kelly Thomas so he could see them," the lead prosecutor said. "... That's when it went from a fairly routine investigation, a fairly routine police detention, to an impending beating by an angry police officer."
Thomas replied, "Start punching, dude."
Ramos then grabbed Thomas by the arm and pulled out his baton when Thomas pulled away. He swung his baton and chased Thomas, who ran behind a police car, eventually punching him in his ribs and tackling him before holding down his neck and lying on top of Thomas to pin him down, Rackauckus said.
The coroner concluded that the cause of death was mechanical compression of the thorax, which made it impossible for Thomas to breathe normally and deprived his brain of oxygen, Rackauckas said. Other injuries to the face and head contributed to the death, he said.
Cicinelli, who arrived later, kneed Thomas twice in the head and used a Taser four times on him as he screamed and yelled in pain, Rackauckas said. Cicinelli hit Thomas in the face eight times with the Taser, he said.
"His numerous pleas of 'I'm sorry,' 'I can't breathe,' 'Help Dad' (were) all to no avail. Screams, loud screams, didn't help," the prosecutor said. As the beating continued, Thomas didn't respond. "When Kelly didn't scream in response to these blows it should have indicated to Cicinelli that Kelly was down and seriously hurt," he said.
Rackauckas said it was the first time he had filed charges against officers for excessive force leading to death.
Ramos was held on $1 million bail and faces a maximum of 15 years to life in prison if convicted on the charges. He will be arraigned Monday. Cicinelli faces a maximum penalty of four years. He entered a not guilty plea at a brief hearing Wednesday and was freed on $25,000 bail.
All six officers who responded to scene, including Ramos and Cicinelli, were placed on paid administrative leave after the altercation. The remaining officers are not expected to be charged but will remain on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation and an FBI criminal probe into whether Thomas' civil rights were violated, Chief Kevin Hamilton said.
Ron Thomas has filed a claim seeking damages from the city.
Associated Press writers Gillian Flaccus in Santa Ana and Thomas Watkins and Jeff Wilson in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
The Associated Press: 2 police officers charged in death of homeless man
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:56 PM  
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The attorney's for the homeless man's father is attempting to prosecute these guys on the public street, not the courthouse. I wonder if there is a reason for this?

Another question I have is why did this great father, who is so hopelessly lost without his beautiful son, help him when he really needed help? Why was he living on the street when dear old dad was in his beautiful house, and not providing for his mentally ill son?

If the cops did in fact violate the law, then they deserve what they get. On the other hand, so far we have only heard one version of what happened, and looking forward to the truth, not rumors or speculation.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:48 PM  
mohel
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havasu View Post
The attorney's for the homeless man's father is attempting to prosecute these guys on the public street, not the courthouse. I wonder if there is a reason for this?

Another question I have is why did this great father, who is so hopelessly lost without his beautiful son, help him when he really needed help? Why was he living on the street when dear old dad was in his beautiful house, and not providing for his mentally ill son?

If the cops did in fact violate the law, then they deserve what they get. On the other hand, so far we have only heard one version of what happened, and looking forward to the truth, not rumors or speculation.
I realize you were a cop so I know you're aware every police force has a few who don't belong. Don't defend this animal, he's an insult to the good cops.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:58 PM  
mohel
 
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they don't indict on speculation

................

Cop Charged with Murder in Homeless Man's Death
Two Fullerton police officers have been charged in the controversial case of the schizophrenic Kelly Thomas killing, one with second-degree murder, one second with involuntary manslaughter.


Quote:
Two Fullerton police officers were charged today in connection with the death of a schizophrenic homeless man who was left hospitalized after his violent July 5 arrest by six officers and taken off life support five days later.

Officer Manuel Ramos, 37, was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, while Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, 39, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force, according to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. All the charges are felonies.

They are charged in the death of Kelly Thomas, 37, who was arrested July 5 at the Fullerton Transportation Center. Thomas' subsequent hospitalization and death touched off a firestorm in Fullerton, including an effort to recall three City Council members and calls for the police chief to resign.

According to Rackauckas, Ramos faces up to 15 years to life in prison if convicted. Cicinelli?a former Los Angeles Police Department officer who left the agency on disability after losing an eye in a South Los Angeles shooting?faces up to four years in prison.

Rackauckas said the charges were needed to maintain public trust in the police department.

"We must do everything that we can to ensure that we protect this trust, including if necessary, prosecuting police officers who violate the law,'' the district attorney said. "... The biggest shame about this case is that it didn't have to happen. It could have been avoided. It never should have happened.''

He noted that Ramos threatened Thomas during the arrest, put on latex gloves and told the man he was going to beat him.

"By making this declaration of violence ... Ramos instilled in that victim fear, a reasonable fear for his life, that he was in danger and he was in danger by a police officer who wanted to `f' him up with his fists,'' Rackauckas said.

Thomas' father, Ron Thomas, and his attorney Garo Mardirossian met with Rackauckas after the announcement and praised the decision to file charges.

"I thanked him a lot,'' Thomas said. "He's really adamant about pursuing justice. ... He's extremely serious about prosecuting these men to the fullest extent. ... I think it's very, very good what he's done.''

Thomas acknowledged that he feared the prosecutor would not file charges against any of the officers.

"We came in here expecting the worst and got the best,'' Thomas said.

Thomas added that Rackauckas assured him there would be no plea bargains.

"Tony Rackauckas made it clear this murder charge will not be reduced. He will not negotiate this,'' Thomas said.

According to Rackauckas, Ramos?who knew Thomas from previous contacts?and Officer Joseph Wolfe were the first to arrive at the transportation center shortly after 8:30 p.m. July 5. They contacted Thomas, and while Wolfe walked toward his patrol car to look through Thomas' backpack, Ramos began barking orders at the homeless man.

Suffering from obvious mental difficulties, Thomas had trouble following the officer's orders, and Ramos became increasingly aggressive, the district attorney said. The officer ordered Thomas to sit on the ground with his legs outstretched and his hands on his knees, and when he failed to comply, Ramos put on the latex gloves in a "menacing'' maneuver, according to Rackauckas.

"Ramos leaned over Kelly Thomas in this most menacing way,'' Rackauckas said.

"He made two fists with his gloves on, two fists. He lifted his fists to Kelly Thomas in front of his face so he could see them, and he said, 'Now see my fists, they're getting ready to `f' you up.'

"That declaration was the turning point. That was the defining moment. Ramos was telling Kelly Thomas at that moment that this encounter had changed. That it went from a fairly routine police investigation, a fairly routine police detention, to an impending beating by an angry police officer.''

Rackauckas said Wolfe was still by his patrol car at the time, and was unaware of Ramos' actions, and ran back toward them only when Thomas had stood up and Ramos was swinging a baton at him. Wolfe helped detain Thomas, but "the evidence does not indicate that Officer Wolf had any knowledge that Officer Ramos was engaged in any unlawful police conduct.''

Four other officers eventually arrived on the scene in response to a call for help?Cicinelli, Sgt. Kevin Craig, Cpl. James Blatney and Officer Kenton Hampton.
In Portland cop violence became so bad the mayor took over the pol8ice department and fired the idiot woman who was chief. The whole city celebrated.

Cop Charged with Murder in Homeless Man's Death - Belmont Shore-Naples, CA Patch
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:07 PM  
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As I said before, if they are guilty, let 'em pay, but I just can't stand that slimy attorney and dad, who believe they have hit the lottery. Yes, I was a cop. I just can never understand why any cop would go so far with abuse to the point they kill the guy, lose their job, and be prosecuted. What was their motive?
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:08 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havasu
The attorney's for the homeless man's father is attempting to prosecute these guys on the public street, not the courthouse. I wonder if there is a reason for this?

Another question I have is why did this great father, who is so hopelessly lost without his beautiful son, help him when he really needed help? Why was he living on the street when dear old dad was in his beautiful house, and not providing for his mentally ill son?

If the cops did in fact violate the law, then they deserve what they get. On the other hand, so far we have only heard one version of what happened, and looking forward to the truth, not rumors or speculation.
You can't make someone, even a homeless person do something they don't want to do as long as they are not a threat to themselves or others. In my neighborhood there is a homeless guy whose family picked him up a couple of months ago. He stayed less then a week and went right back to the streets. What would you suggest, kidnapping and unlawful restraint?
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:12 PM  
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Has the initial reason for the contact with the homeless guy ever been made public? Did someone allege a crime? I'm just wondering because I have not heard why this contact occurred in the first place.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:42 PM  
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I say let em battle in court. I was unfortunate enough to witness a fatal police shooting and what I saw sure wasn't what they wrote in the papers and reported on the news. In fact, I was amazed at the restraint the cops diplayed. I'ld be the first one to say hang the mutha should they of not done this lawfully, but even cops are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, not the news media.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:42 PM  
mohel
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havasu View Post
Has the initial reason for the contact with the homeless guy ever been made public? Did someone allege a crime? I'm just wondering because I have not heard why this contact occurred in the first place.
you're still looking for a reason to excuse him solely because he's a cop. He's also the felon in this case.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:45 PM  
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Not true Blucher. As HiHood also stated, let the trial decide, not public perception.
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