Liveblog: The Orange County District Attorney's Kelly Thomas Hearing [Breaking: Two Officers Charged with Second and Third Degree Murder]

The Orange County District Attorney's office will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. PST to announce whether it will file charges against the six Fullerton police officers involved in Kelly Thomas's beating last July. KFI 640 will carry the press conference live. We'll be liveblogging it here starting in a few minutes. (Time stamps are EST, fyi)

2:01 p.m. Breaking: Officer Manuel Ramos Charged With Second Degree Murder in Death of Kelly Thomas. According to the AP, "Fullerton police Officer Manuel Ramos surrendered to authorities Wednesday and was being charged with second-degree murder." 

2:04 p.m. VoiceofOC tweets: Two #Fullerton police officers have been charged with the violent confrontation with Kelly Thomas.

2:05 p.m. Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas is speaking. "The public has been crying out for justice for Kelly Thomas." 

"We must do everything we can to protect this trust. Including, when necessary, prosecuting police officers who break the law." 

[Rackauckas's office has interviewed 151 people since July 7.]

I'm charging Officer Manuel Ramos with one felony account for second degree murder and one felony count of felony manslaughter. If convicted he could do 15 year or more in prison. 

Jay Cicinelli faces one felony count of manslaughter and one felony count of excessive force. Could face four years in prison. 

Ramos knew Kelly Thomas from prior contacts. He did not believe Kelly Thomas posed him any risk. Thomas was shirtless with a backpack wearing a pants with no obvious bulges. The officers did not think he needed to be patted down. While Ramos's partner went through Thomas's backpack, Ramos gave Thomas instructions. His instructions were to sit with his legs out with his hands on his knees. It would be obvious to any reasonable observer that Thomas had cognitive issues and had problems following Ramos's instructions. After several minutes, Ramos escalated the contact into a physical altercation. 

Ramos made a deliberate showing of putting on latex gloves in front of Kelly Thomas. He stood over Kelly Thomas and repeatedly said to put his hands on his knees. Thomas would put his hands back and fold his legs. Ramos stood over kelly thomas with a pair of latex gloves and he made a demonstration while he was standing over kelly thomas of putting on those gloves in a menacing manner. When he put the gloves on, he ordered Kelly Thomas, "put your hands on your f-ing knees." He leaned over Thomas in a menacing way. He made two fists. He put his fist in Thomas's face and said, "See my fists? They're getting ready to F you up." 

By making this declaration of violence against Kelly Thomas, Ramos instilled in that victim fear for his life. Fear of a police officer who wanted to F him up with his fists. Police officers have a right to force. But citizens have a right to self defense in the face of excessive force. Ramos took this contact from lawful use of detention to unlawful use of excessive force when he raised his fist. Ramos then grabbed Kelly Thomas by his arm. Thomas started taking steps away from Ramos. Then a baton came out. Kelly Thomas put his hands up, palms out, in a defensive positions. Palms open. Ramos yelled at Kelly Thomas, "Get on the ground." The other officer came running out from behind his car to assist with the arrest that officer Ramos was doing. The evidence does not indicate that Ramos' partner had any involvement in the exchange, or that he had any knowledge that Officer Ramos was engaged in unlawful police conduct. The physical altercation began as Officer Ramos swung his baton and chased Kelly Thomas. He punched Thomas in the ribs several times on the ground. He put his hand on Kelly Thomas' neck for leverage. He held him for other officers to use their force on Kelly Thomas. Wolf (Ramo's partner) kneed him and tackled him. Cicinelli arrived at the scene at 8:45 p.m. and kneed Kelly Thomas twice in the head. He used his taser four times on Thomas. 

Three of the times Cicinelli taser Kelly, he held the charge five seconds. The fourth time he tased him, he discharged darts, and shocked Thomas for approx 12 seconds. Cicinelli used the front of the taser to hit Kelly Thomas in the face eight times while Kelly Thomas was pinned to the ground with the weight of the other officers' bodies. There was no audible response from Kelly Thomas at this time. When Kelly Thomas didn't scream, it should have indicated to Cicinelli that Thomas was down. 

The evidence does not show that responding officers actually beating Thomas. 

Thomas' numerous please of "I'm sorry," "I can't breathe," "Help," "Dad," were all to no avail. Kelly Thomas not responding when the blows to his face occurred? No help. The growing pool of blood? No help. Ramos is charged with murder for creating this dangerous situation that placed KElly Thomas' life in jeopardy and for placing the responding officers in that situation. 

Ramos had to know he was creating a situation where Kelly Thomas would fear for his life. Ramos knew that the other officers would come to his aid and assist in applying force to Kelly Thomas. Ramos knew when he did that that Kelly Thomas was going to be hurt. Badly hurt.

The cause of death was mechanical suppression of the thorax. Kelly Thomas could not inhale. Over time his brain was deprived of oxygen. He went into a coma and died. That is the primary cause of death. 

It falls so fall short of professional police conduct. 

2:22 p.m. Reporter asks if more charges will be filed. Rackauckas says he doesn't think so. Ramos and Cicinelli will be arrained at 2 p.m. PST today. No trial team has been selected. Rackauckas will be lead prosecutor. 

KFI is no longer airing the presser, so I'll get y'all more as soon as I learn it. 

Reason.tv on the Kelly Thomas beating: 

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  • ||

    Just one charged?

    Still smells like a double standard to me.

    If a bunch of gangbangers kill someone in a drive-by shooting, does everyone except the triggerman walk?

  • ||

    Yeah. Wasn't there more than one cop involved? How does just one guy take the fall?

  • Tim||

    One has to rat on the other. Common tactic.

  • ||

    No. when you do that you indict them all and then offer a deal to the first one who talks.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, given the video and 151(!) witnesses, they really don't need anyone to come forward.

  • ||

    Which they apparently did. Two guys were charged.

  • Tim||

    Well there you go.

  • The Wine Commonsewer (TWC)||

    It's not good enough. If you drive the get away car following a bank robbery where someone is shot and killed by the robbers you will be charged with murder same as the guy who pulled the trigger. That is a fact and I have a client whose brother is doing life at San Quentin for just exactly that.

    The other three cops assisted in the murder and they should be charged with manslaughter. The other cop just watched. He should also be charged as an accessory.

  • Tman||

    Well done, Orange County district attorney's office.

    Our judicial system is clearly far from perfect, but sometimes we get it right and hopefully justice will be served. I wonder if the other officers will be held accountable as accomplices.

  • ||

    Uh, don't count your chickens before they're hatched. Let's see how vigorously the prosecution prosecutes, why kind of deals get cut, and so on.

  • ||

    Agreed on the skepticism, but... heck, I have to hand it to them for even taking it this far.

  • ||

    They've been dragged this far.

  • Apogee||

    ^This

  • Tman||

    True, this may turn in to a giant disaster for the DA's office, but considering what the situation was prior to this announcement this is a vast improvement.

    Didn't the Sheriffs office come out a few weeks ago and give the ole "nothing to see here, death by natural causes, no excessive force, etc"? That's what I mean by vast improvement.

  • The Wine Commonsewer (TWC)||

    Try to imagine how differently this would have gone if it were six Disneyland security guards who killed a homeless guy in the parking lot.

  • Coeus||

    You might be suprised. The Mouse has considerable pull.

  • anonymous ecnonomous||

    "See these fists? They're getting ready to fuck you up."

  • anonymous ecnonomous||

    Murder.

  • ||

    Yeah, to me that takes from second degree to first degree.

    And there were six cops involved in this killing. Why only two indictments?

    I repeat: if a car with six gangbangers does a drive-by, aren't all six charged?

    Still getting a whiff of double standard here. Still, baby steps, I guess.

  • Tman||

    As John said above they probably offered a deal to the first one who talked, and that's why they have all of this incriminating evidence now.

  • ||

    They indicted the ones who actually hit the guy. The others stood around and watched. Under your gang banger scenario, all six of the gang bangers went there with the intent of committing a crime that could forseeably result in a death. They are therefore all responsible for any deaths that occur. In this case, the other cops did not go there to commit a crime. They went there to do their jobs and these two clowns committed a crime. The other cops are therefore not guilty in the same way the gang bangers are. Now, you could say they are guilty because they didn't intervene. But that would be very dependent on the California laws regarding the duties of peace officers.

  • ||

    Under your gang banger scenario, all six of the gang bangers went there with the intent of committing a crime that could forseeably result in a death.

    You're assuming facts not in evidence. They could have gotten into the car with no knowledge that a shooting was in the offing.

    They went there to do their jobs and these two clowns committed a crime.

    Since they didn't arrest the two clowns who committed the crime, right in front of them, I question whether they were there to do their jobs.

  • ||

    Sure R.C. If the defense can show they didn't know that their other gang bangers intended to commit a crime, then no they are not responsible. As a prosecutor, I am going to have to prove that the other people in the car knew or should have known that a crime was going to be committed. That is the whole point. You have to show that to indict the cops as well. And that is going to be nearly impossible.

  • ||

    I'm not saying they wouldn't have a defense, and might not even get off.

    I'm saying I think they would damn sure be indicted. For something.

    Not walking around, free as little birds.

    The failure to indict Cuccinelli for murder? Double standard.

    The failure to indict any of the other four for anything at all? Double standard.

  • ||

    Sorry but I can't agree. You shouldn't indict anyone unless you are dead certain they are guilty. And when DAs do that just because they don't like the defendant they are wrong. And they would be wrong in this case.

  • Apogee||

    You shouldn't indict anyone unless you are dead certain they are guilty.

    Then lets see the police reports. Unless they've been altered, they should show exactly what transpired, along with the observations from the incident of the other non-indicted officers.

    The amount of time the department took to get this story straight is the suspicious behavior, and is indicative that they were going to have to 'sacrifice' somebody.

    Hell the DA even admits it in his comment to the media "The public has been crying out for justice...We must do everything we can to protect this trust."

    This is one of the institutional problems with the current justice system, and it needs to be addressed. That there is no other avenue for the other officers to relate the occurrences of the beating than 'official channels' means that every time this occurs, it will take massive amounts of public pressure to get a charge against the government.

    Sorry, but I'm not impressed at all.

    The Fullerton city council, along with Fullerton PD, should be completely disbanded.

  • R||

    You shouldn't indict anyone unless you are dead certain they are guilty.

    Funny how prosecutors never follow that standard unless police are involved.

    Using R C Dean's scenario, you can bet your ass that everyone in the gangbanger's car would have been charged, whether the prosecutor could have established intent or not. Probably even if they knew they didn't get in the car with an intent to commit a crime.

    But because the police are involved, they are far more careful about choosing who to prosecute.

  • ||

    Get them for atleast failure to render aid or ahbetting the crime. Did they restrain Ramos or check on Thomas at all? No, well that's atleast neglecting their duty. The public doesn't pay them to protect each other, we pay them to protect us. Fire their asses at the very least.

  • Lord Humungus||

    ^^ this

  • ||

    Yes, at the very, very least... fire them. Isn't enough that they got away with participating / abetting a murder? Do they really have to kick and scream about being fired. Doesn't that seem a bit churlish?

    But someone will whine about unions and contracts.

    Here's my idea... the next union contract is negotiated by a panel of citizens who have had loved ones murdered by cops that went unpunished beyond a paid vacation.

  • Apogee||

    Here's my idea. Disband the department and contract with another LE entity, but make sure that new entity understands that sovereign immunity must be determined by a citizen panel before it can be awarded.

  • Coeus||

    The others stood around and watched.

    Which apparently makes them the "good cops".

  • silent v||

    First degree requires some pre-meditation, doesn't it? I don't think threatening someone moments before killing them is pre enough to go from second to first.

  • ||

    You'd be surprised how little pre it takes.

  • emerson||

    R C Dean has it right. In practice, prosecutors and juries don't usually need to hear much to be persuaded that there has been premeditation.

  • ||

    California allows charge enhancement with predicate acts.

    All murder which is perpetrated by means of a destructive
    device or explosive, a weapon of mass destruction, knowing use of
    ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor, poison,
    lying in wait, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate,
    and premeditated killing, or which is committed in the perpetration
    of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, rape, carjacking, robbery,
    burglary, mayhem, kidnapping, train wrecking, or any act punishable
    under Section 206, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, or any murder which is
    perpetrated by means of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle,
    intentionally at another person outside of the vehicle with the
    intent to inflict death, is murder of the first degree. All other
    kinds of murders are of the second degree.

    ...

    To prove the killing was "deliberate and premeditated," it shall
    not be necessary to prove the defendant maturely and meaningfully
    reflected upon the gravity of his or her act.


    -

    California Penal Code Section 205

    A person is guilty of aggravated mayhem when he or she
    unlawfully, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to
    the physical or psychological well-being of another person,
    intentionally causes permanent disability or disfigurement of another
    human being or deprives a human being of a limb, organ, or member of
    his or her body. For purposes of this section, it is not necessary
    to prove an intent to kill. Aggravated mayhem is a felony punishable
    by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of
    parole.
  • ||

    And I see a case for a 206 violation as well.

    California Penal Code Section 206

    Every person who, with the intent to cause cruel or extreme
    pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion,
    or for any sadistic purpose, inflicts great bodily injury as defined
    in Section 12022.7 upon the person of another, is guilty of torture.

    The crime of torture does not require any proof that the victim
    suffered pain.

    -

    California Penal Code Section 12022.7

    (b) Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on any
    person other than an accomplice in the commission of a felony or
    attempted felony which causes the victim to become comatose due to brain injury or to suffer paralysis of a permanent nature, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for five years. As used in this subdivision, "paralysis" means a major or complete loss of motor function resulting from injury to the nervous system or to a muscular mechanism.
  • ||

    It requires a premeditated and deliberate intent to kill. That, I suspect, is why we have a M2 rather than an M1 charge: proving intent to kill on these facts would be hugely problematic.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Exactly.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    First degree requires some pre-meditation, doesn't it? I don't think threatening someone moments before killing them is pre enough to go from second to first.

    In fact, in general, it is.

    There is a concept known as "instantaneous premeditation." "Premeditation" does not require you to ruminate at length, analyzing the options, pros and cons, and then finally conclude, "OK, I'm going to kill him."

    It simply is a change of your state of mind from recklessness to intentional. Very generally, Second Degree murder is wanton and reckless - you acted with wanton and reckless disregard as to the outcome of your actions. The law school hypothetical used is shooting into an occupied building or vehicle, where the shooter's intent was simply to shoot at the place, not to kill any particular person.

    Now, maybe this guy was preparing to use excessive force to "discipline" this "wayward civilian" and "teach him a lesson," but had no intent of any kind to kill him. Still, he acted with wanton and reckless disregard as to whether his serious shit-kicking of this guy might terminate his life. That doesn't mean his intent was to end his life.

    It is possible, however, for a person's intent to change instantaneously - at some point, the intent to kick the guy's ass might become an intent to kill the son of a bitch.

    The problem is, murder defendants rarely come out and say, "oh yeah, I was trying to kill him." So the court has to infer what the person's state of mind was, based on the objective evidence.

    They probably would be overreaching here if they went for First Degree murder, because of insufficient evidence to prove the required intent.

    Pretty much what happened with Casey Anthony - she was found not guilty because the prosecutors got overly cocky and tried to nail her with First Degree murder. They should have gone for reckless or criminally negligent homicide, rather than intentional killing.

  • Dave||

    Ah, but there's another theory for murder 1: the Felony Murder Rule. A cop acting in his official capacity, beating the shit out of a citizen would (or should) be a 42 USC 1983 violation, a felony. Commission of felony + resultant death = murder 1, baby.

    Not that the prosecutor will have the balls to do it, of course.

  • JD||

    42 USC §1983 provides a civil remedy, not a criminal remedy AFAIK. DOJ probably could prosecute them for civil rights violations under another statute, like they did the cops involved in the Danzinger Bridge shooting after Hurricane Katrina.

  • Antonin Scalia||

    It falls so fall short of professional police conduct.

    I'm cool with it!

  • Kristen||

    I just can't whine or bitch about this - it is awesome news. The wheels of justice are in motion, and for today, that works for me.

  • ||

    Yeah, but they are the rear wheels from one of those plastic Big Wheels.

  • KPD||

    Well done DA....let justice be served!!! So sorry for the Thomas family.

  • ||

    The evidence does not indicate that Ramos' partner had any involvement in the exchange, or that he had any knowledge that Officer Ramos was engaged in unlawful police conduct.

    Other than the evidence of his fucking eyes that his murderous partner was about to go to work with a baton on a citizen. Apparently, a citizen that was well-known to the officers as not being a threat.

    He held him for other officers to use their force on Kelly Thomas.

    And those other officers, who were beating a man who was being restrained by one of their fellows, they were not indicted why, exactly?

  • ||

    A more careful reading indicates that the only two cops who actually hit him were charged.

    So there's that.

    I still think the other four should have been charged as accessories, if nothing else.

    They were associates of the killers, and they stood there and watched their associates kill someone.

    If they weren't LEOs, they'd be charged. That's my point.

  • ||

    To string out my analogy to the gangbangers.

    A couple of gangbangers are on their way to the corner store on a totally innocent errand.

    They see a rival gang member, and decide to fuck him up. They call one of their buddies, who says he'll be right over.

    Their buddy arrives part way through the beating with three other gang members. These four stand and watch the beating.

    No charges for those four? I seriously doubt it.

  • ||

    RC you are changing the facts. In your scenario the third gang bangers knows his friends are committing a crime and goes there specifically to participate. If you can show me that the two cops who are indicted got on the radio and told the other cops they planned to beat up a homeless guy and the others should come watch, then yes the others can be indicted.

    But that doesn't appear to be the case here at all. The others showed up as backup to what they thought was a legal arrest. Now, once they got there they saw the crime being committed and did nothing. That may or may not be a crime. In some states peace officers have an affirmative duty to intervene in a crime. In other states they don't. If they don't have a legal duty to intervene and stop the crime, they are not guilty of the crime. And there is no evidence here they were accessories.

  • ||

    There's something to that, John. I'm not a criminal lawyer.

    Maybe when groups of gangbangers do crimes, the DA carefully parses exactly what happens, and any of them who were present but didn't actively participate in particular illegal acts are politely allowed to walk. I honestly couldn't say.

    But I'd be surprised if it worked that way.

  • ||

    They probably don't. And they are wrong not too. I am living in theoretical world here not real world. In the real world they indict everyone and then take deals. And that sucks.

  • ||

    See, John? We agree there's a double standard at work here. Hug it out, big fella.

    Also, note below re felony murder in CA.

  • Mensan||

    "A more careful reading indicates that the only two cops who actually hit him were charged."

    No, it says that three cops beat him, and only two were charged.

    The physical altercation began as Officer Ramos swung his baton and chased Kelly Thomas. He punched Thomas in the ribs several times on the ground. He put his hand on Kelly Thomas' neck for leverage. He held him for other officers to use their force on Kelly Thomas. Wolf (Ramo's partner) kneed him and tackled him. Cicinelli arrived at the scene at 8:45 p.m. and kneed Kelly Thomas twice in the head. He used his taser four times on Thomas.

    Since, Wolf wasn't charged, and the other two were, and these events occured before the other officers arrived, I would suspect Officer Wolf provided this account. I wouldn't be surprised if he took a deal in exchange for testimony.

  • KPD||

    This is such a horrible case. I think all officers that were there and didn't intervene should be held accountable for the death of Kelly Thomas equally. Time after time you will hear similar stories like this and it is just wrong that some officers think they can get away with such horrible crimes....who really is behind enforcing the law?!?!? Scary right? Once again I keep thinking about the Thomas family and my prayers go out to you. I hope justice will be served or should I say it better be served, please DA and your team put these guys away!!!!!

  • Fluffy||

    I think the reason there are only two indictments is because if you as a cop come running up on another cop beating someone to death, you're allowed to join in if you did not directly witness the illegal police conduct that began the altercation.

    I guess you're just allowed to assume that the guy you're beating to death deserved it, or he wouldn't be there.

    I'm being a little flippant about it, but I guess there is actually a tiny little bit of merit to that. If a crooked cop radios me and says that he's being shot at and I drive to his location and shoot someone because I think a firefight is going on, I don't become a murderer if it turns out that the crooked cop lied and there never was a shootout. I'm entitled to believe him. Right?

  • ||

    Yes. And also you are not a co-conspirator with him because you went there to do your job not commit a crime. It is all fact dependent. If the guy is obviously incapacitated and not a threat and they are still beating him, you don't have a right to assume he deserves it and join in. You have to use your judgment regarding the use of force. I am not familiar enough with this case. Were there cops who joined in the beating but were not charged? If so, that seems wrong.

  • ||

    There's a tiny problem with every ounce of force beyond that necessary to subdue a suspect being illegal.

    So, just because you didn't see the first blow, when the beating goes on and on, when the victim doesn't respond to blows to the face and is lying in pool of blood, you lose your ability to say you didn't know there was anything wrong with it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I think there's a duty to pull your colleague off the guy he just effectively murdered.

  • ||

    Also, I can't think of a single combat technique to restrain someone that uses blows to the face.

  • Mensan||

    Well, in the Army they didn't really teach us about restraining someone, but I can think of several combat techniques to kill someone that use blows to the face.

  • ||

    ^^THIS^^

  • ||

    The Orange County District Attorney's office will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. PST to announce whether it will file charges against the six Fullerton police officers

    The suspense.

    It's killing me.

    Is there such a thing as "dereliction of duty" for cops? Any officer who did not intervene is guilty of nothing less.

  • ||

    At the very least, that makes them unfit officers of the law and they deserve to be fired.

  • ||

    Baby steps are still steps.

  • Warty||

    Well shit, I didn't expect that.

  • ||

    Like I said above, we need to wait and see if 1) they cut some deal that drastically reduces the sentence, but lets them claim they punished them, or 2) if the prosecutor goes into court and just totally softballs it.

    When the prosecutor starts going after these guys with a vengeance, then I'll say "I didn't expect that".

  • Coeus||

    Even if he doesn't softball it, most damn juries think cops can do no wrong.

  • ||

    In a similar set of circumstances, if a cop had crashed his car and died of his injuries while rushing to provide "back-up" the DA would file first-degree murder charges against the "unco-operative" suspect.

    So total equality before the law has been maintained.

  • Columbia||

    Happened in Illinois. State trooper travels at 126 mph, crosses the middle and kills two sisters to provide backup to a secured scene. He got a plea deal, probation, and workers comp.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/l.....12e6b.html

  • Amakudari||

    Actually, he didn't get the workers comp part, and they passed a law that employees injured during the commission of a crime could not even be considered for workers comp.

    On the other hand, he did get around $130,000 in salary while the case was pending.

  • Koan||

    The best way to sum up my thoughts on this matter: I was hoping for more, but expected less. 15 years, and that's if he's convicted . . . what are the chances? And what are the chances that he serves even half of those 15 years if he's convicted? The best we can hope for? Conviction, followed by jail time sufficient enough for him to be exposed to some serious ass-beatings . . . hopefully fatal. I expect the manslaughter conviction, no more than 5 years, with maybe 2 years total behind bars.

  • ||

    That is probably a good guess. If I were his attorney, I would offer a plea deal. Get the time down to less than ten years. He will probably get around five and be out within three. Of course he will be convicted felon with absolutely no employment prospects. And his time jail will be done in protective custody with mob rats and child molesters. Not enough true, but no picnic either.

  • ||

    Jay Cicinelli faces one felony count of manslaughter and one felony count of accessive force. Could face four years in prison.

    Excessive?

  • ||

    Naw. Four years sounds a little light, to me.

  • ||

    That is what I was thinking. 4 years for killing a man. Not bad at all. In Arizona, you get 10 years for selling meth to consenting adults.

    He will end up doing less that two. I said in a prior thread that nothing was gonna happen to these cocksuckers. Until someone enters a jail or a prison, I stand beside that call.

  • ||

    No, I was correcting "accessive". I believe the word Riggs intended to use was "excessive."

  • ||

    Prediction: Not Guilty verdict.

  • TRTB||

    Not so sure about that. "Angry cop beats mentally handicapped man to death" might just play very differently with a jury than "admitted pot smoker shoots innocent cop just for breaking down his door". I'm not betting against conviction at this point.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    What about "group of angry cops beats the shit out of a man on camera" (a la Rodney King) and all of them got off (in the same state nonetheless) says to you that these two will be convicted?

  • ||

    Rodney King had just led them on a high-speed chase that involved helicopters and stuff. That, along with certain other factors that need not be named, probably bolstered the cops' case in front of the jury. Not saying it's right - I think those guys should be in prison to this day - but the two cases differ fundamentally, at least in the eyes of a jury being sweet-talked by a skilled attorney.

  • ||

    I hope you are all right. But defense attorneys have done magical things with the "a cop's job is tough and dangerous enough without people following their commands instantly," meme.

  • ||

    A California jury put in Mehserle behind bars, and his deal was, IIRC, criminal negligence. The Kelly Thomas case rises way above that. I think convictions on 2M and manslaughter are likely.

  • fish||

    I'm not sure that a prosecutor will have any latitude to not show all of the video that was shot. Think of the horror the jury will feel when they see that!

  • ||

    Is there video of the crime that still hasn't been released publicly?

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    What in the world makes you say that?

    A DA's decisions are effectively beyond review by anybody, ever.

    If a hypothetical DA decides to softpedal some hypothetical case there is nothing that can be done about it beyond hypothetically trying to hamstring his hypothetical political career (which might well simply mean he'll be made a judge, hypothetically).

  • Annie Ahnmuaz||

    Cicinelli is not facing murder charges? Fucking bullshit.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If the others aren't being charged, at least tell me they won't be wearing a badge again.

  • ||

    excellent. the evidence supports it, and they are charged.

    no rush to judgment...

    "he best we can hope for? Conviction, followed by jail time sufficient enough for him to be exposed to some serious ass-beatings . . . hopefully fatal"

    ah yes. the anti-rule of law anti-cop bigots supporting extra-judicial punishment. how typical

  • Annie Ahnmuaz||

    It's your camp that uses the threat of prison rape to keep the serfs in line, Dunphy.

    In short, go fuck yourself.

  • ||

    ah yes, "my camp". the collective punishment, collective ideology libertarians speak out.

  • tarran||

    wow!

    dunphy, you're projecting like crazy. take a few deep breaths, man.

    hth

  • ClintJCL||

    Real threats are not ideology, they are reality. I've had a gun pointed at me for trying to ask directions, had a friend beaten as a minor, had another friend have cops lie against him in court, have had a cop give me tickets for not having paperwork that I showed him.

    I've also had cops save my ass.

    My opinion? Still negative. Anyone at any time can have their lives ruined even if innocent. Doing their job and saving a few asses like mine doesn't make up for it.

  • Coeus||

    ah yes, "my camp". the collective punishment, collective ideology libertarians speak out.

    Your rantings about "cop-o-crats" for merely enforcing the law would seem to indicate that you are very much go-go, rah-rah team black and blue.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I've never heard dunphy advocate prison rape, though.

  • Coeus||

    True enough, I just like bringing up his hypocrisy on that issue at every opportunity.

    An apt comparison would be: if you loyally defend the Democrats on every issue, you don't get to bitch about someone using "social justice" when it serves them.

  • sarcasmic||

    More like the rule of law advocates who understand that when a law gives a member of the government the power to commit acts that would be criminal if committed by a citizen, that that law is unjust.
    And when the justice system fails to deliver because the law is unjust, that the people have a duty to take justice into their own hands.

  • ||

    the law gives them no such power. they committed a crime (apparently) and they have been charged.

    spare me the crap. the justice system fails to deliver all the fucking time. see: OJ Part I for instance.

    that's reality.

  • Koan||

    Yes, they've been charged. So what? My original point was that past experience demonstrates that, especially in a post 9/11 world where wearing a badge = super hero, that the chances of conviction with maximum jail time is practically nil. That's unjust. So, to echo sarcasmic . . .
    He deserves MORE than what is coming to him, and it will be justice if he gets it.

  • ||

    shorter dunphy

    the justice system (which is highly biased in law enforcements favor) will determine the guilt or innocence based on the evidence the cops managed not to hide. any conclusion reached outside this system is just crazy people talking jibberish.

    sound about right?

  • Fluffy||

    If it wasn't for the photo and video they would never have been charged.

    The party line up and down the chain of command was initially "Nothing to see here, move along" when this first occurred.

  • robc||

    Can we charge anyone who made a comment like that will a civil rights violation?

  • sarcasmic||

    Photo and video weren't enough. The father had to be persistent as well.
    Remember that the media gave him an initial brush off just like the cops.

  • sarcasmic||

    "the law gives them no such power."

    The law gives you the power to take peoples' property (stealing if done by a citizen) and initiate violence against them (assault if done by a citizen) when they have done nothing to you or another citizen.
    You know, victimless crime. Crimes against The State. Unjust laws.
    The only difference between you and a common thug is that there is nobody to ask for help when you take people's shit and beat them into submission.
    I wouldn't hate cops so much if you guys didn't appear take so much smug enjoyment out of intimidating people into submitting to violations that would be criminal if done by a mere citizen.

  • sarcasmic||

    "the law gives them no such power."

    The law gives you the power to take peoples' property (stealing if done by a citizen) and initiate violence against them (assault if done by a citizen) when they have done nothing to you or another citizen.
    You know, victimless crime. Crimes against The State. Unjust laws.
    The only difference between you and a common thug is that there is nobody to ask for help when you take people's shit and beat them into submission.
    I wouldn't hate cops so much if you guys didn't appear take so much smug enjoyment out of intimidating people into submitting to violations that would be criminal if done by a mere citizen.

  • sarcasmic||

    "the law gives them no such power."

    The law gives you the power to take peoples' property (stealing if done by a citizen) and initiate violence against them (assault if done by a citizen) when they have done nothing to you or another citizen.
    You know, victimless crime. Crimes against The State. Unjust laws.
    The only difference between you and a common thug is that there is nobody to ask for help when you take people's shit and beat them into submission.
    I wouldn't hate cops so much if you guys didn't appear take so much smug enjoyment out of intimidating people into submitting to violations that would be criminal if done by a mere citizen.

  • sarcasmic||

    "the law gives them no such power."

    The law gives you the power to take peoples' property (stealing if done by a citizen) and initiate violence against them (assault if done by a citizen) when they have done nothing to you or another citizen.
    You know, victimless crime. Crimes against The State. Unjust laws.
    The only difference between you and a common thug is that there is nobody to ask for help when you take people's shit and beat them into submission.
    I wouldn't hate cops so much if you guys didn't appear take so much smug enjoyment out of intimidating people into submitting to violations that would be criminal if done by a mere citizen.

  • Lord Humungus||

    squirrels aside, this brings up a good point. The problem with city police departments is they aren't (particularly) answerable to voters.

    On the other hand, a sheriff is since he has to be voted into office. If he fuqs up bad, he may lose the next election.

    I won't go into full details here - but there has to be a better system for policing the police than we currently have.

  • Mensan||

    "... initiate violence against them (assault if done by a citizen) ..."

    Not assault, battery.

  • sarcasmic||

    fucking squirrels

  • Koan||

    Thank you for that response to dunphy's bullshit . . . I was about to say pretty much the same thing, but I couldn't have said it better myself.

  • ||

    well, if there was a basis in reality, it might be nice.

  • OO========D||

    ^^MALL COP ALERT^^

  • Koan||

    Hey asswipe, I am actually pro-cop . . . when they're not breaking the law. And that makes me pro rule of law. Except in cases where justice - the most critical component of the law - is unquestionably NOT served. Justice severed from the law is still justice, whereas law severed from justice is inherently unjust. Get it? What is more important? Justice, or the law?

  • robc||

    you pick out that comment to quote?

    How about those calling for the other 4 cops to be charged and/or fired. No comments on that?

  • ||

    i picked out the comment of a typical anti-rule of law anti-cop bigot. wow. how surprising.

  • robc||

    That isnt typical, that is the most extreme comment on the thread.

  • tarran||

    dunphy, seriously, you're projecting! and making a big ass of yourself. step away from the keyboard before it's too late and go frolic with some butterflies.

    hth

  • Koan||

    Hey asswipe, I am actually pro-cop . . . when they're not breaking the law. And that makes me pro rule of law. Except in cases where justice - the most critical component of the law - is unquestionably NOT served. Justice severed from the law is still justice, whereas law severed from justice is inherently unjust. Get it? What is more important? Justice, or the law?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But it's not typical of commenters here. Most seem to simply want consequences for bad acts. Most distrust government and believe agents of the state using state authority given to them to deprive citizens of liberty is particularly odious as it smacks of tyranny, something America cannot abide.

    And, frankly, you should pine for public trust. It would make your job easier.

  • ||

    ""excellent. the evidence supports it, and they are charged.""

    But only because the Dad made a stand, not because the DA's office was on the ball.

    I'm not impressed.

  • OO========D||

    SHUT THE FUCK UP, MALL COP.

  • Gojira||

    Who was the other officer charged?

    I think I'm developing a liberals racist mind. When they said the one guy going in for murder out of all of those dudes was the one with a Hispanic name, I immediately thought, "Well boys, we're not going to be able to get out of this one, so let's minimize the damage and throw a spic under the bus. Maybe at least people will turn on him for not being fully white."

  • Gojira||

    Somebody else just answered this, Cicinelli is in fact being charged with a lesser crime. Color me satisfied, for the time being.

  • ||

    Oh, so now it's ok to throw the spics and the guineas under the bus?

    You sicken me, you racist radioactive reptile.

  • Gojira||

    The guineas don't tend to all my home improvement and landscaping competently and at a competitive price, and provide me with dee-lisious food daily, because they're all just lazy mobsters. I have a vested interest in keeping the latino population in the public's good graces.

  • ||

    You don't like Italian food? What, are you Russell Crowe in Romper Stomper?

  • dogpoke||

    OT:

    That Jaimie Kennedy movie where he thinks he's black and speak ebonics and what not?

    FUNNIEST. MOVIE. EVAR.

  • OO========D||

    "FUNNIEST. MOVIE. EVAR."

    Nope. Pootie Tang

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258038/

  • Gojira||

    Eh, Italian is alright, but I much prefer Mexican & Central American if given the choice.

    Malaysian is great, also, if you want something Thai-ish but don't want to look like a hipster tool and talk about how much you love Thai.

  • Gojira||

    Oh, and I should also point out that here in Dallas, there are only a few really good Italian places. The vast majority are Olive Garden types.

    In contrast, there are a shit-ton (that's a standard shit-ton, not a metric shit-ton, mind you) of excellent Hispanic places. So there's a sample bias involved.

  • T||

    Houston is even worse. I can think of maybe three good Italian places in town, but you can't throw a rock without hitting a Tex-Mex place that's pretty good.

  • ||

    Actually, Jim, if you're ever in Garland, there's a halfway descent place called A Taste of Italy. I forget the cross streets, but it wasn't bad when I went there a few years ago. There's also a pretty badass pizza joint in the Shops at Legacy. Not fancy, just a good pizza joint.

  • Ice Nine||

    Yeah, that seems to be a much more likely reason than, say maybe, he was the one who did the beating.

  • Gojira||

    Eh, I wouldn't put anything past anybody. But yeah, I know; that's why I was poking fun at myself and saying I thought I was developing the racist mind of a liberal, where everything that happens to anyone is seen through the prism of race. I was shocked to find that being my first thought *smacks self*.

  • ||

    I predict a prolonged period of legal maneuvering until the fires die down, culminated in a plea agreement and "time served".

    The DA will say, "This was the best we could do; justice has been served."

  • ||

    and much like the predictions that "they will never be charged" well...

    fwiw, far more criminal charges of ANYBODY (cops or anybody else) end in a plea agreement than a trial.

    that's simply a fact.

  • ||

    methinks a plea agreement for somebody that did this to a cop would end just slightly differently than a plea agreement of a cop doing this to someone.

    Such as Life in prison compared with parole for time served during trial.

  • ||

    again, we can devolve into the inevitable reasonoid response on every such thread "but the cops get special treatment and it's so unfair waaaah", but that's been done. i'd rather discuss this case, then the endless meta-wanking

  • ||

    Its good that you acknowledge the disparity, sad that you think its not worth discussing.

  • tarran||

    Yes, the system 'worked' after public outcry shamed the prosecutor int overriding the chief of police.

    yaaay!

  • ||

    he didn't override jack shit. the chief of police doesn't MAKE charging decisions.

    duh

  • tarran||

    If the chief of police isn't having his men refer an incident to the courts, then there aren't going to be charges, are there?

    There are two ways - that I know of - that a criminal prosecution starts. One is with a Grand Jury returning an indictment. The other occurs when the police refer evidence of a crime to the courts.

    An irrationally combative mentally-ill homeless guy who dies from mechanical asphyxiation while resisting arrest in a fight that left two police officers injured, and there will be nothing more than a pro-forma investigation.

    You know it, and I know it.

    When you pretend otherwise, it fools no one and makes you look like an apologist for totalitarianism. You really should stop if you care about your reputation.

    HTH

  • Pudgeboy||

    He's not honest, best to ignore him.

  • ||

    He does care about his reputation. That's why he is living up to it so well on this thread.

    Fucking jackboot piece of fucking shit needs to DIAF.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    2/3 weren't charged.

  • OO========D||

    ^^MALL COP ALERT^^

  • tarran||

    Och aye, he nae be a truw coco!

  • ||

    Don't forget that no matter how this turns out the feds can also charge and try them for the same crime.

    Because the USA and the State of California are both sovereign entities this is not double jeopardy. Ah, rule of law...

  • ||

    The feds have to charge them for civil rights violations. They can't charge them for straight up murder.

  • ||

    Yeah, that's what I meant. Not a lawyer and posting for speed not precision.

  • sarcasmic||

    That was the first time I've had a comment deleted. Nice.

    "They" often say that when someone is caught in a crime, that they've done it many times and this was just the time they got caught.

    I'd bet that while this may be the first time these cops have beaten someone to death, it's probably not the first time they've beaten someone to the point where they're lying in a pool of blood.

    This is just the time where someone was persistent and had means to get the beating to the press and stir public outrage.

    I hope these psychopaths get everything that's coming to them.

  • ||

    Because cheerleading for them to be raped or killed in prison by other inmates undermines our cause.

  • spencer||

    Maybe when he goes to prison, his cell mate will show the cop his cock and say, "see this cock? It's getting ready to fuck you up."

    Then, the cop will realize the horrible double punishment being sent to prison is (where you are essentially sentenced to forced rape for the crimes you committed) and how no one will care.

  • ||

    he won't be a cop. he will be a piece of shit murderer.

    he will be a piece of shit murderer that was once a cop

  • tarran||

    Och aye, he nae be a truw coco!

  • OO========D||

    ^^MALL COP ALERT^^

  • Ray||

    "Thomas' numerous please of "I'm sorry," "I can't breathe," "Help," "Dad," were all to no avail."

    I'm a grown man, but this almost made me cry. So fucking sad.

  • hamilton||

    Agree. I teared up reading this, and cannot bring myself to watch any of the related videos. Monstrous.

  • Lord Humungus||

    me too.

  • Sparky||

    Don't watch the video then. It's worse, so much worse.

  • Pudgeboy||

    ...it really is... I couldn't shake it for days

  • TRTB||

    Yeah, that was tough to even read.

  • steve||

    god help the cop who ever causes my son to cry out for me like that...

  • Gojira||

    OT:

    Man wins a jar of sour cream in a dumpling-eating contest, then promptly dies.

    http://news.yahoo.com/man-wins.....30490.html

  • Warty||

    A Phyrric victory indeed.

  • Gojira||

    At least he died happy, with honor, as a hero and a winner, with a new jar of sour cream, to boot.

  • Warty||

    Why are they calling pierogis dumplings, anyway? Dumplings are for chinamen.

  • Gojira||

    I guess could pierogis be considered a sub-category of dumplings? Like, all pierogis are dumplings, but not all dumplings are pierogis sort of thing?

  • anon||

    Wouldn't the logical conclusion be that a person can't be tried anywhere simply because of the readily available press to everyone in the entire world then?

    I just don't see how you can try to remove a predisposition towards adhering to morals.

  • Annie Ahnmuaz||

    VENN FUCKING DIAGRAM. NOW.

  • Warty||

    Some sort of tree diagram is more appropriate here, I think.

  • ||

    If gnocchi are considered dumplings, then pierogis definitely are.

  • Ska||

    I really hate when gnocchi are subtitled with (potato dumplings). That just really bothers me.

    Of course all that quality Asian marketing is to blame for making it appear that dumplings must be filled with some kind of other second substance.

  • Warty||

    Pierogis are dumplings, and gnocchi are dumplings, but only Chinese dumplings and some hillbilly forms of dumplings are called dumplings.

    I hope this has been helpful.

  • Lord Humungus||

    wait, wut?

  • OO========D||

    e.g., chicken and dumplings

  • Mensan||

    Why is every on talking about pierogis when the article is talking about varenyky? I know they're similar (i.e. they're both dumplings), but they're not the same thing.

    BTW, I used to work with a Ukrainian guy who would bring in veranyky that his wife would make that were filled with raspberries and coated with powdered sugar. They were pretty awesome.

  • Warty||

    Pollacks are Pollacks, and pierogis are pierogis.

  • michael||

    I wonder where the defense will ask to have the trial moved to.

    "Your honor, the community of Fullerton is totally pissed that my client beat this man to death."

  • anon||

    When did this trend get started anyways? Shouldn't it always be the person's own community that tries the accused, since the crime happened to/in that community?

  • ||

    it started decades ago. in brief, when the media "tries the case in the press" as is the accusation, the argument is they can't get a 'fair trial'

    it doesn't happen in the vast majority of cases, because the vast majority of cases are mundane and get nary a mention in the press

    for example, it happened in the scott peterson case. he still got found guilty.

  • OO========D||

    ^^MALL COP ALERT^^^

  • ||

    I blame Nancy Grace.

  • tarran||

    It's done, rightly, in cases where an impartial jury cannot be impaneled in a location.

    Take the Boxboro 6. The passions of the locals were so inflamed that there was very little likelihood of getting a jury free of people determined to ensure the niggers paid for their brutal assault on white womanhood.

    People who are emotionally vested in a case make poor finders-of-fact and thus have no business being on a jury.

    That's the theory anyway. Like any system, the reality is often very different than the Platonic ideal.

  • Ice Nine||

    Here's a this-is-too-good-to-wait threadjack. It's amateur hour again - this time at the UN. My first impression was that this had sort of the look of a photoshop but the pitying look on the face of the female diplomat behind him suggests it's the real thing.

  • BakedPenguin||

    What? The Asian guy behind him just gave him grief about all the Hope 'n' Change he hasn't provided, and the guy felt the back of his hand for it.

  • Lord Humungus||

    RACIST!

  • ||

    Thread winning comment: He's not waving; he's practicing for his citizenship ceremony.

    I lolled.

  • ||

    For the record- I want to see these guys (all six of them) put in prison with the general population, with no special treatment, privileges or protection.

    Not because I want them to be beaten, or sodomized, or abused and dehumanized more than any other prisoner is abused and dehumanized; I want them to spend every day knowing they are no longer "more equal" than any of the other animals. And I want their friends and co-workers to know that, and conduct themselves accordingly.

  • ||

    That is what will happen. They won't let them get raped in prison. The prison guards will take care of other cops. They will spend their lives in segregation with the rats and child molesters. But, the prison guards are the biggest petty assholes on earth. They may not let them get raped. But they will absolutely let them know they are no special anymore. I wouldn't want to be them even if they are going to get off lightly.

  • ||

    ah yes, the special treatment canard. the same "special treatment" that all sorts of non-cop violators get.

  • Fluffy||

    Dunphy -

    The reason conditions in our prisons are what they are is because the good citizens of the nation can sleep soundly knowing that certain prisoners aren't actually subjected to those conditions.

    Frankly, the best thing we could do is have uniform conditions for all people sent to prison. Not minimum / medium / maximum security. No protective custody. ALL custody should be "protective". When you make a man a ward of the state, the state should have the obligation to take responsibility for that man's well-being.

    If ALL criminals were in the same boat, maybe conditions would improve.

  • ||

    Sure fluffy, square that with your objection to the death penalty. How do you deter prisoners who have no hope of getting out of prison from victimizing other prisoners? The only way I know of is to lock them up in increasingly horrible conditions.

    If we had a prison system where anyone who killed or raped another prisoner faced the death penalty, we would have a much more humane and just system.

  • tarran||

    John, we could get the deterrent effect with corporal punishment for prisoners.

    There's more in the toolbox than a slegehammer

  • ||

    That is actually not a bad idea. But people would have kittens over it. I would support corporal punishment in lieu of prison for some crimes. What good does it do to lock someone up where we have to pay to feed them and they can't work to make restitution to the victims?

  • robc||

    Stupid fucking racist slaveowning shitbags ruined the lash as a form of punishment.

  • Mensan||

    When I read corporal punishment my mind instantly went back to elementary school. I pictured the worst prisoners getting sent to the warden's office for a spanking with a wooden paddle.

  • ||

    And your comment sent my mind instantly to a all-girl porn movie...

  • ||

    If you start by not locking up non-violent offenders subject to the drug war, you have alot less "victims" in prison. And then prisons are less crowded, which allows the "perpetrators" the anonymity to continue their abuse as blatantly and would allow guards more flexibility in isolating the absolutely rotten perps.

    Ending the drug war would have so many benefits, its almost crazy to think that its still being prosecuted. But then again, we are a sick, sick nation right now that thinks there's safety in war and prosperity in oppression.

    1984just missed it by a generation and the ministries became czars.

  • ||

    That would certainly help. But even still there are lots of non violent people who need to be in prison. Thieves need to go to jail too. And regardless of the drug war, you are always going to have people who are too dangerous to ever be let out into society. Without a death penalty how do you deter these people from committing bad acts in prison? The way we do it now is to lock them up in increasingly horrible conditions or just let them victimize others. That is a pretty awful solution. Better would be to institute the death penalty for these people or maybe extreme corporal punishment.

  • ||

    There may be a handful of people in the world that are too dangerous to keep in prison for the rest of their lives, probably because they are twisted and genius, but most killers are just physically dangerous and not mentally. Those can be isolated from prison population as necessary. The majority of other violent offenders are not continuous threats and would be able to be monitored more closely with small prison populations.

    As for theives, fraudsters, con-men and other non-violent assholes, smaller prison populations mean they don't have to be housed with the violent rapists, murders and the like because there's room for them at the minimum security prisons.

  • ||

    There are more violent people in prison than you think. And isolating them is a pretty cruel punishment. Look at the conditions people live in in super max.

  • ||

    Listen John,

    I'm not saying it solves everything or that there's a perfect way to contain violent awful people without really awful punishment. All I'm saying is that we might be able to do better by reconsidering locking up the amount of people that we do.

  • ||

    I'm not saying it solves everything or that there's a perfect way to contain violent awful people without really awful punishment.

    The only way I know to contain them would be to superglue the doors shut once they get into their cruisers.

  • ||

    i think we pretty much all agree on this, LIT although i guess it bears repeating

  • ||

    Police truly concerned about the welfare of our society need to stand up against the wrongs of the system instead of excusing it "as part of their job".

    Just think:

    No more no-knock drug raids, no more cops shot through doors of scared home owners
    No more random drug stops, no more violence escalation or crooked cop shakedowns
    No more drug war, more local cooperation against violent drug dealers (and eventually eliminating violent drug dealers)

    Cops can go back to protecting people from violence, coercion, larceny and the like and be closer to their communities without the drug war. Bad cops won't have such a wide ability to blackmail citizens.

    No, it won't be perfect, but it will be a hell of alot better.

  • ||

    fluffy, i am the first to agree that (many) prison conditions suck and many are even de facto cruel and unusual.

    no argument there.

    understaffing btw doesn't just hurt prisoners. it hurts guards. hundreds of whom are injured every year, and some killed.

    prison should be about doing time, not getting ass raped...

  • ||

    OK. The only objection I have against the death penalty for someone who has been convicted of having taken another's life; is that it doesn't give you the opportunity to correct your mistake (if one is later determined to have been made).

  • OO========D||

    ^^MALL COP ALERT^^

  • ||

    Not because I want them to be beaten, or sodomized, or abused and dehumanized

    Oh, I do. I do!!! If you are gonna torture somebody to the point of killing them, then attempt to shield yourself under the color of law, yeah, I want them to get fucking assraped every fucking day.

  • sarcasmic||

    aye

  • ||

    Eloquently put, P Brooks. I've been trying to express that thought, but you said it first and best.

    And, yes, special treatment is special treatment no matter how much some people whine and pretend otherwise.

  • Kristen||

    I'd bet dollars to donuts the defense will file for (and get) a change of venue.

  • ||

    What an excellent question. I don't know, but classic felony murder would mean that everyone involved in the comission of a felony that resulted in death would get, I believe, first degree murder. The felony provides the necessary intent, is the theory.

    And, it catches EVERYONE involved in the underlying felony, whether they were directly involved in the death or not.

    Wiki tells me that CA law says any death caused during the commission of, among other things, mayhem, is first degree murder.

    CA law on mayhem is here:

    http://law.justia.com/codes/ca.....206.1.html

    Sounds to me like an indictment for mayhem could have been handed down in this case. Its a little hard to say, because the victim fucking died before you could say for sure he had been "permanently disfigured or disabled."

    So, why not mayhem and first degree murder charges for Cuccinelli and Ramos?

  • Annie Ahnmuaz||

    That's why the internet is awesome.

  • ||

    Hope that Reason follows this up and lets see what happens to the 2 officers. Put them both away for at least 30 years and no way to get out before that.

  • ||

    Oh, you can be damn sure that Reason will follow up on this.

  • Joe M||

    It's not perfect, but I'll take it. Sounds like the worst two are getting charged. Let's hope they get the maximum sentences possible.

  • Bilbo||

    i thought kalifornia had the felony murder rule?

  • ||

    What an excellent question. I don't know, but classic felony murder would mean that everyone involved in the comission of a felony that resulted in death would get, I believe, first degree murder. The felony provides the necessary intent, is the theory.

    And, it catches EVERYONE involved in the underlying felony, whether they were directly involved in the death or not.

    Wiki tells me that CA law says any death caused during the commission of, among other things, mayhem, is first degree murder.

    CA law on mayhem is here:

    http://law.justia.com/codes/ca.....206.1.html

    Sounds to me like an indictment for mayhem could have been handed down in this case. Its a little hard to say, because the victim fucking died before you could say for sure he had been "permanently disfigured or disabled."

    So, why not mayhem and first degree murder charges for Cuccinelli and Ramos?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Threadjack!

    Hey Warty (and all those who love the metal): One. Week. Early. \m/

    All I can say is it beats the ever living shit out of the new Opeth album and its subsequent pussified tour.

  • Gojira||

    Good job!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Watched it last night on the big screen, and it fucking rules. All of it.

  • Warty||

    SQUEEEEE!!!!EEEEEEEEE!!!!

  • Zeb||

    I just saw the first show of the new Opeth tour and was a bit disappointed by the absence of any very heavy songs. All straight singing and like 5 acoustic songs in a set that wasn't much longer than an hour. Had they announced beforehand that it would be a pussified tour? And Katatonia sucked. Opeth's performance was still very good, but not what I expected and a bit disappointing.

  • Warty||

    I was on the fence about going to Pittsburgh to see them, but now I'm definitely not. Fuck them.

    If Mikael wanted to do a shitty Yes impersonation, he should have had the honesty to disband Opeth instead of ripping off the fans who wanted to hear Opeth at an Opeth show.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    See the suck! And then see it again.

    My only hope is that this will mirror Damnation in that not only was it a non-metal album, but the corresponding tour was similar to the current one in which there were NO heavy tracks played. The big difference is that Damnation was AWESOME while Heritage sucks balls.

    It's not the Yes impersonation that is that bad. It's the Rainbow impersonation ("Slither" is truly fucking terrible) and pointless noodling and use of spooky atmospherics in place of structure and melody that goes on from the horribly disjointed outro to the already fucking terrible "Slither" through "Famine" that really makes this album weak as fuck. "The Lines in My Hand" is a reasonably good hat tip to late 70s Rush, but if I want to hear late 70s Rush, I'll put on some fucking late 70s Rush. There are only 3 pretty good songs on the album, and one that I would say could probably fit on other Opeth albums. Only for one or two fleeting moments can one say to oneself "This rocks!" (which shouldn't be falsely correlated with hard or heavy - plenty of not heavy or hard stuff rocks). There is really nothing on this album that can appraoch anything on ANY of their other albums, particularly post-Still Life.

    Unfortunately I'm devoted to 3 shows already (Louisville, Nashville, and Orlando), though I'll only be going to 2, and the second only because I've already invested hundreds of dollars in to going and meeting a buddy of mine (I've already paid for flight and hotel). I'm skipping Nashville because there's no way that I'm driving 7 hours roundtrip + gas + food + lodging to see this fucking setlist.

    Opeth went from a band that I would buy anything they made sound-unheard (as I did with Heritage in both preordered albums - I ordered the vinyl box set, as well as concert tix with signed copies of the CD - and live tix to 3 fucking shows) to a band that I might buy after I pirate it to make sure it doesn't suck. And all in 5 listening sessions and 1 glance at the setlist for the tour.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Katatonia sucked?

    That's fucking blasphemy!! I saw Katatonia in a dingy ass bar in south Louisville about a year ago (maybe 150 in attendance), and it was one of the very best concert experiences I've ever had. Shit was awesome.

    Had you not heard them before? Their latest 2 albums, The Great Cold Distance and Night is the New Day both fucking rule. Highly inventive and masterfully produced.

  • Zeb||

    I hadn't heard much of Katatonia before. And I will back off a bit on the "sucked". Their sound quality and performance was excellent; they are definitely telented performers, and I thought the guitar playing was very good. But I found the songs boring and all quite similar. As I don't know much about them, I couldn't tell you any song titles. Maybe I'll give their albums a chance.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Had they announced beforehand that it would be a pussified tour?

    No. But being that I'm a nerd with no life and I've been highly anticipating both this album and tour, I checked as the show was in progress, and watched in slow motion as Opeth made sure that their tampon was in correctly.

  • ||

    fwiw, in my scanning of the police blogs, the sentiment is near universal that it is a great thing these fucksticks have been charged and the hope is for conviction and long imprisonment.

    good cops don't like dirty cops

  • ||

    What a shame that out of the six who showed up at the beating, not a single one was a good cop.

    What are the odds?

  • ||

    5 to 3

  • sarcasmic||

    99% give the rest a bad name.

  • Chatroom Crank||

    Of course the sentiment is near universal. They were stupid enough to get caught. Can't have dumb cops getting caught. Might make the citizens look at the rest of the thugs a little closer.

    There are no good cops, just ones who haven't been caught yet.

  • Mensan||

    I used to know a good cop. He filed a complaint aginast a couple bad cops in his department. He received retaliation in the form of harrassment, even from a neighboring department. He got pulled over on the way to work, in his patrol car, by an officer of another department who happened to be the former roommate of one of the guys he reported. The good cop recieved a reprimant for being late to work because of that.

    Then one night he pulled over a stolen vehicle with four people inside. He called for back-up, and it never came. Three of the people in the car ran and got away. He was reprimanded again for failing to call for backup. His union rep advised him to quit before they could build a case to fire him, so he could at least get hired with another agency. So, he quit, but every other agency he interviewed with would call his old captain, and then tell him they weren't interested. The last time I saw him he was waiting tables.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    good cops don't like dirty cops

    Is that why 4 other cops stood around and did absolutely nothing to stop the 2 who were charged from beating a man to death?

    If good cops didn't like dirty cops, there would be no dirty cops. Unless you are a cop who actively exposes bad cops and their actions at EVERY opportunity, you too are a bad cop.

  • sarcasmic||

    Good cops tolerate and cover for bad cops because they know that their ass will be covered if/when they step over the line.

  • OO========D||

    BUT DUNPHY TELLS US HE"S NEVER SEEN A FELLOW MALL COP COMMIT A CRIME>

  • ||

    fwiw, in my scanning of the police blogs, the sentiment is near universal that it is a great thing these fucksticks have been charged and the hope is for conviction and long imprisonment.

    Good.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't give a shit what they say.
    I care what they do, or rather what they don't do.
    I care that they allow their comrades to beat someone to death, and do nothing.
    I care that they see comrades engaging in criminal behavior and, unless it's caught on civilian camera and brought to the press, do nothing.
    They can talk all they want about these creeps being charged for murder, but deep down they know that they were one bad day away from doing the same thing.

  • ||

    So, they're rushing to judgement?

  • OO========D||

    + 1 MALL COP

  • ||

    ""good cops don't like dirty cops""

    So did the cops standing around like the cop that way killing Thomas? Did they fear him? Or were they simply indifferent to the fact someone was getting the an extraordinary beat down?

    I can't think of a scenario that put the other cops in the "good" catagory.

    IMO, if one of them was good, they would have pulled their weapon on the cop doing the beating and arrested him.

    I can't think of one situation where a cop stepped in and arrested another cop when the activity crosses the line into unlawful conduct.

    I would be intrested if you have one.

  • ||

    Damn, Way = was

  • TRTB||

    There's a lot of ways this could still turn to injustice but as a first step, I have to say good job Orange County DA. I could have wished for a little bit more, but this is FAR more than I expected. If police misconduct was ALWAYS handled like this (and assuming it doesn't quietly get negotiated away), I would feel better about the system as a whole.

  • ||

    a much greater %age of cases in general btw are "quietly negotiated away" than ever go to trial.

    it's par for the course for the criminal "justice system"

  • TRTB||

    That seems believable, it's not what I would like to see happen here.

  • ||

    it's really almost certainly going to be up to whether the defendants want to accept a plea or not. that's almost always the case.

    from a game theory perspective, the prosecutor knows that absolute certainty of punishment/guilty verdict (plea) trumps (whatever certainty there can be) about 12 individuals com9ing to a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • ||

    If this wasn't cops, they would have charged all of them and gave plea bargins or immunity on the lesser ones so they will testify against the main aggressors.

    That's what prosecutors do to help ensure a conviction.

  • ||

    I have to say good job Orange County DA.

    I don't see any special merit in the DA's actions; he was forced to act because people managed to hold his feet to the fire by getting hard and damning evidence to the public.

  • ||

    his office conducted over 150 interviews. sounds to me like exactly what i said they should do- don't rush to judgment, do the legwork and then decide based on the evidence

  • OO========D||

    HEY MALL COP, GIVEN THAT THESE GUYS WERE CHARGED, I'D SAY THAT THOSE YOUR SORRY PIGCUNT'S ASS SAYS WERE RUSHING TO JUDGEMENT WERE ACTUALLY PRESCIENT YOU FUCKING MALL COP.

  • ||

    ""his office conducted over 150 interviews. sounds to me like exactly what i said they should do- don't rush to judgment, do the legwork and then decide based on the evidence""

    Really? If I beat the crap out of someone like that, I would be in jail while they interviewed people.

    Get the difference?

  • ||

    So, why not mayhem and first degree murder charges for Cuccinelli and Ramos?

    I'd like some ice cream with my cake, please.

  • ||

    finish your meat, first

  • ||

    I just want everyone eating off the same menu.

  • AblueSilkworm||

    +6

  • Chatroom Crank||

    "The public has been crying out for justice for Kelly Thomas."

    "We must do everything we can to protect this trust. Including, when necessary, prosecuting police officers who break the law."

    So they only prosecute cops "when necessary" to quiet public outrage. Gothcha!

  • Name Nomad||

    Glad I'm not the only one who found that a bit strange.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    So they only prosecute cops "when necessary" to quiet public outrage. Gothcha!

    Unfortunately, that's exactly what I read too. They only do it when necessary to quiet an impending public outcry. They don't want justice, they simply want to placate, and do so via the minimum necessary to get the job done, double standard be damned.

  • ||

    except that's rubbish interpretation. cops are frequently charged when there isn't even any KNOWLEDGE of their crime to the public before the investigators reveal it

    e.g. paul schene who was turned in by a fellow cop and who was charged and tried... twice

  • mad libertarian guy||

    So then why are the other 4 who sat and watched as their fellow officers beat a man to death walking freely, uncharged?

    Minimum necessary to placate the masses.

  • robc||

    You keep saying "frequently" but only have one example you ever use.

  • ||

    It's not a rubbish interpretation Dunphy. He came out and said in plain English that his motivation for filing charges was the public outrage. It doesn't mean other prosecutors elsewhere wouldn't charge officers for misconduct without public outrage. But you can't argue that this one would... he tells you so himself. He actually seems kinda proud of it, for some reason.

    I have personal friends who work in internal affairs for one of the largest police departments in the country. They prosecute officers that you've never heard of all the time. But mostly for things that don't have anything to do with the line of duty - like shaking down drug dealers or raping prostitutes, stuff like that. When it comes to official duties it is usually administrative stuff like meeting up with a girlfriend at a motel while on the clock. Stupid, but not threatening to the public. (for some strange reason the officer's boss can't just fire him in those situations, they have to pay a team to do a full investigation and surveillance, the whole expensive 9 yards) A questionable shooting or beating? That would be pretty rare. They normally circle the wagons in those cases - mostly from a sense of "that coulda happened to any one of us".

    Sadly, a major part of their cases involve things like drug use by officers. Another place where legalization would allow the police to focus on something that actually impacts the public instead of off-duty recreational activity. I'd much rather see the police held to high standards on the initiation of force and searches and seizures than worry about who is smoking hash with his gay lover in their off hours.

  • Kristen||

    Yeah, that part of his spiel was a touch suspect.

  • Trespassers W||

    I wonder if they're going to pull out the "what about the other 99 times out of 100 where cops don't beat someone to death?" defense...

  • ||

    For the primary perpetrator, this is capital murder. Period. I understand it would be hard to prosecute with 1st degree murder, but that's what this is.

    Jesus Christ, how I miss the electric chair.

  • ||

    good cops don't like dirty cops

    And there was NEVER any indication whatsoever in his previous behavior on the job that something like this might happen.

    "We were shocked- SHOCKED!- when we heard about this. He was always completely respectful of the rights of civilians, and a stickler for procedure. He was the guy who would give you the benefit of the doubt, and bend over backwards to help anybody who needed it."

  • TRTB||

    Is all the text between 2:05 and 2:22 the DA talking?

  • Colin||

    I wonder if the trial will be in Fullerton.

    If I lived there and was on the jury I honestly would be scared to convict.

    Retribution is easy for these animals.

  • ||

    jesus, this black helicopter shit again?

  • tarran||

    No, MR Dunphy,

    Some of your brethren do believe in retribution.

    Those of us who pay attention to our surroundings know the dangers of crossing gangbangers.

  • ||

    Holy fuck. These are the fuck-sticks you are gonna stick up for Dunphy? But of course, procedure was followed and the investigation is ongoing. Nothing to see here. It is only a few bad apples.

  • Stone||

    No different than the "war on cops" shit.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Both should be given a rest.

  • Paul R.||

    good point

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Here is why I find this inadequate. Kelly Thomas dies as a result of police action, and there is no credible investigation until after a month of public outcry? This is not criminal negligence? There are no legal consequences to supervisors or department investigators?

    This is so much why some people do not trust law enforcement to police themselves.

  • ||

    In fairness, it happened on July 5th and we have an indictment on September 21st. That really is pretty quick for our justice system. Dunphy has a point. They indicted these guys. For once someone did the right thing.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But they weren't even investigated, not really, until pressured. That has to have consequences. There has to be incentive not to ignore until your hand is forced the bad acts of your officers.

  • ||

    Is that true? I think they were investigating this from day one.

  • ||

    Who was investigating? The Chief of police took leave.

    I'm half kidding.

    I stand on my statement that if it was anyone else, they would be in jail during the investigation.

    Did it really take interviewing 150 people before they could figure out the beating crossed the line?

    Better late than never I guess. Sometimes justice is slow. But it seems like slow justice favor the government's men.

  • ||

    If they did do 150+ interviews, it takes time to do that.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't dispute that. But that's the Orange County District Attorney's investigation. Fullerton PD stated they were conducting an internal investigation before that, which I also don't dispute.

    Almost a month after the murder, and some time after Ron Thomas released the infamous cell phone picture of his son, news media started making public records requests. At that time they were told two unnamed officers had been placed on paid leave. It doesn't appear to me that any real investigation was taking place until the media asked questions, and they didn't do that until they saw the picture.

    I admit, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's standard operating procedure to have video evidence of a crime, have the criminal standing in front of them, and continue to pay said criminal and let him go on his merry way while they investigate for evidence more compelling than the video evidence they possess.

  • ||

    Maybe it's standard operating procedure . . . .

    I bet not.

    Like the discussion above about whether to charge the other 4, this whole think stinks of a double standard. Still.

    Because you know there is no way that this case would have been handled the way it was if it was 6 guys with swastika tattoos or red bandannas hanging out of their saggy jeans.

  • ||

    I'll believe that this DA gives an actual shit if he alters the charge to 1st degree murder, or, much worse but satisfactory given the difficulty of prosecution, if he carries through his current charges to the end without accepting any deals.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Lip service aside, those who are part of the system don't seem to appreciate the gravity of murder under the color of law.

  • ||

    There is no excuse for not charging the rest of the Fullerton 6 given what is known about death due to compression of the chest.

    DOJ statement in 1995 on avoidable death in restraint or custody: Positional Asphyxia and Sudden Death http://bit.ly/fWyJKg

    NYPD training video on risks of Positional asphyxia 2003 - YouTube http://bit.ly/eRBQRq

  • ||

    These suffocation deaths happen all the time and are completely preventable. DAs routinely charge regular citizens with manslaughter when it occurs. Why are the police not held to a higher standard? Where are the constitutional challenges to this lethal form of restraint?

    Asphyxial Death During Prone Restraint Revisited: 21 Cases http://bit.ly/p86G5F

  • ||

    I don't understand why they don't charge the two out the ying yang including first degree murder and the lesser includes. Or is it that during jury instructions that the State could include the lesser offenses, I.e. 2nd degree murder or manslughter?

  • ||

    First degree murder is a hard thing to prove. There are some pretty outrageous cases out there where a guy beat someone to death and didn't get first degree murder because they could never proved he intended to kill with any one blow.

  • ||

    1st, I disagree that there isn't enough evidence. Like what was pointed out upthread, it does't take very much "pre" to get 1st degree murder.

    Secondly there is a strategic reason to charge 1st degree murder. We all know that DA's over charge like fuck in order to get the most out of the eventual plea offer that gets made to hang over the defendant's head.

  • ||

    And it is wrong when they do that. I understand you desire to see the cops get screwed just like the average person. But, the solution is to stop over charging in all cases not demand it just to make two wrongs.

  • ||

    OK. Point taken. True it is wrong. But it still goes to RC's point that there is a double standard.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Riiight. So they only apply the solution when it applies to a cop.

    I agree with your solution, John. But the DA doesn't.

  • ||

    First degree murder is a hard thing to prove.

    Not in this case. Under CA law, all they have to prove is that (a) Thomas died as a result of (b) mayhem committed on him by the defendant.

  • ChrisO||

    RC, I believe you're wrong about that. Under the merger doctrine, lesser-included offenses merge into the higher-level charge and can't be used as predicate offenses to support a felony murder charge.

    Let me give you an example. If I accidentally kill someone while robbing a bank, I can be charged with felony murder, even though I didn't intend to hurt anyone. The bank robbery is crime is otherwise unrelated to the homicide but is causally connected.

    But assault, or the crime of mayhem that you bring up, are components of the bodily harm that results in the homicide that is the top-level charge. They are acts that are implied in the homicide itself and can't be used to "charge up" a manslaughter or negligent homicide case into felony murder. That is, unless California law differs dramatically from the norm.

  • ChrisO||

    Let me put it more simply. Under your theory, RC, almost every single manslaughter or negligent homicide case could be magically turned into a felony murder case, since there is usually an assault & battery component that goes into a homicide. That is clearly not what the existing law says, nor should it be.

  • ChrisO||

    Having said that, I think these facts come dangerously close to being straight-up 1st degree murder, without having to wade into the thicket of the felony murder doctrine.

  • Destrudo||

    It's obviously not enough. As far as I'm concerned, hanging for the cops who perpetrated the beating and negligence for the others would be justice.

  • Destrudo||

    Also, involuntary manslaughter? Sounds pretty voluntary to me.

  • Mensan||

    Reminds me of this trial for attempted involuntary manslaughter. I never understood how someone could attempt to unintentionally kill somebody.

  • Restoras||

    Thanks, Mike. I'm sick over this.

  • ||

    Ramos made a deliberate showing of putting on latex gloves in front of Kelly Thomas. He stood over Kelly Thomas and repeatedly said to put his hands on his knees. Thomas would put his hands back and fold his legs. Ramos stood over kelly thomas with a pair of latex gloves and he made a demonstration while he was standing over kelly thomas of putting on those gloves in a menacing manner. When he put the gloves on, he ordered Kelly Thomas, "put your hands on your f-ing knees." He leaned over Thomas in a menacing way. He made two fists. He put his fist in Thomas's face and said, "See my fists? They're getting ready to F you up."

    How does this not qualify for 1st degree murder charges?

  • ||

    THE D A IS WORRIED ABOUT HIS POLITICAL FUTURE. THAT'S WHY.

  • ||

    Ah, yes. Orange County takes one step forward and two steps back.

    Fucking halfwits dont know what the First Amendment means? Jesus Tapdancin' Christ.

  • ||

    his office conducted over 150 interviews.

    And then, when they still had not found anyone willing to back up the cops' version of events, he reluctantly filed charges.

  • ||

    Probably.

    The severity of the beating should have been enough to charge.

  • Ayn R. Key||

    6 cops, 2 accused of felonies.

    The state protects its own as much as it can, but occasionally has to do some sacrifices, asking one to "take one for the team."

    An honest DA would have 6 up on murder.

  • sarcasmic||

    An honest DA

    No such thing.

    To be a DA you must be after convictions.
    It doesn't matter if you convict the guilty party, you need convictions.
    A high conviction rate raises the chances of moving up in the political world.
    Now if the guilty party is a member of government, or politically connected, your job changes. It is now to protect this person from conviction. They're on your team. You protect your team.

    There is no such thing as an honest DA (or lawyer for that matter).

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    No honest DAs or lawyers? I find that hard to believe. The rest of your post is on point, though.

  • Paul ||

    I'm disappointed. this seemed like a case of aggravated murder. what, no gas chamber?

  • ||

    Even with all the witnesses and audio and video evidence these animals will walk the fix is in.
    THE BEST THAT OUR HONEST D A AND IS LEGAL STAFF CAN DO.

  • ||

    These cops will walk. The D A was under public pressure to act.
    The D A has to obey the orders of his financial supporters. That's the reality.

  • ||

    AS SOON AS RAMOS IS BAILED OUT BY THE POLICE UNION. RAMOS WILL JUMP BAIL AND HIDE OUT IN MEXICO UNTIL THIS IS SQUASHED.
    THE COPS WILL BE OUT IN FORCE IN FULLERTON SHAKING DOWN THE CITIZENS FOR BAIL MONEY AND REVENGE.

  • ||

    IS RAMOS EVEN A LEGAL CITIZEN?

  • ||

    Someone in this thread. Made a comment that charges were brought against the officers. IJust to make sure it is understood. Charge have been brought against the officers but until they are proven guilty it is still up in the air. Keep fighting that the officers WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE

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