The pretrial hearing for excessive force and murder charges filed against Officer Manuel Ramos and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli in the death of Kelly Thomas begins November 4, 2011. Thomas was a 37 year old schizophrenic drifter who was beaten to death by officers at a Fullerton, California, bus depot in July 2011 .
The charges came down after multiple headlines were made, not by local media, but by a local small-government blog in Fullerton called Friends for Fullerton’s Future . The blog was the first to publish a horrific picture of Thomas in the hospital and a chilling video of the incident captured by a cell phone video camera.
“The picture was so horrific that the local news channels wouldn’t show it and a lot of times they don’t think there is much of a story there because they get the police version of the story,” says Travis Kiger, a blogger at Friends for Fullerton’s Future.
Kiger and Chris Thompson, also a blogger, sat down with Reason TV to talk about how the blog broke the story and what they think contributed to the international media attention.
Topics include: The lack of public information in the city of Fullerton; the decline of local media; reaction to charges filed by district attorney Tony Rackauckas; and how citizens can keep government accountable in their own cities.
Approximately 8:05 minutes.
Interview by Paul Detrick. Shot by Sharif Matar and Tracy Oppenheimer. Edited by Detrick