Militarization of Police

Fullerton Cops Who Beat Kelly Thomas Into a Coma Placed on Leave


Three weeks after the parents of Kelly Thomas' took their homeless schizophrenic son off life support, the six Fullerton police officers involved in his brutal beating have been placed on leave

One officer was placed on leave days after the incident. The other five were reassigned to nonpatrol duty Friday and then placed on leave Tuesday by order of Chief Michael Sellers, according to Sgt. Andrew Goodrich, a department spokesman.

Thomas' father, Ron Thomas, said the announcement that the officers had been placed on leave came a few hours after he met with the chief Tuesday afternoon.

Nevertheless, at an overflowing City Council meeting Tuesday night, dozens of people called for the chief's resignation over the incident.

One of those officers is possibly Jay Cicinelli. A man claiming to work with Cicinelli says that the officer bragged in the police station lockerrom about beating Thomas.  

More Kelly Thomas coverage here

NEXT: MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell Weighs in on Matt Damon, Teacher Comp. & Reason's Politics. At Least He Gets His Own Name Right.

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  1. New Fullerton PD t-shirts:

    I beat a man to death and all I got was a paid vacation.

    1. Montana

      I forbid you from having these shirts made…you’re going to make that Fullerton PD sergeant all depressed again.

    2. All I got was a blood-stained T-shirt

    3. where alice in wonderland logick is supported

      conviction FIRST. then trial!!!

      che would be proud

      1. Conviction or not, those cops beat Kelly Thomas to death. Whatever nits you want to pick, that fact cannot be denied.

        1. and if a crime occurred, they deserve to be charged with it and convicted.

          and there are a lot of people working hard to make that determination and to collect ADMISSIBLE evidence so if charges are preferred, they can actually win the case.

          any # of cases , including those within my own dept. where the process is rushed, sometimes even the guilty can go free because of poor investigative process, and a rush to judgment.

          i realize it doesn’t satisfy the reason bloodlust that this shit hasn’thappened INSTANTLY, but *i* as a seeker of justice would prefer shit be done right, so IF these guys committed a crime, they can be prosecuted SUCCESSFULLY

          1. No one wants to rush it. They can take there time investigating slowly while the cops rot in jail (Im even fine with them being out on bail).

            1. and i’ve explained to you why that is problematic.

              i realize you want your instant justice, and pound of flesh. you can ignore reality all you want

              1. You cant arrest, release on bail, then have a bifurcated investigation.

                1. CAN, not cant.

              2. Justice wont occur until trial. This has nothing to do with that.

                1. thank you for making my point.

                  1. You dont even understand my point.

                    1. i do. you don’t understand it, which is what is ironic

              3. It’s not “instant justice” he’s asking for, kiddo – it’s consistency.

                It sounds to me like there are enough eyewitnesses who will testify that these five guys beat an unarmed, nonviolent man until he stopped moving, then beat him a little more. Surely that’s compelling enough to warrant the immediate arrest of the assailants.

                1. considering that no arrest was made at the scene (and i have no idea if those witnesses we have seen on video etc.made themselves available to investigators at the time), there is a longstanding concept in criminal law that if an arrest is NOT made summarily, that it is always preferable (and in some cases and in some states mandatory) that a warrant be sought first.

                  there is also ample case law that when warrant applications are made, that omissions (purposeful or even sometimes inadvertent) that are exculpatory can vitiate the warrant.

                  iow, assuming investigators don’t have significant exculpatory evidence to mitigate or call into question what these witnesses say AND these witnesses are willing to give FORMAL SIGNED STATEMENTS (which are immensely more reliable than overheard conversations, etc. or god forbid anonymous calls to a radio station), then the job of the investigators is to gather these evidence items together and forward them to prosecutors office for consideration of an arrest warrant. iow, do NOT arrest w.o prosecutor approval

                  california iirc has grand jury (my state generally does not), so the prosecutor almost certainly would want to take those things into consideration as well.

                  iow, in brief, since a summary arrest was not made, police should not decide to make the arrest w/o prosecutor decision and they better be damn sure they dot their i’s

                  1. Of course there was no arrest made, the other pig cops were complicit in the crime–who is GOING to arrest them? Too bad a gaggle of armed citizens weren’t there to save this man’s live from his violent attackers.

      2. Dunphy, try this: arrest first, then trial. There is obviously enough evidence for arrests. Anyone who was not a cop would have been arrested weeks ago.

        1. and i’ve explained why – when the killing (whether justified or not) happens Line of duty, that there are many considerations that don’t apply to non-LOD deaths.

          and i’ve explained that when cops do shit OFF DUTY, those same issues generally don’t apply and cops are routinely arrested AT THE SCENE as countless examples show

          this is distinguishable whether you like it that way or not

          1. and i’ve explained why – when the killing (whether justified or not) happens Line of duty, that there are many considerations that don’t apply to non-LOD deaths.

            Why is there a different standard for justified homicide for officers in the line of duty than for anyone else who might be involved in committing or acting against the commission of a crime?

            1. i didn’t say there was. read what i said again

              1. Yeah, you did. Otherwise there would be no justification for letting them run free when a civvie would have been arrested under the same circumstances.

                1. again, that does not logically follow

                  here’s a hint: the elements for justifiable homicide are completely unrelated to issues of whether summary arrests are made regarding homicides.


                  totally unrelated issues

                  1. I want you to spell it out. Answer the simple question with a simple answer:

                    Why have these officers not been arrested given the available evidence, when a civilian would have been arrested long ago with much less evidence?

                    I’m not asking for a treatise: I’m asking for a simple, two-sentence answer. If you can’t state it that simply, then it’s just dissembling disguising your opinion that cops should be granted a greater presumption of innocence than civilians are afforded.

                    1. you are assuming a “civilian” would have been arrested given the same fact pattern available to investigators at the time of the incident, and among other things, i am saying a ‘civilian’ would not have the same fact pattern (terry stop issues etc.)

                    2. I’m ignoring your responses until you answer my question. I don’t actually expect a proper response, but I’m satisfied with you intentionally evading the question because it further demonstrates to everyone here that you are an empty suit.

                  2. That makes no sense. How can the elements of a crime — which define the crime itself — be “completely unrelated” to whether a suspect is arrested? If you don’t consider the elements of the crime what on Earth would you consider?

                    1. because the decision to arrest or not arrest being different is tangential to whether the elements of the underlying crime (or notcrime as in justified homicide) are different.

                    2. Huw? You arrest based on probable cause that a crime has been committed. The crime is defined by the elements. Of course you might have a justification thrown in which means that the elements are not determinative. Still, to say the elements are tangential can’t be right.

                    3. it IS right

                      whether or not a determination is made to summarily arrest requires PC for the elements of the crime, but it does not mean that if a decision to summarily arrest is NOT made, that this is evidence that the elements are different

                      PC is necessary to arrest, but not sufficient, in that sufficiency is based on tactical concerns. iow, it’s always enough (given a statutory authority to arrest based on PC vs. onviewed), but not always acted upon depending on a host of factors

                    4. if PC is necessary, as you correctly say, then the elements are not tangential. That’s because you need PC that the elements are satisfied. Yes, you may have a tactical reason to delay the arrest to a later time, but that does not make the elements tangential. They remain of central impprtance because the arrest can NEVER be made without PC that each element is satisfied.

                      Also, as I say below, the “tactical” concern here is police back-scratching, nothing more.

                    5. your last paragraph is utter rubbish

                      that aside, again, the fact that there may be (somewhat)different concerns as to whether to arrest or not is NOT suggestive that the elements of the crime are different

                      that is the point

                    6. It’s a damn good thing you have have been removed from street duty (those that can, do… those that can’t, etc).

                      If you can’t see probable cause that a crime has been committed by watching that video, you certainly have no business on the street, with a gun, under color of authority, making life and death decisions that involve others.


                    7. your last paragraph is utter rubbish


                      So you are willing to draw qucik, firm conclusions in favor of these police, but any claim that they broke the law (regardless of the considerable evidence we already know) is not enough, and must be investigated to the hilt per “due process.” Got it.

      3. I just want a trial. A criminal trial. Preferably a fair one. If the suspects in this murder were anyone but the police, you know damned well there would be a trial.

      4. Dunphy,
        Normally I’d agree the media is too quick to judge. Even with the evidence known, I thought the media was playing lynch mob in the Casey Anthony case.

        However, in this case we all watched the video and the bystander reactions with our own eyes. He was on the ground, face down, not resisting and they continued to beat him to death while claiming he was “resisting” to avoid bad appearances. If you witness a murder, I don’t know what more evidence you really need. More context, maybe, but even assuming he was a danger, when the risk is neutralized, there’s no excuse to keep going. If a store owner shoots a robber, chases his accomplice outside, then comes back in and “finishes off” the now unarmed, barely conscious robber, he could get the capital punishment.

        Law officers should be held to a HIGHER standard than your average citizen because of the fact we all know we can’t resist, defend ourselves or fight back if we’re getting beaten to death. Killing a cop is a capital offense, and it would likely be the same even if you were acting in self-defense (see also: Corey Maye) or in defense of a person getting killed by a cop. If someone had tried to stop these cops, they might have met a similar fate.

        For this reason, when cops abuse their authority, punishments should be at least as harsh. In my opinion, with the facts I know at this moment, this should be a capital offense and these cops should be executed the same as any participants in a fatal gang beatdown of a cop would be.

        1. which is great, and i don;’t have a problem with most of what you said,

          and i want the same thing you do – a fair investigation and if there is sufficent evidence to charge them, i want them charged and prosecuted

          1. A 135 lb man was beaten to death by up to 6 police. Evidence. People witnessed it and remarked that he was not resisting. Evidence. He died in the hospital as a result of his injuries. Evidence. We have photos of him showing the results of the beating. Evidence.

            Enough to convict? We’ll see. Enough to arrest? Of course.

            1. i never said it wasn’t ENOUGH to arrest. it does not follow that just because there is enough evidence to arrest (and again, you do NOT know all the facts known to the prosecutors right now, many of which may mitigate some stuff you do lknow), that an arrest is always made.

              i can state that many times, i have enough to arrest, and don’t – for any # of tactical/practical reasons.

              also, have those people we have seen in video provided SIGNED SWORN statements or not?

              talking about it in a bus is not a signed/sworn statement

              1. They don’t need to provide sworn staterments. They would have to testify to convict, but not to justify an arrest.

                We understand that in many cases arrests are not made for “tactical/practical” reasons. And the “tactical” reason here is that the PD is treating its own with favortism and kids gloves.

                I know, maybe there is some mitigating factor unknown to all humanity but the prosecutor that justifies leave but no arrest. So I’ll ask you, what might excuse these guys for having beaten a 135 lb dude to death after tasering him several times? On those basic facts alone, anyone other than a cop would be arrested first then released if a mitigating fact was uncovered. Here, you seem to be saying that the cops need to scour the state for mitigation before making the arrest.

                1. DEM, imo if they were not willing to give sworn , signed statements, then there would not be sufficient cause to arrest in most cases.

                  because there has to be an indicia of reliability, and especially where you may have animus towards police or other factors, if people aren’t willing to put their credibility on the line, then their statements are worth far less.

                  also, i can say that generally speaking (with rare exceptions – like DV assaults where arrest is mandatory PER STATUTE) we (my PD) will not arrest if witnesses are not willing to put their observations into a signed statement

                  1. There is a difference between having to obtain sworn statements (not necessary, even if preferred) and asking the witness to swear but she refuses. There is no evidence that any statement was requested and denied. Even without sworn statements there is PC here.

                  2. Ok. Then I suggest that police-involved deaths should also require mandatory arrest of the officers involved. It shouldn’t happen often enough to be more than an occasional inconvenience. Surely police should be held to a higher standard of behavior than a wife-beater?

                    Out of curiosity, how many people who kill police officers are allowed to go free pending the collection of sworn witness testimony?

      5. You bring up Che when you should have brought up Herman Goring. The vicious asshats that beat this man to death are on paid vacation. If this were YOU or anyone else but a cop, you’d be in a deep dark cell already.

    4. I beat a nigger to death with a flashlight in the performance of my duties as a member of Detroit’s Finest. I was convicted twice and then got cancer. I got to serve most of my sentence at home where I wrote Good Cops, Bad Verdict. You can buy it at

      1. I hate that movie Malcom the Tenth.

    5. Here are the names of 5 cops involved: Jay Cicinelli – Kenton Hampton – Manny Ramos – Joe Wolfe and James Blatney.

  2. Plainly, this article doesn’t exist. Lawrence O’Donnell and Matt Damon both say so.

  3. You can’t fool me, Reason. You just put this article up because of what Lawrence O’Donnell said. Because this is the first time I’ve ever seen an article about police brutality on this website!

    Anyways, I really should’ve been a cop. I mean, in my job, if I screw something up bad I will be fired, and will probably be sued for malpractice. If I was a cop, I could beat a man to death and get a paid vacation out of it! And best of all, I’d be personally immune from any kind of lawsuit!

    1. And even if you manage to get fired, you can just go get another cop job in another jurisdiction.

    2. In my job, if I beat a man to death, they’d call the police (and absolutely nothing else would happen).

      But at least I make more than those sainted teachers.

  4. I foresee a bone-crushing damages payment by Fullerton over this. The only questions are

    (1) Settlement, or trial?
    (2) Will the feds put the PD under some kind of supervision?

    1. Here’s hoping the family does NOT settle, regardless of the amount. Forcing the police dept to defend this in court — they’d have to admit what they did and all of the gory details would be there for all to see — would be a priceless public service and far more punishment for the police than any settlement or damages payment. Of course, one could understand if the family can’t bear to sit through that.

      1. Agreed. The big worry is that even if the cops involved get fired they will probably be re-hired by another police department. This is simply too egregious to even consider putting anyone involved in the position to commit another atrocity.

      2. The father already turned down a $900,000 settlement offer. And considering he’s a retired cop, he’s probably plenty cushy with a fat pansion so he’s not gonna let the money buy him off.

        I expect that he won’t accept any settlement that doesn’t involve prosecuting these fucks.

        1. I thought he was a retired sheriff’s officer?

    2. federal oversight of local govt. a longstanding libertarian good ™

      1. TBH, if the DOJ did nothing but investigate and punish the corruption of state and local governments, it might actually be worth something.

      2. Federal oversight of local government to protect citizens from violations of their rights . . . yeah, this libertarian can get right behind that.

    3. Didn’t one of the previous articles say that the city already offered 900K?

  5. Without video, this would have been buried. And it wasn’t even good video. God Bless the Internets. And bystanders with cameras.

    1. video is always good. helps exonerate the innocents and punish the guilty..

      1. The Love Guru wasn’t good, and I don’t think anyone was punished but the viewers.

        1. i can’t argue with that. that’s the price we pay in a free society. not sure if the love guru makes it all worthwhile though

      2. So, barring cost, is there a reason we’re not moving towards ‘badge-cams’ for all officers? Are we already, and I just don’t know it? It seems to me that such a system would be fairly cheap, compared to all of the other shit cops need to carry now, and would speed up the investigation of incidents like this.

        1. I can buy one for $100–considering cities are paying out hundreds of thousands for police brutality case settlements I would think the cost is not that prohibitive.

  6. … ummmmmmm… intrinsicallisticiously paternalisticalish. An’, like, stuff.

    1. MATT. DAMON.

      1. This intrinsically paternalistic sock pupetting is exactly what one would expect from an MBA style of thinking.

  7. Fullerton Cops Who Beat Kelly Thomas Into a Coma

    Why sugar-coat it? They beat him to death.

    1. This.

      1. +1. I wondered why they kept saying the coma bit. They killed him, let’s not beat around the bush.

        1. …with flashlights.

          1. Flashlights are weighted metal pipes. Deadly weapons in the hands of a citizen.

            1. flashlights—> metal pipes—> PIPEBOMBS!—> citizen = terrorist

              contain threat, return to station for appletinis

            2. But in the hands of the nice officer they are simply a means to a paid vacation.

    2. Max: You killed him?

      Vincent: No, I shot him. Bullets and the fall killed him.

    3. Warty|8.3.11 @ 11:33AM|#
      Why sugar-coat it? They beat him to death.

      It’s called journalism, not propaganda. There’s a difference, even at Reason. The police in question have not been charged with a crime. Hope this helps.

      1. Legal Proceedings Trump Common Sense.

      2. They beat him to death. That’s a fact. Whether they are ever charged or convicted doesn’t change that fact. Hope this helps.

      3. If the cops are charged, they’ll be charged with some form of homicide. It’s not unusual for a defendant to be charged with aggravated assault, only to have the charges upgraded to homicide when the victim dies of the wounds later.

    4. Technically, they beat him into a coma; the doctor’s kept him alive; and the family told the doctors to pull the plug.

      None of that changes the culpability of the cops that savagely beat the man, but details matter in lawsuits.

      1. If you did the same thing, you would be charged with murder. Your actions (beating him) led directly and consequently to his death. Cause and effect.

        I also have been a little puzzled by the “beat him into a coma” when in fact, the beating ended up killing him.

        1. The lawsuit in question would be some shithead cop suing Reason for an inaccurate news report, not the family of the victim suing the police department.

          Like I said, the cops in question are legaly culpable for killing the man.

      2. People have been prosecuted for murder when their victim dies decades later (from infection of a bullet wound, for example). So yeah, the connection between beating & coma & death could easily be used to prosecute these cops for murder.

        1. None of that changes the culpability of the cops that savagely beat the man,….

          “Culpability”, you’re familiar with this word, yes?

          1. You said culpability for beating him, not culpability for murdering him. Huge difference.

        2. This is known as causation and whether there was an intervening event.

    5. Indeed. Without the machines to keep him alive for five extra days, he would’ve been dead shortly after getting to the hospital.

  8. Leave (presumably paid, although it would be nice to be sure) is approximately 99.9% better than jail, which is where these killers should be.

    Where’s the grand jury? Where’s the DA? Where are the pleas for witnesses to come forward, hopefully with additional video?

    A proper criminal investigation would look into what kind of other activities were tolerated, what kind of policies and discipline were used, throughout the department, with an eye toward additional indictments of their superiors.

    1. Correct, but let’s start with an arrest! There is plainly enough evidence to make an arrest of each of the six officers at this point. Arrest them now.

      1. Arrest and then bail set high enough that they stay in jail until their trials.

      2. Arrest them now.

        Hey, lets not be hasty here!

        Until a full process analysis is done by their fellow cops, it is unknown whether or not this justified use of force is justified.

        1. Because the important thing isn’t whether the broke an actual law (those are for “civilians”, really).

          The important thing is whether they complied with departmental policies and procedures.

          1. false. but if you understood about bifurcated investigations are properly prosecutred and how to conduct them properly so that rights are preserved AND the options of civil as well as criminal penalties are preserved, you wouldn’t make such ignorant statements.

            prosecutors and dept. investigators, unlike reason ignorati know that they must proceed properly lest they lose one or both cases due to process violations.

            as has happened before when they don’t

            but this shit doesn’t matter to reason ignorati

            it’s just derp derp derp

            1. Fair enough. But do you think the results of the department’s investigation, finding, say, that ‘procedures were followed’, effects the decision of the prosecutor as to whether he will bring charges? In other words, does the department’s investigation sometime provide cover for the prosecutor?

              1. it depends on the jurisdiction.

                again, there are different investigations.

                here’s how it works where i work

                1) internal investigation to determine if dept policy was broken. these happen usually pretty quickly. for example, in the SPD birk shooting, the dept came back iirc within a couple of days with the conclusion that the shooting was UNjustified

                2) death inquest (an independent citizen inquiry process). this doesn’t determine if criminal activity happened but is designed to asnwer questions of fact. prosecutors rely on their findings, among others, to help make charging decisions

                3) criminal investigation by locals. this is seperate. sometimes by same PD, sometimes by other PD (in my area, for example if Kent PD were to shoot somebody and kill them, ANOTHER agency would do the investigation).

                4) criminal investigation by feds (happening here) to see if federal civil rights laws etc. were violated

                what people here don’t understand is that if proper procedures are not followed, shit can get majorly compromised

                for example, in the internal dept. investigation, supervisors can COMPEL testimony by the officers. the officers MUST speak and not remain silent. however, if this is done PRIOR to determination of criminal charges, due to various “cat out of the bag:” and other issues, it can compromise the criminal investigation

                shit like that REALLY matters IF you want justice done.

                the prosecutor’s ultimate decision will be -is there enough (admissable – and remember that compelled testimony pursuant to internal/civil/admin investigations are not admissable in criminal trial) ADMISSABLE evidence to prove charge X beyond a reasonable doubt.

                he can draw on information gleaned from ALL of these investigations, as long as the methods of evidence gathering meet admissability criteria w/in the state court system – which is necessarily stricter than the federal system, since state is bound by BOTH state AND federal const. AND state and federal case law and thus is more protective of suspect rights than federal jurisdictions

                and thank you for asking a REASONable question!

                1. and of course in terms of the variance…it varies. in my jurisdiction, prosecutors office does not HAVE investigators. some prosecutors offices do, and in california iiuc they usually do. the prosecutor office in both cases does investigations, but if they don’t have their own investigators they have to rely on the others that are used. where they DO, they can rely on both their own and others

                2. and thank you for asking a REASONable question!

                  Thanks for your answer – quite informative. And, DRINK!

                3. Serious question:

                  Why was Ryan Frederick arrested IMMEDIATELY upon shooting of cop and not after a month+ long investigation?

                  How is this any different?

                  1. How often does any identified person kill a cop and then tool around free while the investigation progresses?

                    1. i keep explaining to you how and why these cases are different (your example doesn’t involve multipronged investigations) and you (the plural YOU) keep ignoring it. i answer AGAIN below

                  2. because, as i try to explain (you glossed over my stuff apparently), his case did not involve a bifurcated (or even more “pronged”) investigation wherein his acts were committed at least ostensibly “line of duty”

                    i am trying to explain to you WHY these cases ARE different. they really ARE.

                    i’ve seen any # of cases (like domestic violence incidents) involving off duty cops where they are also IMMEDIATELY arrested. those are analogous to the frederick’s case and distinguishable from this case for the reasons mentioned (drinK!)

                    in cases like this, where there is no nexus to on duty shit and that shit doesn’t apply, cops are ROUTINELY arrested “lickety split”/summarily. they don’t involve the same kind of issues

                    1. Three weeks after the parents of Kelly Thomas’ took their homeless schizophrenic son off life…

                      As far as I can tell, it is impossible to beat someone into a coma accidentally.

                      Three weeks is plenty of time to know that this is a crime.

                    2. Yes in my opinion.

                      This is radically different that the recent case where the police shot the guy with the beer bottles in a plastic bag.

                      In this case, the police beat a man into submission and then continued to beat the man. There is absolutely no way for this act to be justfied.

                    3. again, iyo. the inquiry process is underway and if there’s sufficient evidence to support criminal charges, i hope they are preferred

                    4. If I understand correctly, since the supervisor can compel testimony, among other issues, this can screw the potential criminal case if done improperly? So the prosecutor must wait for the department investigation to be sure he is not using ‘tainted’ evidence? Or am I misunderstanding the issue here?

                    5. kind of. generally speaking, when it’s at least reasonably possible that a criminal case might happen, the supervisor will NOT compel (administrative) testimony because he does not want to taint that investigation.

                      dept’s CAN make a determination of unjustified killing/violation of policy w.o officer compelled testimony and often do. but they have to be careful about compelling testimony in cases like this…

                    6. when it’s at least reasonably possible that a criminal case might happen, the supervisor will NOT compel (administrative) testimony because he does not want to taint that investigation.

                      In which case, there is only the criminal investigation, so need need for the bifurcated investigation, so no reason not to arrest immediately.

                    7. false. there is STILL the bifurcated investigation whether or not officer testimony is immediately compelled.

                      sorry, as usual – you are wrong on the facts. you are like a blind man with the tiniest bit of sensory data , trying to make sense of a big picture you understand nothing about

                      and you are obsessed with ARREST vs. getting actual justice

                    8. Dunphy, I follow a lot of these cases including not line duty ones and they are not charged quickly and the investigations still go on much longer. See tje case of the cop in Denver pulling a gun at the McDonalds drive thru in 2010.

                      Heck, I just found this one today, from Tucson PD about a Lt. The investigation went on for 9 months, and he was only placed on paid leave after 8 months – it’s a child internet solicitation case.…..6a0bb.html

                      These don’t get put in police blotters and are hidden from the media/public until an investigative reporter digs it up, or it’s made public in court records.

                      Most cop DUI cases that I read about only happen when there’s an accident and a report and arrest can’t be avoided. They ride these cases out for a very long time all while on duty or paid leave.

                      And why not release the video in this case, which by the way only came out when the father went public. The brass and union tried to sweep it under the rug and all these guys were on the street.

                      I also see DAs taking it real easy on them with plea deals compared to what the general public get.

                      Laura Victoria (haven’t we chatted at Volokh?)

                    9. we probably have chatted at volokh. i have seen three recent cases of officers (two from my agency and one from another) who were arrested for DUI not one of those cases involved accidents.

                      ALSO, not one of those cases was ever written about in the media.

                      the one advantage i have is that i am privy to cases and investigations that never rise to court level (let alone media level). there’s a LOT more that goes on.

                      we had cop arrested for dui who never told anybody in our agency about it (he was not required to btw).

                      however, he ended up getting fired when a routine license check of his license during an ACCESS/WACIC class revealed it to be suspended. iow, he was knowingly coming to work every day with a suspended license lol.

                      he got fired for that.

                      either way, the case never made the paper

                      there was no accident involved. he was pulled over and arrested for dui

                      all i will say is that there is a lot more in heaven and earth than what newspapers report

                    10. So, here’s my question: Is there some reason why the departmental investigation *should* take precedence over the criminal investigation? Why not arrest the accused cop, conduct the criminal investigation, and then, after the decision as to whether to prosecute and any subsequent prosecution is made, then let the department do its own investigation? If the prosecutor prosecutes, and the jury finds guilty, the departmental investigation is moot; if the prosecutor does not prosecute, or the jury finds not guilty, there’s still any departmental investigation to deal with.

                      Why does it not happen in that order?

                  3. Maybe Ryan Frederick should have first checked to see if Ryan Frederick had deviated from Ryan Frederick’s internal policies and procedures? Perhaps?

                    1. exactly. you answer your own question, sarcastically.

                      cops are summarily arrested (at the scene) for all kinds of shit all the time – DUI, domestic violence, etc.

                      those cases, like the fredericks case don’t have the confounding issues that THIS case has.

                      you can keep ignoring the differences or you can recognize them

                      there is a lot of whining about “omg they are still getting paid etc.”

                      assume arguendo it takes a little while to get the cards in order to prosecute and they get fired a week or more for now.

                      BFD- what is MORe important – that the proper case be made so that – assuming criminal charges are warranted, they are convicted and get 20 yrs or whatever…

                      or not…

                      iow, does this month matter more than the next 20 yrs?

                      justice can take time. ALL SORTS of murder suspects routinely get released on bail and don’t go to jail for months or even YEARS until they are finally convicted

                    2. “justice can take time. ALL SORTS of murder suspects routinely get released on bail and don’t go to jail for months or even YEARS until they are finally convicted”

                      Most of those murderers are at least arrested and charged initially.

                    3. correct. as are OFF DUTY cops involved in suspected crimes

                      when they are on duty, there are considerations i have explained as to why it often doesn’t happen as quickly as you would like

                    4. “when they are on duty, there are considerations i have explained as to why it often doesn’t happen as quickly as you would like”

                      ….which is a damned shame, especially in this case, where we have plenty of eyewitness testimony that an unarmed, nonviolent man was beaten to death.

                    5. get released on bail

                      Thats what I want in this case. They can take there time, but I want an arrest and arraignment. 4 weeks ago.

                    6. i know you want it. and i’ve explained why it’s problematic.

                      arrest is a simple process, but among other things it can “start the clock” and even in cases involving non-cops, we (the cops) frequently decide NOT to arrest even when we have ample PC for STRATEGIC reasons. we do it all the fucking time

                      again, you are putting your personal desire to have a perp walk of sorts override the REAL CONCERN which is that a proper investigation is done, and if a crime occurred, it be prosecuted. THAT is what is important.

                      a quick booking and release will nto get justice for kelly thomas. a successful prosecution (again, assuming it’s warranted) WILL

                      the former is what your lust wants, though. the latter is what justice demands

                    7. arrest is a simple process, but among other things it can “start the clock” and even in cases involving non-cops, we (the cops) frequently decide NOT to arrest even when we have ample PC for STRATEGIC reasons. we do it all the fucking time

                      Im aware of this. But to use the Frederick example again, starting the clock didnt concern them that night. If concerns over “justice” were so fucking important, you would think the cops would have wanted to maximize justice for their fallen comrade.

                      But they arrested immediately instead.

                      I want cops treated exactly like non-cops, only with trebled punishments (I know Im not getting the last). There is no need for anything but the criminal investigation, the HR due process can wait.

                      Arrest, arraign, investigate, indict, try, sentence.

                      No reason that step 1 and 2 having already happened.

                    8. there are many reasons, and i’ve explained them as much as i can. you want an arrest. one may be forthcoming

                      but the interests of actual justice override your desire for AN ARREST!

                    9. but the interests of actual justice override your desire for AN ARREST!
                      reply to this

                      You didnt answer my question. If this is true, why didnt the interests of acutal justice override the desire for AN ARREST in the Frederick case?

                    10. Actual justice requires an arrest. There is no reason to treat your “LOD” killing any different than any other killing. Piss on the “Policethug’s bill of rights”

                    11. Except — and here’s the rub for me — the investigation is *made* more complicated by this bifurcated investigatory model you keep raising. So it seems to me that the police *do* benefit from being police. Because of the multiple overlapping investigations, and the possibility that someone may screw up someone’s investigation, it would seem to me that the process does take longer when it’s cops being investigated.

                    12. cops are summarily arrested (at the scene) for all kinds of shit all the time – DUI, domestic violence, etc.

                      I don’t dispute that.

                      The problem many of us have, or perhaps just me, is that the law is applied and enforced differently based on whether or not you were acting “in the line of duty”. I don’t think that’s a good idea.

                      For every officer you’ve seen who is hit harder than a civilian by prosecutors, I will say I’ve seen one whose crimes are swept under the rug by sympathetic colleagues. And for every one of those, there’s another one whose crimes are swept under the rug that we don’t even know about because there’s no video. Your anecdotal evidence is as persuasive to me as mine is to you.

                      The policies thing is bullshit. Internal policies are not law. They’re an HR matter. Does your nose bleed any less if I tell you my face punch was textbook right out to my own policy manual?

                    13. that’s great. i understand what you want does not match how the reality of these cases works

                      but the ultimate goal is justice for thomas, not a summary arrest. a summary arrest will make you feel good. it’s not justice. justice is, evne in a process vs. results sense, to get a proper case to prosecute (assuming a crime occurred), not that omg the cops got handcuffs slapped on them.

                      arrests are not supposed to be punitive, remember?

                      we can wank all you want about how you think it SHOULD be. i am telling you how it is. and why. you can thank me for it, because i suggest you probably didn’t understand the complexities of these investigations before i explaiend them (briefly) or criticize me for it. but i am not the cause. i am the messenger.

                    14. I can’t think of any time a summary arrest would make me feel good, and I complain about reality all the time. But if these gentlemen are murderers (and the evidence is pretty conclusive so far that they are) then the current procedures allowed murderers to continue to act with authority over fellow citizens, allowing for the potential for more murders under the color of law, for well beyond the time civilian suspects with the same evidence would be allowed to roam without arrest.

                    15. only a jury can conclude that they are murderers. arrests are made (or not made) for any # of reasons given probable cause of murder, or any other crime

                      i can tell you that, even with noncops, in MANY cases where there is PC for a crime, we will not arrest (strategically) for any # of reasons.

                      people who watch too much teevee don’t understand this

                    16. only a jury can conclude that they are murderers.

                      I told everyone the Juice wasn’t a murderer but they wouldn’t hear it.

                    17. fine, amend to “make a LEGAL conclusion”

                    18. That makes me wonder if investigators conclude that the action taking by the Fullerton Six was justified, will you accept that as gospel? If the FBI and District Attorney’s office stamp everything kosher in the death of Thomas, you will be satisfied justice has been done?

                  4. He wasn’t wearing a state issued clown costume with snazzy costume jewelry.

                4. All of these investigations can be conducted after an arrest. The arrest itself does not taint the investigation.

                  1. sometimes it does. and i have explained why. it;’s a tactical decision, also

        2. what “justified use of force?”

          who has claimed this use of force was justified? your Mr. Strawman again?

    2. All of which I agree with. How long does it take to empanel a grand jury, anyway? More or less than 3 weeks?

    3. They’re going to drag their feet as long as they can on this one, simply out of an ingrained resistance to accountability. But in the long run, given the outcry, I think they’re going to realize that the damage they’d incur trying to sweep this under the rug would be greater than that caused by a highly publicized murder trial. I know I sound pollyannaish, but I really am optimistic that someone’s gonna hang for this, and in a big way.

    4. Now now, we know according to dunphy that prosecutors are overzealous when it comes to (over)charging cops any chance they get! It’ll be so bad reason staffers will be marching outide the jail with “Free the Fullerton Five!” signs.

      1. yawn. we don’t know that. we know that SOMETIMES they are and in several cases where cops were acquitted, even JURORS admitted that the reason was because the cops were “guilty of something” but not of the overcharge the prosecutors gave them as the only choice

    5. pounds of flesh! indictments! not that there’s evidence these are supported in regards to the supervisors, but the reason ignorati have spoken.

  9. Let this serve as a cautionary tale for other cops who think they can get away with beating innocent people to death.

    1. Yeah, you’ll get paid time off. How terrible! This will ONLY be a lesson if actual criminal charges are brought and these thugs are convicted. I’m not holding my breath on that one.

      1. of course criminal charges are routinely brought against police officers when the evidence supports it.

        otoh, when it comes to reason ignorati, if it doesn’t happen immediately, it must be a coverup!!!!!

        1. Evidence like videotape and multiple eyewitnesses?

        2. In your opinion, you think the evidence does not support charges in this case?

          1. i am not privy to THE EVIDENCE to a large extent , nor are you. based on what i’ve seen and heard (and an anonymous caller to a radio station isn’t exactly compelling under the aguilar spinelli standard of reliability of evidence/testimony), i strongly suspect there is enough evidence to criminally charge.

            but considering there are so many holes in what we know, i am hardly SURE about that.

            again, if i was going to bet, i’d be like 75% confident criminal charges will come about. but again, i’m not privy to a lot of shit that has not been released.

            if , for example, there was not legal justification to strike the guy in the head with a hard object (which is generally only justified – by cop or noncop in a deadly force situation), and death resulted, that’s a gimme for criminal charge of at least voluntary manslaughter if not murder

            1. If the evidence were exactly the same except 5 guys beat a cop to death, what do you estimate the odds of those guys not be arrested would be at this point?

              1. because the evidence would NOT be exactly the same. you can continue to ignore the differences but these cops initally stopped thomas pursuant to a terry for a crime. acting in that capacity, that is distinguishable from your example

                these differences MATTER – legally, procedurally, etc. and they SHOULD matter

                again, what is more important – successful prosecution that could put them away for 20 yrs or even life or whatever? or a few weeks or even months while the cards are being collected?

                the myopia is astounding.

                people who get tried for murder btw often wait months to even go to trial, perfectly free, especially if they are rich

                welcome to the real world

                1. these differences MATTER – legally, procedurally, etc. and they SHOULD matter

                  No, they shouldn’t. Hell, maybe the 5 guys had reasonable suspicion that the cop was violating the law and he assaulted them.

                  people who get tried for murder btw often wait months to even go to trial, perfectly free, especially if they are rich

                  Without at least a pro forma arrest?

                  welcome to the real world

                  Yeah, the real world in which cops who are supposedly trained professionals get all the benefits of the doubt and the professional courtesies while civilians get to STFU and do what they are told even if the cop is wrong.

                  1. the argument that they get “all the benefit of the doubt” is laughable. like i said, my dept JUST rehired an officer, paid him backpay and a civil settlement after giving him essentially NO benefit of the doubt , firing him prematurely, etc.

                    and after he won in court, he took THEM to court. and won

                    so, again, your premise is specious

                    that aside, if you are interested in justice, you will look at the big picture, not obsess over a frigging arrest

                    last i checked, OJ’s well publicized low speed pursuit/arrest didn’t lead to justice, from a process or a results angle

                    obsessing over ARREST is ridiculous imo. but typical of shortsightedness

                    1. Let’s cut to the chase: I think what people here want to know is, in your view, exactly how egregious does an officer’s crime have to be that not even his costume affords him protection from immediate arrest?

                      People are arrested all the time for crimes like assault or murder, based solely on eyewitness accounts. Based on what we’ve learned so far, I’m pretty sure there’s no shortage of eyewitnesses who will readily testify that five men beat an unarmed man to death, and that the beating continued even after he had stopped moving, a crime in most jurisdictions.

                    2. do you know, among other things, that those people’s testimony WAS given to investigators at the scene?

                      i don’t.

                      i think if there is clear and convincing (which is an accepted standard in trials among the standards) evidence at a scene that an officer committed a crime of violence, that an arrest should be made.

                      also, something like DUI where an arrest needs ot be made to preserve evidence.

                      also, it should happen for a crime of dishonesty, like theft.

                      the thing is with uses of force is that the devil (pun intended) is in the details. i think investigators should be very cautious about summary arrest in UOF situations.

                      i have a lot of cases where i won;’t arrest and i refer case to the prosecutors.

                      in cops uses of force, i think there needs to be very strong e.g. clear and convincing evidence of a crime.

                      that’s MY opinion

                    3. i think if there is clear and convincing (which is an accepted standard in trials among the standards) evidence at a scene that an officer committed a crime of violence, that an arrest should be made.


                      So “clear and convincing evidence” of a crime is needed to arrest a cop? Where’d you get that from? That standard does not apply to another human being in this country. The rest of us are arrested for probable cause.

                    4. you asked for my opinion. i gave it

                    5. “do you know, among other things, that those people’s testimony WAS given to investigators at the scene?”

                      Are we really supposed to believe that witnesses didn’t immediately come forward and give statements?

                      “i think if there is clear and convincing (which is an accepted standard in trials among the standards) evidence at a scene that an officer committed a crime of violence, that an arrest should be made.”

                      “Clear and convincing,” of course, including testimony from multiple eyewitnesses, right?

                2. Assume Cop A makes a lawful traffic stop. He radios in that the stop is for a broken tail light. 50 people then see Cop A pull the driver out of the car, put him on his knees, incapacitate him, then blow his brains out with his revolver from behind.

                  You are telling me that the legitimacy of the traffic stop is a reason to let Cop A walk around twon for two weeks while the matter is investigated? That’s absurd.

                  1. no. i am not. that case would far exceed clear and convincing and he should be arrested no question

                    1. Wait, I’ve got one! How about five cops beat to death an unarmed, nonviolent man in front of a crowd of witnesses, even if the reason for confronting him in the first place was legitimate? Should the assailants be arrested, no question?

            2. Actually that anon caller to the radio station would probably be considered a reliable untested informant given the fact that he provided information that was yet unknown to the public – the existence of the city surveillance video. Thats applying the illinois v gates test, not the aguilar-spinelli test, which is not used in most states. I think you might want to listen to that caller again with that in mind.

  10. You know they wouldn’t even be on leave if it wasn’t for the coverage this story been getting.

    They prefer to keep them as isolated incidents. Move along, nothing to see here.

    1. Sugarfree needs to write some Dunphy SlashFic.

      Officer Dunphy inserted the Maglight ever deeper into his anus…

      1. He sighed heavily, knowing it MIGHT LOOK BAD.

      2. Sugarfree needs to write some Dunphy SlashFic.

        Nope. I’m not spending my time on someone who sees a guy beat to death with flashlights and whose only concern is that a website is being [gasp] critical toward that poor man’s murderers.

        1. no, my MAIN concern is with justice as stated repeatedly. if criminal charges are warranted, i wish they be pressed at least as much as you.

          so, as usual… you are wrong

          1. Uh-huh. Sure. Cool story, bro.

            1. sorry, if the truth fails to move you. i realize that rhetoric and hysteria are more suited to you

  11. The fact that Lawrence O’Donnell, Anderson Cooper, PZ Myers, etc. can get worked up about a dumb little clip of a shitty Reason intern’s interaction with a brain-dead Hollywood type like Matt Damon and not find a single fucking moment to highlight the Fullerton Cops story gets my fucking blood boiling.

    Fuck you, you statist scum!

    1. I don’t think they can hear you.

  12. Must be nice being able to beat someone to death and get a vacation out of it that doesn’t involve prison….

    1. Membership has its privileges.

    2. it’s called due process.

      1. If a group of onlookers had rushed the five (or was it six?) officers, disarmed them, and placed them in their own handcuffs, would those people be at work today?

        1. Naw. I’m sure they’d be on paid administrative leave.

          1. Exactly. Due process, ya know.

        2. yawn. the same tired meme. asked and answered.

          1. Well how about a refresher for those of us who missed it?

            1. i’ve written more than enough and added several comments. read them.

              1. So you’ve given us your take as to what would’ve happened if concerned onlookers had overpowered these officers and placed them under citizen’s arrest, and whether or not said onlookers would be free right now pending the results of an investigation?

                Okay, I’ll go search the thread again….

              2. And we find your explanations to be insufficient. All you do is explain process as it exists; you do not justify why those processes exist, which is what I care about. I know you know your processes. I don’t fucking care how well-versed in procedure you are. What I want to know is, WHY are you afforded higher standards than the hoi polloi?

                You almost touched on it, up above, when you said they SHOULD be different (emphasis yours). But you never said why. And don’t give me this multi-pronged investigation bullshit. If any random dude was arrested for this, he wouldn’t get a paid vacation so that his company could investigate whether he broke their particular policy without stepping on the toes of the criminal invetigators. I, and despite your assurances to the contrary, many other people, will never trust your kind until you can justify why you deserve super-special extra rights in these sorts of situations.

                BTW, don’t trot out statistics about how “cops are respected”. I guaran-fucking-tee you that if you went around to any 100 random people, and asked them if they were more nervous, or reassured, whenever they see a cop on the road, you’d get more “nervous” responses. That does not indicate respect; it indicates that 1) they lie on the surveys you’re so proud of, and 2) they fear you. Sadly, it is easy for authoritarians to confuse fear and respect, though I assure you, they are distinct concepts.

                1. i don;’t concede they are higher. i concede that in LINE OF DUTY behaviors (whether death involved or other) by cops, the LAW is the same as to the elements of a crime

                  however, procedures are somewhat different

                  if the cops committed a crime, they are just beholden to the california justice system as anybody else.

                  in many respects, they get worse treatment than an average suspect – for example, they routinely face dual prosecutions (see OJ trial) which non-cops ALMOST never do

                  it’s de facto double jeopardy imo

                  if your point is that investigators upon arriving at the kelly thomas scene should have made a summary arrest, i agree that your point is arguable. i don’t know what they were privy to at the scene.

                  regardless, they didn’t,

                  what i WANT is justice. i want a fair, impartial investigation. i want the cops’ rights protected, just like any suspect, and i want justice for kelly thomas.

                  1. ugh, by dual prosecutions, i mean rodney king trial, not OJ trial

                    1. if your point is that investigators upon arriving at the kelly thomas scene should have made a summary arrest, i agree that your point is arguable. i don’t know what they were privy to at the scene.

                      I think that’s the essence of the whole argument. I don’t think anyone here (though I won’t claim to speak for everyone, SLD, etc.) would buy that a normal group of dudes wouldn’t have been arrested immediately at the scene. If that is the case, then the fact that they weren’t is most likely attributable to their being police officers. Thus they are receiving better treatment (most people would argue that not being arrested is preferable to, oh, I don’t know, say, being arrested) because of their status in society (i.e. profession).

                      The question is, WHY are they afforded that better treatment? What justifies it?

                    2. the fact is that you can ignore it all you want, but the fact that the death occurred pursuant to an investigatory procedure (terry stop etc.) makes it a more complex question and i can understand why there would be a hesitation to summarily arrest

                      and also, do you even know if the people overheard in the metro bus tape approached investigators and offered to provide signed sworn statements?

                      that is key, and i frankly have no idea. do you?

                    3. That’s a good question. OTOH, they just witnessed five cops beat a man to death for no apparent reason. Those officers are not under arrest. Can you see why witnesses might be a wee bit leery of volunteering themselves?

          2. Police are delegated powers by the citizens. Citizens can not delegate powers they do not have.

  13. One of the things about this incident is that, even if you the guy was violently resisting arrest, I do not believe this amount of damage could have been done unless the beating continued after he was incapacitated.
    In other words, even if some degree of violence was justified in making the arrest, I do not believe anything could justify the degree of violence that was inflicted.

  14. Matt Damon!

    1. Funny every time!

  15. Reminds me of this scene from The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    “Hey, they’re shooting at us,” said Arthur, crouching in a tight ball, “I thought they said they didn’t want to do that.”

    “Yeah, I thought they said that,” agreed Ford.

    Zaphod stuck a head up for a dangerous moment.

    “Hey,” he said, “I thought you said you didn’t want to shoot us!” and ducked again.

    They waited.

    After a moment a voice replied, “It isn’t easy being a cop!”

    “What did he say?” whispered Ford in astonishment.

    “He said it isn’t easy being a cop.”

    “Well surely that’s his problem isn’t it?”

    “I’d have thought so.”

    Ford shouted out, “Hey listen! I think we’ve got enough problems on our own having you shooting at us, so if you could avoid laying your problems on us as well, I think we’d all find it easier to cope!”

    Another pause, and then the loud hailer again.

    “Now see here, guy,” said the voice on the loud hailer, “you’re not dealing with any dumb two-bit triggerpumping
    morons with low hairlines, little piggy eyes and no conversation, we’re a couple of intelligent caring guys that you’d probably quite like if you met us socially! I don’t go around gratuitously shooting people and then bragging about it afterwards in seedy space-rangers bars, like some cops I could mention! I go around shooting people gratuitously and then I agonize about it afterwards for hours to my girlfriend!”

    “And I write novels!” chimed in the other cop. “Though I haven’t had any of them published yet, so I better warn you, I’m in a meeeean mood!”

    Ford’s eyes popped halfway out of their sockets. “Who are these guys?” he said.

    “Dunno,” said Zaphod, “I think I preferred it when they were shooting.”

    “So are you going to come quietly,” shouted one of the cops again, “or are you going to let us blast you out?”

    “Which would you prefer?” shouted Ford.

    A millisecond later the air about them started to fry again, as bolt after bolt of Kill-O-Zap hurled itself into the computer bank in front of them.

    The fusillade continued for several seconds at unbearable intensity.
    When it stopped, there were a few seconds of near quietness ad the echoes died away.

    “You still there?” called one of the cops.

    “Yes,” they called back.

    “We didn’t enjoy doing that at all,” shouted the other cop.

    “We could tell,” shouted Ford.

    “Now, listen to this, Beeblebrox, and you better listen good!”

    “Why?” shouted Back Zaphod.

    “Because,” shouted the cop, “it’s going to be very intelligent, and quite interesting and humane! Now
    either you all give yourselves up now and let us beat you up a bit, though not very much of course because we are firmly opposed to needless violence, or we blow up this entire planet and possibly one or two others we noticed on our way out here!”

    “But that’s crazy!” cried Trillian. “You wouldn’t do that!”

    “Oh yes we would,” shouted the cop, “wouldn’t we?” he asked the other one.

    “Oh yes, we’d have to, no question,” the other one called back.

    “But why?” demanded Trillian.

    “Because there are some things you have to do even if you are an enlightened liberal cop who knows
    all about sensitivity and everything!”

    “I just don’t believe these guys,” muttered Ford, shaking his head.

    One cop shouted to the other, “Shall we shoot them again for a bit?”

    “Yeah, why not?”

    1. Man, Douglas Adams could write!

      1. Am I the only one who didn’t like this book?

        1. Yes. Now go get in your shame corner.

          1. [shame mode: enabled]

            1. HHGTTG, not RedDwarf.

            2. I LOL’d.

              1. Comedy is tragedy!

                Thanks Kristen

        2. Yes. Keep your heresies to yourself, along with your venomous spurs.

        3. You only read one of them?!?! Personally, I think Life, the Universe and Everything was the best.

        4. If you want to rag on the movie, though, I think you’ll find a few supporters.

          1. Definitely. Though Sam Rockwell did Zaphod proud, IMHO. The rest was shite.

            1. I thought the way they did the two heads on Zaphod was pretty stupid.

              1. I was talking more about Sam Rockwell’s acting than the costuming, but yeah.

            2. I liked the thread scene.

              And that was about it.

  16. The FBI will not sweep this under the rug.

    1. Well, we’ll get a good test case for conservatives’ assertions about Eric Holder’s racist tendencies.

  17. If they get put in prison they will likely be killed by other inmates.


    1. Actually, they would be put in protective custody, not general population.

      1. Or a raise.

      2. We had one of our “New Professionalism” deputies shoot himself in the arm to try and get disability retirement. After it came out and he was arrested. He was held in a neighboring jail. His lawyer cried for months on end how he needed to be released because even in PC the scum’s life was in danger and every food tray the scum got was covered in feces and spit.

    2. I gotta disagree, sarcasmic. The state has a duty to protect people in its care, even if those people are odious human scum. I think that applies even more so when those people are in the care of the criminal justice system.

      1. I’m one of those nutters who believes that all prison does is teach people how to live in prison.
        If I were king crimes would be punished by pain, public humiliation and death.
        Alas I am not king.

        That said, as long as we have a prison system, true justice would be served by locking up those cops general population and letting the inmates tear them apart limb from limb.

    3. I’d be content just to see them removed from society forever. No need for anything on top of that.

  18. This website from the residents is informative

    1. But still, the majority of Fullerton’s city council have refused to release the video that clarifies the police actions that lead to the death of Kelly Thomas on that night.

      Odds on the video being ‘lost’ or ‘damaged’ etc.?

      1. This is the sort of situation in which a rabid lynch mob would be good — break in, take the tape, and show it at the nearest movie theater. That would be great.

        1. Wouldn’t that just be a rapid burglary mob?

          1. Correct, cynical. The rapid lynch mob was the one that beat this man to death.

  19. You guys are incredibly generous today, because “thugs” doesn’t even begin to describe these people.

  20. These people should be fired on the spot and if this person dies then they should all be charged to the fullest extent possible. Police are supposed to protect not beat people…to death.

    1. if this person dies

      Yeah… a little too late for that. He’s dead.

    2. if this person dies

      He did.

    3. lol “fired on the spot”

      due process… not for dinner

      1. Due process? Where’s mine?

        1. assuming there was criminal act on part of the officers, just like in any murder trial (cop or non-cop), the state speaks for the victim and attempts to get him justice. assuming a crime happened, of course the victim did not GET due process. that’s why it’s a WAIT FOR IT… crime

          whether committed by OJ or the cops here.

          murder victims didn’t GET due process. that’s why it would be … wait for it… murder. duh

      2. LOL @ due process for employment

        1. when you are an employee of the govt. and work according to collective bargaining, etc. due process applies


          1. HAHAHA I’ll have to remember that “due process” thing next time I fuck up at my job. Guess getting fired for screwing up is only for us private sector “civilians”.

            You really should be ashamed of the way you make a living.

            1. depending on whether you are in a right to work state, and/or you have union protection, collective bargaining agreement etc. you may also require more or less due process before being fired.

              considering the metric assload of SUCCESSFUL lawsuits after unlawful firing in the PRIVATE sector, my point is obviously valid.

              depends on the facts and circ’s of your employment

              LOTS of private sector employees can’t be fired w.o significant due process

              and i know several officers who won rather fat lawsuits after getting unjustly fired.

          2. The existence of a status quo is not a justification for that status quo.

            1. whether or not it is, you need to distinguish the normative from the factual.

              i am stating how it is.

          3. “Due process” refers to legal due process.

            Contractual terms and conditions are not “due process” and should not be referred to as such. It dumbs down the real thing, and elevates the contract far above its station.

            And, seriously, dunphy, you’re still taking a “wait and see” attitude on whether you think a crime was committed here?

            1. Many collective bargaining agreements use the term “due process” when discussing terminations, etc.

              Also, state and federal statutes confer according-to-hoyle due process rights to state and federal employees.

              1. correct. as do lawsuits (such as the one on my fellow officers won) for unjustified termination

                that;s a matter of FACT, not opinion

                as to whether a crime occurred. i will say it one more time. i think it much more likely than not that a crime occurred here. i am also NOT privy to tons of evidence that the prosecutors are privy to

                so yes, there are too many holes for me to come to a conclusion

          4. A prime argument on why government employees should not be allowed to enter into collective bargaining agreements. At will employment is good enough for them.

      3. Due process shouldn’t apply to state employment, that’s just bullshit that state employees made up to further insulate themselves from accountability for their actions.

        1. iyo. imo, it should.

          and the fact is that it does.

          lots of private sector employees also have similar protections. depends on whether they have a CBA, etc.

          in many respects we have fewer rights than private sector employees, in others we have more – pursuant to CBA’s

          1. And that’s the heart of this, isn’t it? Mixing criminal due process with certain administrative and CBA concerns for those who have the potential to inflict unwarranted violence on other people. Until you see this, and why it frustrates people on this board, you’ll really never get it.

            Police are afforded, for obvious and not-so-obvious policy reasons, certain procedural guarantees far beyond what any normal person gets. When normal citizens see those guarantees being abused, possibly systematically, asses get chafed. Constantly chiding people about ignoring procedural concerns is missing the point — it’s the procedural guarantees that are the crux of the issue. You’re taking these guarantees as a given good, and the problem with that is while we’ve made policy decisions to grant police officers wide berth to do their jobs, these protections we give to the police are explicit policy trade-offs we allow for our own protection, our own functioning as a society, not as an end unto themselves, and certainly not to keep the police out of jail for criminal acts they might commit, on the job or not.

            Just my two cents. You seem to be really missing the point, your post outlining the four procedural investigations upthread notwithstanding, and informative.

          2. Coeus|8.2.11 @ 9:22PM|#

            what exactly do you have a problem with?

            You are constantly deflecting critism from LEOs and police unions by pretending that the objections are just as hysterical as the common left wing objection to corporations. You do this by either making false equivalencies or putting words in someone’s mouth (or comment, as the case may be). It’s tiresome and annoying.

            what exactly is your point? cop unions help cops with lawyers? the right to an attorney is part of due process. you got a problem with that?

            There goes that reading comprehension again. I restate:

            And paying for someone’s legal defense is not due process. It’s paying for someone’s legal defense. Due process involves defense being available. Whether they pay or not, defense is available.

            You’ve got to quit conflating union benifits with due process of law. I’ve brought this to your attention before. It’s quite unbecoming.

            And just to make sure you’ve got it this time, I’ll go further. When you say “due process for everyone but cops” when we bemoan the union lawyer, you’re implying that when someone objects to obviously guilty cops getting an expensive lawyer from the union, and thus being shielded even monetarialy (in addition to qualified immunity) from their actions, it’s the same as wanting the person to have no lawyer or trial.

            When you say “due process for everyone but the cops” when we want a cop fired, you’re implying that when we want to take a possibly dangerous person out of a position of authority, it’s the same as wanting him sentenced in a court of law without a trial or representation. It’s a willful deflection that can only be explained by one of two things:

            1)It’s a deliberate ploy to deflect criticism from way police misconduct is handled.

            2)You don’t actually know what due process of law is.
            reply to this

            1. it’s tiresome and annoying to you because it has the ring of truth. cops are ALWAYS suspect here, just like corps are to leftists

              we have a whole other blog entry where people draw conclusions without (with but one or two exceptions) even questioning the basis of their conclusions – an ANONYMOUS CALL TO A TALK RADIO STATION

              if THAT is not evidence of bias, nothing is.

              i want bad cops fired. i want criminal cops prosecuted.

              we agree on that.

              i do not want rush to judgment

              1. Actually, this is the part I find tiresome and annoying:
                You do this by either making false equivalencies or putting words in someone’s mouth (or comment, as the case may be).

  21. Where’s the outrage Reason? You bunch of right-wing hacks. I, of course, have been covering this case since the beginning.

    *producer nudges O’Donnell*

    Oh, I mean I would have, if the right wing hacks hadn’t covered this up. Right wing hacks!!

    1. *sluuuuuuurp*

  22. Lawrence, meet dunphy.
    dunphy, Lawrence.

  23. Hey, does anyone know how I can assign half my assets and future income to improving the lot of teachers struggling desperately with grinding poverty and sub-standard school supplies?

  24. dunphy — until you can explain why these cops are not just walking around free, but still on the job; whereas a “civilian” would be cooling his heels in jail with a bond that would undoubtedly be astronomical, if extant, then all you got is so much blah blah blah

    1. This. And he wont address the issue.

      1. He cares about the truth.

      2. It’s just the same tired meme. Or something. Hey, did you hear about the time a cop was prosecuted?

        1. And nothing else happened.

      3. i’ve addressed it several times.

        see above…

        1. No you didnt. A bifurcated investigation doesnt prevent arrest.

          1. i’ve explained why there are several reasons why an arrest hasn’t happened yet. it’s mostly speculation, since neither you nor i know all the case facts the prosecutor knows now.

            the primary issue in justice is (assuming a crime occurred) a successful case is prosecuted. handcuffs or not happening right away is a minor distraction, despite the fact that you really want it and it would make you FEEL good.

            justice is more important than your feelings

            1. Its not about feelings, its about equality before the law.

              Any other group of 6 thugs beating a guy to death would have been arrested, even if they did it line of duty (the Crips have duties).

              1. rob, you can keep ignoring the distinctions, and maybe you believe they are distinctions w.o a difference, but they are what they are.

                stuff does NOT happen the same as when non-cops do shit (on duty cops vs. plain jane shit including OFF duty cops), but other shit applies as well

                for example, after this killing, the dept. can and would (i hope) seize the officer’s flashlights, uniforms, etc. etc. as EVIDENCE.

                they don’t need to arrest to do that.

                whereas, generally speaking, with a non-cop after an arrest they ‘d need to arrest to get that shit (w.o a warrant) and even with a warrant, they’d need to detain the guy for the fucntional equivalent of an arrest why they waited.

                there are several reasons for arrest, and in on duty cop cases, several reasons why those don’t apply – such as the above evidentiary reasons.

                i’ll ignore your trollish crips/cops comparison (which i am sure you will justify with the “copsare a criminal gang” type stupid rhetoric)

                i’ve done what i can do explaingin the differences to you. if you think it’s unjust then lobby for change. i’ve told you HOW IT IS. yea butting me won;’t change reality

                1. i’ll ignore your trollish crips/cops comparison (which i am sure you will justify with the “copsare a criminal gang” type stupid rhetoric)

                  I wasnt even going there, that is your projection.

                  I was just saying that everyone is always acting within a Line of Duty.

                  1. I was just saying that everyone is always acting within a Line of Duty.

                    seriously, if you are interested in actual discussion, let me know. that above statement was the example of absurd sophistry that is not even worth responding to

                    are you more interested in word games and arguing for the sake of arguing or actual exchange of ideas?

                    with crap like that, i lean towards the former

                    1. When you understand why that statement I made is not just a word game, my entire interaction with you will be clarified.

                      There was something I thought related to you the other day, but the thread was dead but this seems the perfect place to post it.

                      What makes you better than many cops, is you seem to lack the “respect my authoritah” need that many cops have. However, you have a different problem, you respect authority too much. This is why you (deservedly) blame the legislature. You consider them an authority. Ditto with “procedures”. When you give that up and start following real authority*, you will understand.

                      *as an evangelical christian, my claims as to said real authority differ from many on this forum. But it works out surprisingly the same.

                    2. i don;’t respect authoritah from a moral standpoint. i think it is often wrong, and often immoral.

                      i am saying that i do not expect cops to be conscientious objectors and routinely act contrarily to law that they feel is morally suspect

                      i have to make arrests on some occasions i find morally disturbing

                      contrarily, sometimes i CAN’T arrest when i think it’s morally required.

                      welcome to the real world

                    3. welcome to the real world

                      Quoting myself: “acting in a moral fashion is the only acknowledgment of the real world”.

                      i have to make arrests on some occasions i find morally disturbing


                      i don;’t respect authoritah

                      are contradictory. The only reason you would make a morally disturbing arrest is out of “respect for authority”.

                      contrarily, sometimes i CAN’T arrest when i think it’s morally required.

                      It sucks, but that is the way the law works, cant blame you at all for that. In fact, not arresting in that situation is the moral act.

                    4. no, it;’s called being pragmatic. this has been hashed over ad nauseum in at least three other threads.

                      i get it. in your world, no moral cop could ever enforce laws he disagrees with

                      and i disagree with that.

                      but this has been hashed over endlessly

                    5. The moral code IS pragmatic. Anything else isnt.

                      Some may disagree with my definition, but I think the guys who charged the pillboxes on Omaha Beach were acting in a very pragmatic manner.

                2. if you think it’s unjust then lobby for change

                  Ummm…what do you think Im doing?

                  1. right. because wanking about it in a blog is “lobbying for change”


                    1. Its the only place I have access to a cop who remotely is illing to listen.

                      But even he doesnt very often, he is too concerned with “the way the world works” instead of trying to make it “the way it should be”.

                    2. Why don’t you lobby for a change? End your CBA, get rid of your pubsec union, and refuse to enforce stupid laws.

                      But then, that would be acting in a moral fashion totally outside the parameters of your departments accepted procedures, so it’s a non-starter.

                    3. acting in a moral fashion

                      This is where he will respond with some real world bullshit.

                      My presponse is “acting in a moral fashion” is the only acknowledgment of the real world possible.

                    4. fine, rob. then stop paying taxes and send the IRS a letter informing them of your decision to do so, because you won’t support the immoral WOD

                      when you do that, and then suffer the prosecution, then you can lecture me about these moral stances

                    5. then stop paying taxes

                      **I** cant.

                      I have a moral order to pay taxes. YMMV.

                    6. romans? spare me

                    7. romans?

                      Do you think Im some sort of bibilical literalist? If I was, my duty to pay taxes would have ended with the fall of Rome.

                    8. Paying taxes is not optional. A choice of profession is. Analogy fail.

                    9. endlessly addressed in previous threads… asked and answered

                    10. why do you assume what i am for or against.

                      for example, i wouldn’t lobby to dissolve public employee unions, because i support them

                      again, you in typical reasonoid fashion can’t read.

                      i never said i didn’t support some of these things. i said they were the way they were.

                    11. You actually support public sector unions? Jesus christ, I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but you really are part of the problem.

                    12. i wouldn’t lobby to dissolve public employee unions, because i support them

                      on a completely unrelated topic now –

                      Fuck Off, Slaver.

                    13. smooches rob!

                    14. because wanking about it in a blog is “lobbying for change”


                      In light of my post above, that is kinda funny.

                3. rob, you can keep ignoring the distinctions, and maybe you believe they are distinctions w.o a difference, but they are what they are.

                  Im not saying there are distinctions without a difference, Im saying there are no distinctions.

                  for example, after this killing, the dept. can and would (i hope) seize the officer’s flashlights, uniforms, etc. etc. as EVIDENCE.

                  they don’t need to arrest to do that.

                  And the arrest doesnt prevent them from doing it.

                4. there are several reasons for arrest, and in on duty cop cases, several reasons why those don’t apply – such as the above evidentiary reasons.

                  What about the overwhelmingly primary reason for arrest: to get a suspect in custody to protect the citizens and interrogate? The rest is all penny ante bullshit, and not even accurate. As you well know, for example, lots of evidence gets taken in without a warrant at all.

                  See, dunphy, this is why I say you have a huge blind spot when it comes to cops: there is a double standard, and it runs overwhelmingly in their favor.

                  You cannot, in any seriousness, tell me that if six non-LEOs beat somebody to death, and their identity was well known, that there wouldn’t be any arrests, there wouldn’t be charges pending, there wouldn’t be any visible legal process at all.

                  1. and i;’ve already explained to you why this is problematic. i really suggest you do some independent research on this because i can only do so much

                    and you can keep bringing up alleged analogous situations ad nauseum w.o acknowledging the DIFFERENCES all you want.

                    i never made the claim you posit in the last paragraph

                    i am saying that whether you like it or not, a death that occurs pursuant to a use of force in a line of duty investigation is going to have different stuff involved than your example

                    what is essential in justice is the criminal trial (if warranted) . a rush to custodial arrest is not NEARLY as important, and often very problematic

                    sorry, if that doesn;’t satisfy you, but it’s how it is

                    1. Dunphy, as the resident “one of the good Guys” cop, I have to ask, where is your humanity?
                      Even with the restricted scope of facts you will entertain in this incident:
                      That an unarmed 135 lb man was beat to death by 5 cops, evoked at most from you a ” it looks bad”?
                      5 men beat another man to death, 5 police officers who we are supposed to believe are really decent folks,
                      deliberately beat a man to death.
                      Instead of hiding behind your robotic regurgitation of rules and procedures,
                      how about just one response from your sense of right and wrong?
                      You aren’t going to be the Judge or Jury in this case, this isn’t a courtroom, it a collection of people expressing their point of view on events, so why so detached?

                    2. i’ve said it looks bad. i stand by that. i want more facts before i draw a conclusion. i am sorry that my unwillingess to rush to judgement bothers you. i really don’t care.

                    3. I wasn’t trying to get a bead on your conclusions, as I said I was aiming at you humanity. Apparently I got it.

                    4. my humanity is doing just fine. thanks for being concerned

                    5. Dunphy, I don’t know you, other that what you put out here, so it would be a stretch the say I’m actually concerned about the kind of person you are, but I do use it to evaluate what you say. So on the one hand I do admire the fact the you come here in a forum that is overtly hostile to you and your profession to put forth you point of view, on the other hand I just don’t see how you can look at the picture heading this article, understanding that 5 men intentionally did this to another man, and are able to construct some scenario where this was a righteous action.

            2. (assuming a crime occurred) Are you fucking serious. You are just another cop thug apologist and I hope you die in a fire after watching those you love burn.

              1. hey, smooches to you, too!!

  25. These were ordinary cops? Geezus, they should be promoted to the SWAT team, not put on paid leave. wtf

  26. The better the bust, the bigger the boost.

  27. Hey Dunphy, I have an honest, serious question.
    If a person were to witness an event such as this one, where the person was convinced the police truly were beating someone to death without justification…what should that person do?

    1. Upthread, Dunphy mentions on a few occasions the need for gathering, among other things, witness testimony as evidence for arrest. For instance, he says…

      “do you know, among other things, that those people’s testimony WAS given to investigators at the scene?”

      I could be wrong, but I’m doubting investigators showed up that night following the incident to work the crowd for details. The investigators at the scene were the ones administering the beating.

    2. call the cops?

  28. ITOW,

    You avoid eye contact and hope they don’t notice you. You have to treat cops on a rampage just like any other predator in the wild. If left alone to make their kill, they will soon tire and you will get to live another day.

  29. You know, I’ve read just about this entire thread, and I still come away with the conclusion that cops are the beneficiary of a massive double standard. Now I know that double standard is ensconced behind fortified walls of process, procedure, and rationalization, but that doesn’t change the fact that, if six non-LEOs had beat somebody to death in front of a crowd of witnesses, they would have been arrested by now.

    All the garble about internal investigations, evaluating the validity of the initial stop – that’s the apologetics for the double standard. Doesn’t change the fact that it exists, and that its curators are proud of it.

    1. You’re right, RC Dean. The department is also ignoring the fact that there are six possible murderers lose on the street. The justice system usually puts such possibly dangerous people in places to protect innocent people from being harmed from them.

  30. No wonder why more and more people are getting afraid of police.
    The cops in this case should be tried for murder.
    No hiding behind a badge.
    Justice must be done.

    George Vreeland Hill

  31. As Dunphy has pointed out, it’s not about right or wrong. It’s about what they can get away with under their departmental policies and union contracts. Common citizens may find the results of their actions disgusting and horrifying but as things currently stand, that makes no difference to them.

  32. Dunphy thanks for the pointers on the complications of compelled testimony. Understand that the reason that people are alarmed that there haven’t been any arrests is that the OC has a bad track record for this type of case. And a lack of arrests is compatible with the lack of a good faith investigation.

  33. Maybe these cops were Libertarians defending private property.

    “Cops must be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment ? unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares?”

    ~Murray Rothbard
    American author and economist of the Austrian School who helped define modern Libertarianism

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