Militarization of Police

Report Finds Police Did Not Deceive Public in Fatal Kelly Thomas Beating


A report from attorney Michael Gennaco of the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review said February 22, that the Fullerton police department did not deceive or falsify information regarding the July 5, 2011, fatal beating of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless drifter.

The city hired Gennaco to investigate the incident after outcry over the handling of the case from the public and Thomas' family. Called into question was the department release of a two-year-old booking photo of Thomas looking disheveled as well an incorrect information given to the local media that two officers suffered broken bones during the incident.

Ron Thomas, Kelly Thomas' father, told the Los Angeles Times, that he didn't believe the report and, "All of it was intended to make Kelly look bad."

Officer Manuel Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and Officer Jay Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter for their roles in the incident.

Reason TV looked at the Kelly Thomas beating and in Cops vs. Cameras: The Killing of Kelly Thomas & The Power of New Media:

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  1. at least they aren’t deceiving the public about fatally beating the public.

    1. (predictably, according to the peanut gallery)

      …an OUTRAGE!

    2. Bi-curious? -Datebi*cO’Mis designed for bisexual and bi-curious individuals to meet in a friendly and comfortable environment. It hopes that all members can make new friends and establish romantic relationships.

  2. “We are hiring you to see if we did anything wrong. [wink, wink]”

    1. “Pay rate dependent on performance. WINK FUCKING WINK.”

  3. Although police released a two-year-old booking photo showing a disheveled Thomas and incorrectly told the media that he had been so violent that two officers suffered broken bones in the struggle, attorney Michael Gennaco said the negative portrayal of the homeless man was unintentional.

    Accidentally deceived the public?

    1. it’s not deception if you believed the information to be correct at the time. I guess.

    2. It’s not deception because fuck you, that’s why.

    3. It was an accident. Just like fast and furious. They are sorry. And they wouldn’t have done it anyway, if we hadn’t had all these damn media people looking into the incident. The answer here is to stop subjecting cops to questions about their behavior. And also give them stronger laws to help them do their jobs.

      Got it?



        “The answer here is to stop subjecting cops to questions about their behavior.”

        1. It’s the only way to stop you pesky civilians from questioning my authoritah.

        2. If they hadn’t been asked, they wouldn’t have accidentally gave out false information now would they?

  4. Police find that police did nothing wrong?

    Why am I not surprised?

    1. except it wasn’t the “police” who found it. rtfa

  5. How badly does a cop have to fuck up to actually get charged with murder? The actual facts, not the ones released to the media, in this case must just be Hannibal Lector level grotesque.

    1. You have to beat a defenseless homeless man to death, with witnesses, and you have to be the instigating officer, because the other officers that showed up and helped beat him to death are only guilty of manslaughter, because they didn’t start it, or something.

      1. Even with witnesses it’s their word against someone who swore an oath.

        It has to be on film, and even then there’s a good chance nothing will happen.

        1. It was on video. A city surveillance camera caught the whole thing.

      2. Basically, you to brutally murder an unarmed, nonthreatening person in broad daylight in full view of several witnesses. And even then that gets you second degree murder (charged not the plea down you get later). That might get you a few years in the can and the undying love and sympathy of your fellow officers.

        1. And even then that gets you second degree murder (charged not the plea down you get later).

          Even though California has the felony murder rule, and his death was the result of felonious assault.

          1. ah yes. the brilliant basement (kind of like armchair) lawyer stylings of SugarFree

        2. Well fuck, if California can acquit 3/4 cops caught beating an incapacitated man on tape, I don’t put it past any judge to acquit anything without 4 different video accounts from at least 2 judges and 2 other witnesses.

          1. “California” doesn’t acquit anybody.

            juries do.

            i know everything about cop trials is some kind of grand conspiracy by state actors to let cops get away with all kinds of shit (yawn), but our justice system has juries. they have the power

            they also have (see: jury nullification) the ultimate power as both deciders of fact AND law

            1. you are assuming that police ever get charged by a DA. Most of the time it seems they dont, no matter how strong the evidence. Just one of the benefits of being on the “thin blue line”

              1. no, i’m not “assuming” it. i KNOW it. i have posted numerous examples of it over the years.

                i realize you think there is some kind of double standard and i realize i think that’s hogwash.

                prosecutors charge largely based on a few factors – do they think they will win, is it in the interest of justice, etc.

                i will readily agree that ceteris paribus JURORS on average give a cop defendant more credit than many others, but that’s not unique to cops.

                i don’t know how it “seems to you”. i know that in cases where the evidence supports it, i see DA’s charge cops all the time.

        3. In Chicago, it gets you a promotion.

        4. I’m wonder if dunphy will be along to tell us how the charges prove that cops don’t actually get away with murder, like he’s said all along.

          1. when I see the guy actually in jail for murder, I will give Dunphy his due. Charges are cheap.

            1. Yeah, I agree with you that they will likely plea down the charge, anyway.

              1. Yup. Plea it down to involuntary manslaughter and a couple of years in the can, out in 12 to 15 months. The others will plead out to some other lesser charge and get probation and never spend a day in jail. That is about as bad as anything that happens to a cop. I would bet good money that is how this plays out.

                1. I would be shocked if any of them spend any significant time in jail.


                  It will all be quietly swept under the rug.

                  1. I bet the cop who did it does a year or so. This is too blatant to totally ignore. But he will never get anything near what he deserves. And the others will get nothing.

                  2. and of course if they do get “significant” time (nice weasel words, which will allow you plenty of space in that regards) you will say “i was wrong?

                    oh no. god forbid. the great and mighty sarcasmic cannot be wrong about his religion.

          2. of course some cops get away with murder. just like some OTHER people do.


            again, a misstatement of my (true claims)

            i have also said REPEATEDLY that juries TEND to give more weight to cop defendants than the average defendant.

            again, duh.

            of course they give more weight to defendants from some other careers as well

      3. You have to beat a defenseless homeless man to death, with witnesses, and you have to be the instigating officer, because the other officers that showed up and helped beat him to death are only guilty of manslaughter, because they didn’t start it, or something.

        I need to correct this just because the media don’t care about dead homeless people.

      4. This is why I keep Openwatch and Coprecorder on my phone.

        You never know whether you are going to be talking to a bully rather than a peace officer.

        You want to end up like this guy, whose recording of his attempted murder kept him from being the target of an investigation

        A Florida man had his iPhone video recorder rolling when police say his estranged mother-in-law pulled a gun and pumped two shots into him before the weapon jammed

        Miglino eventually escaped in his car and called police. Hepner also called 911 and told the operator that her son-in-law shot at her.

        Cops discovered her story was bogus after watching the chilling video.

        1. I saw that. Man that is the mother in law from hell.

          1. My mother-in-law once threatened to kill me, but she never had the guts to act on it.

            1. I think when she goes for the shotgun, it is time for a divorce.

              1. yet another case of DV he said/she said bullshit

                and another example of why – it’s GOOD to record.

    2. How badly does a cop have to fuck up to actually get charged with murder?

      If the incident had not been filmed, and the film not released to the public, absolutely nothing would have happened.

      Prevent those things from happening, and a cop can commit murder on the job with no consequences.

      1. Yup. Do it in the privacy of a nice jail, or in your squad car or in an ally with out any pesky civilians around and you are home free.

        1. riiight.

          and the metric assload of cases of cops fired, suspended and /or criminally tried without ANY video, don’t exist

          the ability of sarcasmic to ignore the reality right in front of him is truly awe inspiring.

          cops get indicted and tried many times every year without ANY vide, audio, etc.

          he doesn’t like that, so he can’t admit it

  6. Someone once told me that Kelly Thomas died for my sins. Hmmm, who was that, anyway? And why isn’t that person spamming the shit out of this thread? Hmmmmmmmm.

    1. She who shall not be named (and I don’t mean Sarah Palin). I think perhaps Reason might have finally dealt with the issue, at least temporarily.

      1. Yes, she is conspicuously absent. What a strange coincidence.

        1. Who you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

        2. She was plenty in evidence in the Dreamypants thread.

          1. Reason was definitely not amused about the child molester shenanigans. And now troll volume is down tremendously and this place is fun again. It’s pretty obvious to all that the griefer was one person, right?

            1. I’m reserving judgement until the weekend threads. There’s usually a down cycle during the week.

              1. Yeah, the orderlies keeping her away from the computer lounge must take the weekend off.

              2. Yeah, I am with MSL. My suspicion is that it is does have a job, because it ramps up over the weekend and was in full Mania on President’s Day.

    2. I want to take a cluebat to the person who thought the 900 character limit was a solution to a problem.

      1. I may miss Hercule but the none of the other massive ordnance word dumps that liked to drop by for a visit.

      2. It did stop the long cut and paste. And you can always just put in two posts.

      3. I agree. It’s not that hard to copy and paste 900 words at a time instead of a whole article. This could simply mean the number of posts by the griefer(s) is multiplied. Why not simply have registration? I’ve seen people from here commenting over on McArdle’s articles at the Atlanic, so at least some of us already have a Disqus username.

        1. Registration makes the most sense. If private bloggers like Althouse can have registration, why not Reason?

          1. I go back and forth on registration. Our spoofs are part of our cherished heritage, and reason can IP ban (I know, I’ve been on the receiving end), so why registration? We just need someone to take the issue seriously, is all.

            1. That they can’t stamp it out totally means she must be masking her IP.

              I mean, it’s obvious that some of her ability to shit up the place was curbed today, but she’s no totally gone.

              1. It’s not like proxies are hard.

            2. I will miss posting Simpson’s quotes as Homer, but I consider that a small price to pay.

              Ive wondered what it takes to get an IP ban around here, as I have never managed to get one.

              1. You can always post Lonewacko’s completely public “whois” information.

                Still bitter about that…

            3. I am not sure why the IP ban hasn’t worked here. They must move from IP to IP. Or be pretty adept at switching IPs. And of course you can just register under a new name and go back to trolling even with registration.

              So I am not sure what you do.

              1. Ive been on other sites that multi-account posting gets your IP banned permanently.

              2. In honesty, they should just give a few frequent commenters the ability to IP ban. A couple in the mornings and a couple at night.

                1. Hey, I’ve been hat-tipped as “Frequent Commenter SugarFree.” Woo!

          2. Commenter registration is the first step on the road to commenter confiscation.

        2. Why not simply have registration?

          Registration on a libertarian website kinda strikes be as a bit hypocritical.

          1. How so? Its their [virtual] property.

            1. A valid argument. I don’t know why it strikes my as hypocritical, but I do like it more that it’s completely anonymous.

              Also, who’s going to mod the forums anyways? I don’t put it past anyone to ban everyone just for a good laugh.

              1. With registration systems, an ignore button is generally good enough.

                Doesnt then need any more moding than what they do now.

              2. You can have registration without full moderation. Just some break on all the damn spoofing and handle-hopping would go a long way.

                Although, I will volunteer as a mod, if they need one…

                1. My first act as mod will be to declare myself Mod-President For Life. My second act will be to purge all mod challengers, and my third act will be to bang your wife.

                  1. You’re a usurper to the throne, Wartus Maximus.

                    1. I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Warty Bliggimus, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am… a mod.

                    2. I for one welcome are new bewarted overlord.

                2. Yeah. No one would want to ban someone for not playing the party line. Just spamming the place.

                3. I’ll stand with PancreasMan and volunteer as a mod as well.

                  Maybe “trustee” is a better term.

                  1. The term is modillo, you moron.

                    1. Is this anything like the time you told me your mom’s name was punto?

                      And why do the hot-blooded Lati?os only speak in italics?

                    2. Because they’re all traga de leches, that’s why. (Apparently that’s Puerto Rican slang for cum-guzzler)

          2. How? Its private property.

            1. People still have a hard time understanding that libertarianism is only political.

          3. Not any more hypocritical than not every random person walk into my house whenever they want.

            1. Exactly. Even pure anarchism lets you defend your property. What we have here is just chaos.

        3. I suggested this at the time of the indenting fiasco.

          I told them that indenting would only work with registration, but did they listen to me?

          [No, in case you were wondering]

  7. Mistakes were made. Well, maybe not mistakes, just a series of unfortunate misunderstandings that, should the media pay any attention to, might be misinterpreted as mistakes.

  8. The Office of Independent Review (“OIR”) is a civilian oversight group that was created by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and began its work in 2001. The mission of OIR is to monitor the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”) and provide legal advice to ensure that allegations of officer misconduct involving LASD are investigated in thorough, fair, and effective ways.

    It seems the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review is nothing more than a group of private attorneys hired by city governments in the hope of stemming civil suits through legal advice and public relations work.

    1. Well if they used average citizens they would have to call it a grand jury.

  9. Check out this new fact checking website:

  10. Finally equality in America. Whites are beginning to understand how it feels to be black in the eyes of the Police state.

    1. There is something to that. Most people think cops are great because they never have to deal with them. As laws get more and more intrusive and cops become more and more untouchable, that is changing.

      They still generally know to stay away from respectable white people. The only time I have ever had a cop fuck with me was on my motorcycle. Stupid fuck assumed I was a nobody because I road a bike. He was wrong. But never ever in a nice car.

      1. The only time I have ever had a cop fuck with me was on my motorcycle.

        See, I experience the opposite of this. I’ve been pulled one time on a motorcycle and that’s because I was doing stupid shit. Even then, he just gave me a warning and just said “Try not to get yourself killed.” And he was right; I was riding in a manner that was going to get me killed.

        1. I was a bit surprised to be honest. I have generally had good luck on a motorcycle. And cops love veterans and generally love motorcycles. But I ran into one that was a total prick. It was surprising.

          1. After being harassed so much by the cops when I lived in Boulder, I was surprised, shocked actually, the first time I dealt with a cop who wasn’t a total prick.
            So much so that when I got home I called all my friends to tell them. They couldn’t believe it either.

            1. I got this guy. I have a lot of connections in law enforcement. And he did not have the authority to pull me over. He didn’t know I knew that. I just got his name. And tracked down his bosses who about had a stroke when they found out one of their guys was out playing patrolman. I guarantee you that fucker rued the day he ever ran into me.

              1. I lost my naive respect for police in 1988. I got stopped for speeding in Rockport Massachusetts, a vacation town/tourist trap (no crime). It was a fair deal (40 in a 25) but the cop was a total dick talking to me like I was a moron. What I remember is turning around and leaning out the window to talk to his face about my registration and there he went into a crouch with his hand on his gun. The light comes on in my brain: this asshole is going to fuck up and shoot me.

                1. Today he’s probably chief of police.

              2. cool story, bro!

                FIGHT THE POWER!

      2. ah yes. this canard again. it’s the oldy but goodie thread.

        it’s EXACTLY like a Mother Jones gun thread.

    2. Settle down super-hero…

    3. I learned in the 1970s when I married a woman who was black and American Indian. Boy, would she go on the warpath for BBQ ribs! Now, is that racially insensitive? Doesn’t matter. I married in and used all available ethnic slang with my in-laws and it was no problem. I also got to sit on lots of curbs in Orange County by having the poor taste to actually be in a car with my wife, kid, brothers-in-law, et al. We were pulled over scores of times, only getting a ticket once, as I recall. DWB also means “Driving WITH Blacks/Browns,” you dig? You are right, Cap’n America, and it’s about freakin’ time.

      1. I can’t fathom the kind of people who want to see more people suffer as they have in some kind of perverse version of Schadenfreude.

        1. except wheres the EVIDENCE this is happening?

          oh wait, there isn’t none

          just a niche culture circle jerk of bigots desperately hoping the rest of the US is going to agree with them somebody

          it’s like stormfront here, when cops are concerned

          “oh yea. the other sheeple are starting to catch on about how truly devious these jooooooz^H^H^Hcops are. it’s just a matter of time before they agree with us and understand how bad they are. the media just protects them too much so people never see them as they really are.”

          derp derp derp

          1. Yep all this “Cop-hate” is totally unfounded, as the hospital photographs of Kelly Thomas proved.

            1. Appealing for sympathy for cops in a thread concerning cops who beat a man to death is pretty fucking derp derp derp, Dunphy.

  11. How is

    incorrect information given to the local media that two officers suffered broken bones during the incident


    deceive or falsify information regarding the July 5, 2011, fatal beating of Kelly Thomas

    The information was false and deceptive, no question about that. Is the intentional release of false and deceptive information not deceiving? Is the defense that, well, mistakes were made? That just conveniently make the department look better? Why should we believe that this was just one of those mistakes that pretty much made itself?

  12. Next up: charges against the family for libel and inciting civil unrest.

  13. police released a two-year-old booking photo showing a disheveled Thomas

    They couldn’t very well use the hospital photo. That could have been any random curbstomping victim.

  14. Are cops becoming more and more brutal, or are we just hearing about it more?

    1. Hearing about it more, and more of it is being directed at white people. I’m sure the cops were far, far worse in the Jim Crow South, but as long as it was only non-whites, eye-brows weren’t even partially raised.

      1. Technology has made iformation much freer. Free as in cost and free as in actually getting out.

        1. right. and when the media exaggerates the terrorist threat, or the iran threat, or any of the other threat du jours reasonoids realize – it’s a sham

          but when it’s cops, it’s OH IT MUST BE TRUE DERP DERP I SAW A VIDEO DERP DERP

          the stats show cops use force, let alone excessive force infrequently, more infrequently than most people suspect.

          here in da hood, guys i have arrested a dozen times, and some of whom have been arrested dozens of times know that if they don’t do something to CAUSE police force to be used, they need not fear it.

          it’s called the real world. which most people inhabit

          cops use force very rarely. most people realize that, because they, or many people they know – were arrested, they see arrests in public, etc. and see remarkable restraint over and over again

          1. Who ya gonna believe? Dunphy or your own lying eyes? Video proves nothing!

    2. I think they are getting more brutal. They didn’t used to have union protection. They actually could get fired for shit.

      They were always brutal. But they generally kept it to people who actually started something or were guilty of real crimes. But now with union protection, they increasingly look at their badge as just a license to fuck with people. And they are increasingly lazy. It is easier just to taze or beat the shit out of someone than actually deal with them.

      1. I remember one afternoon in Boulder the cops responded to a noise complaint. Some kids were having an outdoor jam session in their driveway and drawing a small crowd.
        A white van full of cops showed up and they descended on these kids, smashing their instruments and beating the shit out of them.
        I stood their with my jaw on the ground and one of them came at me telling me he’d take me to jail for loitering if I didn’t start walking away, fast. I looked up and saw them smashing one of the guys faces against the side of the van, the white paint now smeared with blood, and took off running.

        1. *there*

        2. And Boulder is a big hippy liberal town. I wonder what all of the good respectable liberals of the town thought of their cops?

          1. Have you ever noticed that the more liberal an area is, the more violent the cops are?

            They love that shit.

            1. They really do. I find the cops in Montgomery County to be brutal to any black person dumb enough to wonder up from DC. MNG about had a stroke when I pointed that out to him. I was just repeating talking points and hating on liberals. But yeah, the more liberal the city, Boulder, New York, LA, Chicago, the more brutal the cops seem to be.

        3. When did this occur?

          Surely before the days of cell cameras.

        4. Cool story, bro.

      2. again, you “think” without evidence

        the one place where pure speculation will result in a circle jerk of conformity and acceptance, no cites or stats needed is cop bigotry.

        it’s amazing.

        if the stats won’t help you, talk to anybody who was a cop decades ago vs. now etc.

        heck, most “old timers” will lament they could “get away” with WAY MORE 30-40 yrs ago than they can now.

        nobody in their right mind thinks cops use force more often now than back in the day. it’s beyond laughable

        heck, prior to tenn v. garner, shooting fleeing nonviolent felons as they ran away was LEGAL

    3. Probably both. But there sure does seem to have been a big upswing in maniac cops in the last couple of years.

      1. It seems to attract a worse class of people. A good friend of mine’s uncle was a NY cop at Fort Apache the Bronx. Retired after 30+ years a few years ago. He was epitome of a good cop. Nicest most level headed guy you could meet.

        You don’t see guys like that anymore. They all now seem to be frustrated assholes who became cops to get an excuse to fuck with people. They are just bullies who want to go back to middle school.

        I work with a lot of older LEOs. All of them got out of doing road work. None of them regret it. And all of them in a private moment will admit that the profession has taken a turn for the worse.

      2. I have a feeling we’re just hearing about it more. Though there is the steroid angle, too.

        1. oh, so now there is the roid rage myth as well as the cop brutality myth?


          there is NOT more police brutality now, tulpa. it’s not even remotely close.

          ask any old timer.

          it’s simply astounding how myopic people are here. it’s like those who claim how much more uncivil political debate is until those statements from the 1800’s get trotted out

          you really believe this?


          heck, not only is there far less brutality now vs. say the 60’s, but the case law has changed such that it’s far less LEGALLY (as well as culturally accepted)

          it’s not even remotely arguable.

          just astoundingly ignorant

          1. It’s not a myth when there’s evidence dunphuck.

            1. there is no evidence. again, there’s even changes in LAW such that what once was LEGAL is now brutality, murder, etc.

              as one (of many ) example.

              back in the day, cops could (and DID- frequently) shoot fleeing nonviolent, nonarmed felons. like auto thieves, burglars etc. in the back as they ran away.

              it wasn’t until tenn. v. garner that this was ILLEGAL

              i realize the cop bigots hate actual evidence, but here’s a pretty good paper on the reduction in shootings ex-post garner


              if all you can get is the abstract, IN BRIEF, immediately after that decision, we saw a 16% decrease in police homicides. that is a rather large difference. (remember many states were not affected. this only affected those that had a broader standard that garner reigned in)

    4. Sadly, police brutality is nothing new.

      On Christmas Day morning, a large number of police officers attending a departmental Christmas Party were getting drunk (in violation of the LAPD’s policy on alcohol). When they became aware of a rumor that Trojanowski had lost an eye in the fight, the drunken officers decided to avenge their fellow policeman.[12] The six prisoners were taken from their cells in the Central City Jail and lined up. As many as 50 officers then participated in a beating that lasted for 95 minutes. All the prisoners received major injuries including punctured organs and broken facial bones.[13] At least 100 people knew of or witnessed the beatings.

      1. And just like now, they got away with it.

        The eight indicted officers were tried between July and November 1952. Five of them were convicted, but only one received a sentence of more than a year in prison.[26] A further 54 officers were transferred and 39 were temporarily suspended without pay.[27]

        The difference is they would do that to anyone now, not just defenseless Mexicans.

    5. Baked – money arrived today, thanks much.

      1. Sorry it took so long. Enjoy the beer.

    6. My great-uncle was a Detroit City cop in the 30’s. You’re just hearing about it more.

      1. true. one can nearly always get the right answer on any question about police by simply polling the reasonoid bigorati and then assuming the opposite but…

        the idea that cops are more brutal now than “back in the day” is astoundingly stupid even for them

        you so much as said “boo” to a cop on a foot beat in the 40’s or 50’s and he’d smack you with his (dept. authorized sap gloves) and tell you to move along

        heck, he’d ADMIT it if questioned aobut it, because that shit was simply accepted.

        i still have my grandfather’s (he rose to captain faster than any minority pretty much in the history of the NYPD and made the newspaper several times for heroism etc.) sap gloves, etc.

        he’d catch kids playing dice in harlem, he’d rap them on the side of the head with his sap gloves , drag them home to their parents by the hair and the parents would THANK HIM. culture has changed

  15. New posts above!
    Unobsessed, non-cop-haters sneak in with first comments!


  16. despite the fallacious claims of the bigorati i have never claimed these cops did not commit a crime here, and i hope they get the justice that is deserved for kelly thomas. i hope their sentence is, assuming they are found guilty, consistent with the sentence california dishes out for similar offenses by anybody else committing heinous assaults/murder

    1. You better shut your fucking yap, Dunphy, before I cave your skull in with my taser.

      1. smoooches

        and unless taser is now making their tasers out of some new extra hard plastic… good fucking luck, buddy. that thing would shatter before it stoved in my extra-thick melon

        but i appreciate the thought

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