Kelly Thomas

Officers in the Brutal Beating Death of Kelly Thomas Found Not Guilty

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Two former police officers, Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, were found not guilty this afternoon of all charges in the brutal beating death of homeless man Kelly Thomas in Fullerton, California.

The Los Angeles Times is live-blogging here.

UPDATE: Due to the verdict, the DA is dropping charges against a third officer in the case.

Here is our coverage of the Kelly Thomas case and below is a Reason.tv video summarizing the events:

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164 responses to “Officers in the Brutal Beating Death of Kelly Thomas Found Not Guilty

  1. Fuck, I knew it. Fuck you, jury.

    Let’s just go full retard. Put them back on patrol. After all, they did nothing wrong!

    1. If I was Kelly’s dad there’d be two dead ex-cops in OC soon.

      1. I thought his dad was a cop or a sheriff’s deputy or something.

      2. Just kidding.

        I really love our heroes in blue.

  2. They were the last line of defense between you and some homeless guy half their size, but the system turned on them for simply doing their jobs.

    Remember, these suspects got to see the video evidence against them and got to square their stories long before charges were even contemplated. And who knows if the prosecution even put their all into the effort. Also, juries are populated with idiots.

    1. emember, these suspects got to see the video evidence against them and got to square their stories long before charges were even contemplated.

      I only watched the proceedings here and there, but jesus h christ, what ‘story’ was there to square? If you can’t find a cop guilty of murder when it’s caught on video, there’s not much you’re going to find a cop guilty of.

      1. I think your last statement is the eventual point, Paul.

      2. My point is from the beginning this was never a serious attempt at justice.

  3. Once again, I’m sure the prosecutors exerted their maximum effort to get a conviction.

  4. I hope each and every one of those jurors one day has a run in with a cop on a power trip. They’ve earned it for not sending a message about what is acceptable behavior for police officers.

    1. I hope each and every one of those jurors one day has a run in with a cop on a power trip.

      Maybe that factored into their decision? Gang’s are gangs afterall.

    2. I tried to watch the video of the murder again but I couldn’t get past the guy screaming for his dad. Fucking horrendous.

  5. AND NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED

  6. But the officers got home safe that night, right?

  7. Fuck.
    Me.

    Stop resisting, because they can and will kill you and get away with it.

    1. Ramos’ attorney, John Barnett, told reporters: “These peace officers were doing their jobs…they did what they were trained to do.”

      http://www.latimes.com/local/l…..z2qKSqVXcn

      1. Which is unintentionally comical but true. Yes, they were doing what they were trained to do.

        Which leads me inexorably to the conclusion that we had the wrong people on trial.

        1. We always have the wrong people on trial when they are trying government workers, Paul. The bosses should always be on the hook too.

  8. The ultimate nut punch.

  9. Person: You shot him seven times in the back!

    Cop: Hey, I was injured trying to apprehend him!

    Person: What injuries?

    Cop: See, look at my right hand, that’s a pretty clear case of hammer bite!

    Person: Ah, not guilty then.

  10. Hopefully these two fine public servants will be back on the job in short order, with full back pay (and maybe a little something extra for everything they’ve been through).

    1. Where’s Silk Road’s “help wanted” section when you need it?

    2. Come back and make sure their pension is secured, then retire on disability for the stress they’ve suffered over this case.

  11. Jesus, and I was stupid enough to have a good feeling about this one. I mean, I was figuring chump sentences- one tenth as long as a mere citizen would face for accidentally harming an officer- but something.

    1. Ditto

    1. Wikipedia? Yeah, it’s a site where people… anyone, even members of the Kelly Thomas jury can post comprehensive facts on any subject.

    2. Eh, it’ll be dropped for lack of standing. You only have standing once you’ve been detained and then you don’t get access to a lawyer anyway.

      And if you’re released t a later time, then it wasn’t ‘indefinite’ detention anyway and so you lose standing again.

  12. This is another instance where I hope a “law abiding citizen” takes justice into his/her own hands.

    1. The “justice” system certainly won’t.

  13. Let’s have another folk tale about the wisdom of the people; how they yearn for liberty and justice; how we are right in the middle of our libertarian moment; how wonderful things like jury trials, one-person-one-vote, and other facets of mob rule work in our glorious republic. I read these stories across the media every day.

    I don’t know what fucking country they are talking about. Almost every act by a business can be construed as criminal under today’s regulatory regime. The government can confiscate your property with very little trouble, unless you want trouble, then you can be jailed or killed. The 4th Amendment has very little practical meaning anymore.

    And cops can get away with murder. Solution? Move to the burbs. Keep your head down.

    1. 1) This happened in the burbs.

      2) Yes this is a police state.

      I wonder if people in Germany would have come to terms with the funny Austrian regime had he not over reached and started WWII. I’m guessing that yes, yes they would have and been glad that their public servants were keeping them safe.

  14. Fedup01 at 4:30 PM January 13, 2014
    Kelly would still be alive if he now divorced Dad and Mom had gotten him the treatment he needed for his mental illness. Their outraged? I’m outraged at their years of neglct and now all of a sudden they’re trying to be concerned parents with a civil lawsuit. they didn’t give a rats behind when he wqas living on the street for years did they? And now they are looking for a pay day from the tax payers? I neither agree nor disagree with the jury. But its the only system we have. I’m just sick of those absentee parents who all of a sudden become parents when it’s too late and when they are looking for a civil suit payday.

    Justifiable homicide, by reason of mental deficiency.

    ‘scuse me while I dry heave into the sink.

    1. That some murderers get off? Who cares? What matters is that parents that this person thinks weren’t good parents don’t get any money. That’s the real issue here, isn’t it?

      1. WONT SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE TAXPAYERS!!

      2. Some girls are just visibly promiscuous like that. You almost can’t blame their attackers. Really, if the parents can’t be bothered to instill in their daughters a measure of moral rectitude, why should we be bothered showing them any sympathy?

        1. Look, if you’re going to be a homeless man dressed that promiscuously, you deserve whatever beating to death you get. You brought it on yourself.

          1. And with those screams for help he was practically begging for it.

    2. I neither agree nor disagree with the jury. But its the only system we have.

      Homelessness is a death penalty by a goon squad with badges?

      Well, I guess if it’s all we’ve got, I’ll throw my support behind it!

    3. Look what those horrible parents made these fine, upstanding peace officers have to go through! Why, those officers had to endure a show trial and probably several weeks of paid leave! If anyone should go to prison, it’s those good for nothing parents.

      /sarc

      Keep that video and the results of the trial in mind next time one of these “peace officers” starts trying to force you to comply. By the time they’re in “serve and protect” mode you may as well resist with lethal force, because odds are good they’re not gonna let up just because you cooperate.

      1. If you ever feel the need to answer Tony or any other trolls, just answer with that video.

        This is your state. It’s the only system we’ve got.

  15. The Thomas verdict shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    An ADA here told me they charged them in such a way as to not get a conviction as they didn’t want to look anti-cop.

    1. It wouldn’t surprise me.

  16. Retired police captain kills movie theater texter during previews. Victim Perpetrator was armed with pointy popcorn box.

    Over/under on justified?

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/13/…..-shooting/

    1. Thank god for the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act! Otherwise, this poor retired police captain might have lost an argument!

      1. It was a particularly pointy popcorn box.

    2. Jeez, there’s all sorts of things that are wrong with that story but what leaps out to me is the horrible treatment that retired cop received from his colleague. I mean, whatever happened to professional courtesy?

    3. The retired officer stood his ground.

    4. Some of the comments make me want to hang myself…

      it was his actions that created the situation. you don’t know who’s unhinged enough to harm you. he was wrong for his activities and he was wrong for arguing it which just escalated the situation. he had no right to be playing on his phone bottom line.

      1. “you don’t know who’s unhinged enough to harm you.”

        Retired police captains in movie theaters?

        1. Signs point to this.

      2. Death sentence for texting! OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!!

      3. he had no right to be playing on his phone bottom line.

        Kill me.

        1. You really never fully appreciated the truly disturbing depths of stupidity that humanity was capable of, until the Internet.

          1. The really stupid ones used to say this stuff to other people, get looked at like they were insane, and realized that either they shouldn’t say that out loud, or even to rethink it.

            Now they get a bloodthirsty howling echo chamber to revel in.

            1. It’s like bad nightmare of being trapped in Jr. High gym class.

          2. Yeah, you thought it was that one really dumb guy in high school you had a couple of arguments with before realizing there was simply nothing in there, so no point continuing. Turns out he had his finger on the pulse of the nation.

            1. Ordinary fucking people. I hate ’em.

              1. Shit like this makes me turned off on the entire species. If not for my animal drives, a boner would be impossible.

              2. “Ordinary fucking people. I hate ’em.”

                ^This is not snark. This is a basic truth upon which any reasonable viewpoint must be based.

                H. L. Mencken understood it back in the 1920s. People thought he was just being clever and a curmudgeon. Wrong.

                1. You now realize you could drive a Zyklon B vaporizer around town for DAYS and it wouldn’t change anything.

    5. The Spin-a-palooza potential of this one is pretty titanic. It might make the media circus for a few days.

      Courts rubber stamping the murder of some homeless guy? That will be relegated to page 20 by tomorrow.

  17. Did they allow that picture to be shown at the trial?

    1. I believe they did. It served as proof that Kelly Thomas died from lack of oxygen to the brain, not any action by the peace officers.

      1. Well, of course, that can happen to anyone at random, really. Heck, it’s just like how people spontaneously shoot themselves while handcuffed in the back of police cruisers, or accidentally hang themselves in cells. A freak gust of wind, probably, or something of that nature.

      2. He probably strangled himself while they were beating him.

      3. Thank good they didn’t do anything that could have interfered with his blood flow. Otherwise that might be a fucking retarded argument.

      4. The jury also got to hear about this:

        “See these fists?… They’re getting ready to … you up.”
        “Can you imagine having a police officer say something like that when you’re sitting there?” Rackauckas asked the jury, his voice rising. “What does that mean? I’m ready to … you up? That means I’m gonna beat you up severely. That means there’s gonna be injuries here.”

        http://www.latimes.com/local/l…..z2qKqKKe6E

        If an assailant who was not a cop had been caught on video saying that, would it be enough?

        1. Without a doubt.

        2. He would be sitting on death row right now.

  18. Governments require the faith of the governed. How can a government keep the faith of the governed if it admits that its agents go around killing people without reason? It can’t. So its agents must be found not guilty. They must. Otherwise the governed may lose their faith in their infallible government, and the whole system will fall apart.

    As it should.

    1. Because the jury verdict is proof that the government still has the full faith and backing of the governed?

      1. Exactly. The verdict proves that the only people who distrust the police are lawbreakers and bigots.

        This was an incident involving a homeless person with mental issues. He wasn’t even human. The police were only protecting the public when they put this animal down.

  19. Since the trial started, I’ve read various accounts of the testimony, arguments, cross-examinations, etc. One thing that stood out for me was that the courtroom was packed with cops, and that whenever someone testified for the prosecution, they would boo and hiss. I can picture them now, all lined up in their little costumes, staring down the jury, daring them with their eyes to return anything other than an acquittal. And as deeply as it pains me to say this, I kind of hope that’s what happened.

    Because the alternative – that 12 Fullerton citizens are OK with their cops beating homeless people to death – is much, much worse.

    1. Nicely said.

    2. And of course, if that’s true, that means the judge didn’t bother to clear his court when there was obvious intimidation. How nice.

      1. The judge and the cops are on the same team.

        1. Oh, I know. I was just pointing out the concrete evidence of that fact via the judge’s behavior.

          1. We’re on the road to a Banana Republic! Who will be our Pinochet?

            1. Peter King?

              1. Can’t we get someone better looking? Like Klaus Kinski?

                1. I’d take Nastassja Kinski.

                  1. That’s what I mean! You know that she’ll always have a goon squad with her, prowling the streets at night, looking for men to kidnap for a night of blissful passion with her.

            2. I wonder if the same stuff happened in countries that have been around a lot longer. Like around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

              B. Hussein Obama

      2. The prosecution had one witness – a retired FBI agent and use-of-force expert – who testified that Kelly Thomas would have been well within his right to resist, up to and including with deadly force. Apparently that prompted a lot of noise from the peanut gallery.

    3. As I keep saying, a wannabee dictator could go a long way toward staffing a Sturmabteilung by recruiting from local police forces.

      1. And their groupies

    4. One thing that stood out for me was that the courtroom was packed with cops, and that whenever someone testified for the prosecution, they would boo and hiss.

      Where are you getting this from specifically? I have a hell of a hard time believing the judge would allow booing and hissing during testimony.

      1. You shouldn’t.

    1. One quarter of study participants reported a lifetime history of police sexual misconduct.

      “A lifetime history”? What does that even mean? That you have had at least one improper sexual encounter with a cop?

      1. Yes, at least one improper sexual encounter with a cop in their lifetime.

        1. As opposed to, I suppose, “a teenage history” or “a history over the last 36 hours”.

  20. Ow, my nuts.

  21. I seriously wonder if there wasn’t any jury intimidation. If there was, who were they going to call? The cops?

  22. What the fuck is wrong with these jurors? What a bunch of bootlicking scum.

    1. They may have been intimidated. I’m having trouble figuring out any other way these guys get a not guilty verdict, unless they were overcharged and the jury was worried about that. Though I’m not sure how you overcharge someone for beating a skinny mental patient to death.

      1. They may have been intimidated.

        That’s what I’m thinking. If there was intimidation by the cops, what could the jurors do? Sure they could go to the feds, but then what? They would ultimately be forced to relocate. They could no longer live in that community because the police would give them and their families the “get out of town” treatment. Or worse.

        1. If what was written above about a cop-packed courtroom is true, it is almost certainly intimidation.

          1. I wonder if the cops in the courtroom were collecting overtime.

          2. Yay! The system works!

          3. According to the OC Weekly, somebody took a picture of a juror and posted it on Twitter. The judge was furious when he found out but they didn’t figure out who did it.

            1. That shoupd have been enough for the judge to declare a mistrial and recommend the retrial be entirely closed.

  23. The peanut gallery at PoliceOne is out in full celebratory force. And while we all know that the site itself is a closed-circuit circle jerk accessible only by verified LEOs, their Facebook page is open to all.

    Feel free to drop by and weigh in.

    https://www.facebook.com/policeone

    1. I was going to post something snarky about not being angry enough this evening. But I’m just beat down right now. We live in a country where police officers can kill anyone they want and get away with it. What is there to do about that except for wait for a revolution that will never come?

      1. Hey, you and 3 of your buddies try and take on a small, frail and insane homeless guy with super-human strength and see how you fare!

        Why, he was down at the train depot, lifting fully loaded railroad cars over his head, not but an hour before!

      2. Not anyone. I mean, if you’re politically connected, they’ll probably get some kind of slap on the wrist.

    2. Going there was just another nut punch

    3. Shit I really wish I didn’t click that link. I’m gonna need more bourbon.

    4. Yeah, whenever I want to make myself feel really fucking terrible I’ll click on a PoliceOne link.

  24. Justice is dead.

      1. Seriously? And Justice For All gets no comments?

        1. Metallica really sucks.

          1. *phppt*

          1. Thank you for that.

          2. Didn’t he like move to Arizona and become a vintner?

            1. Honestly don’t know.

              1. Check this out.

                I’m going next door to drink beer with an old guy and play cards because this place is depressing.

                Thank me later.

                1. I will, thanks.

            2. I watched a ninety minute interview of Maynard given by Seth Rogan on YouTube. Yes, he moved to Arizona, bought some land and cultivated it into a vineyard. Comes across as one of the more interesting and intelligent human beings to make it to celebrity status.

          3. Exactly. Godfucking dammit. We are beyond repair. Just when I was feeling a little bit of hope. Fuck. Fuck. FUCK!

      2. I realize this thread is probably long dead, but here’s the song with the bass added back in.

  25. What’s the weather like in Fullerton this evening? Is it riot weather?

    1. I think the Fullerton forecast is that conditions are ideal for celebratory beat downs performed by hard working peace officers

      1. There was a time when Californians would riot against an unjustified beating by police.

        1. White Americans don’t riot.

          1. What the fuck are you talking about? I hear all the time about violent white right wingers.

            1. Me too. They’re a constant threat that never does anything. Maybe it’s about time they did.

              1. Whenever this subject comes up I think of a San Franciscan I know who was utterly convinced that “right-wing Tea Party race riots” would follow in the wake of Obama’s reelection.

          2. They do when UNC beats Duke

            1. Heh, back before Joey learned to play the journalist political mind field.

    2. Currently 77 degrees and clear. Sounds like perfect riot weather to me.

      1. Middle class white people only riot when their sports teams win.

    3. The people there aren’t the rioting type. It’s one of nicer parts of Orange County.

      1. I guess they like their police “protection” then. As long as the police don’t murder the wrong people.

    4. As I wrote last week, does anyone expect a riot of retarded people?

      The average American would like the see the homeless and the retarded vaporized because they make people squeamish.

  26. Unfucking believable.

    1. I say “It’s always justified” for a reason.

  27. Any chance theyll be prosecuted under federal law?

  28. This is depressing. Time to go downstairs, fill a pitcher will homemade
    Fuggle ale, and go play cribbage with the widower next door. Anything is more positive than this.

  29. The weightless news coverage of the trial in the LA area led me to believe they would get off. The newscasters might as well have been flight attendants reading a list of connecting flight information, such was their apparent level of interest in the story.

  30. Oh, god damn it all. I was abso-fucking-lutely sure they wouldn’t get away with this one.

    I have no idea what crimes are left that can be committed and still evoke outrage. None, I guess.

    1. INSULTING THE FLAG!

  31. Fuuuuuuccckk!!!!

  32. Injustice really doesn’t surprise me anymore.

    We really can’t blame the system or our politicians, either.

    It’s the American people. The American people are in decline.

    We can’t tell the difference between right and wrong anymore, or, rather, we have to know who the perpetrators are and who the victim was before we can tell whether there was a crime.

    Homeless guy hits a cop?

    Guilty!

    Cops beat up a homeless guy?

    Innocent!

    Can’t convict someone for beating an unarmed homeless guy to death?

    Shame on the American people. Shame on us.

    1. I DO blame politicians.

      They’ve slowly instituted a caste system with government employees at the top.

      The average American KNOWS this is his bones.

      Conveniently, drug users and retarded people are the bottom castes.

      Seriously, can you remember a political campaign in the last 30 years that was NOT about “othering” large sections of the populace? The “soft on crime” campaigns are the purest form of othering.

  33. “But, according to Wilson, the most unprofessional moment prior to the killing occurred when Ramos mocked the schizophrenia-addled Thomas as stupid, dramatically put on gloves as he towered over him and said, “Now, you see my fists? They’re getting ready to fuck you up.”

    https://reason.com/blog/2013/12…..thomas-bru

    And then the victim was beaten to death, and then his attackers were found “not guilty”.

    1. And nothing else happened.

  34. But use-of-force “expert” and police trainer Stephen Rubio said this:

    John Barnett, who is representing Ramos, asked Rubio if his client’s words were consistent with his training.
    “Yes, it was a conditional threat,” Rubio said. “The profanity may be off-color and may be a slight policy violation.”
    Still the use of words, even profane ones, as a means to avoid endangering an officer or suspect is acceptable, Rubio said.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/l…..z2qLMycTEk

    “These fists are gonna fuck you up” is a clear threat and not an attempt to decrease the level of danger.

  35. So no cheers for jury nullification? What are you, statists?

    1. I think proper jury nullification would entail a lone rational individualists/libertarian voting guilty and making the a-hole judge declare a mistrial.

      That’s what I would’ve done. Kicked back and chilled until the eleven douch bags in the room started moaning to the judge that they were hopelessly deadlocked.

      1. That wouldn’t be jury nullification, that would be following the law.

        There is no way a person not in a PVS could have thought the facts didn’t justify a guilty verdict even on excessive force.

        Anyway, a mistrial is probably equivalent to an acquittal since the prosecution isn’t exactly gung-ho about getting a conviction.

  36. Also, juries are populated with idiots.

    The prosecutor would have to populate the jury with idiot.

    It’s the kind of favor they do.

  37. Being beaten to death is the price we pay for civilization. [/statist]

    I just hope Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli lives end up on the receiving end of the brutal savagery they seem so found of. If there isn’t going to be justice, let there be revenge.

    1. So anyone dox the two robostecklers yet?

  38. The civil suit verdict should be HUGE!

  39. It’s difficult to imagine what it would have taken to convince this particular jury that the cops were guilty. Apparently the jurors took the view that the freedom to murder someone for “recreational” purposes is just one of the perks of being a cop.

  40. Did the cops have violent anaI sex with him during, or after the beating?

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