Kelly Thomas

Cop Who Killed Kelly Thomas Gets Calmly Booted From Denny's by Other Patrons


A couple of weeks after being acquitted of beating an unarmed homeless man to death in Fullerton, California, former police officer Manuel Ramos decided to throw on his SoCal t-shirt and pop out to the local Denny's.

Looks like the locals weren't quite as ready as the courts to forgive and forget this:

On the evening of July 5, 2011, the Fullerton Police Department received a call that someone was trying to break into cars at the town bus depot. Ramos and another officer arrived on the scene and encountered Thomas, a mentally ill local who Ramos had met before. (Thomas wasn't breaking into any vehicles.) When he didn't obey Ramos' commands to put his hands on his knees, Ramos started swinging his baton at Thomas' legs. Soon six officers, including Cicinelli, were on the scene, crushing and pounding the unarmed man. Cicinelli later recounted that he hit Thomas' face 20 times with a Taser.

So when Ramos hit up Denny's last month, someone posted this account on Facebook:

Alongside it, this photo of Ramos slugging his beer (UPDATE: or water?) as he got up to leave:

Well played, Denny's patrons. Reason's own Jacob Sullum has convincingly made the case why Ramos shouldn't be retried for the killing, but three cheers for non-violent social censure where the justice system failed. 

Reason and Reason TV have been all over the Kelly Thomas case. Check out a couple of the videos to learn more about the story:

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  1. Wait…what? You can drink at Denny’s? And that looks like water to me. Come on, KMW.

    1. Denny’s in my state has a full bar.

      1. Same here.

  2. I don’t think they sell alcohol at Denny’s. And even if they did who would go there for a drink instead of a restaurant with a full bar?

    But still, this is a mini anti-nutpunch. I say mini because he hasn’t be run out of Orange County on a rail and dumped into the Pacific or left in the desert.

    1. Denny’s in my state has a full bar.

    2. WTF? Of course Denny’s has a full bar!

    3. Never heard of a Denny’s with alcohol.. that doesn’t even make sense. Do IHOPs and McDonalds have full bars in your state?

      1. they do in Europe

  3. What’s not to like about this? I hope he is subject to “Amish Fury” (shunning) for the rest of his days.

  4. Ostracism is making a come back.

  5. Water or beer, point is, nobody “slugs” a beverage.

    1. Slug

      3rd person present: slugs

      1. drink (something, typically alcohol) in a large draft; swig.

      1. I’ll be damned.

    2. I prefer to bitch slap my beer.

    3. Seems like the only thing that a fat slug like Ramos could do to a drink. You might say he’s good at slugging.

    4. Slug? I thought the proper term was chug – especially for drinking beer.

      1. They are similar – but in my experience they carry slightly different connotations. Chugging a beer means to drink the whole thing in one go without pausing. Taking a slug of beer would be a large gulp.

  6. “The people next to him complained and he got up and left.”

    Just like that? Sounds too easy to me.

    1. “Complained” might have been an understatement.

  7. Around here, Denny’s is where the on-duty pigs go to stare at underage high school girls while their cars idle in the parking lot. Maybe he was there meeting his brosephs for some ass-kicking, 6-on-1-homeless-guy stories.

    1. Where might that be?

      1. Texas, although the car idling was more common in Minnesota. I would have thought their insulation would have eliminated the need in the winter months.

  8. Ah, the good old Amish technique of shunning. It’s like slapping someone with silence.

  9. Seems like they really didnt like him they would have let him eat at Dennys.

    1. Hey now, Denny’s isn’t all that bad. It’s not like it’s an Applebees.

  10. Sounds like a plan for those folks within fifty mile radius of where Westboro Satanic Church cretins live.

  11. PNGs are best for non-photographic images.

  12. If Denny’s kicked him out, I would say good for them.

    But the libertarian in me says third parties can’t stop voluntary transaction between customers and a private business. Otherwise registered sex offenders won’t be able to have a life anywhere.

    If you agree that he shouldn’t be retried, then you’re admitting that (in the eyes of the law) he’s an innocent man, even if he isn’t. Then you have to let him eat in Denny’s.

    1. Good point. However, when you have a system that consistenly fails to met out justice to those who deserve it because they’re above the law, eventually there will be consequences. People will start metting out their own. I think that’s probably inevetable

      1. Inevitable

      2. mete

    2. It’s also possible that the manager took the passive aggressive option: not risk his job by kicking out a paying patron but, still letting everyone else be a dick to him until he left of his own accord.

    3. They weren’t physically coercing him based on what I read, they were just expressing a negative opinion towards him, which is permissible as long as the Denny’s management allows it.

    4. The libertarian in you should be totally fine with this. Dennys can or cannot serve anyone they choose. Especially if they felt like he would scare paying customers away. And there is certainly nothing wrong with using your freedom of speech to express your displeasure at something.

      1. “Dennys can or cannot serve anyone they choose.”

        True, but it seems like he left voluntarily. I’m sure the Denny’s employees were relieved to see him walk out, but they weren’t asking him to leave.

        Sure, the patrons have the right to complain, but Ramos was not a threat to anyone in the restaurant. People can complain that they don’t feel comfortable around sex offenders and drug addicts, and threaten boycotts and other actions if they’re allowed to attend school or function normally in society.

        Yes, I know killing someone is far worse than statutory rape. But I see a bit of slippery slope.

    5. It’s also possible to believe the jury was wrong and this prick got away with murder. And he never disputed killing Kelly Thomas anyway. He just claimed to be justified in doing it, so fuck him. I hope he ends up living under a bridge in bumfuck nowhere.

      1. It sounds to me like the jury acted out of fear. The courtroom was packed with goons cheering this murderer on.


        1. Yup. “I don’t know how the list of jurors got released, your honor, but no worry, I’m sure there won’t be any retaliation.”

          And: “Oh, you believe that it is possible that a police officer could be in the wrong? Or even lie? The defense rejects this jury candidate, your honor.”

    6. Being a dick to a man who beat an unarmed person to death, on camera… I’ll let this one pass.

    7. I’m sooo late to this thread…

      Anyway, if I’m sitting next to that dude in a Denny’s–unlikely since I live in Maryland–and I tell my waiter that I’m not comfortable sitting in the same restaurant with a murderer so either he leaves or I do, that’s completely in line with voluntaryism and the NAP and all that good shit. Denny’s management has the option to tell me either a.) Tough shit, sir, thanks for your business, or b.) We’ll just have a word with the pig and scoot him on his way.

    8. Yeah but when the law becomes destructive to the ends of the people to which it serves, is it still law, or does “crime” become justified?
      Since it was un-constitutional (14th) for him to be granted a special protection from the law for being a worthless cop, how would it be a violation of his rights for a retrial since he wasn’t afforded a fair trial?

  13. It’s also possible to believe the jury was wrong and this prick got away with murder.

    Its not just possible. Its really the only conclusion that a rational person could reach after being exposed to the evidence in a room not full of cops cracking their knuckles.

    Yeah, he shouldn’t be retried for murder. I’m not so sure that double jeopardy would apply to federal charges on civil rights violations, though.

  14. It is my fervent wish that everyone involved in the killing of Kelley Thomas as well as those who saw fit to let them off the hook all have long lives of desperation, pain and misery.

  15. That’ll teach him to beat people to death! Banned from Dennys!

    1. For a cop being banned from doughnuts is a fate worth than death. They should have banned him from whatever the west coast equivalent of DD is.

  16. No big breakfast for you bitch! Oh, and we spit in your water too!

  17. Did the patrons scare off the alt-text, too?

  18. Kinda wish I could have been there… with a .45

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