Outrage As California Police Acquitted For Beating Mentally Ill Homeless Man To Death

kelly thomasIt’s scarcely believable that the officers got off for this, given the gruesome video footage of events as they unfolded. ThinkProgress writes:

Two former police officers in Orange County, CA were acquitted of murder Monday for beating a schizophrenic homeless man, Kelly Thomas, to death. After watching a harrowing video showing Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, along with other officers, brutalizing Thomas, the jury [found] the two men not guilty.

In July 2011, the Fullerton cops came upon the 37-year-old schizophrenic taking some letters out of a trashcan and started beating him with a taser and a baton. The entire encounter was caught on a nearby security camera. As the officers hit him, Thomas begged for help and called out for his father.

Cicinelli arrived later, tasing Thomas with a stun gun and then struck him across the face with it hard enough to break several bones. “I just probably smashed his face to hell,” he says on the video. Thomas went unconscious and died five days later.

The verdict has already sparked national outrage, but Ramos’ and Cicinelli’s fates are hardly unusual. While stories of police brutality are all too common, accused officers rarely face a courtroom, let alone prison time.

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  • Anarchy Pony

    That’s why there’s no justice but the justice you make!(slams fist on table)

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Outrage? Why? did one of the cops bruise his fist?

  • American Cannibal

    The fact that the acquittal failed to make national headlines is another example of America’s indifference to the homeless.

  • Andrew

    That’s what you get for asking God for help.

    • doodahman

      God was the only one who took him out of that situation. Humans put him there.

      • Andrew

        Humans gave him schizophrenia and God dealt him the killing blow?

    • Dingbert

      I think he was saying, “Dad.”

  • Juan

    The degree of pig worship in this country never ceases to blow my mind.

  • heinrich6666

    The criminals here are the jury.

  • heinrich6666

    Wait. 9/11 taught us that all these guys are heroes!

    • American Cannibal

      I blame Dragnet.

      • heinrich6666

        When those storm troopers locked down the streets of Boston not long ago, I admit: I shed a tear of patriotic pride.

        • American Cannibal

          Weird.

          • heinrich6666

            I also read “The Grapes of Wrath” and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

  • Ziggy Pop

    Karma will deal these pigs street justice real soon..

  • echar

    Everything about this is sad.

  • Andrew

    Orange County is like Nazi Germany with warmer weather and less style.

    • Damian Caligula

      Yes, you’re so right. I had the misfortune of living in that dump right after this incident happened. Orange county needs to be turned back into orange groves.

      • Liam_McGonagle

        The drought and its attendant fires are God’s judgment on them.

    • Heath

      No doubt, I was pulled over and illegally searched daily at some points. I attest it to driving without a bmw or Mercedes .

    • Juan

      Good one, and very true. I grew up there. Not Fullerton, but Orange County.

  • InfvoCuernos

    Not only did the jury acquit, it did it in an hour and a half. I think the message this sends is : Don’t be homeless in Fullerton.

  • http://uzzas.blogspot.com/2010/06/introduction.html uzza

    If they can get away with this, there’s nothing they can’t get away with.

  • gustave courbet

    To paraphrase Nixon, “Well, when the police do it, that means that it is not illegal,”

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Well, for a jury to convict they must find the defendants’ behavior violated ALL of the provisions of the relevant law–not merely one or two.

    For example, the jury may well have held that the cops beat Kelly to death, but they did not hold Kelly to have been a human being as defined by the statute.

    It’s a technical nicety, but the law must be respected.

    • Kevin Leonard

      Jury nullification is a thing.

  • lilbear68

    wheres the Rodney king supporters? o yeah that kid was white. never mind