Author Topic: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death  (Read 757 times)

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Offline happyg

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Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« on: January 14, 2014, 11:21:07 AM »
By GILLIAN FLACCUS
 Associated Press
 SANTA ANA, Calif.
 Two California police officers who were videotaped in a violent struggle with a homeless man during an arrest were acquitted Monday of killing him.

 It was a rare case in which police officers were charged in a death involving actions on duty. One of the officers acquitted had been charged with murder.

 Jurors took less than two days to reach their verdicts.

 The arrest was captured on a 33-minute surveillance video that was key evidence at the trial. It showed Kelly Thomas struggling with six police officers, who hit, kneed and jolted him with an electric stun gun as he was on the ground, calling out for his father over and over again.

 Former Fullerton police Officer Manuel Ramos was acquitted of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the 2011 death of Thomas.

 Former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

 Spectators let out a gasp as the verdict was read.

 Cicinelli, 41, wiped tears from his eyes and Ramos, 39, put his head down and rubbed his temples before turning to his supporters and winking.

 Cicinelli's attorney pounded the defense table twice before embracing his client in a bear hug.

 Thomas' father sat stone-faced while his mother wept.

 Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckus, who tried the case himself, said after the verdicts that charges will be dropped against Joseph Wolfe, a third officer awaiting trial.

 Thomas' parents condemned the verdict outside court.

 "Just horrified," Cathy Thomas said. "He got away with murdering my son."

 Ron Thomas said the verdict gave police "carte blanche" to brutalize people.

 "All of us need to be very afraid now," he said. "Police officers everywhere can beat us, kill us, whatever they want, but it has been proven right here today they'll get away with it.

 "Inside, we're all just torn up ... It hurts, it hurts really, really bad," he said.

 Ramos' attorney, John Barnett, said jurors did their duty.

 "These peace officers were doing their jobs," he said. "They were operating as they were trained, and they had no malice in their hearts."

 The defense said Thomas started the confrontation by refusing to heed police orders and was fighting officers so much that they called for backup multiple times. At one point, the lawyers said, Thomas tried to reach for Cicinelli's stun gun.

 Ron Thomas has countered that his son suffered from schizophrenia and didn't understand the officers.

 The FBI said after the verdict that it will investigate to determine whether to take federal action against the officers.

 "With the conclusion of the state court trial, investigators will examine the evidence and testimony to determine whether further investigation is warranted at the federal level," said Laura Eimiller, the FBI's spokeswoman in Los Angeles.

 The video began with Ramos stopping Thomas on July 5, 2011, after the officer answered a call about a disheveled man jiggling the handles of car doors in a busy transit center parking lot.

 Ramos grew frustrated with Thomas, who wasn't following orders to sit on a curb with his hands on his knees.

 Just before the altercation began, Ramos snapped on plastic gloves, made two fists and then held them in front of Thomas' face as he said, "Now see these fists? They're going to (expletive) you up."

 Cicinelli, who arrived a few moments later, jolted Thomas several times with an electric stun gun and used the butt end to hit Thomas in the head and face, breaking bones.

 Thomas was taken off life support five days later.

 A county pathologist concluded that Thomas died, in part, from asphyxiation caused by injuries he received during the confrontation.

 Defense attorneys said Thomas suffered from an enlarged heart from drug abuse, and his exertions during the struggle were too much for him.

 Thomas' death led to days of protests in Fullerton, a Southern California college town, forced the recall of three City Council members and led the police chief to step down.

 After the verdicts, Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes issued a statement urging people to express their feelings "respectfully."

 Several dozen protesters gathered outside the courthouse after the verdict waving signs, and a similar size crowd gathered at the scene of the struggle later Monday night. Both demonstrations were peaceful and there were no reported arrests.

 During the trial, the defense told jurors that Thomas was not a peaceful, helpless man. They said he had a history of drug use and was homeless because he had attacked members of his own family.

 Cathy Thomas testified that he choked her for several minutes during an argument and Thomas's grandfather said Thomas attacked him with a fireplace poker in 1995.

 He did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system the night of the incident.

 Only a handful of police officers nationwide have been charged with murder for actions taken while on duty, and convictions in those cases are rare, said Lawrence Rosenthal, a law professor at Chapman University School of Law and a former federal prosecutor.

 Unless the prosecution can prove the officers falsified reports or covered up evidence, jurors are usually willing to acquit, he said.

 "Police officers are very unusual kinds of defendants because ... they are seen as acting not in their own interests but acting to protect the public at large, the very people sitting on their jury," Rosenthal said.

 Jurors are willing to forgive lapses in judgment rather than put an officer "in the cage with the same people that officer has spent his life arresting," he said.

Video of not guilty results at link:http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/01/14/Officers-acquitted-in-California-homeless-death

Offline xfreeper

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 11:49:54 AM »
"He got away with murdering my son."

Certainly appears that way

Offline Charlespg

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2014, 12:12:59 PM »
 bounty hunters/hitmen ..Thats all I'm going to say
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Offline flowers

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 12:31:43 PM »
Thomas was white right? Will there be a outrage from the masses about this verdic?


Offline happyg

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 12:41:59 PM »
Thomas was white right? Will there be a outrage from the masses about this verdic?



Offline Charlespg

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 12:46:29 PM »
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Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 01:30:10 PM »
The elected Republican District Attorney is a big law enforcement supporter.

He decided to prosecute this case, because it is so, so over the top and clear that the police intentionally injured this man.

People here, in the area, are shocked.

The DA probably overcharged, in his zeal to make a strong political statement. If he charged below 2 class murder, he might have swayed the jury.

The picture of him is NOT at the time of his murder. He was well known in the area. He was clearly mentally ill, but not in a violent way.

Offline xfreeper

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 02:18:39 PM »
The DA probably overcharged, in his zeal to make a strong political statement.
Or he wanted to avoid the possibility of a conviction of the cops. Covers his butt by prosecuting and then says can't help what the jury does.

Offline Charlespg

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 02:30:03 PM »
The DA probably overcharged, in his zeal to make a strong political statement.
Or he wanted to avoid the possibility of a conviction of the cops. Covers his butt by prosecuting and then says can't help what the jury does.
Ditto....I know about double jeopardy ,but can their be a new trial if there is evidence of jury tampering or monkey business by officials ?
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Offline xfreeper

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 02:51:48 PM »
monkey business by officials is a given. Proving it is the rub

Offline happyg

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2014, 04:24:54 PM »

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2014, 04:27:22 PM »
OMG... no excuse for this.
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Offline flowers

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2014, 04:45:46 PM »


Offline happyg

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 04:49:49 PM »
I watched the full video. There is no way the cops were innocent. While a dozen cops were "playing" with this guy, how many real crimes were being neglected?

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2014, 05:06:51 PM »
I watched the full video. There is no way the cops were innocent. While a dozen cops were "playing" with this guy, how many real crimes were being neglected?

I also watched it entirely. I went to college in Fullerton. My wife is friends with Thomas father's former-girlfriend.

I think the DA was really, seriously outraged by the conduct of law enforcement in the county, so he went all out.

No matter how much Thomas resisted, he could have very easily been subdued, cuffed and put into a squad car for transit to jail. They do that everyday.

Here's the father.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2014/0114/Kelly-Thomas-case-why-police-were-acquitted-in-killing-of-homeless-man-video

Offline happyg

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2014, 05:17:25 PM »
It was obvious that they murdered Kelly. The fat cop was itching to get to him. I bet that most of the cops involved beat their wives and are all-round bullies. I got sick to my stomach watching those evil man torture a mentally guy.

From your link (I hope they go after them):
Quote
Mr. Thomas, the father, has said that he hopes that the US Justice Department will file federal charges against the officers. The FBI has been pursuing its own investigation of the high-profile case.

Online mountaineer

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2014, 07:26:16 PM »
Quote
The FBI has been pursuing its own investigation of the high-profile case.
I fear the victim here is of the wrong skintone for the U.S. DOJ to worry about.
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Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2014, 07:30:19 PM »
Geeezz, what is it about California cops anyway? 

Offline 240B

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2014, 07:58:19 PM »
Geeezz, what is it about California cops anyway?

If I had a son...
 
No. I think you can forget about avowed, full bore, devout, card carrying 'racist', Eric Holder, or all the index cards of Black "Reverends" getting involved in this. Just what you said.
 
He has the wrong color of skin to be worried about any 'laws' or violations. They don't care.
 
He is White, he deserves it.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 07:59:21 PM by 240B »
You cannot "COEXIST" with people who want to kill you.

Offline Charlespg

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2014, 08:09:49 AM »
found this on TOS where this acquittal is being discussed


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Online mystery-ak

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2014, 08:54:57 AM »
http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/14/opinion/navarrette-police-beating-death/

Cops must face justice in killing of homeless man
By Ruben Navarrette, CNN Contributor
updated 5:25 PM EST, Tue January 14, 2014

(CNN) -- What is it with juries in high-profile cases in Southern California? Over the years, they've become a national joke. But no one is laughing.

Instead, with each travesty of justice and every acquittal that should have been a conviction, you're left wondering just what trial these 12 folks were watching and questioning whether we should have higher standards for who sits on a jury. Sometimes, the juries in local and state courts get it wrong, and the Justice Department must step in and make it right.

Think back to the acquittal in April 1992 of four Los Angeles police officers who, one year earlier, savagely beat motorist Rodney King. They walked out of a courtroom in Simi Valley, California, as free men -- sparking days of rioting, looting and violence.

At the time, the conventional thinking on newspaper editorial pages and on talk radio was the jurors in that largely white suburb of Los Angeles, which was itself home to many active-duty and retired police officers, saw the police force as their line of defense against undesirables like King. So naturally, the argument went, they would cut them some slack. The officers were tried again, and convicted in federal court of violating King's civil rights. Justice was finally served.

Here we go again. There hasn't been much civil unrest over what happened to Kelly Thomas, the homeless and mentally ill man who -- on July 5, 2011 -- was beaten to death by a swarm of police officers in Fullerton, California.

But now that the verdict is in, literally, on the two former officers who were charged in his death, there is plenty of outrage on talk radio, online and in other public forums. Another 12 people who swore an oath to consider the evidence and the law and make sure that justice is served appear to have gotten it terribly wrong.

This week, that jury in Santa Ana, California -- a city about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles -- produced a wave of gasps in the courtroom when it announced that it had found Manuel Ramos, who had been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, and Jay Cicinelli, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force, not guilty on all counts.

What? The beating was caught on a surveillance tape. When you watch those 33 minutes of footage, assuming you can stomach the experience, it's hard to believe that anyone could declare the perpetrators "not guilty." The surveillance camera footage shows Thomas being beaten and stunned with a Taser by police until he was unrecognizable and unconscious.

You see a defenseless and compliant young man screaming in pain, saying he's sorry and pleading for help from his father. His words will haunt you, "Daddy, help! They're killing me!" According to prosecutors, the young man suffered brain injuries, facial fractures, broken ribs and extensive bruises and abrasions. He wound up lying in a pool of blood. He died five days later.

This was not a by-the-book case of police officers using all necessary force to subdue a suspect who was resisting arrest -- a suspect, by the way, who had committed no crime. This was not, as Ramos' attorney claimed, a case of police offices simply "doing their job" with "no malice in their heart."

Check the video. Early on in the confrontation, Ramos appears to tell the young man who is sitting on the ground: "You see my fists? They're getting ready to f--- you up!" Another officer is heard telling a comrade: "We ran out of options so I got to the end of my Taser and I ... smashed his face to hell."

There is the malice. This was abuse of power and an instance of bullying behind a badge. It happens more than we'd like to think in America. But this time, it went too far. And a man died, and a family was shattered.

Yet, the jury somehow missed all this? How does this happen? In Los Angeles, people are saying that the mentally ill are the new Rodney King. In the same way that the jury in Simi Valley was inclined to back the officers who it saw as protecting them from people like King, now the jury in Santa Ana is backing the officers who it counts on to prod people like Thomas to move along, leave the streets, and get out of sight.

It's a plausible explanation. Human beings aren't perfect, and sometimes those who sit on juries are plagued by their own prejudices -- in this case, against those who behave in erratic ways which we don't understand.

This much we can understand: Cops are supposed to protect the weak, not prey on them. Just like they're supposed to protect all of us. The tragedy of Kelly Thomas raises a question: When police officers lose control and go from public servants to violent bullies, who will protect us from them?

In this case, there is only one answer and one place left that can right this wrong: The Justice Department.

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Offline happyg

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2014, 10:13:35 AM »
I hope the rest of the media pushes this. That fat cop was provoking the victim from the start. He tells him to sit down on the ground with his feet out, so the guy complied. Then, he told the victim to put his hands on his knees, so the victim bent his knees to comply. Then the cop yelled for him to put his feet out and put his hands on his knees. The victim said he couldn't do that. (Neither could I).

It was quite obvious to even the most stupid cop the man had schizophrenia. He committed no crime, didn't resist in the normal sense, but kept being harassed. The cops worked themselves into a frenzy, the victim did nothing.

Offline flowers

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2014, 12:28:03 PM »
I hope the rest of the media pushes this. That fat cop was provoking the victim from the start. He tells him to sit down on the ground with his feet out, so the guy complied. Then, he told the victim to put his hands on his knees, so the victim bent his knees to comply. Then the cop yelled for him to put his feet out and put his hands on his knees. The victim said he couldn't do that. (Neither could I).

It was quite obvious to even the most stupid cop the man had schizophrenia. He committed no crime, didn't resist in the normal sense, but kept being harassed. The cops worked themselves into a frenzy, the victim did nothing.
You can see at the beginning of the video that cop shaking his billy club......he was pissed from the get go.


Offline happyg

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2014, 12:36:10 PM »
Many of my friends, and even family are or were cops. One cop, a former friend, got unnecessarily violent. He got fired, the union brought him back. The sheriff, another friend, didn't want him back. He needed to be fired and arrested. We have a good sheriff's dept., but there are arseholes in every job. When you work with a union, they are difficult to get rid of.

I hope these cops are treated callously by the other 'good' cops. They don't deserve the camaraderie with decent people.

Offline xfreeper

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Re: Officers Acquitted in California Homeless Death
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2014, 02:47:02 PM »
I hope these cops are treated callously by the other 'good' cops. They don't deserve the camaraderie with decent people.

I doubt very much that will be the case. In such a flagrant case, the cops themselves would be clamoring for a murder charge


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