Kelly Thomas

Another Example of Cops Getting Away With Murder

The following article was originally posted at LATimesBlogs on November 30, 2012 and submitted to by Chris Cejka.

A hearing Friday on whether to dismiss criminal charges against three former Fullerton police officers in the beating/death of a mentally ill homeless man was postponed at the request of defense attorneys.

Kelly Thomas was beaten violently at a downtown Fullerton bus depot last year. His father, Ron Thomas, appeared in court Friday to protest the delay.

“We’ve allowed them opportunity after opportunity and continuances all along,” he said after the hearing. “We want this to move forward.”

The defense has filed a 100-page motion to dismiss charges against the former officers, saying the men acted within their authority when Thomas was beaten in July 2011, said John Barnett, a defense attorney on the case. The prosecution, in turn, filed a 120-page response.

Thomas’ death resulted in charges being filed against two veteran on-duty police officers, a rarity in Orange County.  Last September, former Fullerton police Officer Manuel Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, and then-Cpl. Jay Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

In September, a grand jury indicted a third officer, Joseph Wolfe, on charges of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

All three have pleaded not guilty. The next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 18.

Thomas, a familiar figure on the streets in Fullerton’s downtown, was beaten and smacked with the butt of a stun gun in a violent confrontation that was captured on videotape. The audio that accompanied the video, which has been shown in court, captures Thomas screaming for the officers to stop and calling out for his father to help him.

Ramos received the most severe charges because prosecutors contend that he escalated the encounter by threatening Thomas, slipping on gloves as he towered over the man and telling him that he was going to beat him.

Barnett, who is Ramos’ attorney, said that the officer acted within discretion.

“That acts that officer Ramos did were lawful and necessary under the circumstances,” he said after the hearing Friday.

  • unclezip

    So the LEOs actually believe they have the authority to beat a person to death? I sure hope they do not open that can of worms, because if they do, the citizens will be in their authority to use deadly force to protect themselves from an out of control system.

    I’ll say it again:
    LEO = terrorist tax feeder
    Peace Officer = hero

  • Kate


  • K


  • Artie

    These lawyers are even worse that the murderers they’re helping to protect.

  • rick

    How many civilians are seen standing around in the video of the murder?
    No, I have zero interest in watching a man being beaten to death.

  • mark edward marchiafava

    “When the people fear the government, you have tyranny. When the government fear the people, you have liberty.” From where I sit, it doesn’t appear those rogue cops fear anything.

  • Chris Cejka

    Thankyou for posting this…



  • G. Asher

    We rush towards victory and shy from defeat. They keep delaying for a reason. This is a good sign for justice.

  • shawn

    You only need to see the picture to know they went too far. By the time a beating goes far enough to be life threatening, resistance has already stopped. More and more, im left with this question. I thought cops were trained to control their use of force. We can get any group of thugs to beat people to death and shoot everything that surprises them. We can even get people who can fire hundreds of rounds uncontroled and hit innocents.
    So why do we have to pay so much for ‘professional’ cops?

  • http://yahoo larry

    Ramos did not say that he was going to beat him. He said that these two hands are going to fuck you up. Right about then Kelly took off running for his life. Three OF THE PIGS caught him across the street and started beating him. Six more pigs showed up and proceed to help the first three pigs. He screamed for his life. He screamed and pleaded to them to stop saying that he was sorry. He screamed for his father to help him. He pleaded for his life.

    Joseph Wolf was the first to start beating him, with his baton, about the body. Jay Cicinelli beat him about the face with his taser gun. Fat ass Manuel Ramos just beat this guy. Then this fat ass took a picture of his elbow. There was a scrape on it and he tried to say that Kelly Thomas attacked him. The video sates different.

    If you would like to see video of his beating go to the Friends of Fullerton web.

  • http://yahoo larry

    Oh yes. I for got. They taserd him 5-6 times while he was down and un able to move. These guys are punks and they will pay for what they did.

  • Dirty Cop Enforcer

    Getting your rights violated by the police is Justice, Just look at my last incident with the Police. Welcome to America home of police criminals, stay away if your from another country. It is no longer safe in America.

  • John Q Public

    I see the three cops have been charged accordingly and removed from being cops. They will probably be convicted and given long prison sentences. Seems like justice is being served.

  • Zapeee

    nothing will come of this unless there is a reaction by the public as in rodney king. the system just wants to maintain status quo, so the only way they will shake up the police is if everything else has a chance of going to shit.

    uhnfortunately, “the man” has us all too scared to stand up, and besides, all of our interests differ enough that people cant stand together on anything anymore- unless its something as basic as race or religion.

  • 2minutes

    @John Q

    If I agreed to accept a prison sentence, would you let me beat you (or your wife or kid) as severely as these cops beat Kelly Thomas?
    If the answer is no, then you clearly feel that the prison sentence is not just compensation for the beating death received; therefore, justice is not being served.

  • John Q Public

    2minutes, that made no sense. These guys plead not guilty, which is their right. They are going to have a jury trial, which is their right. The have the same rights everyone else has. I guess no one in jail has faced justice by your account. There are many people on death row in various states that have been there many years waiting for justice to be carried out. Why? because like the defendants in this case, they have lawyers working on their behalf. I guess you think the Adam Mueller “I don’t need a lawyer” concept is the way to go. Look how good that worked for him.

  • Common Sense

    Sorry CB, ex-cops have the same rights as you in criminal court. They get attorneys, experts and discovery and jury selection. A jury of their peers will decide. Maybe next year sometime. Either way, this is a long way from being over.

  • Artie

    There was a cop who posted a vile comment under a local news story by KOMO TV/radio station in Washington state. It was about the lawsuit by the Wright family whose dog Rosie was killed by the police in Des Moines, WA. The cop’s user handle was “Common Sense”. Same person or not, tells you something about the mindset.

  • Common Sense

    Sorry, wasn’t me.

    In regards to WA, the police exhausted all methods at the time, from trying to contact an owner, to using catch pole, and a tazer before shooting the 200lb dog. With more then 170 pages of reports, followup and transcripts, the elected officals (prosecutor’s office) ruled the police committed no crime.

    Sorry, dog owners are legally obligated to control their pets as if they do not, then they leave the care and welfare of their animals to others.

    In a perfect world, owners would maintain control of their dogs, ACOs would be on every corner to capture loose aninals, but sadly that’s not reality.

  • http://yahoo larry

    In a perfect world, owners (government) would maintain control of their dogs (cops), IA would be on every corner to capture loose minded cops, but sadly that’s not reality. So now it is up to the population to keep an eye on the cops to make sure that the wrong things do not happen and to keep cops honest.

  • Artie

    CS, interesting that you are still so defensive about that heinous crime. You had no role in perpetrating it, but are doing everything to make the public think that you’re no different than the perps.

  • Voluntarist tippy

    I hope that Mr Thomas and other concerned Fullerton citizens have the bravery to illustrate what happens when cops aren’t held accountable in the justice system. After all, it is up to us, the citizens, to show the crooked judges & cops what happens if they don’t provide the necessary accountability.

  • zapeee

    common sense- in a perfect world the neighbors would tell the dog to go home, and it would, and you wouldn’t need an ACO.
    in your scenario the ACO’s would be looking for the smallest infractions to justify their pay. just like you leos do with your ticket quotas.

  • Indownx7

    Damn straight, if we have to protect ourselves and take the law in our hands then whos to stop us.

  • Phil E. Drifter

    In September, a grand jury indicted a third officer, Joseph Wolfe, on charges of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

    That’s some serious shit right there, and very telling. Two fucking pigs pleading not guilty to murdering someone, and a grand jury indicts a 3rd person — string ’em all the f*ck up, ‘life in the chair,’ etc.

    F*ck pigs; kill on sight, they are the first line of defense protecting the rich because they’re stupid and violent and want to hide behind an official badge.

  • John Q Public

    Phil, be careful. Your ignorance is showing.

  • Phil E. Drifter

    Shut the fuck up, John.

  • jerry bolduc

    And all the while the police brass didn’t know they were turning killers loose on the public? Kind of hard to believe…isn’t it?
    And their ‘union reps’…they were not aware of these killers running loose either?

    We need a complete, top-down clean-up of the brass and the police unions!! I have a sense that a serious blow-back is not far off if we don’t stop monsters like these from ever putting on a uniform!!

    Who hires these people? This has to change!!