Internal Affairs Report Sheds Light on Kelly Thomas Beating



According to a previously sealed internal affairs investigation report completed in April, 2012, three of the four Fullerton cops involved in the brutal beating death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man, violated a series of department policies, including use of force.

The 57-page report written by Michael Gennaco rebukes the actions of former Fullerton cops Manuel Ramos, Joseph Wolfe and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli. Gennaco was hired by the city to conduct an independent review of Thomas’ beating on July 5, 2011.

The internal affairs report criticized the force used by Ramos and Wolfe, saying that before they began beating Thomas to death, the officers apparently did not consider him a threat.

“Both Ramos and Wolfe were experienced officers. The risk of injury to citizens and officers was relatively low and the risk of escape, while it existed, would not have necessarily presented a great public safety threat to the community based on the initial observations of the responding officers,” the internal affairs report said.

Although Cicinelli arrived after the beating had begun, he received the most detailed criticism. The report said that his statements such as “beating the shit” out of Thomas “convey (a) savage person who is willing to abuse his position of authority to exact street punishment to citizens he encounters.”

According to the report, 11 of the 13 officers who arrived at the scene violated department procedures, primarily by not turning on voice recorders.

Thomas, 37, was in a coma following the beating and died five days later. Three cops were criminally charged in connection with his death, but a jury acquitted Ramos and Cicinelli. Charges against the third officer were dropped.

At least five of the officers left the department after the beating. Three Fullerton city council members were recalled. The chief of police left, and reforms were undertaken to abolish the “culture of complacency” that a separate Gennaco investigation determined to dominate the department.

The city also funds “Behind the Badge OC,” a propaganda publication produced by a public relations firm sent to Fullerton residents that contains positive accounts between police and the community.

Thomas’ beating death brought national attention to the plight of the mentally ill and the conduct of police who encounter them. During the beating, Kelly can be heard yelling that he couldn’t breathe and then calling out for his father.

A federal civil rights case is pending. The trial for a civil suit against the city and police brought by Kelly Thomas’ father, Ron Thomas, is scheduled to begin later this month.

 




Voice of OC:

The internal affairs report goes into detail about what each of the 13 officers who responded to the bus station that night did, particularly Cicinelli.

First, he used his Taser and, when that didn’t cause Thomas to stop struggling, he smashed Thomas in the face with the plastic weapon, according to the report. He also hit Thomas twice in the head with his knee. The coroner said Thomas died of suffocation from having his chest compressed and from injuries to his face.

“Considering what Cicinelli was faced with when he arrived on scene
and the presence of three additional officers, his deployment of two knee strikes to Thomas’ head was unnecessary and unreasonable,” the report stated.

Cicinelli was justified in trying to use the Taser, the report said, but when that didn’t work “Cicinelli’s use of the Taser as an impact weapon to Thomas’ face is objectively unreasonable.”

The report highlights contradictions between the reports Cicinelli wrote up after the beating and what he told internal affairs.

“In his report, Cicinelli wrote that the reason he used the taser in that manner was to end Thomas’ resistance,” according to Gennaco’s report. “(But) in his interview, Cicinelli’s ‘justification’ shifted to the alleged grab of his Taser for the use of the head strikes. Yet that justification is not articulated in his report or his comments about the force immediately after the incident.”

Here are some of Cicinelli’s comments highlighted in Gennaco’s report:

“I mean he was tossing us around like we were nothing and that was after was thumping the shit out of him…We ran out of options so I got the end of my Taser and I probably just smashed his face to hell…I fucking beat him probably twenty times in the face with this taser.”

The report went on to say Cicinelli’s comments, “while not necessarily ones of bravado, strongly suggest that the head strikes were prompted by Thomas’ resistance as opposed to his grab of the Taser.”

“The mental imagery that such statements convey is a savage person who is willing to abuse his position of authority to exact street punishment to citizens he encounters,” the report said.

RAW Video: Kelly Thomas Beating (Graphic)

Originally published on FresnoPeoplesMedia.com

EPN

Dylan Donnelly

Artist and Photojournalist from Fresno, CA
Editor at Fresno People’s Media & admin of Cop Block Fresno, CA

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  • JC

    You can twist everything you want. The officers were found not guilty. They cannot be retried. Live with it.

  • Burn The Obedient

    Youre right. There are other avenues to use to get the deserved justice. Some more than others would be much more meaningful.

  • keepitreal

    Guilty people are found innocent every day, you fucking idiot.

  • john q public

    save a life, kill a cop

  • Common Sense

    Its that eye, its distracting. Maybe he should just wait a jaunty eye patch. Its like Radar’s left hand. Can’t not look for it.

    Good luck in your civil rights case, I wouldn’t hold my breath however.

    “Opening a federal civil rights investigation when law enforcement causes
    the death of an individual is standard procedure, happening nationwide
    after virtually every such case, said Driscoll.”

    See, and you thought it was some Earth shattering anomaly. Charges are however rare given what actually must be proven BRD.

  • kmc

    Every cop involved in this should have to listen to their child screaming for help like Kelly did.

  • Anonymous

    In Orange County, it is easier for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle, then for a police officer to be found guilty. Remember the cops who beat Rodney King? They went to trial once, and were found “not guilty”. Then they went to trial again…There have been other cases, where the officer was CLEARLY wrong, and juries failed to convict. Take a look at the Johnnie Franklin Jones beating in Santa Ana by Scott Harper and Brian Sherred of the Los Angeles County Sheriff. The reason they were not convicted was because the jury “was afraid to disparage all cops.”

  • Anonymous

    The big thing that stands in the way of real accountability, is the California Police Officers Bill of Rights. Among which is the right to have disciplinary actions taken against officer be “confidential.” So, even if an officer IS corrupt, in a corrupt or complacent department, there is NO accountability. Before the Kelly Thomas beating, it was a state law that if a citizen came in demanding a complaint form, you were REQUIRED to supply one. Fullerton Police Dept routinely REFUSED. This is CORRUPTION!!!

  • Anonymous

    Why is it that former police officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli are coaching little league today? Former police officer Manuel Ramos is coaching PONY League right across the street from the Fullerton PD!!!

  • t

    CS:
    But wait.
    Now…according to the CBer line of thinking:
    IA can’t be trusted.
    PDs can’t police their own.

    If that’s the case….why would anyone trust this IA report?

    By their vary statements…the CBers should be screaming that this reports is all lies.

  • DeadPigGoodPig

    “I mean he was tossing us around like we were nothing and that was after was thumping the shit out of him…We ran out of options so I got the end of my Taser and I probably just smashed his face to hell…I fucking beat him probably twenty times in the face with this taser.”

    The only good pig is a dead pig and the only good JC is a dead JC. There is a river of blood in our future, and yours will be part of that river.

  • DeadPigGoodPig

    He won’t listen to logic he doesn’t understand it. He understands pain, bring it to him.

  • DeadPigGoodPig

    So why doesn’t somebody kill him?

  • Erin Anderson

    This is how cops can legally kill someone and they all know this procedure. They do it by applying pressure to the upper back as the victim lies on their stomach. The pressure is applied by multiple officers so that the victim can’t inhale air. As they apply pressure to the victims back they yell “stop resisting”, they do this if they know they are on camera. It’s the perfect crime and this is why psychopaths take these police jobs, so they can get paid to kill people.

  • Erin Anderson

    This is how cops can legally kill someone and they all know this procedure. They do it by applying pressure to the upper back as the victim lies on their stomach. The pressure is applied by multiple officers so that the victim can’t inhale air. As they apply pressure to the victims back they yell “stop resisting”, they do this if they know they are on camera. It’s the perfect crime and this is why psychopaths take these police jobs, so they can get paid to kill people.

  • DeadPigGoodPig

    So why not start killing these fuckers openly? It’s gotta start at some point. The only good pig is a dead pig.

  • DeadPigGoodPig

    Typing on a site isn’t going to start the river of blood flowing. Taking a machete to their heads will.

  • DeadPigGoodPig

    I’m really surprised officers were not murdered in this case. You can bet that is something like this happened to one of my family members, these officers would be without their heads and without their skin. You know my style.

  • DIE_BankofAmerica_PHUKKING_DIE

    Most cops would burst out laughing. They’re beyond help.

  • JC ISN’T A COP

    DOES THAT MEAN THEY DIDN’T DO IT THEN???? NO DIPSHIT, IT DOESN’T.

  • JC

    The officers involved in this incident were found not guilty and not guilty of violating his rights.

  • JC

    Such as…..

  • JC

    More threats, more paperwork, more emails.

  • DeadPigGoodPig

    Email away, bitch.

  • Nicole Morgan

    Are you retarded? Most police don’t behave this way, not all precincts are corrupt. We need federal level laws made specific to people in positions of power such as police, so that they can no longer exploit loopholes or the excuse of poor training to cover up murder. They need to be tried in a higher court, away from any supporters they have in the local system.

  • Nicole Morgan

    How about you stop talking and do something, big man. You are a fucking joke, playing tough guy on the internet.

  • Billy Clubb

    I’m so glad that wasn’t my son.

  • Nicole Morgan

    Yeah, lets kill cops indiscriminately, even the ones who try to set a better example and do save lives. That makes so much sense. Boy, it sure is a good thing some of the psychopaths didn’t become cops, so that they could be anti-cop psychopaths and wank about their fantasies on the internet. :^)

  • Billy Clubb

    Keep kidding yourself baby!

  • Billy Clubb

    When you find your non-existent needle in a haystack on Mars let us know.

  • Billy Clubb

    Once anarchy starts they won’t be able to stop it. They can’t kill all of us.

  • Nicole Morgan

    Except Rodney King actually did attack a cop and wouldn’t stop resisting arrest. Honestly, it made no sense to me that his case was the one that started a riot when he actually provoked that. There were other people killed or beaten who didn’t resist, I’m sure, but this one guy who picked a fight and lost starts a riot?

  • Billy Clubb

    Me too.

  • Nicole Morgan

    That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, just that they got off. The internal investigation says they did do it. The game was rigged in their favor.

    The Rodney King case is a joke in comparison to what happened to this poor guy.

  • Nicole Morgan

    You go do that and then post the pics for proof.

  • Nicole Morgan

    Do something, you silly cunt.

  • Nicole Morgan

    So why don’t you take your own advice? XD You’re the biggest cry baby of them all, talking all this shit from the safety of a computer.

  • Nicole Morgan

    The problem is that the AI investigate, they can’t prosecute. The AI did good, but the cops were let off, which the AI have no control over. The problem is with the local system where everyone knows everyone and does favors, and where in this case there are absurd laws protecting the police above the citizen, which should be challenged in a higher court.

  • DeadPigGoodPig

    You must be one of his spastic kangaroo bitches.

  • DeadPigGoodPig

    Seems like the tuna are biting today.

  • DeadPigGoodPig

    Here fishy fishy fishy fishy.

  • DeadPigGoodPig

    You bit hook, line, and sinker on this game. Congratulations. Most catch on by this point, but I’m guessing you’re not one of the smart ones.

  • t

    NM:
    Oh. So THIS IA is good….but all others are cover ups.
    2-face much?

    Everyone’s friends huh? So the jurors were all friends with the cops?

    It’s like I told @Ray multiple times.
    This was a very violent arrest. But that’s all. The whole time Thomas was fighting. This should never have gotten to trial as there simple wasn’t any evidence that the officers caused his death. Heck…the prosecution went so over board that they had the coroner up,there testify that just holdI got his legs made it so he breath….as he yelled out repeatedly that he couldn’t breath.
    Unfortunately formThomas…his mental,illness topped with….what the CBers would claim is years of glorious drug use…causes him to be cast out by his family ( not that I blame them…his choice to,use and abuse drugs compounded his issues…and they are HIS issues) and by society.

    He is sadly a victim of rampant drug use.

  • Phillip Textor

    Given this report, it seems the DA had to work real hard to NOT convict the officers. Until everyone at every level is held accountable, this will not stop.

  • Phillip Textor

    The jury foreman was a former assist. DA who worked for the DA who prosecuted the case. Yea, the fix was in.

  • keepitreal

    Such as cheese graters and lemon juice, you goat molesting fuck-stick.

  • Yankeefan

    Shut up! Give it a rest you 2 bit punk. You are nothing but a bitch that is a heart beat away from having me kick your teeth down your throat.
    Now will you please report me. I can’t hardly wait?..LOL

  • Yankeefan

    Does that change the IA report? Were there inconsistencies found in the officers statements? What a jury does is a different matter. That is why it is a crap shoot!

  • And yet in every incident like this, most police did behave that way.

    Remember the cop in FL who gave another cop a speeding ticket? TWO HUNDRED specific different cops harassed her. Named in her lawsuit.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence , Nicole.

  • Alec. .Blue

    People that fuck up are held in police court. Police that fuck up are in our court, and beating an innocent man to death has an interesting price attached on the streets.

  • Alec. .Blue

    This is the face I see when I see a police officer.

  • ChuckBob

    You lying ass apologist pig, we’ve all heard the tape where the man is pleading for his father to save him as the nazis kill his ass. Fuck you, scumbag, that day of reckoning is right around the corner now, and we outnumber you fucks about a thousand to one.

  • t

    CB:
    Right in he was.breathing that whole time. Even when his legs were hoed down….that’s why the coroner wasn’t believed

    Yes…he plead for his dad. Who had rejected him because of he WONDERIUS drug use.

    Drugs=bad times

  • t

    YF:
    So again….if you don’t trust the police…why would you believe this IA investigation is any different? Because it says what you want to hear?

    Look…I’ve said many times that this incident was horrible.
    But I kneed then that they’d be acquitted. There simply isn’t evidence that they “murdered” him. Heck…they gave lots measures

  • Yankeefan

    According to the rank and file, IA are not real cops. Hell, even the officer I attend church with calls them a necessary evil. But let’s not pretend this was a text book pice moment. Did they violate policy? Did they beat a mentally ill man who needed help? Did the cops make statements that sounded like they wanted to teach him a lesson? Kinda seems so!

  • Yankeefan

    According to the rank and file, IA are not real cops. Hell, even the officer I attend church with calls them a necessary evil. But let’s not pretend this was a text book pice moment. Did they violate policy? Did they beat a mentally ill man who needed help? Did the cops make statements that sounded like they wanted to teach him a lesson? Kinda seems so!

  • ChuckBob

    Yeah, somebody uses drugs so that automatically makes them sub-human, huh? I’ll repeat it one more time: fuck you.