Authorities finally release the damning video1 in the Kelly Thomas homicide by police officers employed by the Fullerton Police Department.
Policing practices and policy2 that enable any police officer to escalate a routine encounter with a homeless person or any person into a homicide are profoundly and fundamentally flawed.
A simple telephone call or email to those in Fullerton or local area who routinely deal with the homeless would have identified Kelly, although Kelly gave the officer his name. Additionally, the officer said he recognized Kelly from previous encounters.
More importantly it would have also put someone on scene capable, competent, and experienced in nonviolently dealing with the homeless in general and Kelly in particular.
UPDATED 12/09/2013 enWikipedia, Death of Kelly Thomas
UPDATED 01/14/2014 WT, FBI investigating Kelly Thomas case after acquittal of two California cops
The acquittal is as shocking as the behavior of the cops.
UPDATED 12/09/2013 L.A. Now, Cop said Kelly Thomas gave him 'fight of his life,' witness says
UPDATED 09/21/2012 L.A.Now, Fullerton police to declare Kelly Thomas innocent of wrongdoing
The public has benefited from Kelly's concerned father (a former police officer) and the significant amount of video, audio, eye-witnesses, physical and medical evidence.
One shutters to think on how many occasions our police offices behave in a malevolent manner when routinely confronting our mentally ill and others, without accountability for want of evidence, misplaced trust, or improper exercise of authority at all levels?
UPDATED 07/11/2012 UPI, Officer charged with murder leaves force
UPDATED 07/05/2012 Reuters, California city sued over fatal police beating of homeless man
UPDATED 05/11/2012 ThomsonReuters, Two California policemen ordered to trial over videotaped beating death
Manuel Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter and Jay Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and the use of excessive force.
UPDATED 05/09/2012 LAT Blog, Kelly Thomas: Defense demands proof police killed homeless man
SFGate, Video of bloody Calif arrest unveiled in court
1. The video is Exhibit A for why homelessness should never, in the first instance be a law enforcement issue. The officers immediately begin badgering and cajoling Kelly, and then begin seeking probable cause by rummaging through Kelly's backpack. Kelly gave his backpack to the officer on request.
Unfortunately Kelly's brutal beating and unresponsiveness preempted the successful pursuit of probable cause!
Those arriving late on the scene comment on Kelly's cyanosis, which is not surprising given Kelly's pleas of acute respiratory distress—pleas that were ignored. It can be quite difficult or impossible for human beings to simultaneously apply brawn and brains.
Of course this is a very good reason why our police officers should frequently use their brains and rarely, if ever their brawn.
2. Who taught or trained these police officers to provoke then participate in an escalating bar room like brawl? If they were not trained or taught this behavior then how and when did they learn it? Do audits reveal that these police officers are the rule or exception in the Fullerton Police Department? Are other local police departments taught or trained or have independently learned to behave in a similar manner?