Skip to comments.Fullerton Hires Police Watchdog to Probe Homeless Man's Death
Posted on 08/17/2011 2:12:42 PM PDT by La Enchiladita
FULLERTON, Calif. (KTLA) -- Fullerton's city council has voted to hire a police watchdog to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of mentally-ill homeless man, Kelly Thomas, after a violent confrontation with six officers.
Council members voted 4-1 Tuesday night to hire Michael Gennaco, chief attorney for the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, at upwards of $230 an hour.
Gennaco said he would immediately begin his investigation into the entire department -- not just Thomas' death -- to see if there's any corruption.
The decision came after a heated meeting involving enraged community members who booed, heckled and even threatened Mayor F. Richard Jones and city council members.
(Excerpt) Read more at ktla.com ...
Up until now, supporters and the media have given Mr. Thomas a pass on his comments, such as demanding the death penalty for the police officers in question -- saying he would be glad to "pull the switch" --- and now they are backing off on him a bit after his "baseball bat" comment of last night.
Ron Thomas has been given an unedited platform for his views, but a reporter questioned him this morning as to whether he has a history with the Fullerton mayor and Thomas's answer was vague at best. Nor did I see any of the usual ANSWER et al demonstrators out there this morning before Thomas's one-on-one meeting with the mayor.
Isn’t Ron Thomas a former sheriff’s deputy?
After this brutal Fullerton event, and their response to this beating to death of the unarmed guy by multiple officers, I really hope their not attempting to make the dead guys Dad, a former cop himself, the bad guy.
There was no excuse for the actions of these cops.
Not a grain of human decency in the lot of them, Just a pack of rabid dogs beating this man to death.
I was reading the story about the guy who raped a passed out woman in broad daylight, on the same webpage.His excuse was he thought she was dead.They need to keep this guy away from funeral homes.
The press usually gives grieving parents some slack when they say stupid things. Its one of the things they do right. The death needs to be investigated and the officers punished if they violated the law. The press needs to ignore the father or heavily edit his comments. There is no need to build him up as a civil rights hero or to damn him.
Yeah it would be a shame if public officials had to face some real penalties for their actions.
They murdered this guys son.
They city denied trying to buy off the Dad with $900,000, which until the Dad produced the documentation regarding the settlement offer.
This one has the “after” picture.
And there are video tapes that ALLEGEDLY show the officers beating this guy once he was long past the point of resisting.
Tell me — why did this guy end up like this?
http://www.pixiq.com/article/second-video-emerges-from-fullerton-beating (admittedly somewhat anti-cop, especially cops that arrest people doing photography)
Why did the cops confiscate the video tapes?
This one stinks to high heaven.
If a group of people beat your unarmed daughter or son to death, then made attempts to cover up the event would you not wish the worst for those involved?
Talk about a sweet deal. I wonder what his excuse for "medical leave" was? I'm sure he has the sick time saved, if that's what he's using, but, man, a quarter mil a year in salary and benefits AND he gets to hide from the press?
Not too shabby for a chief in a relatively small, low crime town..
I wonder if there are any other government pensions is guy is collecting?
Now that is sick.
Thanks for the ping. I tend to be skeptical of special investigator/counsel types, so would like the heat to remain on.
If you want to go down to the Fullerton City Hall and join the ANSWER Coalition demonstration this coming Saturday, then feel free.
I have said all along that I support the findings of the investigations. Are you aware that there are 3 investigations now: Orange County D.A., FBI and now the independent investigator??
Until they present their findings, I am holding off on the charge of murder. If the D.A. decides to charge and prosecute one or more of the police officers, then so be it. At the very least, we can reasonably anticipate internal discipline.
Btw, the newest investigator is looking into not only the incident of July 5 but into the Fullerton Police Department entire.
I cannot endorse the way the angry mob has behaved, including the types of insults they hurled at the mayor and city council last night. All the mayor said was, we need to attend to other city business than the Kelly Thomas incident and THAT is what prompted Ron Thomas’s “baseball bat” threat.
In addition, you must be aware that the hacker group Anonymous has threatened to hack the Fullerton Police Dept. website. On another thread, Anonymous is being condemned for hacking into BART in northern California. Would you then endorse their action against Fullerton PD, which would likely release the names and addresses of the police officers. The release of this info is being demanded by the protesters, and by the L.A. Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/08/homeless-man-beating.html
Do you support this tactc?
Maybe they can beat the father to death too. That’ll shut him up.
In spite of Ron Thomas's violent, threatening rhetoric at last night's council meeting, the Fullerton mayor Richard F. Jones met with Mr. Thomas at 9:00 a.m. today. To me, that shows he has character. And he is showing strength by staying on the job in spite of pressure, while waiting for due process.
I have read in a few places, and heard, that Ron Thomas once worked as an Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy. That is all I “know.” I have not been able to find any details, even though I have searched, such as when he was a sheriff, for how many years, how and why did he separate from the department.
Since he worked in law enforcement in Orange County, he was aware of and interacted with other LE agencies as well as politicians. I and others wonder if there is a “history” vis a vis Mr. Thomas and other Orange County LE agencies prior to the July 5 incident of his son Kelly’s arrest.
We do know, from various sources, that there was a past incident where Kelly (the son) tried to choke his mother. She subsequently got a restraining order against him.
It would be a bit ironic to find that the police called in that incident were Fullerton city police.
Neat. You can't endorse the insults hurled at the mayor, but apparently you're not sure about endorsing a gang of thugs beating a man to death.
Neat. You can't endorse the insults hurled at the mayor, but apparently you're not sure about endorsing a gang of thugs beating a man to death.
I disagree on editing the Dad’s comments. However, I agree with you that grieving parents -— any grieving relatives -— are given a wide berth to vent their emotions.
Since Mr. Thomas does enjoy unlimited access to the media at this time, I think it’s only fair that he be asked some hard questions though. Up until now, this hasn’t happened.
He feels he “succeeded” in removing the police chief, who went on medical leave, so his next target was the Fullerton mayor. Now you know the media cannot ignore Mr. Thomas, because his triumphs end up being theirs as well.
You’re both operating on emotion and your comments and wishes are very like what the police are accused of.
The dad was responding to the mayor’s remark that listening to people talk about his son’s death was “torture.” Can’t blame him for being angry about that.
How do you know? Were you there?
Or... is that the latest from John and Ken.
Not at all. I’m operating on all the facts that have been released so far. I was merely throwing out beating the father to death as a suggestion since that seems to be an approved practice in Fullerton, and one you don’t seem to object to all that strenuously either.
I am so ashamed.
You attempt to make this story, not about the unarmed guy beat to death by multiple officers, but the victims Dad.
The officers should be punished just as if they were six crackheads who did this heinous crime. Because they were, addicted and under the influence of the power to do this to any citizen in the land and the knowledge of how to get away with it. Their get your lies straight, 14 days vacation and out of the penalty box strategy failed, because of one thing. Technology caught up with them.
This is EXACTLY what the police fighting photos and video recordings of their actions is all about. Its a thin facade of cultural respect that covers some of these gangbangers with badges, and even honorable cops know that if the vent their frustrations someday in innocent blood, they have a big blue insurance policy. THAT’S coming to an end.
No they are not.
An unarmed man was brutally beaten to death by men that are in a position of trust and authority. Maybe you are inured to that but most of us are not.
Thanks for reply.
Here’s the problem: the Fullerton cops killed the son of a sheriff’s deputy. That’s a major error on the part of the Fullerton cops. Unless the Fullerton cops give up the murderers to the sheriff, it will be war in that part of the country. And the Fullerton cops won’t survive.
We’re seeing the initial stages of America’s second civil war.
Asked by the city staff member if the meeting was productive, Jones said: "I think very much so, for both of us. He (Ron Thomas) is a wonderful man."
So am I. One of the facts is that the autopsy has not been completed. That conclusion would add weight to whether or not Kelly died as a result of being beaten.
Another fact is that the Fullerton City Council voted on Tuesday night to approve a THIRD investigation --- by an independent party --- not only into the incident on July 5 but into the Fullerton PD as a whole. In spite of this, the protesters, including Mr. Thomas, got up to the podium and made insulting comments toward the Mayor and other council members. The Mayor stated they had other city business to attend to and this inflamed the gallery.
While you approve this kind of agitation, I can say with certainty I have never called for Mr. Thomas to be beaten or harmed in any way nor would I. Yet he has threatened the mayor and the Fullerton police officers with harm and with death.
Nowhere have I said that I approve of ANYONE being beaten to death.
Those are all facts. Your turn.
It's interesting how you have to get that shot in, without knowing me at all. That is all I will say to you.
If he died from something other than the beating, I'll be the first person to come grovelling to you begging your pardon. To any reasonable person, it's more than a fair assumption at this point that he died from the beating...of course there's been three cases of the brain eating amoeba reported this year, and maybe one of those crawled up his nose while his face was being shoved into the curb. It's certainly possible. Not likely, but possible.
I'm glad Fullerton hired a new investigator. Who's going to sign his checks? What if the father hired an investigator and paid his way. Would you trust the objectivity of that investigation?
I do not approve this type of agitation. I think it could have been eliminated entirely had the victim been allowed to live. Don't you think that may have been the best way to prevent this as well?
Really? You think it’s an “error” because Kelly’s father is a former sheriff’s deputy? What if his parents were ordinary civilians; would it be different then? I’m interested in your thoughts on that point.
The fact that six officers were involved, and more likely additional officers on the scene, means that they called for back-up, right? Fullerton is a small town and doesn’t have a lot of police officers to spare, I would assume. Why would they need back-up? What was going down? We have no information as to whether a burglary had actually occurred.
Whether or not one or more of the six officers directly involved in the struggle with the suspect at the scene are bad cops or not is yet unknown. One can only speculate on the outcome of the three investigations.
Of course, it would have been better for the PD if they could have arrested the suspect successfully and unharmed. What led to the suspect being harmed to the degree that he was hospitalized and died 5 days later??
It seems to be the belief of the protesters that Kelly was willfully and malignantly beaten to death for the thrill of it.
I also would like to know more about your civil war comment, because in the protesters I see that they have found an opportunity to attack and vilify law enforcement. As I mentioned before, I see many other incidents and forms that the attack on LE takes.
I think remarks from habitual anti-cop posters need to be taken for what they are.
You've been shooting from the lip at other posters since you started the thread. You have no reason to complain.
You’re the one posting this article. Figure it out yourself. When you do, tell me what you found. Or don’t. I don’t care one way or the other.
Really? How far down in the thread do I make my first comment, and how is it "shooting from the lip?" It seems you are the one who showed up only to take a pot shot. Are you interested in the SUBJECT MATTER at all? Considering the shots that have been taken at me, I think I've been more than reasonable.
I asked you a couple of respectful questions because I was interested in your answers.
I guess your snottiness is your answer. I shouldn’t be surprised.
I POSTED on the subject matter.( An unarmed man was brutally beaten to death by men that are in a position of trust and authority. Maybe you are inured to that but most of us are not. ) You simply don't like being spoken to the way you speak to others.
Shots are taken at you because you shoot first. Abrupt, abrasive and insulting will not get you polite, sweet posts in return.
And, as everyone knows, you are one of the kindest, gentlest posters on the internet. Congratulations!!
I have things to do.
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