Friday, August 05, 2011

Horror in Fullerton

Six California police officers placed on leave in homeless man's death

For the most part, I'm going to just direct you to the story. It's ghastly enough on its own. But I want to add a few comments.

The cops involved are on leave, and understandably their names are not being released. The FBI and the Orange County District Attorney are investigating, with OCDA putting more than two dozen officers on the case. Fullerton residents are up in arms, as they should be, with more than 100 of them expressing their outrage during a City Council meeting.

Here's something that just strikes me as a freakish reflection on our society:

The FBI is investigating whether Kelly Thomas' civil rights were violated during the incident, said Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI's Los Angeles office.

A man is beaten to death, and there's a discussion of a civil rights violation? When they were fishing bodies out of the Green River, was there any discussion about, say, whether or not the killer might have bilked the dead prostitutes of money he owed them? Kelly Thomas had his life taken from him.

Susan Kang Schroeder, the spokesperson for the OCDA's office, looks like she's going to vomit as she's being interviewed. Whatever she saw was horrifying even to somebody accustomed to dealing with violent crime.

Here's something else scary: Schroeder said that the DA's office has already interviewed 80 people, and expects to interview 20 more. Were there a hundred witnesses to this? How many people saw this go down? I'm assuming that some of the people they spoke to would be those who knew Kelly Thomas and could speak to whether or not he had a history of violence, etc. Some are no doubt supervisors of the cops in question, people to ask about what sort of training the cops had, people at 911 dispatch, etc. But 100 is still a LOT of people. How many witnesses were there? How were the cops totally unafraid to do this with all those people standing around, especially in the age of ubiquitous video cameras?

I'm also wondering -- did anybody in the crowd call 911 and say that the cops there were totally out of control? If nothing else, we need to call 911 when we see cops misbehaving because then we have a recording of somebody describing what's going down in real time.


marycatelli said...

Civil rights. Yeah. Talk about warped priorities.

You may find this interesting:

Christina Dunigan said...

That's disturbing as well, marycatelli. I'll make that a link.

jackie100 said...

About the civil rights thing; they may have just wanted to be politically correct. I don't know how many witnesses there were (100 seems a bit much) but I read that there were quite a few witnesses including the person that taped the footage.

Fullerton Ford