The sickening death of homeless and mentally ill man Kelly Thomas, 37, at the hands of six Fullerton policemen has gone national, as meticulously detailed by our sister paper, the OC Weekly. And no one has been more active in letting the world, along with the District Attorney, know that the Fullerton Police Department is harboring violent killers, than Thomas' father, a retired deputy.
Ron Thomas -- the man to whom Kelly was reportedly screaming, "Dad! Dad! Dad!" before his face was kicked in by the cops -- went on KNX news radio this morning to discuss the developments of the case. He says a private investigator is getting involved, and that he himself has talked to additional witnesses...
... who he then passed on to the District Attorney for official testimony. Ron told KNX the new witnesses were standing just feet away from his son while the officers took his life, and that their descriptions of the scene are shocking.
But Ron also shared some digging tactics with listeners that have become integral to any home or government-run investigation: He said to Google the words "Fullerton police brutality," and you'll come across a very similar display of excessive force, posted July 10, 2011 (perhaps inspired by the July 5 death of Kelly Thomas).
Ron said he has forwarded the video to the Fullerton Police Department's Internal Affairs office, asking, how was this not investigated, before it was too late?
Here's the video, already at 61,500 views:
It's not as big of a bloodbath as the Kelly Thomas beating, obviously, but it's disturbing nonetheless. The cameraman even gets some roughing up. (In the words of a YouTube commenter: "Since when is it breaking any laws to observe police doing their jobs?")
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As previously reported by LA Weekly's Dennis Romero, one of the cops who allegedly killed Kelly, Jay Cicinelli, was an ex-LAPD officer on disability leave after an on-duty shooting that took his left eye.
[Update: There has been ample pressure from the ACLU for the Orange County District Attorney to be removed from the case, based on the ACLU's opinion that public lawyers work too closely with cops in other cases to stay neutral in this one. So far, the D.A. has acted offended at that accusation. The FBI is conducting their own probe as well.]
We're glad to see such a levelheaded guy as Ron Thomas taking on this culture-of-cruelty department one step at a time. As he told KNX: No rush. The only important thing is that justice, in the end, is served.