'See My Fists? They're About To F**k You Up': The Motto of the Fullerton PD
by Will Grigg
Recently released video captured by Fullerton, California surveillance cameras last July 5, shows officer Manuel Ramos, and exceptionally well-fed Fullerton, California police officer, assailing Kelly Thomas -- a much smaller homeless, schizophrenic man -- with profane abuse, eventually snapping on latex gloves and threatening to "f** you up."
Contrary to the much-repeated claims of the Fullerton Police Department, Thomas at no point presented a threat to anyone, especially the girthy, heavily armed Ramos whose voice and mannerisms were those of a sadistic bully, rather than a conscientious peace officer fearing for his safety.
Professional photographer and civil liberties activist Carlos Miller narrates what follows:
Thomas is standing while Ramos is ordering him to get on his "f*cking knees," Fullerton cop Joseph Wolfe, who is not charged in the case, walks up and starts beating his legs with a baton.
Then Ramos gets into the act and Thomas takes off running, moving out of the frame of the camera.
The camera, operated by a dispatcher at the station, then moves toward the beating, showing Ramos and Fullerton cop Jay Cicinelli on top of Thomas as Thomas repeatedly apologizes and telling them he is unable to breathe.
The cops keep telling him to put his hands behind his back and lay on his stomach, but they are both laying on top of him, making it impossible to even breathe, much less move.
As the video continues, one of the cops can be seen kneeing him.
"Please, I can't breathe," Thomas pleads as the officers keep telling him to put his hands behind his "f*cking back."
The cops keep telling him to "relax" to which he responds, "I can't, dude."
More cops eventually arrive and a little more than four minutes into the video, they start tasing him.
Five minutes into the gang assault, a few additional cops arrive, prompting one of the initial assailants -- who had likely grown weary of beating and tasing the victim -- asked the new arrivals to "help us." Had an actual peace officer been on the scene, he would have intervened on behalf of the victim. The Fullerton Police Officers, however, eagerly joined the thugscrum, which eventually numbered at least a half-dozen and as many as nine officers -- an aggregate weight of more than a half-to of armed, tax-fattened humanity focusing its aggressive violence against a pitiful, sick man who weighted less than 150 pounds.
In familiar fashion, the assault was frequently punctuated with the refrain "Stop resisting!" -- a demand made only by rapists and police officers. In his death agony, Thomas called out for his father, retired Orange County Sheriff's Detective Ron Thomas.
"Dad, they're killing me!" moaned Thomas as his life ebbed away.
The video was unveiled at the preliminary hearing for Officer Ramos -- who instigated the lethal assault -- and Officer Jay Cicinelli -- who was the first to join in, both of whom face charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter. In keeping with standard procedure, Ramos lied about the incident, telling forensic investigator Dawn Scruggs that Thomas "would not stop fighting" and the the heroic effort to subdue a helpless man whom he outweighed by at least 100 pounds was "the fight of his life."
After beating Thomas into a coma from which he never recovered, the officers responsible for the atrocity, standing in what was described as a "pool of blood," chatted among themselves, indifferent to the condition of their victim. Capt. Rob Stancyk of the Fullerton Fire Department testified that when he arrived at the Bus depot where the gang assault took place, seven or eight Fullerton police officers were standing around ignoring the battered and nearly lifeless body roughly 15 feet away from them. "Nothing was being done," Stancyk said on the witness stand.
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