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Kelly Thomas trial: Officers acquitted in homeless man's death

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posted on Jan, 13 2014 @ 08:13 PM
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Two former California police officers were acquitted Monday in the death of a homeless man after a violent struggle with officers that was captured on surveillance video.

It was a rare case in which police officers were charged with a death involving actions on duty.

Former Fullerton police officer Manuel Ramos was acquitted of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

Cincinelli embraced his lawyer and put his face in his hands as the verdict concluded.


Barring actual testimony, this case is interesting. It smacks of our peers accepting arguments of "public safety" as being a motive of our esteemed "peace officers" acting in any manner in which they deem to be acceptable.

I question if the D.A. in this case really pursued Justice.
edit on 13-1-2014 by ownbestenemy because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 13 2014 @ 08:56 PM
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Yet another case of police officers getting acquitted for obvious wrongdoing. This is one of the reasons why I can't stand law enforcement, they get away with everything. This country is ass backwards and will become a dystopian society if nothing changes.



posted on Jan, 13 2014 @ 08:58 PM
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reply to post by FeistyFemme
 


To be clear, I am not indicting the local law enforcement involved here nor am I trying to advocate that they shouldn't be trusted. I am looking at this case alone and the actions presented.



posted on Jan, 13 2014 @ 09:53 PM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


I know you're not advocating it, but I sure as hell am. All of the acquittals says it all...



posted on Jan, 13 2014 @ 10:18 PM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


I am so saddened to hear this. This case was one of the most obvious uses of excessive force I have ever seen.
If a judge didn't convict in this instance, I have to believe there is no hope of anything positive being done through the "Justus" system.



posted on Jan, 13 2014 @ 10:27 PM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


I am going to say this right now - I have not been following this story and am making the post to address the possible reason as to why a not guilty verdict came down.

There is still one more pending court case involving a 3rd officer. ** disregard - in light of the not guilty verdict the charges against the 3rd officer have now been dropped**

The other officers who arrived on scene later were cleared / not charged.

Why did the not guilty verdict occur? (The standard is reasonable doubt) -
My guess would be the testimony of the Mother and Grandfather in conjunction with the fact the officers had no way of knowing the person suffered from psychological issues. Its difficult to make an argument against a persons mental status when that status was not known until after the fact.

California police officers found NOT GUILTY of murdering a homeless man by piling on top of him while he screamed for air.


They told jurors that Thomas was not a helpless, homeless mentally ill man, but a violent and dangerous person who had a history of drug use and was homeless because he had attacked members of his own family. In one of the most striking moments at trial, the defense put Thomas' mother and maternal grandfather on the witness stand.

A tearful Cathy Thomas told the jury she had taken out a restraining order against her son three years ago after he choked her for several minutes during an argument. The grandfather testified that Thomas had suddenly attacked him with a fireplace poker in 1995. Thomas pleaded guilty to the attack and served nine months in jail.


The 33 minute footage taken at the time was repeatedly played by both the defense and prosecution. The DA himself prosecuted the case.

Why is the testimony of the Mother / Grand Father important?
If the argument is he was mentally disturbed, then he could not have been held accountable criminally for his actions towards his mother or grand father. The fact the restraining order was granted and the fact he was charged, tried and plead guilty to the assault supports the argument he was not as helpless as he was made out to be.

If his mental status were a true issue, then the restraining order would not have been granted and the assault charge would not have gone anywhere, since there was the possibility of mental defect involved (not responsible for their own actions because they are not able to appreciate / understand the consequence of their actions).

I think that was the key testimony that swung the jury.



Scalded Frog
reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


I am so saddened to hear this. This case was one of the most obvious uses of excessive force I have ever seen.
If a judge didn't convict in this instance, I have to believe there is no hope of anything positive being done through the "Justus" system.


It was a jury trial and not a bench trial.
edit on 13-1-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-1-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 12:29 AM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


I appreciate the outlook and I have been trying to view this from an objective point of view. Obviously personally, I think it was the wrong verdict, but legally, it was tried in court and acquittals were handed down.

I would love to see the transcripts of this case. There are some instances, such as this...

Rackauckas played a section of the video in which Kelly Thomas is heard screaming. Rackauckas asked Wilson to identify the number of “blows” Thomas received.

Wilson: “I counted eight blows.”

Rackauckas then yielded the floor to defense attorney John Barnett, representing defendant Manuel Ramos, to once again cross-examine Wilson. Barnett asked Wilson about his experience as an expert witness testifying about the use of force.


Continually the D.A. yielded the floor with not truly making a point, only leaving the defense to hammer away. It should also to note that the D.A.'s expert witness, former FBI agent Wilson, was weak.

Since this is a conspiracy site, I offer up that the State, in indicting their own, set up a soft case that they knew would go in favor of those accused.

I will concede his family member's testimony was damning, but wasn't really relevant to the case at hand in my opinion.



posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 12:30 AM
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Scalded Frog
reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


I am so saddened to hear this. This case was one of the most obvious uses of excessive force I have ever seen.
If a judge didn't convict in this instance, I have to believe there is no hope of anything positive being done through the "Justus" system.


See the post above, it was the jury who acquitted and is quite frankly, the closest legal system to fairness one can get.



posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 01:08 AM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


Based on the video only I would tend to agree on the verdict not being correct. However, judges very rarely use jury nullification, and for good reason. Im not even going to try to get inside the mind of the officers on this one.

What I will say is actions taken by law enforcement are viewed much differently than if they were committed by a person who is not law enforcement. I know that causes a lot of problems, but its present for a good reason and its why the actions are viewed one by one instead of as a group.

The other factor to consider, and im sure im going to get yelled at for bringing this up, is the ability for people who have psychological issues to have above normal strength and abnormal pain receptors. There are cases where a person will not perceive pain as pain, but as something else entirely. They may perceive pain as a color or smell.

EX: They get punched in the nose and instead of feeling pain, they smell freshly cut grass.

As for strength, its possible for them to have above average strength without even knowing it. Again this can go back to the brain wiring sending signals to the wrong areas.

I am not saying this is the case for this incident, but it is something that is taken into account, when relevant in court. Since we don't have court transcripts this is a mere guess on my part as to what else might have impacted the jury. Aside from the above the only other thing I can add, which people hate, is the standard for use of force by SCOTUS, which is what did the officer perceive at the moment force was used.

As an example - Rodney King.
The whole world saw the video... The problem is the whole world has no idea where the illegal action came from. Contrary to popular belief, the use of batons on Rodney King was lawful and within department policy. The moment it crossed out of that was the moment one officer brought the baton over their head to deliver the blow. That was the action that was excessive force. The police had no way of knowing Rodney King was high on PCP at the time, nor did the responding officers know that he tossed around the first few officers like rag dolls until batons were used.

With that being said, and again based on the info we have, I don't think the officers actions were valid to the extent they went. Absent autopsy / tox screen details......


ownbestenemy
Continually the D.A. yielded the floor with not truly making a point, only leaving the defense to hammer away. It should also to note that the D.A.'s expert witness, former FBI agent Wilson, was weak.

Since this is a conspiracy site, I offer up that the State, in indicting their own, set up a soft case that they knew would go in favor of those accused.

I will concede his family member's testimony was damning, but wasn't really relevant to the case at hand in my opinion.


To be honest, after watching the video, I truly believe the PA thought it would be enough for a conviction. We can see that is not always going to happen, based on the jury verdict by members here as well as comments on various media outlet websites discussing the topic.

The police are not a part of the judicial system. They are part of the executive branch and as such has no direct chain of command linking them to the PA / judicial system. So technically, the PA did not indict one of their own. The mindset that the police work for the Prosecution is an incorrect one, although I can see how people arrive at that mindset.


As for the testimony by the relatives it supports the defenses claim that the guy was a danger to the officers as well as the public as a whole. Whether or not there are facts to support it, its a valid legal defense. It forces the jury to consider that the person might have actually been a threat when the officers arrived, further justifying officer actions.

The testimony was that the guy was schizophrenic and did not know better, and did not understand what the officers were wanting him to do. They are trying to argue the police acted inappropriately and that the person was not a threat. The defense used Mother / Grandfather testimony to dispute that claim, citing incidents where his behavior placed others in danger. That then translates into the jury linking those incidents to the most current.

Reasonable doubt based on their testimony - The jury must ask themselves -
* Were those 2 previous incidents isolated?
* How many other inicidents occurred without law enforcement being involved?
* If this person had mental issues, what steps were taken to assist that person prior to this incident?
* Was the person on medication?
* Was the person taking his medication?
* Was he still under doctors care?
* Can officers be expected to know information that only comes out after the fact and should that have a bearing on their actions?

All it takes is for one person to have doubt based off any of the above for an acquittal. While I don't necessarily agree with the verdict, the people have them not guilty.

The next step would be to work closer with the medical community and allow law enforcement into training sessions for dealing with EDP (emotionally disturbed persons). How to recognize signs / behavior and go from there.

Its not an ideal solution, but its the best we can do for now.
edit on 14-1-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 01:10 PM
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I'm sickened that those men walk free.
It seems Fullerton needs a new DA.



posted on Feb, 13 2014 @ 04:29 PM
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Just loved reading this article P.O.S Cop chased out of Dennys by patrons This piece of you finish the rest should be in prison along with his other accomplice "GANG MEMBER" but because of a badge he gets to walk free but if this is any indication his life may not be so great. After all he's a murderer in mine and mosts eyes as well as a piece of #$%^. I'm not advocating harm to the man but if it happened I would not shed a tear what so ever in fact I would smirk knowing he got exactly what he deserved.

Sanethinking



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