Hundreds Protest Fullerton Police Brutality After The Disgraceful Kelly Thomas Killing

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R.Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
Ron Thomas: The victim's father stood with the protesters
On a beautiful Southern California Saturday more than 250 outraged local citizens ignored the chance to spend a sunny day at the beach, swim in their pools, shop at the mall or sip Mimosas on their porches.

Instead, for six hours a diverse group of citizens--grandmothers, little kids, lawyers, college students, businessmen and women, housewives, ex-cops, young parents, a mechanic, a dentist, a construction worker, a guy who looked like he'd just left a gay leather bar--hell, you name a group and they were probably represented--stood outside the Fullerton Police Department, waved homemade signs and shouted in protest against a grotesque case of police brutality.

Earlier this month, six Fullerton cops surrounded and savagely attacked an unarmed, 37-year-old Kelly Thomas until he was dead. By the time the cops were done, Thomas' face looked like it had been put through a meat grinder.

Multiple witness say the cops repeatedly beat the 135-pound homeless man with their weapons, fired multiple Taser shots into his body, kicked his face and head with their boots and then, long after the man was subdued and on the ground, slammed their knees into his throat, apparently crushing it.

(An autopsy report is pending, and we learned yesterday that FBI agents are investigating the killing. Investigators with the Orange County District Attorney's office began their own probe earlier this month. If they determine that the cops violated any California laws, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas could file charges.)

"I am sickened by what these police officers did," one protester, a mother of four kids in Fullerton, told me. "I don't care what excuses they come up with. They should be arrested and charged with murder. Anything short of that would be another crime."

Ron Thomas, the victim's father and a former Orange County Sheriff's deputy, agreed with that sentiment.

Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson and Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, both Republicans, attended the protest. They both said they want a thorough investigation into police conduct. "We can't ignore what happened," said Nelson, who contacted U.S. Department of Justice officials last week.

Several members of Tony Bushala's Friends For Fullerton's Future, the blog that broke the Thomas story and has done outstanding work exposing police mismanagement of the crisis, also attended.

One solemn protester carried a sign that displayed six imaginary cop heads on sticks--a reference to KFI's John & Ken "Heads on a stick" radio campaign against two-faced California politicians--and before-and-after pictures of Thomas.
 
A vigil is planned for tonight beginning at 8 p.m. outside of Fullerton City Hall.

Here are photographs from today's protest that captured the attention of reporters from KFI-AM, KCBS, KNBC and KABC:

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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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(c) R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly


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244 comments
Nanette Valencia
Nanette Valencia

What the??? Shit hits the fan? You've been smoking too much shit

Nanette Valencia
Nanette Valencia

You're a rarity, Mike. Most of us would not have been so understanding as to realize the mentally disabled are not at fault when they say things like that. My heart breaks for Kelly that his mind was so fractured and that he lived around so much intolerance. I'm happy that some showed him compassion and didn't shun or blame him for being ill any more than they would blame someone who had lost the use of their legs.

Nanette Valencia
Nanette Valencia

You are a complete and utter moron. Were you there when he robbed cars? It didn't happen. Rude and scary? You poor thing. The cops that killed him are beyond rude and scary. They'll kill you if you don't "do as they say". You better hope no one in your family ever becomes mentally disabled or, God forbid, they come into contact with the likes of you and violent cops

Victoria
Victoria

This is so disturbing to know there is such heartless pigs as polic that are supposed to "protect and serve" us and our children!  This makes me very sad to know there are people in the world, let alone supposed to protecting us.  Poor Kelly was skitzophrenic, he couldn't comprehend, why in the WORLD would you start punching and forcing your weight on someone like that.  They are disguisting pigs that should be ashamed of themselves and should serve life in prison!!!!!!  This poor man was crying for help and they kicked him while he was down, and killed him. I am just so sad to see another corupt police horror story!  Just egotistical, power trip assholes.  Go let some aggression out at the gym instead of beating to death an innocent mad! I am speechless but at the same time want to say so much.  I wish somehow I could make a difference.

Rebecca
Rebecca

 Thomas Kelly was a shirtless homeless man with dirty clothes, skin and hair it is obvious to any person with a sound mind that Kelly Thomas was mentally unstable, the majority of these people don't choose to live this way.  Don't kid yourself these cops knew of him.  The cops yell stop resisting, stop resisting which later they use to justify their actions.  From the beginning Ramos hated Kelly and was escalating it on purpose for an excuse to beat his brains in, Kelly Thomas didn't stand a chance from the GIT GO.  99% of all cops look down upon us peons as human trash.  God says we are to support the weak not beat em to death.

quincy40
quincy40

The sad thing is everybody gave up on this guy and as a result he was left to deal with a mob of brutal killers. Even the old man who I'm sure lives well on his Sheriff pension gave up on his child and left him on the streets. That’s not tough love that's walking away from your responsibility. I hope his cries for your help haunt you the rest of your life.

Adamprince
Adamprince

Where are Americas civial rights leaders now? no real political pay back for them in this case I guess.

Adamprince166
Adamprince166

Fullerton PD must be ran by a real loser, FIRE that shit-head NOW.

Bth73
Bth73

Scumbag nazi murdering pigs should get the death penalty for aggravated murder. All penalties for scumbag cops should be doubled, because of their status. KILL THEM TWICE - LITERALLY KILL THEM AND REVIVE THEM AND KILL THE NAZIS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Donvickyauggie
Donvickyauggie

Try them for murder one. It is time to stop violence of police officials who prey upon a weaker human. They lost the video tapes of the booking station and the main halls of the County Jail  the night they kicked the shit out of my 38 year old brother, tazering, breaking his shoulder, and struck him killing him. It's 16 yrs ON THE 29TH OF JANUARY & the corrupt cops were in on the cover up. The Feds made it worse & if you want to break a case you have to stay on it daily researching everyone where they came from who they knew that had ties etc. It's not what who did petty crimes in their life or speculative crap it has to be proven, and a solid proof. restraining orders etc are useless pieces of evidence especially when they are brought about by the under cover vice. It's about who put who in the hospital before, and who was tried and convicted for crimes that were factual. It has been a long process but there is no statute time in which a person or person's can be tried and convicted for murder. Stay on this and get those officers that get paid to bully by higher sources off of the force. The only way to justify equality for the people of the United States homeless, drunken, intelligent, sober, religious, is to render everyone unemployed together for 10 years and they will stop judging one another. They will unite and stand together. Solution

MalikKing
MalikKing

My condolences to the Thomas family. I am truly sorry for your lost, for I was almost murdered in the same fashion, in the same Orange County California; just four months prior.

On March 9, 2011 several Police brutally ordered a K-9 to attack an unarmed, California Registered (RN). The California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Orange County then attempted to cover up the incident.

Malik King, a reportedly Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) since nineteen and RN since twenty three, is said to have initially attempted to steal a car. Later, it was found he was the owner of that Mercedes. What ensued next on the part of several officers goes well beyond the bounds of simply trying to subdue their suspect.

The several police officers ordered a police K-9 to attack him while he was still fastened in his seat-belt; tasered multiple times while the K-9 attacked for over one minute and thirty seconds, then hand cuffed, slammed to the concrete, hog tied, beat and kicked in the head until unconscious. He was then taken to jail, accused of multiple felonies, and had to pay $50,000 for bail.

Despite witnesses and the clear brutality of the beating, kicking, tasering, and ordered K-9 attack, California Highway Patrol allowed several officers to remain active and attempted a cover-up. Violations of federal law occur when it can be shown that the force used was willfully "unreasonable" or "excessive". By signing this petition you agree that "unreasonable" or "excessive force" was used on Malik A. King on March 9, 2011 in Orange County, California.

The beating of Mr. King is sickening and disturbing. The police involved in the beating and cover up must be brought to justice. Tell Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to thoroughly investigate and prosecute the officers involved in the brutality of Malik A. King,LVN,RN.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com...

Respectfully,Malik King,LVN,RN

Devinh8
Devinh8

If these so called 'cops' arnt prosecuted we will really know how corrupt the justice system really is. Cops are not above the law, they make a vow to uphold the the law. What these cops did is unacceptable in every matter. If a civilian did this they would spend life. So that's my verdict.

John Mazurkiewicz
John Mazurkiewicz

When will we finally understand that a police officer's life is not more important than any others? It makes no sense to me. This disgusting case is just as vile as any other case of police brutality, from Rodney King, to 84 year old women being pepper sprayed at Occupy, all the way to asshole cops shooting and killing small dogs (after breaking down someone's door and entering their home because there was a rumor that a father of 3 had a small amount of marijuana). Is anybody familiar with the Sean Bell case? How can the court system justify the police shoot unarmed men over 50 times for absolutely no reason? They had no gun, the cops obviously made up a story to cover their tracks, and they even paid a random "janitor" to say that he "saw a black man fleeing the scene, and that the man had fired a gun, at least once, at the police." The best part is that if a fourth man had fleed the scene, shooting at the police (which the ballistics report proved to not have happened), it would be 100% justified as self-defense. If an unarmed man walked up to your car (in Queens) pointing a gun at you saying "Stop! Don't Move!", wouldn't you hit the gas? And if the cop had heard them say "get the gun", shooting at them before seeing it does not count as self-defense! However, if that fourth man had shot and killed one of those cops, he'd get life without parole, no self-defense. Why? It's because society thinks that a cop's life is more important than yours.

The police should not have such a close relationship with the court system, it gives them a free pass anytime they break the law that they're supposed to be enforcing.

The idea of a cop is a great thing, and we need it to be civilized, but the way it's set up nowadays doesn't work for me, and it shouldn't work for America.

YOU'RE NOT ABOVE THE LAW, AND YOUR LIFE HAS NO MORE MEANING THAN MINE, AND I WILL NOT RESPECT YOU UNTIL THE CORRUPTION ENDS AND THE ENTIRE POLICE FORCE IS REPLACED WITH HONEST, NON-RACIST, LAW ABIDING PEOPLE.

Fuck the motherfucking police.

I hope and pray that Kelly Thomas is in a better place now, RIP.

ASKME1
ASKME1

THE POLICE ARE FAGS AND YOU ARE A FAG.

Puttytattz
Puttytattz

first of all Kelly's dad was never ever a sheriff's deputy. ask him why not?   or better yet get the public record...shame on you mr. kelly.

second....people write blogs to express their opinion and you know what they say...opinions are like assholes...we all have one!  so take information like a grain of sat, and check different sources...chances are you will get good points on BOTH sides!

tony is a liar. an ugly, biased, loser and liar....he spends SOOOO much time trying to make people hate the police and city council, one must ask themselves how mentally stable  he is....he is too excessive, absolutely obsessed. why is he so hateful? soundslike he needs some mental help, and ager management classes!

Dcourtain
Dcourtain

Why was Kelly homeless in the first place? Why is his dad so concerned now? That's what eats me up now, he didnt care his was on the streets homeless in the first place.  Wrong what happened yes, wrong that his son was on the streets yes but his dad should have been there to keep his son off the streets.... SHAME on you father of Kelly Thomas for not trying to do what you could to save your child from being on the streets! That's a parents job to take care of your child no matter what age they are.  He needed help and look what happend.

Brianne S.
Brianne S.

I hope Kelly Thomas's family gets the justice that they so clearly deserve.  I have seen video footage of the horrific beating as well as before and after photos of Mr. Thomas.  I do not believe that anyone with a heart could look at those photos and not feel the deepest sadness and anger for what this poor man went through.  The police officers involved in his beating can go to hell for what they did to him (and no, I'm not a cop hater, but these officers were bully killers, not cops).

Mrbig
Mrbig

it's premeditated, The cop woke and thought "today is good day to kill a homeless man."  idiots...after using a taser four times, Thomas continued to resist.  That sounds like the cops were in a fight for their lives.  Mr. Thomas wasn't the poor victim, when he was terrorizing the working class people in the parking lot, when citizens called the police on Thomas.  The cops were there because they responded to a call.  What about his dad!  You love the kid so much he's homeless....you're looking at a fat pay day..."Dad of the year!"  Nice support for the cops from the District Attorney's office.  Nice display on T.V.  "Ramos put on some latex gloves."  Thomas was a filthy vagrant thats why he put on gloves, you idiot (D.A.).  Does the head of the D.A.'s office believe the latex gloves added to Thomas' injuries?  The D.A. should be the trial lawyer personally.  They'll walk for sure.  Ramos has probably dealt with Thomas many times in the past.  He probably got the call and said to himself, crap, It's Thomas again.  The fact of the matter, is Ramos didn't want deal with Thomas, no one did, not even his own family.    

Deaconrex
Deaconrex

Kelly Thomas is not a martyr and the cops are not all innocent. All parties involved have questions and culpability. Just keep your mind and eyes open. The neighbors across the street from the bus depot will tell you that Kelly was a total asshole and violent...always urinating on their property, exposing himself, yelling and screaming.  Kelly is also a biter and has bitten his family members in a rage and I suspect he bit one of the officers which was why he received the pummeling. The officers did overreact and there's no reason why a swarm of well trained Fullerton police officers could not have dog piled on this moron and just held him down with appendage control techniques  until he tired out and was open for handcuffing. This was not a superhuman on PCP, just a throwaway hobo with mental illness, that the family became tired of.

L.Eric Sahagun
L.Eric Sahagun

What is the difference from gangsters,gangbangers,outlaw bikers and these 6 Fullerton PD cops!!? NOTHING! The All Gang-up on 1 like Cowardswith no mercy or Honor. I have been in many,freightening fights than I care to remember.Yes to the point I felt my life was at risk,but never did I resort to beating another human being to death.But because I was raised with honor I never had a gang to fight my fight! And I'm afraid those animals have no clue what I'm talking about. L.E.Sahagun

ismelda
ismelda

No es gusto Que la police cometa ese asesinato contra una sola persona pido justice for kelly thomas ellos tienen que pagar por ese brutal asesinato to no se cual aya sido problem pero no inporta ellos n enian porque quitarle la vida al joben s suuesta mente ellos estan para ayudar a la comunidad no para hacer lo que hicieron ello no tienen ninguna justificacion en la manera que actuaron soy latina pero no estoy de acuerdo como ellos actuaron solo dios tiene derecho quitarle la vida a uno el se la da a uno y el devera quitarsela no me lo van a creer me da terror con solo saber que ellos cometen esa clase de atropello nadien se va de esten mundo sin pagar lo que hace espero que se haga justice for kelly thomas y mas personas que han sufrido estos atropeyosde la police

Vv
Vv

they should rot in prison!! 

sugar
sugar

I cried when I heard about this on the radio just imagining the pain and terror the victim experienced in his last moments. He was calling for his father as they beat him to death.  If any one is mentally ill, its these brutal arrogant excuses for human beings. They have god complexes and deadly weapons, and they stole his life. There is no excuse or nuance of the law that could excuse or redeem this bunch of disgusting thugs. They all deserve to swing, and that would be mercilful compared to what they have done. WTF is wrong with our society when we allow this to happen. WTF are we doing?

Tides2028
Tides2028

Fullerton Police are nothing more than criminal cowboys!

Jennifer E
Jennifer E

Just saw story on CNN.  Just disgusting that 6 policemen could use this type of force on a human being.  On the other hand we have to ask Dad,"where you were for your homeless son?" Possibly an unfair question but, NO ONE could have let him in their home and off the street?

BOBBIE
BOBBIE

THIS  SHOULD  MAKE  YOU  THINK

THE  POLICE  DOES  THIS  ON  A  REGULAR  BASIS.  UNARMED  BLACK  MEN  ARE ROUTINELY  SHOT  IN  THE  BAC K AND  BEATEN  UP  BY  THE  POLICE.  THE ONLY DIFFERENCE  IS  THAT  FOR  ONCE,  IT  WAS  A  WHITE  MAN.  NOW  YOU  KNOW WHY BLACK  PEOPL E ARE  ALWAYS  PROTESTING. 

FOR  ONCE  THEY  MAY  HAVE  TO  ANSWER  FOR  WHAT  THEY DID.

BOBBIE
BOBBIE

THANK  GOD.

YOU PEOPLE FINALLY KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO HAVE YOUR KIND MURDERED WHILE UNARMED BY THE POLICE.  A BLACK MAN GETS KILLED BY THE POLICE ON A ROUTINE BASES.   THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT HE WAS NOT SHOT IN THE BACK FIVE TIMES AFTER HE WAS  BEAT UP.  TRY FEELING THAT PAIN FIFTY TIMES OVER EACH YEAR. 

I AM NOT IMPRESSED.

Pepe
Pepe

If ht officers are guilty let them be charged after a complete investigation. But if you have never fought a mentally ill person (sometimes because of a history drug addiction) you don't know what you are talking about. Just because of being homeless and mentally ill doesn't make you a poor defenseless victim. Some of these peole don't see reality the way you see. you can talk to them 10 times and nothing happens, and the 11th time something goes off in their brain and you get attacked just like that. And many of you out there know how many times peopl call police because a 'homeless' person approached you and demanded money in a very aggressive manner. Or you complained because that homeless person is sitting at a MCDonald's refusing to leave and you can't stand his or her smell. many of these homeless are on parole and probation for various felony cheges including sex crimes. Some of them are harmless and in need of help, but don't fool yourself, many are dangerous too. All I am trying to say don't make someone homeless (Transient) be an automatic poor victim. Take a walk sometime to the Santa Ana Civic Center....

Pepe
Pepe

All cops are guilty because of this incident its like saying all Mexicans are illegal and all African-American are criminals...Stereotyping is the same no matters which way do you point. 

James Ralston
James Ralston

fullerton police needs new management from outside the department not from within,obviously this particular department has forgotten why they are who they are,and what they should and should not be doing...................

Fuzzynutkila
Fuzzynutkila

These thugs need to be taken down. I suggest gangs come together and take care of these guys in their own way. Police officers? Makes me want to throw up. Somebody needs to post their addresses so the public can let them know how they feel.

K_heckmuller
K_heckmuller

This makes me feel disgusted to be human. bleh :/ I can't even wrap my mind around this...so horrible..

Ernieandischmann
Ernieandischmann

They should have already been arrested and charged with murder1.Sincerely,Ernest Schumann

Ernest Schumann
Ernest Schumann

Why aren't behind bars? If common everday day citizens had done this they would alreadybeen under arrest.

Itisidave
Itisidave

I truly believe that the court system should handle this and not the people. I remember when this took place and I had just had a morphine pump put into me and realized afterwards that I had made comments that I normally would not make under the circumstances of this man's unfortunate death. now that I'm stable I think back on what happened and I believe that justice somehow will prevail but only justice through the courts. justice any other way would not be true justice. everyone must remember that there are a lot a very good police officers out there taking care of things

Brianne S.
Brianne S.

Though I do agree that part of being a parent means protecting your child (regardless of age) to the best of your ability, I'm sure Mr. Thomas's parents struggled greatly with their son.  They probably did want to help him but maybe he refused their help or became too difficult whenever they offered it to him.  One of the worst things about schizophrenia is that it often causes its sufferers to turn away from help or seek it in the first place.  Social withdraw and isolation are very common among those afflicted with the disorder.  It's a shame that in his time of need, Mr. Thomas's father was not there.  But I do not think the father is the person to be angry at.  It's the police officers who abandoned their sense of right and wrong (not to mention professionalism), as well as those too ignorant to understand mental illness, who are the ones to be upset with. 

Dcourtain
Dcourtain

Your an idiot to say it's premediated. Cops dont just wake up and say it's a good day to kill a homeless man...

What happened was wrong, very wrong but premediated - YOUR AN IDIOT!

Brianne S.
Brianne S.

Being schizophrenic (which is what Kelly was) does not make a person an asshole although they may do things that appear assholish.  To call Mr. Thomas a "throwaway hobo with a mental illness" is wrong whether you think so or not.  You might as well skip the part where you talk about the police officers overreacting as you obviously do not think that what happened was a complete unnecessary tragedy.

BTW, you need to understand what schizophrenia does to its victims before you judge a person afflicted with this real and terrible mental disorder.  People with schizophrenia do NOT do things to be unpleasant or hurtful because they cannot and do not perceive reality the way we do.  Being hostile and doing strange things that would easily piss off someone who doesn't understand the disorder is not uncommon to those with schizophrenia.  Don't take my word for it though, just look at the myriad of medical facts on this disorder:

http://www.helpguide.org/menta...

Mrbig
Mrbig

That's because you're a fag!  And you're illiterate... 

Mrbig
Mrbig

Go back to your country were the drug cartels and crooked cops chop the heads off of their victims and hang their bodies from bridges...LATINA HOOKER!

Brianne S.
Brianne S.

I also cried when I learned of the extent of Kelly Thomas's beating.  I was so very sad that this poor, tormented individual had to die at the hands of ruthless, cold-hearted bullies such as officers Ramos and Cicinelli.  I read that Cicinelli lost an eye due to a gun shot wound some years ago, and that the police department compensated him with a hefty pension.  I would feel that he derserved it had he not done something so horrific years later.  At this point, I think it perfectly fair if he lost his entire pension over the Kelly Thomas beating.  Some will disagree with me, but my feeling is he took another human being's life when the situation simply did not justify it.  The fact that Cicinelli endured a personal hardship does not mean he gets a freebie because "being a cop is a dangerous job".

Dcourtain
Dcourtain

Agreed, We all need to take a good look at our society and not allow this to happen. This is wrong on so many levels from the beating to letting this poor soul of a man be homeless on the streets to his family not being there for him.  What Are We Doing....! 

fullertonnative
fullertonnative

U can't put it on his dad! Kelly made his choice not to live @home. He was a drifter

Shawtekee
Shawtekee

You are right, maybe people will take notice.  Sometimes it is hard for white people to relate.  But murder is murder, it does not matter what color your skin is. 

fullertonnative
fullertonnative

You maybe true to a poin. But you sound ignorant. "Your kind"???? Wtf is that? You kind is my kind. We are all people and don't deserve to be attacked by the one supposed to be protecting us. Now lets be real... yes there are black men that get targeted because of their race BUT look @ la SOOOOO many gang bangers drug sellers and addicts that will kill a cop for no reason. They arnt allowed to protect themselves??? Bottom line wiether your black white yellow blue red or green murder is murder. It is our job to step up and stop the brutallity. Oh and one more thing. Look at the difference... kelly Thomas is murdered and fullerton protests Rodney king lives and half of la burns down.... hmmmm

Dcourtain
Dcourtain

and you know that how? I'm a fullerton native as well...

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