Calls for Resignation, Recall in Fullerton over Kelly Thomas Beating

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Ed Carrasco
Hundreds of people showed up at the Fullerton City Council meeting last night--as did mobile television vans from every major local station. The overwhelming majority of people present were there to physically and vocally demonstrate their outrage over the July 5 beating of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man, by six Fullerton cops. Thomas died five days later when his family removed him from life support.

That death has sparked investigations from both the Orange County District Attorney's office as well as the U.S. Justice Department. But based on comments at Tuesday's meeting, plenty of Fullerton residents are ready and eager to draw their own conclusions.
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Ed Carrasco
Ron Thomas, father of the late Kelly Thomas, addresses the Fullerton City Council

From denunciations of former Police Chief Pat McKinley (who helmed Fulllerton's PD from 1993 to 2009, before his election to Fullerton's City Council in 2010) to calls for current Police Chief Michael Sellers to resign, the tenor of the three-and-an-hour-half public-comment portion of the council meeting was tense, to say the least.

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Ed Carrasco
Chief Michael Sellers looking out at the crowd during public comment

The announcement at the beginning of the meeting that all six officers involved in Thomas' apprehension have been put on administrative leave did little to dull residents' ire.

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Ed Carrasco
Mayor Pro Tem Don Bankhead (left), Mayor Dick Jones and Councilwoman Sharon Quirk-Silva

Some 70 people were allowed to speak for three minutes each during the public comments. Mayor Dick Jones announced around 9 p.m. that public comments would be suspended at 10 p.m., in order for the city to deal with business that didn't involve employees allegedly beating to death an unarmed, mentally ill person. (I'm paraphrasing that last part.)

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Ed Carrasco
Tony Bushala takes to the podium to threaten three councilmembers with a recall petition

After a great deal of venting of community anger, a bit of news emerged near the end of public comments. Tony Bushala, who runs the Friends for Fullerton's Future blog, announced that, within 72 hours, he would circulate a petition asking for the recall of Don Bankhead, Jones and McKinley, the three Fullerton council members who have not gone on record demanding that a city-owned surveillance tape of the area where Thomas died be released to the public.

UPDATE, AUG. 3, 5:35 P.M.: In addition to taking photos, writer/photographer Ed Carrasco gathered these reactions from Fullerton residents in the crowd after the meeting:

"The council was stonewalling and bullshitting [tonight]. If they don't do what we want, we will remove them! We will do everything we can to get this recall through. If not, rest assured that Bankhead, Jones and McKinley will not be re-elected when their terms are up." -- Andy Anderson

"The people here tonight are angry. [Chief] Seller is as corrupt as the officers he oversees. It starts from the top." -- Erin Lewis

"I apologize as a Fullerton resident [for the abuse by the six police officers]. I am thankful that the audience tonight understand that the city has graceful and understanding people, not like the six sadistic cops.... If I were a police officer, I would be angry that these officers weren't taken out of the force soon." -- Courtney Long

The Weekly's previous coverage of Thomas' death:

• "Justice for Kelly" Chanted at Vigil for Fullerton Police Brutality Victim

• Hundreds Protest Fullerton Police Brutality After Disgraceful Kelly Thomas Killing

• Protest Fullerton Police Brutality Today: Victim's Vigil Tonight

• Fullerton Cops Involved in Death of Kelly Thomas Back On Duty

• Kelly Thomas' Officer-Involved Death Was Videotaped; Councilman Calls for Release to Public

• Kelly Thomas' Retired-Deputy Father Blasts Fullerton Police for 'Killing My Son'




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66 comments
MyBacksUp
MyBacksUp

6 f-en cops to beat the shit out of 1 man.  What an f-en joke.  These cops should all be beaten to death by vigilante citizens.  That 1st cop instigated the whole thing.  F-en loser, piece of shit.

Bswen
Bswen

I read that PatrickR is a Nazi. He wants to kill Jews and blacks.

jackal
jackal

Kelly wasn't resisting, he was defending himself. His own crying words speak for him.  Police need to realize the difference between resisting and defending.  Sagon Penn had killed a police officer in self defense in the mid 1980s, then was acquitted of all charges, because the defense attorney successfully argued that the San Diego PD was racist. There is no law against defending oneself, even against police.  If any good comes of these six sicko's ill deeds, let it be that everyone has a right to defend himself against police brutality.  As for eyeing training for police, yes, teach them the difference between resisting and defending -- and eye hanging for the sickos.

UpSetCitizen
UpSetCitizen

There is always another side of the story why Kelly Thomas was beaten to death, you can tell by the video of the beating that Kelly Thomas was resisting (not) that was the reason why 6 police officers had to laser him 5 times while hitting him.  There isnt another side of this story, an innocent man is dead, 6 police officers are murderers and should be trial as murderers.  Fullerton citizens, you have all rights to protest and speak your opinions.

Racer X
Racer X

I have the suspicion that the six bastards are going disappear from the public eye for months and eventually vanish from California. They will move to a different State where nobody knows them to continue their sick lives.

Kelly was MURDERED no matter what they say. The six bastards are not only cowards but insane individuals that must be sent to the electric chair before the end of the year.

Look what just happened in England when a police officer kills someone.

http://news.yahoo.com/riot-hit...

And here we have six pigs beating a homeless man when they wanted and until they wanted, and we have to wait for an "investigation".

What are they going to investigate? That there is a possibility that Kelly was dangerous? that he represented a threat to the real criminals?

Investigation my ass! That video is good enough to prosecute the six motherfuckers.

Jeannette DeCosta
Jeannette DeCosta

Why are Don Bankhead and Pat MeKinley even allowed to have a voice in this matter they are both ex Fullerton Policeman?

twowheels
twowheels

if chief sellers resigns, just watch the package he goes away with, for doing such a crappy job.  This is why we should also dump the council.  For giving him what he gets to go away.  Just watch!

twowheels
twowheels

The police should be tried for manslaughter at the very least.  It may happen, only because the FBI has become involved.  If not for the FBI, the Chief Sellers would have succeded in covering everything up.  The DA would have also turned the other way in my opinion.  The sad thing is, even if they are tried, there is a chance we will end up with some gutless idiots on the jury.  How much evidence does someone need?

Deborah
Deborah

In my family, I have a neice and nephew who are New York State Court Officers. I usually try to be neutral and hear both sides before making any decision regarding criminal behavior from suspects, victims, or police in charge. This incident has outraged me from the core. I am sickened to hear how this police force brutally beat and killed this human being. If they thought he should be brought in and evidence seized from his person all they should have done is restrained him to bring him in. They officers have gone beyond brutality and must be punished to the most severe of penalties. This would include all officers involved at the scene as well as from the station. Jail time is too easy for them. I feel a public execution of all involved would be suitable. These officers are murderers and have no right to be alive. Take them down!

Tracieyinatlanta
Tracieyinatlanta

My brother suffered brain damage from an auto accident. Because of that brain dmage he also suffered from schizophrenia, epilepsy, violent mood swings and OCD.. We tried to get help for him for 6 yrs. He only yelled alot but did hit us but not others. He lost his short term memory and had alot of internal injuries. He would be jailed. Jail was not what he needed or a place he needed to be in. But that is the only place they would take him. Well August 7th 2009 he was released from jail at 2pm. They did not call us to pick him up or let us know he was released. Remember now he was unable to remember our phone number because he had know short term memory. He was let out at 2pm and died at 5:30pm. He walked on a day that was 100 degrees on a street with know trees and had know water. He got lost and had a seizure. He laid on the pavement so long the side of his face was burned. Finally someone called 911 they took him to the hospital and he died... You know what did Kelley Thomas do to get beaten the way he did by officers of all people. Even if he yelled or tried to fight did they have to beat him like this? Could they not do something else to control the scene or Kelly. There is just know excuse at all. People who do not understand mentally ill or brain damaged individuals really do not understand there issues. They do not understand what they are doing. To be honest even if Kelly did not have a mental issue did he deserve to be beaten like this? NO there are no excuses at all. They should all be fired and charged with murder. They murdered Kelly.

Citrus48
Citrus48

Former police chief Pat McKinley should explain hs hiring of the former LAPD police officer who has been identified as the most aggressive of the officers involved in the beating of Kelly Thomas.  McKinley was responsible for the hiring of this officer and McKinley should be explainig why he hired an officer who had known problems while on the LAPD police force. The culture of the Fullerton Police Department should be exposed and investigated. Officers are allowed to write and then rewrite their reports so as to protect themselves, they openly brag about beating suspects and then there is the silence of Chief Sellers.  His silence exemplifies the culture of a corrupt police department. I suspect the OC DA will not be impartial.  The OC DA are part of this culture and the OC DA will do their best to protect the police department and the officers who beat Kelly Thomas.  The OC coroner may be corrupt also. I hope the FBI will counter the corruption of the local investigators.

Jeff
Jeff

As a physician, I can state this...all one need do is take a look at the picture of Mr. Thomas following the beating to recognize that this was indeed murder, or manslaughter at the very least.  You can spin and slice and dice and massage until the end of the day, at that time it's all window dressing, colored bubbles.  The man was essentially murdered.  No need to make it more complicated than what it is.

Marceda3
Marceda3

Pleaseeee let's not forget what happened to Kelly Thomas...:( We have to do something about it !!! My heart is in pain and I never saw him...I can not imagine what his family is feeling...

jackal
jackal

Sagon Penn had killed a police officer in self defense in the mid 1980s, then was acquitted of all charges, because the defense attorney successfully argued that the San Diego PD was racist. 

Dkcanyonlake
Dkcanyonlake

It does my soul good to know that the "whole" world is not insane.  What happened to Kelly was homicide.  We should seek justice on his behalf and support Ron and Kathy Thomas.  Some of you "pro police" folks should just let people have their opinions.  It is not an argument to be won, but rather a discussion to be had.  Hopefully the evidence will prove itself and justice will prevail.  There is nothing better than a good police officer, and nothing worse than a bad one.

Soho_d J
Soho_d J

You gotta wonder if these 6 chickenshit thugs would have tried it on w gang members, I doubt it. Cops are nothing more than legalised gangs themselves. They steal, lie, murder and yes once in awhile they actually do their jobs (once in awhile). However their 'us v them' mentality usually gets in the way. It would be nice to see the 6 have to finish out their little careers in the Hollenbeck Division in L.A. 

Honeybadger
Honeybadger

And notice how the DA just recently stepped up to the plate. He was just as actively involved in the cover-up in the beginning as I believe that he has long standing ties to Chief Sellers.

Honeybadger
Honeybadger

This police chief needs to resign immediately. He was actively involved in the cover-up of this incident and had his best friend doing the investigation, which just smacks of impropriety. Any chief of police who is willing to go to such lengths to sanction what is clearly excessive and illegal police activity is no better than the officers who participated in the beating and is just as dangerous, if not more, than they are. The Fullerton police appear to be nothing more than an organized street gang engaged in thuggery, thievery and beatings. If you can't count on the chief of police to maintain the control and accountability of his officers, who are you going to call, the police?

Nsaf-bud
Nsaf-bud

It is sad the a white American is not afforded the same civil rights now as black americans and is beat to death by police officers and the white elected officials sit and do nothing.  Now if it had been a black guy the cops would already be arrested.  What a sad nation this has become.

Joe
Joe

Fullerton deserved exactly what they voted for...These city councils and police chief represents Fullerton citizens.

Joe
Joe

Resignation and Recall are slap on their wrists. Business as usual in Fullerton and Orange County. City Councils protect their own polices. You should PROSECUTE these criminals at all levels.As a citizens of Orange County, parents, students and academics, and How can you sleep at night?

JamesKatt
JamesKatt

Those officers MURDERED Kelly Thomas.  That was a GANG KILLING.  Those officers need to be sent to prison.

tearcollector
tearcollector

These thugs should be in prison. Not on administrative leave or just fired. If any of us had beaten this man to that extent, I doubt we would get off w/out any punishment. It angers me to no end that cops who have excessive force complaints are protected instead of punished.  

momcat
momcat

I feel for Kelly Thomas' family; but the issue here is much larger than just whether the Fullerton PD has a problem.  The more global problem is that most people in law enforcement at the street level receive little or no training in how to deal with people who are mentally ill, and who may not be able to respond rationally to orders given to them; and many people in law enforcement at the street level absolutely loath dealing with the mentally ill.  My dad was bipolar and I learned this first-hand.  On an even more global level, the major issue is that families with mentally ill loved ones are basically helpless to try to get assistance in getting the family members into treatment.  The law doesn't give you any assistance in getting a family member into treatment if they refuse treatment.  If you can get them to accept treatment, there's the issue of paying for it.  If you don't have insurance, for inpatient care you have to wait for a bed somewhere to open up.  I once waited with my father for 21 hours in the psychiatric section of a hospital ER, waiting for a bed to open up.  It is really, really a tough issue.

Yasmin
Yasmin

It is a sad story and this country needs to look at the laws that apply to people with mental health issues.  They need help, their mental state doesnt allow them to make rational decisions and those police officers should be tried for murder!!  I hope this family can get justice!

justice
justice

that should read "not that it really matters though."

justice
justice

a man's put to death by psycho cops over vehicle vandalism.  Let he who can justify this step forward.  Let us see these vehicles. (not it matters really).  When is someone going to have the intelligence, the integrity and the  guts to finally stop the most dangerous street GANGS of them all....THE POLICE! 

Guest
Guest

"Stop resisting" (when the boot is already on your head) and "I was in fear for my life" (said anytime) are the only phrases a corrupt cop needs to know. Too bad for us that they know it too.

Don't ask the citizens of Fullerton if they are going to enjoy paying for your vacation (administrative leave).

Get Over It
Get Over It

Jesus OC Weekly, don't you think you've already beaten this story to death? It's time to move on. In another week there will be some other story to fixate on.

PatrickR
PatrickR

Hey "Dick Head" at least one of those Officers involved was from LAPD and distinguished himself there serving the citizens of Los Angeles.  On the other hand, what have you ever done to distinguish yourself, except to jack your jaws about things you know nothing about?  Cops don't get to choose the people they deal with which include; gang bangers, hookers, child molesters, dope dealers, wife abusers, burglars, armed robbers and nut jobs, like the suspect in this case.  Mostly, however they deal with average everyday citizens, helping them solve whatever problem they might have.  I would even venture a guess that except for the whiners and bitchers who are anti-Police, a majority of citizens in Fullerton trust and appreciate their Cops.  That is not to say that they tolerate misconduct, or excessive force by their Officers, but don't jump the gun as you have done.  You sound a lot like someone who has an encounter of the close kind with your local Cops in the past and most like had an attitude adjustment administered in the process.  Guess you didn't learn much from that experience did you?     

Harper
Harper

Here are the names of 5 cops involved: Jay Cicinelli - Kenton Hampton - Manny Ramos - Joe Wolfe and James Blatney.

PatrickR
PatrickR

tearcollector, pardon me if I don't shed one for you.  Last time I looked, even hardened and repeat criminals were innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  Meanwhile, back in Wally World, where you live, you are quick to convict and sentence the Officers before the investigation is complete.  What does this say about your double standard of Justice?  Oh, that's right, you are just a Cop basher and could give a rat's ass about justice, or what is really going on in your community.  Next time you are about to become the victim of a crime and are in a panic, don't be screaming for help from those brutal Cops.  Call the ACLU, or your plumber for help. 

Nicole Bush
Nicole Bush

I totally agree with you.  I also think however that in this particular case that the police absolutely went into overkill. That picture of his face I saw after the beating....it is just unacceptable. 

guest
guest

are you kidding me?? what if that were your son, brother, uncle, cousin, or even your neighbor?? would you care then asswipe?? it's people like you who turn the other way and are cowards and not stand up to anything that allow this kind of shit to get pushed under the rug..who hide from this..what's your problem? maybe you're one of the sadists?? one of the murderers??  

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

That you think we've covered this story too much only shows either what a fool you are, or that you have no soul. Which is it?

Daniel Calvillo Jr
Daniel Calvillo Jr

You mad because they're not covering your favorite show Glee??  Somebody fucking died you jackass. 

Soho_d J
Soho_d J

What's the matter asshole not enough Comic Con news for you? Thanks to O.C. Weekly for keeping this story alive. See you on Saturday.

DubV
DubV

its because it wasnt your son that got beat to death by police.. tard

Ed Carrasco
Ed Carrasco

Obviously you haven't been reading other news sources.

Karlahmt
Karlahmt

You should get a beating like his

VickieChang
VickieChang

 Actually, I'm pretty sure Thomas was the one beaten to death. Police brutality not important enough for you?

nerosfiddle
nerosfiddle

Are you referring to Cyclops the glass eyed mutant, obviously a friend of yours?

Dan
Dan

Go Fuck yourself Patrick R - u r probably a family member or a boyfriend of one of the 6 Thugs.

PatrickR
PatrickR

Ed, about those other news sources you refer to.  Are they the same ones who say Obama is doing a great job, the economy is on the rebound and the Seniors are going to get screwed out of their Social Security & Medicare.  Yep, a real credible bunch, your news sources?  By the way, contact me, I have a great deal for you on a bridge I am selling in Brooklys. 

Ed Carrasco
Ed Carrasco

I wouldn't touch Get Over It with a ten foot pole.

PatrickR
PatrickR

Vicki, your statement is based on ignorance, supposition and inuendo, not facts or evidence supported by the investigation.  I guess no one ever accused you of being objective and unbiased? 

jaRealism
jaRealism

Its pretty obvious Patriihc r or petrish R  or whatever his name is he can't be reasoned with.

Alex Samoylov
Alex Samoylov

Ok, so now facts and video were presented. Here is objective: Sadistic bullies brutally murdered Kelly Thomas, then lied about it, lied about him attacking them, lied about him being "on drugs", and falsified their reports.

Those are the facts. What do you have to say to these facts PatrickR?

Ian
Ian

Idiot cop:  We know enough about this case to know that he was beaten into a brain dead coma and died as a result of it.  Sounds like you're one of the monsters that did it.  If there's any justice in this world, you'll meet your maker in the same fashion, probably in the prison showers.

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