Dying Kelly Thomas Initially Ignored By Fullerton Paramedics Because of Police Request

Kelly Thomas cowboy 2.jpg
Kelly Thomas
During the first hour of today's preliminary hearing for two Fullerton Police Department officers accused of criminally killing a homeless man last July, the biggest news came from a paramedic who first treated exceptionally minor scratches and bruises on cops before trying to save the brutalized, dying victim.

Under questioning by prosecutor Jim Tanizaki, Fullerton Fire Department paramedic Ron Stancyk admitted that at the request of whining officers he paused for about "a minute" to aid the cops before turning his attention to Kelly Thomas' extensive injuries.

Police photographs introduced by Tanizaki showed tiny scratches, some swelling and bruising on the cops, but massive wounds to Thomas' head, face, hands and legs.

Stancyk testified that when he arrived at the scene he saw a huge group of cops standing*** about 15 feet away from the barely breathing, blood-covered Thomas, who was handcuffed and lying on the street.

[***UPDATE: Video of the unnecessary killing later shown in court today seems to indicate this was not precise testimony. After Thomas lost consciousness from vicious pummeling, the huddled cops remained standing over him when the paramedics arrived. The paramedics didn't appear to be in any hurry to help Thomas, which is a disgraceful revelation that casts shame on the Fullerton Fire Department. Since when do minor scratches get priority when someone is dying?]

None of the officers rendered any medical aid as the victim's life began slipping away.

What were they doing instead?

According to today's testimony, the officers were overwhelmed by chatting amongst themselves about who was most exhausted after beating Thomas' face to a pulp and who had the worst--as my mother used to call them when I was in the first grade--boo boo.

During the lunch break, Ron Thomas--the victim's father--broke down momentarily when a television reporter asked him if he knew that the cops had diverted the paramedics to their own needs first. Tears formed in Thomas' eyes. It was a potent, painful fact he too learned today.

Though Tanizaki questioned the first three prosecution witnesses, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas began the hearing by reading a lengthy list of stipulations into the official record.

At one point, Rackauckas interrupted questions by defense lawyer Michael Schwartz, who was establishing the point that when Thomas cried in protest to the beating he must have been alive and breathing--and thus died later from perhaps, as the defense is pushing, a mysterious heart attack.

The line of questioning annoyed the DA, who mocked Schwartz by saying, "You just spoke 11 words without taking a breath."

Schwartz, who represents officer Jay Cicinelli, was not amused. He asked for the DA to be reprimanded. But Superior Court Judge Walt Schwarm, a former Rackauckas staffer, declined.

Defense lawyer John Barnett, who represents Officer Manuel Ramos and believes that there is no proof that his client's actions contributed to Thomas' death, also questioned witnesses.

Testimony resumes this afternoon.

At the conclusion of the proceedings this week, Judge Schwarm will decide if the case can go to a jury.

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99 comments
Y2424
Y2424

 Did you even watch the video? I saw a man so out of control that it literally took six men to get him into handcuffs. Yes, he was mentally ill, but if no one knows that it's not going to be taken into account. He seemed totally coherent when he was being argumentative during questioning right before he's trying to run away. He may have been screaming that he was sorry and that he couldn't breathe, but that didn't stop him from not listening to the officers' repeated calls to calm down and put his hands behind his back as he continued punching and kicking. It's a really unfortunate situation and I don't envy the decisions that officers have to make on the fly when dealing with people who are less than cooperative. I'm interested to see what comes out during the trial, as I think there is a whole lot more to the story then we are being told.

Y2424
Y2424

 Did you even watch the video? I saw a man so out of control that it literally took six men to get him into handcuffs. Yes, he was mentally ill, but if no one knows that it's not going to be taken into account. He seemed totally coherent when he was being argumentative during questioning right before he's trying to run away. He may have been screaming that he was sorry and that he couldn't breathe, but that didn't stop him from not listening to the officers' repeated calls to calm down and put his hands behind his back as he continued punching and kicking. It's a really unfortunate situation and I don't envy the decisions that officers have to make on the fly when dealing with people who are less than cooperative. I'm interested to see what comes out during the trial, as I think there is a whole lot more to the story then we are being told.

Larry44
Larry44

 Psychopathic Cops >.. A frequent need for excitement, Lack of remorse or shame, Poverty of general emotions,  An inflated self-worth, An ability to rationalize their behavior, A need for complete power, A need to dominate others.   I hope they force all of the officers involved  to under go a mental evaluation..

Wholetruth2012
Wholetruth2012

Thomas did not look like the pic posted above when the officers encountered him. He looked more like the mug shot , why don't you post that one?

Zenbuddha77
Zenbuddha77

Cops engage in criminal activities ALL the time. Pull young girls over for no reason, confiscate drugs they will later use themselves, take bribes, harass people and beat people with impunity. And obviously on occasions they kill totally defenseless people as well. With one of the truly pathetic things being that as a result of this, and despite the fact that probably a lot of them ORIGINALLY joined the force thinking they were going to protect the innocent and fight horrible criminals, it doesn't take long for them to be corrupted by those who have already made it behind the blue coat of silence.

A coat of silence that permeates virtually all of the professions of our society from doctors to judges to politicians.

But regarding those who were involved in the death of another virtual innocent, my guess is that only two of them will actually be forced to leave the police force and be convicted of something much less than the obvious murder it was or agree to a plea deal of manslaughter with a punishment of probation. And then it will all but be forgotten a short while later except for Kelly's family who will live with it for the rest of their lives. Because another war somewhere will be gripping everyone else attention.

Onli88
Onli88

If they were not cops every person who was there and involved would be charged with murder. What has our society come to? I hope more people stand up and not allow the cops special treatment.

bob
bob

i didn't see kelly resist. if someone is shocking and beating you you resist. 

Droidman920
Droidman920

I can't even think clearly after seeing this video, the picture of the homeless begging for help and asking for his Daddy help, I'm totally speechless. I hope this case changes the entire country PD and FD rules. There is no way to justify the cops actions, they KILLED someone unarmed and mentally ill, Kelly Thomas wasn't aggressive at all, and he clearly asked for help and said "I'm sorry" at least 30 times!!! Why the beating? Why so many officers stepping on him while he lays down helpless dying on the ground?There is one cop who kicks Thomas ribs twice when the homeless was asking for help unable to breathe on his own. I wonder if that cop can sleep at night after what he's done to this man, that's brutality of the worst kind.Thanks God, there is a video that show us the truth about Thomas killing and not a "cover" made by the PD to avoid the media going after them. Funny thing is one the defense lawyers blamed on the paramedics suggesting that Thomas "possibly died of a heart attack on his way to the ICU"... what a nerve!!! I hope the Law makes it right for this poor man whose only crime was to be mentally ill and didn't comply with telling his full name to the police.Thomas Dad was a retired Deputy Sheriff, now he is fighting for his son against the Fullerton PD, what a nightmare for this family.

Jaynianne
Jaynianne

Looks like all need to be trained this is a outrage!

Rmdickie
Rmdickie

I am outraged at this incident, just like many of you are. We are trying to teach our children not to bully and not to stand around and let bullying take place. This is bullying at it's best and what it leads to. The police officer bullied Thomas first with his comment about his fist, then he started using force- beating which led to killing. The police officers standing around are just as guilty. We pay for police protection not police killing. For the paramedics~you should know better~shame on you~you are not any better than the police officers! You all should be tried and found guilty!!!

Robert Rankin
Robert Rankin

I haven't stepped foot in down town Fullerton since this happened and I probably never will again. 

Samantha
Samantha

This is so horrible! Those cops have demons!

Luke
Luke

There were 8 police or more there, why are only 2 being tried?

Josh C.
Josh C.

Based on this article, sounds like the paramedics are as guilty as the cops whom stood around without helping Kelly Thomas. They should all be charged as assesories to murder, just like anyone in a gang would've been charged for someone's murder. They all participated to his murder simply by taking no action to assist the helpless Kelly Thomas. They chose to let him die by standing around.

Sandy HB
Sandy HB

Looks like somebody screwed the pooch on this!!!!! Cops are gonna pay!!!!!

Alex Precept Castro
Alex Precept Castro

this is horrible... these guys deserve the same beating they dished out but worse....

Sandra Meece-Wetzel
Sandra Meece-Wetzel

This is extremely gut-wrenching!!!  While watching this video I actually thought I was going to vomit. Sitting here, watching that video, showed me that there was NO REASON for the "so-called" officers of Orange County, to have did what they did/ to the extent of how they beat & man-handled him. Everything that I seen & heard on this video, seems that Kelly Thomas, did what was asked!!! Listening to a human being, beg & plead for his life, is just in-human, of what the Fullerton Officers did. (I hate to even call them Police Officers because as far as I am concerned, they should not have a badge for the job they did). It seemed to me, Kelly Thomas was literally "beaten to death", while fighting & begging to live. Just hope justice for the guy is found. God help us, not just for the wrong in everyday people, but for the corruption of our very own "LAW OFFICERS?"

shanob
shanob

These cops should all be in jail, every single one who was there.  They will all burn in hell for this.

Andrewbbock
Andrewbbock

It's despicable seeing these halfwit bastards cower behind the Blue Shield, conjuring absurd lies saying they are protecting themselves and the public whereas they are the ones with access to a firearm and vicious attack dog like mentalities. Knowing that most of these individuals get away with heinous acts with a mere slap on the wrist is not only baffling, it is completely appalling knowing that we as individual civilians can't do much unless we pour sweat and tears into a resolve and even then most of the general public averts their gaze and changes the channel. Orwell was right when he offered his glimpse of a future where a boot was stamping on a human face, chilling analysis for a turbulent age. We have to rid our public of apathy and offer an educated response that is accessible when another outrage such as this occurs. If this carnage continues, you can be damn sure that our enemies in the system will get stronger and more despicable as time goes on.

ageofknowledge
ageofknowledge

Here's my opinion: There were thousands of better ways to handle this unarmed citizen whom had committed no crime. Leaving him alone would have been the best one. But they chose to beat him to death on the sidewalk for no reason while making up crimes to put on him.

Jules
Jules

what is going to happened to these cops who think there god?? this is an outrage! and these cops need prison!!!!! the community needs to pull together and put these mother fuckers where they belong

Chris Balestra
Chris Balestra

Apathy has embraced most American Citizens. We feel defeated. This country is not the country our forefathers founded or even that our grandparents had known. It's a disgrace. From politics to economics, this country is a complete travesty, a shadow of it's former self. "Change" seems like nothing more than a cruel joke. I can't even vote for a candiate in the presidential elections any more without feeling like I'm wasting my time from the start. The citizens aren't a concern any more, only the corporations and figureheads funding these appointed leaders, representatives, and "protectors" at the very expense of the people they were meant to serve. For years and years when people used to bitch about this country, I had the ignorance to say "if you don't like it, ship on out, this is still one of the best countries to live in". Now? I can't see myself raising a family here. There is no future if this is how we treat our own and this is the level of stupidity defended in government and justice.

Adamprince
Adamprince

Let us hope prosecutor Jim Tanizaki can win such an easy case!

Adamprince
Adamprince

Ron Stancyk should be fired and sued.

Prawda
Prawda

Paramedics, what exactly was your reasoning behind treating a scrape and ignoring a man dying from a brutal beating? Shame on you! You take your direction from the police regardless of the severity of the wounded? Where is your character?  There needs to be an investigation of the Fullerton Fire department and the paramedics there that night. The FIRST thing you do is assess the scene, obviously that wasn't done. How many stood by and let Kelly die? Shameful.

CHS
CHS

And the civil lawsuit against the city just keeps getting better and better.  Fullerton will be in bankruptcy by the time the Thomas lawyers are done.

Johnrose7588
Johnrose7588

Whats is sad is that the people still support the fullerton police that live there. I just finished up some work down there and spoke to some fullerton citizens about the whole thing. These. Idiots go to church with these murderers in blue,and they think the pigs were just doing their job. Just because someone goes to church and wears a uniform doesnt make them innocent. No excuse for these pigs

Oyster
Oyster

 I guarantee those cops can sleep well at night, and if they are plagued at all by their actions, it's not remorse over the killing that they think about, but their own selfish future they concern themselves with- the hopes that their ability to lawfully murder again aren't taken away from them. Cops are just ordinary people, (sometimes with mental conditions that can be hidden better than schizophrenia) who have a uniform, have read certain books, and have been given a piece of decorated metal that has been assigned qualities that aren't inherent to it. No human being automatically deserves more respect than another, until they've exhibited compassion, clarity of thought free from rage or vanity, and moral strength in brotherhood. I hope these cops aren't allowed to hide behind the smoke screen facade of the blue shield, which is no more than gang mentality. People like us btw wouldn't be chosen to be on the jury, having a strong mind and respect for life isn't valued in our present day.

ageofknowledge
ageofknowledge

I disagree completely. They got a call of a person down and arrived promptly on the scene (from the time of the call) and were met by an officer with a scrape he got helping beat Kelly to death who wanted treatment. They started treating him. For all they knew he was the person and had gotten back up. It was sixty seconds later they noticed Kelly on the ground and then moved to treat him. They did no wrong. You're just being a dumbshit.

MARCUS
MARCUS

Wow Chris, I am sorry a good person such as you appear to be would go into apathy. It's about you and others like you man. There is no one else. They all gave up. You may find like minded people at REDDIT.COM. It gets easier when you realize there are millions who know what you know. Cheers.

Streets
Streets

I think there is a protocol, the suspect is under arrest and under the law the police have custody of a suspect.  In this case the Paramedic did move his focus after he was aware of Kelly's condition.  The focus should be on what the thugs did to him, not the fire dept.

shanob
shanob

Lets hope so because this kind of criminality from people in positions of power should be punished MORE SEVERELY than any other crimes.

MARCUS
MARCUS

Don't believe the locals "support" their police. They are scared (with good reason) into submission. By the way, I find it disturbing that church goers close their eyes to such criminal (sinful) acts. Not what I recall christians were like.

Ramblerman77
Ramblerman77

B: Only two of them were DIRECTLY responsible.  The others just let it all happen.

MakesNoScents
MakesNoScents

The video disputes all of this. Your EMS buddies are headed to the fucking slammer broham.

Swetzel2105
Swetzel2105

 I blame the law officers of Fullerton in Orange County. Come on, watch the video again. Be realistic!!!  If the paramedics did not know who needed treatment upon their arrival, then it was left up to "all of the police officers", to let the paramedics know,'hey, this guy isn't breathing!!" Did the officers think that the damage that they had inflicted on the man, was just going to go away??  Come on be realistic!!!  The officers, no other way to say it, "They beat Kelly Thomas TO DEATH!!!!"

MakesNoScents
MakesNoScents

Nope, you're completely wrong. Once it is safe for paramedics to enter the scene, it's THEIR SHOW. If cops had it their way every wounded would-be criminal would bleed out in the street before paramedics got to touch them. My best buddy is a long time paramedic and this was his response when I emailed him to ask what he thought of this:

" The EMTs should be imprisoned for manslaughter.And the claim from anyone from EMS that "the cops made me do it" should be taken with the same veracity as the "I was only following orders" claims of guards at concentration camps. Even a green EMT-B would be able to determine by glancing at that guy that he was seriously injured. FFS, not moving and in a pile of blood... my 7 year old niece would be able to triage that above a cops boo-boo. In addition having been repeatedly in the situation of telling cops to STFU and let me do my job, being afraid of asserting your clinical judgement is fucking bullshit. I've worked with everything from NYPD to Barney-Fucking-Fife, and if you don't have the ability to say "Look that guy is fucked up. I'm not even sure he's breathing, I need to check him first" you are a pussy, an idiot, or complicit in his murder."

Prawda
Prawda

The paramedic waited "about a minute' fully aware of what he saw. The whining officers received treatment first. An honorable paramedic would have questioned Kelly's condition immediately. Now the film is showing the paramedic's testimony seems to be a little off time wise. Makes you wonder, the "blue" code of silence as well as the "red" ? 

ageofknowledge
ageofknowledge

Someone is a critical reader. GOOD! Have some positive rep Kari.

Kari Havoth
Kari Havoth

 actually 3 , Joe Wolf is yet to be charged and should be. He is the cop who initially hits Kelly with the nightstick.

obsrv
obsrv

Doesn't matter, this victim's life is lost, to 6 people piled on him. With or without evidence is plain enough to anyone even without common sense that this is unacceptable.

ageofknowledge
ageofknowledge

When I wrote my initial reply, I had only heard the audio and read some initial reports. Since then, I have seen the video. I retract my earlier statement as it looks like both of you are correct.

Kari Havoth
Kari Havoth

 I have to agree. The video evidence disputes this. EMS is on the scene while the cops laugh about Kelly losing bowel control.  Disgusting. They should suffer some recriminations but I'm unfamiliar with local statutes to recommend which one(s). Medical Neglect seems indicated though.

Streets
Streets

You can wish in one hand and shit in the other, but that paramedic is not going to be charged!  It cracks me up how a Monday nite quarterback always seems to know what should have happened, you were not there meathead!  I think it would take any level headed person at least a minute to assess a situation.

shanob
shanob

The cops are probably threatening anyone who tells the truth.  They are just like the mafia, a criminal organization.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

 Sorry to have to say it, but in many cases I find the term "Good Christian" to be an oxymoron.

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