Fullerton Homeless Talk about Kelly Thomas After Slidebar Protest

justice-for-kelly-thomas
LP Hastings / OC Weekly
Kelly Thomas memorial.


In between the afternoon and evening protests at Slidebar in Fullerton over their role in the Kelly Thomas killing, the only people left buzzing around the area were a group of homeless men. They walked leisurely around the Fullerton Bus Depot or sat on benches in the shade, and while they were completely aware of and acquainted to one another, most stood on alone.

Out of nowhere a friendly looking woman with a straw sun hat and a worn-in, red dress walked to the area where Thomas was murdered next to the bus depot driveway. She carried a rather giant bucket of chalk. Susan Brodbeck is a self-proclaimed chalk artist who visits the site once a day or more to draw and talk to people about Thomas. She is eccentric and even a little strange as she adds, "Way to go Kings" next to all her other Thomas related work, but she is very sweet. Her approachable nature makes it easy for curious strangers to learn more about Thomas and how they can help keep his memory alive.


susan-chalk-artist
LP Hastings / OC Weekly
Susan Brodbeck with her bucket at Thomas' memorial.
While the other bus depot locals may not seem as immediately friendly as Brodbeck, who comes and goes to the area, they are fighting for Thomas too. Larry, a veteran with shoulder-length white hair, speaks openly, albeit scattered, about the night he walked unknowingly onto the scene of the crime. He was coming back from buying dinner when he saw the yellow tape and pool of blood.

"I don't cry in front of people," he said. Yet he said has cried that night and ever since for Thomas.

Larry claimed that he has made it his goal to help bring down the six officers who murdered Thomas, and that Fullerton is "turning into a bad town." However, he said that Slidebar was not his issue to deal with.

Larry floats from topic to topic and can be a little hard to follow at times, but he introduces Curtis, claiming that the man "knows a lot."

Curtis is a tall, very buff, and dark, black man. He is clean cut and soft-spoken. Were it not for Larry's introduction, one would never know Curtis was homeless. He sat on a bench at the bus depot right where the Thomas killing began.

He looked at Slidebar's involvement differently that Larry's, and saw it as a detail in a crime scene. He said he believed that Slidebar may have not been a direct accomplice in Thomas' beating, but that we have to acknowledge its involvement--not doing so would be ignoring crucial evidence.

Curtis prints fliers with Thomas' face that demand "Change 4 Justice" and he keeps copies of them nicely organized in a leather binder inside his leather briefcase. 

larry-kelly-thomas-advocate
LP Hastings / OC Weekly
Larry, a homeless, transit station local and passionate defender of Kelly Thomas
 
He said that the guys in the area did not know Thomas that well, even though he had been around for a while. He said that Thomas tended to keep to himself, and if he ever faced an altercation he would just walk away. Some of the other homeless men didn't even know Thomas' name--only as "the guy with the long red hair." 

"If you were to think of someone this would have happened to," Curtis said, "Kelly would have been the last guy."

Yet the more we learn about the brutality that occurred that night, the clearer it becomes that this could have happened to anyone. Slidebar could have called to complain about any of them. The fury could have very well been unleashed on Larry, Curtis, or any of the other local homeless men, and yet Thomas, the least controversial of them all in their mind, was the one chosen.

Now, excuse my soapbox standing but...

This only goes to further show that the threat was all on the officer's end, and whoever was on the other side of their fists, feet, batons, and taser mattered none. This fact reveals the complicated and contradicting place that the homeless occupy in society. 
On one hand, they are seen as helpless, and yet on the other hand they are responsible for getting help. This teeter-totter makes it easy for people to look at the homeless in whatever way makes them feel the most comfortable. When Slidebar called the Fullerton police, they decided to see Thomas as just a nuisance to be dealt with. 

curtis-kelly-thomas-advocate
LP Hastings / OC Weekly
Curtis, a homeless, transit station local and advocate for Kelly Thomas.
This contradicting identity can sometimes place the homeless in a realm where they are not treated like humans, so it is curious to wonder if the voice of the homeless at the bus depot make a difference at all. They do if people will only stop to listen. It doesn't take long to peek in at the lives of the people who live there to see that nothing Thomas could have done would have disturbed Slidebar's drunk crowd enough to warrant a complaint--and even a real one at that. 

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Location Info

The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen

122 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, CA

Category: Music

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12 comments
Nanette Valencia
Nanette Valencia

She doesn't have two brain cells to rub together ~ it's a waste of time to bother with someone who embraces evil

Gigi Gomez
Gigi Gomez

Right but the homeless to work. What a joke. That is why they are homeless. They don't want to work!!

Gigi Gomez
Gigi Gomez

Why should the citizens help the homeless. They want to be homeless. They want to go around and not pay for anything live out of trash cans. That is what they want. Leave them alone.

Terita Applebomb
Terita Applebomb

Never let up gentlemen. Businessbe damned. Don't let them forget kellys name.

liedetector
liedetector

"I see a complete idiot that doesn't know shit but thinks he is all knowing. If you didn't have your head so far up your own ass" You always resort to name-calling/trashing/projection , what a childish punk you are. Why not take-it-down-a-notch and try to respond rationally.

YourNuts
YourNuts

Oh, great sources you've got there.  FAIR - an organization dedicated to scapegoating illegal immigrants, supported by nativist assholes like you.  Some Indiana TV station, because we all know what a credible source THAT is.  Beyond worthless.  The numbers you cite are bogus beyond belief.  Rather than your "work camp for the homeless" I suggest we set up "compassion camps" for brainless twits like you and your anti-immigrant buddies.  There, illegal immigrants can contrast their horror stories with your lives of utter privilege and explain to you why your standard of living is subsidized by the sweat and blood of millions of poor people like them.  PS. No fruits, vegetables, grain, or Mexican food for you.

YourNuts
YourNuts

You still haven't responded to this: "You actually think that the majority of homeless people would welcome being forced into agricultural work camps." Of course.  Because it destroys your whole infantile, stupid, proto-fascist line of "reasoning" - and I use that term lightly.

YourNuts
YourNuts

Hey, oh illiterate blowhard, I didn't say anything about carrying a sign.  I said go ask homeless people if they want to go work in the fields picking strawberries.  In your wholesale approach to singlehandedly solving both illegal immigration and the homeless problem, you must have done some fieldwork where you actually asked the homeles if they'd like that.  Right?  Because human choice is an integral part of economics isn't it? And you know so much about economics.  I bet you actually read Hayek twice! 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Do you have backup for this, or are you just painting all homeless people with the lazy brush?

LPHastings
LPHastings

Perhaps this is true for some, but it's also not true for others. Leave them alone? They are left alone. They're ignored by a majority of the population.

Howard_x
Howard_x

I believe I have found a definitive answer for you. “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 

LPHastings
LPHastings

Exactly, Dave. Many elements go into someone being homeless - just like how they go into someone being rich or middle class. It's societal, cultural, political, and circumstantial. You cannot generalize.

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