Ex-FBI Agent Testifies Kelly Thomas Had Self-Defense Rights Because Of Police Brutality

cicinelliramos.jpg
Expert witness from FBI: Two Fullerton cops (Jay Cicinelli on left; Manny Ramos on right) acted unprofessionally in killing of homeless man
During yesterday's testimony in the Kelly Thomas murder trial, a retired FBI supervising special agent and tactical police training expert told jurors that the 37-year-old homeless man had a right to use force to defend himself against two Fullerton police officers who'd essentially converted themselves into heavily armed thugs with badges.

John Wilson, who spent 60 hours studying the gruesome, July 2011, police attack on an unarmed Thomas, said that officer Manuel Ramos began the minor encounter unnecessarily by immediately taking out his baton, swinging it in both hands and poking it at the victim, who hadn't been physically threatening.

But, according to Wilson, the most unprofessional moment prior to the killing occurred when Ramos mocked the schizophrenia-addled Thomas as stupid, dramatically put on gloves as he towered over him and said, "Now, you see my fists? They're getting ready to fuck you up."

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas played related portions of a surveillance tape of the brutality and, over Ramos defense lawyer John Barnett's incessant objections, asked Wilson if he considered the cop conduct appropriate under the circumstances.

"Clearly, no," replied the 26-year FBI veteran, who at one point served on the U.S. Attorney General's protection detail in Washington, D.C. "I have problems with everything that happened after Ramos put the gloves on."

Barnett and Michael Schwartz--the attorney for the other cop on trial, Jay Cicinelli--spent hours trying to trip the unflappable Wilson. For example, they repeatedly mocked the witness as clueless about the demands of "street cops" and that, even though he'd worked narcotics and bank robbery details at the FBI, he'd never had to employ a Taser gun or walk a beat.

Barnett grew incredulous that Wilson refused to back off his expert opinion that when the police began to attack, Thomas had a right to defend himself, including by using lethal force to repel unlawful, violent cop abuse.

The Ramos/Cicinelli loyalists (including off-duty cops) that pack one side of Judge William R. Froeberg's Santa Ana courtroom each day responded by shaking their heads and hissing.

What impact the testimony and defense moves are having on jurors is unknown.

Orange County juries historically have given police officers carte blanche to use deadly force even against unarmed citizens and to lie in official reports that coverup police corruption.

See also: The Complete Kelly Thomas Killing Archives

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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74 comments
horrified
horrified

Have any of the jurors spoken out? Why on earth would they make this decision?

markreynolds.bhg5
markreynolds.bhg5

I might find it hard to refrain from shooting cops that I see doing something like this and then leaving to let them try to figure out who shot them.

scel
scel

let em burn dirty cops!!!

Brenda Laird
Brenda Laird

Hope that officer gets a full conviction.

fc2479
fc2479

NOT GUILTY!!!!!!!!!!!

Andy King
Andy King

nice ad hominem attacks, Barnett/Schwartz. Don't you scumbags have some rapists to defend or is that next month?

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

Do you really think our justice system works?

Jeff Rey
Jeff Rey

Ramos clearly was a thug who tricked authorities into giving him a badge and license to kill, he should get the death penalty.

Xander Lombardo
Xander Lombardo

These Have to be the fugliest looking pigs I've ever seen, I wish they would get the death chair, rip Kelly Thomas

thehungus1
thehungus1

You have a fundamental human right to resist a violent assault by an armed criminal.  That right doesn't somehow disappear just because your assailant is wearing some silly costume that the city gave him.


In a decent society, a crowd of armed citizens would have taken these guys down by any means necessary, placed them in their own handcuffs, and placed them under citizen's arrest, which would be a real and binding thing.  If if they had resisted, they'd have been shot dead where they stood, as should any violent criminal attempting to kill an innocent man.  


In a decent society, police would never dream of doing what Mr. Ramos and Mr. Cincinelli did to Kelly Thomas.  They'd be too afraid.

Wes.
Wes.

These officers are obviously delinquents. There can be psychopathic paradigm when it comes to police officers and criminals. I was also considering the possibility that their spiritual lawlessness might be due to them both being Catholic?

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

I've been wondering what happened to Cicinelli's Face? Why is his eye crooked?

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Once again: "80 percent of all police officers (that are on the streets) are criminals themselves and violate the laws while they are ON DUTY". And they are being paid to do so and be so by the city councils that employ them.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Lookin' at that picture above that Manny Ramos thinks he's some hot shit don't he since he's the one that thinks he's in other peoples authority. I can tell just by the look on his face how pissed he is that he got his own medicine handed to him on a silver platter. Learned your lesson didn't you. These people are not your authority figures they are paid police gang members.

borntohula
borntohula

To protect, and serve...and terrorize.

Karen McHale
Karen McHale

What does Ramos' jacket look like? How many excessive force complaint forces does he have? And will they be presented at trial?

Glenn Howard
Glenn Howard

This could have been avoided if the police involved acted in a professional manner. When are the police going to realize that professionalism must be the highest priority at all times, and it should be drilled into the minds of all new academy recruits. Somehow this concept has been lost or swept under the rug. We understand that dealing with the public can be difficult, but if you are not ok with handling both good and bad people, then get a different job. It's what we demand and expect from our police.

Michelle Howard Moore
Michelle Howard Moore

I don't see how these "people" sleep at night. An excellent example of why cops are not there to "protect & serve", they love the power and control.

Hugh Jasol
Hugh Jasol

And they know who's door to knock on if trouble starts Jeremy Sandoval!

baileylab
baileylab

:The Ramos/Cicinelli loyalists (including off-duty cops) that pack one side of Judge William R. Froeberg's Santa Ana courtroom each day responded by shaking their heads and hissing."

Why does it not surprise me to read of thugs supporting thugs?

Brent Wild
Brent Wild

Lenny Taylor is a pig apologist.

dougcastillo
dougcastillo

'heavily armed thugs with badges.' is correct. If it wasn't for the death of this unarmed man.

The lethal beating he endured, would have been just another padded resisting arrest report. Land of the free?

HughJasol
HughJasol

I wish I could spit in their faces, or worse 

Barbara Griesbach Bowlin
Barbara Griesbach Bowlin

This was the most horrible crime I could ever imagine. This man Thomas Kelly was a human being. He was someone's son, his mothers baby,a beloved brother... Truth be told many people are living on the fringe and probably know someone in this or close to being in this situation. Police are suppose to protect the public. Provide resource options. The brutal attack on this beautiful person is beyond comprehension. My heart breaks thinking how his last moments in this fucked up world were filled with fear and pain. I truly hope justice is served.

Debbie Wall
Debbie Wall

There's no excuse for doing what they did to a compliant unarmed man. I'm glad that due to people speaking out police brutality is coming to the forefront and being prosecuted. It should never be accepted on any level. There are good cops out there but those who abuse their position of authority destroy everything including their own profession.

C-Zar Jaime
C-Zar Jaime

Uuuuu feds....how scary! Everyone is shaking in their boots....

C-Zar Jaime
C-Zar Jaime

This dude is a joke^^^...biggot asshole is probably a pig too...

Joe Felix
Joe Felix

It's funny how that FAT piece of shit Ramos couldn't contain a skinny helpless homeless guy so Ramos had to use his police objects to get his point across.. talk about anger issues huh..?

Cheryl Lynn
Cheryl Lynn

Don't be a piece of trash. Grow the F up!

tiscarenomatthew
tiscarenomatthew

Never put an expert who just sits in a desk and pushes pencil all day . He's never walked in a real cops shoes .

Veronica Malvaez Isaac
Veronica Malvaez Isaac

I have a schizophrenic uncle and this story hits very close to home for me. I almost cried when I saw the photo of Kelly's face after he was beaten. What they did to him was inhumane. How could ANYONE believe the cops were just in there actions? What if that was you or one of your family members?! Because they don't seem to care about laws and that could've been ANYONE that didn't do as they were told!!! Mental illness or not, these "police officers" deserve full punishment.

Wendy Richards
Wendy Richards

I can't even stand to look at Ramos. This is just heartbreaking....

Dan Madrid
Dan Madrid

police have a difficult job.....but some police believe there invincible and "how dare you question or not do as I say"....they act with color of authority......we as a society need too decide....do we take back our policing powers and if we do will you serve and protect the common good and/or do we continue to support an agency where these acts are occurring and not everyone is appropriate to serve......

René Bruce
René Bruce

Exactly !!! This moron wanna be cop needs to go to prison for life !!!

ElaineP
ElaineP

My schizophrenic/claustrophobic son was sleeping on the ground for three years in Roseville (Placer County) CA due to his mental illnesses.  He was not beaten and/or murdered.  This was due to the superior quality of the Roseville police force and the supervising Officer David Flood.  The Sick Six at the Fullerton Bus Depot obviously were not of this caliber.  Pray For Justice. 

Bill Martin
Bill Martin

a bus driver should have run over all those fucken pigs and killed those little pussy fat sdd bitches

Anthony 'Ace' Leon
Anthony 'Ace' Leon

Lenny why u say that screw kelly,What happen if he was your son would u say screw son..Do u think the cops had a right to push around and they can do anything with you,NO AND THEY HAD NO RIGHT TO BEAT HIM THOMAS FOR WHAT...

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

In Orange County CA not since the 90's at least. Your cops are worse than Madoff due to the bad habit of attempting to murder people - something I'm a personal witness to and why I give Acecedo/Diaz the benefit of the doubt before I would give this law enforcement community the same.

You have to have seen alot of evil to be willing to verbally shit on this corrupt garbage at city council podiums especially in their presence. i was hoping T-Rack would show up again

thehungus1
thehungus1

"Professionalism" doesn't really figure into a sociopath's plans when he's out on the prowl looking for someone to hurt.

horrified
horrified

@baileylab Hissing?  Why didn't the judge eject them? Talk about influencing the jury.

timo3004
timo3004

Yo B he has always been a punk since Jr high school !!! I never liked him !!

borntohula
borntohula

Cincenelli and Ramos give real cops a bad name.

alexiw01
alexiw01

no such thing as real cops.  they're all douchebag mother fucking assholes.....

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