Did Huntington Beach Cops Harass Ron Thomas, Father of the Late Kelly Thomas?

Ron Thomas
The father of the homeless man fatally beaten to death by Fullerton police officers, including two now on trial for the killing, claims cops in Huntington Beach harassed him by issuing him a traffic ticket on Christmas Eve.

But Surf City police Capt. Russell Reinhart said the sergeant who pulled Ron Thomas over did not know who he was when the ticket was issued for failure to yield and having tinted windows.

"He cut off three vehicles," including the sergeant on a motorcycle, Reinhart told City News Service. "The two other vehicles had to stop before crashing into him."

The sergeant's recording of the contact with Thomas revealed he "clearly had no idea who (Thomas) was," according to Reinhart. "It was just an unsafe movement and really had nothing to do with anything else."

While the sergeant supposedly did not know who Thomas was, Reinhart said of his department, "Everybody feels sorry for him. He's going through a lot with his family. We understand that, but this had nothing to do with harassment.''

Thomas countered, "I have no doubt at all this guy's doing one for the blue team," noting his Chevy Tahoe was emblazoned with signs critical of Fullerton police and featuring photos of his son, Kelly, who died five days after a July 5, 2011, struggle with officers who approached him at the Fullerton Transportation Center.

And the retired sheriff's deputy denied having violated any rules of the road, claiming another driver in front of him stopped without signaling, forcing him to switch lanes, but not unsafely.

He vowed to fight the ticket.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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75 comments
laurentjalbert1
laurentjalbert1

First, I don't think people realize. First, I would highly suggest you watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6yaeD-E_MY


These cops literally beat this man to death. This isn't about race, creed or color. Its about a homeless man with a psychiatric problem beat to death. As a healthcare provider, we are taught how to deal with difficult patients. I would imagine law enforcement officials who carry firearms should and would be taught how to deal with troubled individuals as well. Take a look at what this man looked like after the beating? Can you imagine if this where your son, daughter, uncle or relative? There are homeless individuals all over the country just like this? How often do you see officer involved shootings where an officer has shot (just recently in Long Beach) and killed an unarmed individual? Can you imagine? Or, check out the recent issue taking place at the LA County Jails (people being beat up/harassed). The individuals doing this are sworn to protect and serve? Rampart? Or, does anyone remember what happened to the last Orange County Sheriff (Corona) and his two Assistant Sheriffs? People need to realize that if this continues, the next victim could be your son or daughter (or you)!

dickbubkus
dickbubkus

First off, Thomas was never an officer or a deputy.  Ask him to provide any proof whatsoever that he was.  He won't be able to do so.  No one at the OCSD has ever heard of him and that goes to guys that have been there nearly 30 years.  This nonsense that Thomas was a former or retired law enforcement officer is just that, nonsense.  Thomas is looking for attention and got it.  Now he whines about it.  Get ready to pay your fine, Ronnie.

elenoreflores
elenoreflores

I totally agree with bphood.  My dad is a retired cop and he's been pulled over in other states for going 70 in a 40, driving on the center line on a two lane highway and as soon as he opens his wallet and they see the badge they put the ticket away and tell him to slow down, stay on his own side of the road etc.  They never ticket each other.  EVER.

bphood
bphood

This was a punitive action by h.b.p.d. and it is easy to prove....when does a cop give a retired cop a ticket?   never thats when unless you have a "justice for kelly" sticker on your car. There is federal over site for these types of things if they go to far and collusion can be proven so I would imagine that something like this will not happen again if people like their retirement plans.

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

"Did Ron Thomas Do Everything Humanly Possible to Keep Kelly Off The Streets and Directed Towards Treatment".

Well obviously no because he wasn't with Kelly that night.  But he sure does know lawsuits and victimization when they can profit him.


See how a speculative open ended headline can be used to advance a particular slant to the story?

roman_archer
roman_archer

Wow! This blog is filled with more mexican-haters than I have ever seen.  I have never known a mexican-hater who didn't also hate everyone and everything in his or her life, including their spouses and children.


Mexican-haters would prefer that we have no mexicans…anywhere…and that by some act of God or fate there would be no taqueria's, supermercado's, panaderia's or neighborhood quinceanera's.  


I have never had a mexican steal my bank accounts, defraud my credit cards, smash my windshield, bash me over the head with a glass of wine, break into my home, key my car, or attempt to batter or threaten to murder me.  But, I have had non-law enforcement persons do all of those things to me.  Not everyone is evil, but some are incurably evil, and in a sinister quest for monetary gain, or out of passion, will conduct themselves likewise.


I give my support to the ACLU.  Society is better protected if they are visibly present than if they are nowhere to be found.


Someday, a mexican is NOT going to trim your trees, cut your grass, change your oil, re-upholster your car seats or edit your local entertainment rag.  How sad it is that you mexican-haters will have to experience something like that before you finally understand the importance of having mexicans.


Roman Archer, Founder and President, Vigilante's R US


jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

Wow! This blog is filled with more cop-haters than I have ever seen.  I have never known a cop-hater who didn't also hate everyone and everything in his or her life, including their spouses and children.


Cop-haters would prefer that we have no police…anywhere…and that by some act of God or fate there would be no bandits, rapists, murderers, car-jackers, thieves,  child molesters, or neighborhood drug dealers.  


I have never had a cop steal my bank accounts, defraud my credit cards, smash my windshield, bash me over the head with a glass of wine, break into my home, key my car, or attempt to batter or threaten to murder me.  But, I have had non-law enforcement persons do all of those things to me.  Not everyone is evil, but some are incurably evil, and in a sinister quest for monetary gain, or out of passion, will conduct themselves likewise.


I give my support to law enforcement organizations.  Society is better protected if they are visibly present than if they are nowhere to be found.


Someday, some member of law enforcement is going to protect your property, prevent you from being battered or raped, or save your life.  How sad it is that you cop-haters will have to experience something like that before you finally understand the importance of having police.


Jim Gilchrist, Founder and President, The Minuteman Project



tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

and on top of that have you noticed in the other news reports that they said that the cops APPROACHED HIM, and were accusing him of trying to open car doors at the Fullerton Center, the cops approached him when they had no evidence, thereby making it a police attack. Ramos attacked Thomas and the video shows Ramos moving towards him. Ramos tried to make Thomas hold his legs out in front of him and at the same time fold them up, no one can do that.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

It is a textbook classic technique by #orangecounty CA Mafia Trash police to harm targets around holidays, birthdays, anniversaries etc. There used to be a time when Christmas was off limits but when you swim in filth the dirtier and mafia trashy you become I guess. Leadership probably made note of the car windows awhile back and kept the traffic stop for a special occasion.

Never allow them to provoke you. Return the bad behavior with a smile. Similar to showing a vampire the cross of Jesus Christ. And shed light on the behavior. Ironically, another thing they and vampy have in common.

wahinewarrior2000
wahinewarrior2000

Kelly hated his dad and referred to him as a rat...way to make a killing off a killing ron, the best thing to happen to your life was this you pathetic dick...show us the papers you were a cop..you are a LIAR.Show us one picture you and Kelly took together the last ten years of his life...you cant you were never there and now you want money...you are one sick man, and becareful the surrounding cities already have their fake money making off the dead...huh thaxtons?

nov.16
nov.16

This was an infraction, no big deal and not worth a full article. I don't believe Ron Thomas retired as a cop, you may want to confirm that.

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

Does the OCW purposefully write inflammatory and unsubstantiated headlines in regard to the KT case.  You bet they do.

roman_archer
roman_archer

Capt. Reinhart states that the officer who pulled over Ron Thomas "had no idea who  Thomas was when the ticket was issued". Seriously? I don't know Ron Thomas, but if I saw him walking down the street I would know who he was. Wouldn't a car plastered with anti Fullerton Police stickers and justice for Kelly stickers be a bit of a tip off? Does the officer in question live in a cave without any news coverage? And now we are to believe that a police sergeant of a Orange County police department has no idea who Ron Thomas is. Of course all one needs to do is look at where this ridiculously unbelievable statement comes from: Russ Reinhart. Yes the same Russ Reinhart who as head of the Huntington Beach Police Officers Union was perhaps the most polarizing figure in the city of Huntington Beach. The same Russ Reinhart who orchestrated a massive smear campaign against then city councilmen Dave Sullivan and Tom Harmen simply because they wanted to stop the police departments massive misuse and abuse of the Cal pers retiremnet system. The same Russ Reinhart who supported and endorsed (with POA dollars) city council members and future felons to be Dave Garafalo and Pam Julien. Russ Reinhart has zero credibility in Huntington Beach as well as his home town of Alisio Viejo where he ran a losing campaign for city council. Capt. Russ also states that everyone feels sorry for Thomas and all he has had to go through with his family. Is that why your department tacked on the tinted window infraction during the holidays? Such compassion! I believe Ron Thomas when he says he committed no traffic infraction. As a 30 plus year resident of Huntington Beach I've seen first hand how the Huntington Beach Police Department conducts itself. Look for soft targets like homeless people. When a call is cleared, linger for an extra 45 minutes gossiping about fellow officers to avoid responding to the next call. Spend your on duty time settling vendettas against citizens who you have a beef with. That's the HBPD way! Pull motorists over for no reason and when no infraction can be found, make one up! If that citizen challenges a police officer in court, all the officer has to do is lie and the judge will always take the officers side. Here's one for all you HBPD trolls looking in on this topic. How do you suppose your star DUI enforcer, officer Roman Altenbach makes all those DUI arrests? I'll tell you. He makes illegal traffic stops, trumps up fake charges to cover up said traffic stops and then flat out lies in court. Roman Altenbach is meerly one of several criminal cops running loose on the streets of Huntington Beach. And no matter what crimes these officers committ, Capt. Russ will always be there to defend them. Yeah, I believe Ron Thomas on this one. The Huntington Beach Police Department has never given me any reason not to.

Heather McCoy
Heather McCoy

I had a run in with the Huntington Beach police..... A police car tail gated me..... Then speed past me in the line to the right, passes me then hits the breaks. I swerve into the next lane to avoid rear ending the cop car.... The cop gets behind me again....THEN he turns on his lights...... I pull over and he said I wasn't yielding to a cop siren........ Which wasn't on until after he slammed his breaks in front of me. HB cops are mostly buttholes.

Jeff Rey
Jeff Rey

the citation will be dropped

Terri Thaxton
Terri Thaxton

So, Mr. Thomas should have just rear-ended the person who slammed on his brakes?? WOW

gigi905
gigi905

Maybe if Ron was a cop. But he never was one. He is a dreamer.

roman_archer
roman_archer

Your screen name lead me to believe you might be a heroin dealer. But after reading your post, I think you may actually be a crack user.

dickbubkus
dickbubkus

@roman_archer You're kidding, right?  I think the last "day without a Mexican" went off without a hitch.  The streets were a lot safer, too.  Sorry.

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

The more you post, the dumber you sound.  


First, Deborah Courtney's hijacker group did not kick me out of the Minuteman Project.  When they attempted to steal it for their own financial greed, in my opinion, my corporate counsel took them into Superior Court and the judge and jury essentially sent them packing,empty-handed, and the Judge adjudicated that I was the founder and president of the Minuteman Project.


Deborah Courtney owes me and the Minuteman Project around $80,000 in court ordered penalties, which we intend to collect.  Maybe her good friend and "dirty" journalist Frank Mickadeit wil pay it for her?  After all, he wrote about six commentaries attributing all of her blatant lies as truth, knowing quite well that they were just rants of an angry girl friend of his.  


Mickadeit claimed in one of his commentaries that his friendship with Courtney went back several years.  Hmm….ya' think he sent her into my organization to disrupt the minuteman movement?  I guess we will never know.


Second, The rumors (yes, rumors) of embezzlement and criminal wrong-doings about me and my organization were deliberately spread by those failed hijackers when they realized they were not going to be able to hustle my organization from my control.  All of their accusations were bogus…I even challenged them in Superior Court on them and the judge agreed…there was not one shred of any kind of evidence whatsoever of embezzlement or wrong-doing on my part or the part of my associates in the Minuteman Project.  Yet, dirty journalist Frank Mickadeit continued writing commentaries that essentially tried to make it appear that they were true.


Courtney then went to the Dept of Justice and filed what my counsel calls a frivolous lawsuit against my organization and several other immigration law enforcement advocacy activist groups.  Actually, she named 32 separate defendants, including some of the nation's biggest organizations and their leaders who supported the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.


The federal court in Los Angeles repeatedly threw out her complaint, apparently because the Dept of Justice knew we 32 individuals and organizations had done nothing wrong.  The whole thing was really dumb, especially since the 32 defendants had more combined  financial resources than Fort Knox and could have kept her smothered in court proceedings for over twenty years.  Really, really dumb.


Finally, with respect to convicted murderer Shawna Forde, the Minuteman Project, as well as about a dozen other activist groups, simply posted her border reports that she emailed to all of us from her outpost position on the Arizona-Mexico border.  Forde ran her own group, called Minutemen American Defense.  Unfortunately, she apparently used the minuteman movement as a veil for her sinister agenda of robbing drug dealers of their cash and dope.


I've witnessed first hand the ugly consequences of witch-hunting, and that is exactly what you and your ilk will carry out against every cop in the country if you can.  That makes you no better than a bribe-taking politician, a drug-dealing cop, or a pedophile member of the clergy of local school district.  


You and your cultist affiliates want to build a false sense of trust among a naive public, only to eventually breach that trust by leading a lynch mob of murdering zombies to inflict a lethal dose of justice upon every cop from San Diego, Ca. to Brunswick, Maine. 


While you might retardedly think such action is a form of justifiable free speech, civilized people do not.  It is the conduct of an immature, criminal-minded cop-hater.  If the shoe fits……


You know, kid, if you were a combat veteran of one of our  country's wars, I might tread a bit lighter on your reputation.


But, you are not.  Like most raging, screaming, social maladroits, I doubt you could even convince the US Marine Corps to let you in….even if you begged.


Meanwhile, perhaps you should confer with your friends, Deborah Courtney and Frank Mickadeit, to see what other comments they want you to post on this blog.  :)  My personal advice, try thinking on your own, instead.


Jim Gilchrist, Founder and President, The Minuteman Project

bphood
bphood

@jimgilchristI love cops when they do a proper job...true life savers but we have courts for litigation and punishment Mr. Gilcrist. Mr. Thomas was murdered in my view and now its in the courts where it should be...I will live with the jury's verdict. What I don't get is all the coptroll attacks on the elder Thomas for being pissed off about it and attacking the family...makes the police look cruel and callous...like the video of kelly being tortured to death. I don't need to love or hate anyone who is getting paid to do a job. Your argument is childish making anyone who disagrees a hater of all police...not fair and not true.   

klmchale
klmchale

@jimgilchrist Mr. Gilchrist, you really have a lot of nerve preaching to a community  that you don't belong to, in light of your history.  You, sir, are certainly in no position to judge, let alone lecture people about how they should view law enforcement. Shall we talk about Shawna Forde?  Or maybe Deborah Courtney would like to jump in and address your many sins?  Or, how about the fact that your own group kicked you out with accusations of embezzlement?


I know that for an old bigot like you, thinking is not your strong suit, but for many of us, we don't "hate" cops.  But, when someone wears a badge and carries a gun, they should be held to a higher standard.  And, in the last couple of decades, those standards have been falling.  Between the drug wars and race-baiters, we now have more of a para-military law enforcement than peace officers.  They have completely lost sight of the motto, "To Protect and Serve". They concentrate far too much on drug crimes, to the detriment of other crime victims.  The whole "Blue Wall" thing has made communities not only not trust their law enforcement but become angry with them.  We have far too many people in prison, mostly for drug crime.  Police now view all citizens as suspects and citizens are now leery of their law enforcement.  Our communities of color are downright scared of the police and are not likely to report crime or be cooperative because the horrible treatment they receive.  


Another problem is that too many departments now have "SWAT" teams, which are far too expensive to upkeep and are usually not necessary.  The City of Fullerton has one, as they were proudly showing it off at Fullerton High School for a food truck fund raiser for the football team. They get these expensive teams and equipment from federal and state grants and from Homeland Security funding.  Add in that police departments need assets forfeitures from drug busts to help pad their funding when they continue to face budget cuts (and, remember, you do NOT have to be convicted of a drug crime, just arrested.)  This causes police departments to focus far more on busting for drugs when they think that there is going to be substantial assets that they can grab.  Many departments are just flat out breaking the laws and stealing from people on the flimsiest of excuses.  They have even fallen to the level of setting up "sobriety checkpoints", even though they are more interested in looking for contraband, cars that are not registered or other fines.


With all of this, our police departments have become deplorable.  These two cops are the epitome of what is wrong.  After Rodney King, we were told, "We will correct the problems."  But we all know that never happens, as we have witnessed with not just this case but with what happened with Sheriff Corona and now with Sheriff Baca's jail problem and his deplorable hiring practices.  The only problem that happens is that these guys get caught.  Now, there have been test runs in communities with officers wearing cameras.  Excessive force complaints plummeted in these test cases and relations between police and community improve.  It seems that when the officers know that they are wearing the cameras, they realize that they are being held accountable.  And it seems to be the push they need.  Add in better training, get rid of the older cops with bad attitudes and penalize anyone participating in "the blue wall" and I think you will see more respect towards peace officers.  But, when you keep cops like Ramos, where the whispers in the community have been that he is a bad guy with a nasty temper and a chip on his shoulder, or Cincinelli, who shouldn't even have been on the streets, since he was missing an eye and had been medically retired from LAPD for this injury, what do you want the community to do?  And then the community sees an email being past to other police departments, begging for donations for these two bad cops and that cops from these other departments actually gave them money for their defense, do you really expect the community to trust law enforcement?  


We. the civilians, are tired of being painted as the bad ones.  Cops know that this was a dangerous job when they took it.  So, seriously, I get a little tired of their whining about their job being tough.  You knew it was going to be.  But, if you want the community to support you, you really need to sit back and take a very long look at yourself and your fellow officers.  And think......when you protect bad cops, do you really think that the communities are going to trust you and support you?  Or that when you participate in drug raids that are bad or when people get killed when they are unarmed, do you really blame the communities for not being your biggest cheerleaders?  


As for Jim Gilchrist......he can shove it.

bphood
bphood

@wahinewarrior2000posing as a woman and hateful comments about the deceased family wont get you in the f...b...maybe you should shut up

roman_archer
roman_archer

If Kelly hated his dad so much, why was he repeatedly crying out for him as the life was being beaten out of him by several Fullerton police thugs? Ever think of that one genius?

roman_archer
roman_archer

Police trolls make the most unintelligent posts. Didn't they teach you more at those police training sessions you guys take at the local junior college? Sheesh!

gigi905
gigi905

So everything applies to everyone else, but Ron Thomas. Really?

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

"I pull over and he said I wasn't yielding to a cop siren".

If his siren wasn't on at the time that he pulled you over then the cop lied.

bphood
bphood

I think you meant "white folks" they have english as a second language classes at o.c.c. good luck poncho

wahinewarrior2000
wahinewarrior2000

Only if it was you.. money chaser..blood money,so you make money off the dead too? How'd that million you won from downey taste? From the hard working everyday people you stole from, while the cops are still on duty? Use your whistling corpse for something good, my gawd how do you sleep..I guess those with out conscience don't need.

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

@roman_archerArchie my man, its your lucky day, I can hook you up with both, hit me backat semfoteen seven six five  one nine uh oh, and I've got you covered.  Shit will get you sofa king straight.

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

@gigi905 Perhaps I should have stayed in the news reporting profession.  It is sorely lacking in character and integrity.  Witch-hunting and lynch mobs were never in my creed as a news journalist back in the early 70s.  But, I was not your typical journalist; I was a conscientious and professional one.


I think many of today's journalists are poorly paid (and rightfully so), and therefore disgruntled with their lot in life.  Many of them appear to be troubled spirits who want to pass on their misery to their readership.  No wonder newspaper subscriptions have nose-dived over the past few decades.


Corruption presents itself in all walks of life and journalists are not above immorality, unethical behavior, or even criminal conduct.  They just think they are immune to corruption.  Fat chance.


Jim Gilchrist, President, The Minuteman Project

gigi905
gigi905

Don't feel sorry for Ron Thomas. He has other interest. And it was never his son. The mom was smart. She got the million and ran. Just shows up In court once in awhile to show some tears.

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

@bphood @jimgilchrist 

Dear misinformed,

Most of the postings on this blog appear to be from persons who I think are the typical cop-haters I have met from time to time.


I guess you are an exception.  Congratulations.  


But, my argument did not portray all persons who disagree with police as cop-haters…only the ones that use hateful, ugly, vengeful jargon…like most of the posters on this blog.


Now, please grow up and stop acting so childish.  I promise Santa will bring you fresh diapers next Christmas. 


JG Minuteman Project

gigi905
gigi905

The only person who said he was an ex-sheriff was Ron Thomas and the media ran with it. It makes for a better story that cops killed an ex-cop's son.

gigi905
gigi905

You mean the Police Academy@ the college. Yes, the best one in Orange County.

roman_archer
roman_archer

Wahinewarrior2000, please in the future, wait at least one hour for your medication to kick in before you post. We'll be able to understand you much better!

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

@bphood @jimgilchrist  Just another propaganda piece of non-credible journalism here.  The first casualty of a journalist's propaganda is the truth.  The next casualty is the victim of a witch-hunting lynch mob.


However, on the brighter side here is that the two Fullerton P, D, officers on trial will never get a fair trial.  All the cop-hating tripe from both dirty journalists and bloggers will probably guarantee that any conviction would be from a tainted jury wholly incapable of delivering a decision other than "guilty".


If such injustice occurs, then hopefully an appeals court will easily overturn the conviction and justice will be properly served.


Then, perhaps the decedent's family will just cut to the chase and settle for a multi-million dollar tax-free civil payoff and enjoy their taxpayer funded award.  



Jim Gilchrist, Founder and President, The Minuteman Project

bphood
bphood

@jimgilchrist@bphoodthis post is from a cop with his dash cam off...who else would write this kind of drivel.


"Did Ron Thomas Do Everything Humanly Possible to Keep Kelly Off The Streets and Directed Towards Treatment".

Well obviously no because he wasn't with Kelly that night.  But he sure does know lawsuits and victimization when they can profit him.


See how a speculative open ended headline can be used to advance a particular slant to the story?


I know its a sadistic cop that wrote it because kellys dad has crossed the blue line and only a cop would give a shit. Thats the kind of cop I hate....also a question for you....does your car have a sunroof or do you take the klan hat off when you drive? jerk off

roman_archer
roman_archer

I was going to reply "it's on the audio tape", then I realized that you were replying to wahinewarrior2000. Wahinewarrior2000 is currently attending their anger management class. They are unavailable for comment. I can however answer that question for wahinewarrior2000. No, I have no proof at all. I was talking out of my ass............again.

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