Actual arrest starts at about 14 minutes in, or you can watch a shorter version of the video here.
Today was the first day of the preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to try Fullerton, CA police officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli in the July 5, 2011 beating death of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless schizophrenic man. For those of you not familiar with this story, wikipedia offers a number of links. The surveillance video was released for the first time today, along with gruesome photos of what Kelly looked like after Manuel Ramos made good on his promise to “fuck him up” with his latex-covered fists.
But here’s all you really need to know. Kelly, a gentle soul who posed zero – let me repeat that - zero - threat to police or the community, was tortured for more than five minutes and then left in the gutter to die. By six fat fucking pigs (sorry, but I am not going to mince words here) who beat him with their sticks, tased him, suffocated him. And then called paramedics to come and give them bandaids for their scratches while Kelly lay forgotten.
A fire department captain testified today that until he arrived, nothing was being done for Kelly, who by then was unconscious (he never regained consciousness; his parents took him off life support five days later):
Capt. Rob Stancyk of the Fullerton Fire Department testified that seven or eight Fullerton police officers were standing around a bus depot when paramedics arrived, about 15 feet from Thomas, who he said was lying on the ground.
“Nothing was being done,” Stancyk said.
Stancyk testified that initially the officers on the scene were complaining about their injuries, but that then he turned and saw Thomas on the ground, barely breathing.
I watched the short version of this video (haven’t made it through the long one yet; afraid I will puke). And I saw a big thug begin to humiliate and threaten someone who didn’t stand a chance, someone who was going to get the crap beat out of him no matter what he said, no matter whether he figured out how to comply with the thug’s orders or not.
My recent interactions with cops at Occupy have given me this sixth sense for when they are about to get out of control. You can feel it coming. They turn into animals. They pile on. There are six grown men here and every single one of them does nothing but make the situation worse. They should all be charged with Kelly’s death.
I have never held cops in much regard; my mother was a police dispatcher in a small town and she used to get them to follow me around, back when I was a juvenile delinquent. Now that I am a grown-up delinquent, I like them even less. I know there have always been bad cops (Mr. HFC watches Police Story reruns every night and it’s a running theme), but it seems like now there are so few good ones. Or at least any that will draw the line at nearly beating to death a skinny, homeless man calling out for his dad, and then leaving him to die while they lick their wounds. Any one of those fucking monsters could have attempted to calm the situation and make sure that Kelly was able to breathe. Are they really that big of pussies that it takes all six of them to arrest someone?
I’d also like to challenge the idea that the minute the police make contact with you, you somehow become their slave and you must do every single thing they say to keep from being beaten to death. Go limp, don’t struggle, even with six thugs sitting on you and twisting your limbs around. Try to imagine what your reaction might be to a cop telling you he’s going to fuck you up with his fists, when you’ve never posed any threat to him. Try to imagine the terror you must feel when he calls in his fellow subhumans and they beat you and tase you and wrestle you to the ground and sit on you. Now add some mental illness to the mix.
And people wonder why we have a weekly Fuck the Police march here in Oakland.