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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Police State and Prisons
Fullerton Police Cheif, D.A. Cover Up Kelly Thomas Death from Police Beating
The death of homeless man Kelly Thomas at the hands of Fullerton police following a severe beating remains "uncertain", according to the Orange County coroner. When a human is beaten into a coma by a gang of cops and then dies only a few days later in the hospital, we can only "guess" at what happened (DUH!). However, it appears that the Orange County D.A. investigator Stan Berry is close friends with Fullerton police chief Sellers, this could explain the "uncertainty" coming from the OC coroner and the D.A's failure to contact eyewitnesses present when Kelly Thomas was beaten by Fullerton police.
"We may have figured out why it took the District Attorney investigators three weeks to start talking to witnesses on the Kelly Thomas police beating case…
According to this unsigned note that just came in to our website, Chief Sellers is a close personal friend of DA investigator Stan Berry, who was immediately assigned to the high-profile Fullerton case:
I suggest you check into the connection between Investigator Berry and FPD Chief Sellers. Sellers hired Berry when he was the Chief at Seal Beach PD. Sellers and his wife Rita Fraser-Sellers, are close personal friends with Berry and his wife, Kristen Berry, the Dispatch Supervisor in Seal Beach. They socialize together, vacation together and entertain each other in their respective homes.
Of all the DA investigators, why choose Berry, other than he will help cover for his friend.
Presumably that case assignment was a decision made by the DA Tony Rackauckas. I have confirmed that Berry worked as an investigator under Chief Sellers for the Seal Beach Police Department.
As for as the familial socializing, entertaining and vacationing together…maybe the Chief can clear that one up for us.
If our informant is correct, this would be a huge conflict of interest in a very high-profile investigation.
•One officer supposedly beat Kelly Thomas with the butt of his Taser until blood started coming up all over the officer’s arms and hands.
•Another officer supposedly drop knees Kelly Thomas’ nose and throat with the full force of his body weight multiple times, crushing the victim’s throat.
•This happened while Kelly Thomas was not moving or resisting.
I’ve just heard from Mark Turgeon, an eye witness in the Kelly Thomas police beating death that he has NOT been contacted by the Orange County District Attorney’s office. You may remember that the District Attorney is supposed to be investigating the horrific incident.
Since the event happened almost three weeks ago, this is rather disturbing. This individual was immediately questioned by Fullerton police so there is no reason that the DA doesn’t have the ability to follow up with a crucial witness.
You may remember that the Coroner has already said that the cause of death is uncertain.
So what gives?"
"A video has surfaced that documents Fullerton police beating a homeless man near the Fullerton Bus Depot in early July, reports Gawker. The video above does not show much of the fight, but you can hear a man's screams and people talking about a Taser. The man being beaten also cries out for his father.
On July 5, Fullerton police received reports of someone breaking into cars in the area around the bus depot, according to the LA Times. Police subsequently tried to arrest 37-year-old transient Kelly Thomas on suspicion of possessing the stolen items.
When Thomas resisted, it took several minutes for him to be subdued. Sgt. Andrew Goodrich told the OC Register that it took "an upwards of five, maybe six officers to subdue him."
ABC says that Thomas was unarmed during the incident. Thomas sustained severe injuries to the head and neck, as evidenced in the photo here (WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC). He was hospitalized at UCI Medical Center, when he fell into a coma and died less than a week later.
Thomas' father Ron Thomas told the OC Register that his son had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in his early twenties and was homeless by choice. His sister, Christina Kinser, described him as a "quiet, gentle soul" to Fullerton Stories.
Currently, the Fullerton Police Department is performing an inquiry into the incident, and the case is being examined by the Orange County District Attorney's office, reports the LA Times. There have been several protests, and a vigil for Kelly was held in downtown Fullerton, the OC Register tells us.
In an open letter, City Council Member Bruce Whitaker has called for the police to offer a clear explanation and to release a video that apparently shows the actual beating."
We the people employ the police to "serve and protect", so then what good are the police if the end result is severe beatings of homeless people that result in coma and death. Who will protect people from those who are employed to protect the people?
As a previous job i worked in a psychiatric hospital as a psychiatric technician (aka orderly), and frequently we needed to restrain mentally ill clients who were a "danger to themselves or others". In many cases this was true and some restraint was needed. However, even when we were short staffed, we NEVER EVER BEAT THE MENTALLY ILL CLIENTS WHILE RESTRAINING THEM!!!
So how is it that only four poorly trained psych techs can manage to restrain large and strong schizophrenics WITHOUT CAUSING HARM TO THEM (or ourselves) while five or six well trained police officers manage to BEAT A MUCH SMALLER WEAKER MENTALLY ILL HOMELESS MAN TO DEATH??!!
INCOMPETENCE AND WILLFUL IGNORANCE WITH A SEVERE STREAK OF SADISM!!
This sort of behavior by the Fullerton police officers who attacked and beat Kelly Thomas to death shows that they lack basic understanding of their job requirement and should NEVER BE EMPLOYED AS POLICE AGAIN!! Nor should they work in any "direct contact" job such as detention, psych hospitals or prisons. This overkill beating of Kelly Thomas exposes these individual Fullerton police officers as sadists in the worst form, using the power of their uniform to brutally beat the life out of a mentally ill homeless man. If i were the "head cracker in charge", i would call for Old Testament style retribution and lay these individual Fullerton police thugs responsible for the beating to rest myself. I'll answer to God alone for my actions!
Why can't police officers learn to use the baskethold technique we learned in one day during our two week training to become psych techs? Really it isn't that hard, with five or six officers present there is NO EXCUSE not to use these usually safe techniques. Since Kelly Thomas was a human and not an octopus, it follows that he only had four limbs. That means one officer holds down each limb until he calms down, and the fifth officer holds his head to prevent him from banging his head. That is the procedure we followed in the psych hospital to prevent injuries to staff AND clients. Really folks, this isn't rocket science and there is no reason on Earth that Kelly Thomas needed to be beaten to death by these police thugs.
There are and will be more mentally ill homeless in our society as cultural isolation leads to increasing symptoms of paranoia and depression. Our society is structured towards isolation, and this feeds into the development of mental illness, especially in the homeless population. So the police in Fullerton and elsewhere will regularly encounter the mentally ill in growing numbers. Why not take a few weeks extra and train the police to use safe restraint techniques as we learned as psych techs? Why are police unable or unwilling to recognize that proper restraint techniques do NOT involve beating someone to death!?