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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by sealevel View Post
    Thanks for that. It definitely is the same guy, I recognized him from the picture. We all felt so sorry for him at the time. I remember hearing that he had always wanted to be a cop, and he was completely devastated that it was not going to happen. He was fortunate enough to get a second chance and this is the kind of cop he chose to be. It makes me feel physically ill to think that he was capable of this kind of horror.
    He must have some unresolved anger issues. Why, in God's name, would they have this guy on the streets?


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  3. #62
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    The following is a must read bc California is not the only state facing this problem. The deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill during 60s resulted in thousands of mentally ill people being turned out into the streets. The original goal was lofty—create half-way houses to help reintegrate them back into society. Unfortunately, such a goal required money. Over time, jails and prisons have become the new asylums. That, or you get incredibly tragic cases such as this.

    The California Mental Health System and the Death of Mentally Ill Kelly Thomas
    DJ Jaffe, Founder, Mental Illness Policy Org.
    Huffington Post, 8/4/11 10:33 AM ET

    In California, it is playing out with relentless familiarity: the death of Kelly Thomas at the hands of Fullerton police has led to the usual criticisms of the police and calls for better training and more compassion.

    But Carla Jacobs, founder of the California Treatment Advocacy Coalition founder, and California's most astute mental illness advocate, notes in an interview that while police could always use better training in how to handle dangerous mentally ill individuals, the police are not always the villains: "When it comes to treating people with the most serious mental illnesses, the police will react where California's mental health system won't. Police are almost never out on a call regarding mental illness unless one condition is met: the mentally ill person has been abandoned by the mental health system. That's when they deteriorate, become psychotic, delusional and dangerous."

    That happens too often. Ms. Jacobs remembers when mentally ill Edward Charles Allaway killed seven individuals on the Fullerton campus of California. "It was police who tracked him down." Ms. Jacobs' own sister-in-law was abandoned by the mental health system and shot her mother. Again: the police stepped in.

    Full article: click here

    That said, imho, we, as a society, really do need to do more than *just* apply the band-aid (punishing the officers) to the symptom (death of an untreated mentally ill individual). Sadly, there are a number of dynamics that play into these sorts of tragedies. And they involve everything from lack of appropriate training, to job-related stress, to instinctive flight/fight responses in the face of threatening behavior, to a sort of pack-like mentality. These ingredients together make for a volatile, and in this case, deadly situation.

    This is not to say these men should not be punished. In fact, afaics, the full force of the law should come into play where they are concerned. But let's go further than punishment. Let's take a look at what we, as a society, can do to prevent these sorts of tragedies.


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  5. #63
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    :-(

    No one deserves this.

    RIP Kelly Thomas.

    Such a very unfortunate turn of events, I am speechless.

    My father is homeless; & he's probably considered to be crazy too...

    He wasn't a big fella... :-(

    RIP Kelly Thomas.
    “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”~Oscar Wilde


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  7. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinsamd View Post
    No one deserves this.
    I completely agree. Mentally ill or not, I can see no reason whatsoever that justifies LE wailing on a person. As for the term, crazy? I must admit, I am not "crazy" about that characterization of a person who struggles with mental illness. Simply bc it dilutes the reality of their situation—that they are struggling, that their quality of life is impaired—and also, to some degree, demeans them as human... as someone worthy of our compassion.


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  9. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowraiths View Post
    The following is a must read bc California is not the only state facing this problem. The deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill during 60s resulted in thousands of mentally ill people being turned out into the streets. The original goal was lofty—create half-way houses to help reintegrate them back into society. Unfortunately, such a goal required money. Over time, jails and prisons have become the new asylums. That, or you get incredibly tragic cases such as this.

    The California Mental Health System and the Death of Mentally Ill Kelly Thomas
    DJ Jaffe, Founder, Mental Illness Policy Org.
    Huffington Post, 8/4/11 10:33 AM ET

    In California, it is playing out with relentless familiarity: the death of Kelly Thomas at the hands of Fullerton police has led to the usual criticisms of the police and calls for better training and more compassion.

    But Carla Jacobs, founder of the California Treatment Advocacy Coalition founder, and California's most astute mental illness advocate, notes in an interview that while police could always use better training in how to handle dangerous mentally ill individuals, the police are not always the villains: "When it comes to treating people with the most serious mental illnesses, the police will react where California's mental health system won't. Police are almost never out on a call regarding mental illness unless one condition is met: the mentally ill person has been abandoned by the mental health system. That's when they deteriorate, become psychotic, delusional and dangerous."

    That happens too often. Ms. Jacobs remembers when mentally ill Edward Charles Allaway killed seven individuals on the Fullerton campus of California. "It was police who tracked him down." Ms. Jacobs' own sister-in-law was abandoned by the mental health system and shot her mother. Again: the police stepped in.

    Full article: click here

    That said, imho, we, as a society, really do need to do more than *just* apply the band-aid (punishing the officers) to the symptom (death of an untreated mentally ill individual). Sadly, there are a number of dynamics that play into these sorts of tragedies. And they involve everything from lack of appropriate training, to job-related stress, to instinctive flight/fight responses in the face of threatening behavior, to a sort of pack-like mentality. These ingredients together make for a volatile, and in this case, deadly situation.

    This is not to say these men should not be punished. In fact, afaics, the full force of the law should come into play where they are concerned. But let's go further than punishment. Let's take a look at what we, as a society, can do to prevent these sorts of tragedies.
    Mental illness and the justice system is an issue that is near and dear to my heart, so i completely understand the sentiment and thrust of your post and concur this is a serious issue.

    To take it a step further, I don't expect any training can prepare officers to immediately evaluate the mental capacity of an individual when they are trying to subdue him or her in the middle of a hostile, escalating situation. They must often react within seconds and do what is necessary to stop the perpetrator and protect the public.

    But this situation boils down to nothing more than the brutal beating of a man and the fact that he was mentally ill is almost irrelevant. IOW, if he was not mentally ill and was trying to avoid arrest,the actions of these officers would be equally as shocking, disturbing and criminal.

    jmho of course.


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  11. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy1 View Post
    He must have some unresolved anger issues. Why, in God's name, would they have this guy on the streets?
    I didn't know him very well, but I know that there was a lot of bitterness directed towards the LAPD, because they were giving him a very hard time about giving him compensation. I remember that our complex manager contacted the owner of our building, who told her to stop charging him rent for a couple of months while he was recovering. We were all pretty shocked because it was obvious that he had been severely injured in the line of duty, no matter how long he had been on the streets. It seemed very unfair that he was having to deal with a devastating physical injury and also having to fight for money to live. I can imagine that it caused lingering resentment in him, but I don't how that would have translated to him becoming a brutal cop when he did get a second chance.


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  13. #67
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    Has anyone seen any reports on the protests that were planned for today?


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  15. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowraiths View Post
    I completely agree. Mentally ill or not, I can see no reason whatsoever that justifies LE wailing on a person. As for the term, crazy? I must admit, I am not "crazy" about that characterization of a person who struggles with mental illness. Simply bc it dilutes the reality of their situation—that they are struggling, that their quality of life is impaired—and also, to some degree, demeans them as human... as someone worthy of our compassion.
    Absolutely!

    My dad is bipolar.

    This past January we got him into his own apartment, things went well for a few months until he abandoned it for life back out on the streets.

    He's been arrested several times since then & no one knows where he is.

    However, should anything like this have occurred I'd be doing exactly what Kelly's father is.
    “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”~Oscar Wilde


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  17. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by defense101 View Post
    Has anyone seen any reports on the protests that were planned for today?
    Yes I think several hundred turned out to demand the resignation of the COP. I'll look for some links for you.


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  19. #70
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    Hundreds protest death of Kelly Thomas
    FULLERTON – Hundreds of protesters rallied Saturday outside the Fullerton Police Department, demanding answers and resignations because of the death of a mentally ill man after a violent confrontation with officers.
    The protest was peaceful, but it was also loud and angry, with signs denouncing the death of Kelly Thomas as murder and chants calling for justice. Police closed a street next to the police station to make way for the protesters but otherwise stayed away.
    http://www.ocregister.com/news/thoma...ath-kelly.html


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  21. #71
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    From the above linked article:

    His father, Ron, said the protest shows that people are not backing down in their demand for answers, more than a month after his son's death. He said he wants criminal charges against the officers involved in what he called a hate crime against the mentally ill, to include capital murder.
    While my heart goes out to Mr. Thomas, imho, he appears to be engaging in post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning. That is, unless there is proof that LE knew his son was mentally ill and were specifically gunning for him, I do not see how hate crime charges would even be considered. Moreover, if they do charge these guys, I personally think they'll go for something like involuntary manslaughter. But that is just a guess. Obviously. I am not a lawyer.

    That said, I am not sure focusing purely upon the man's mental illness is necessarily wise. While his illness arguably explained his behavior, in a 20/20 hindsight sort of way, and while untreated mentally ill street people are most certainly at increased risk of violent encounters (which is an issue that is certainly important to address), the outrage, imho, should be about LE wailing on a guy and repeatedly tasering him. Whether he died or not. Whether he was mentally ill or not. Otherwise put, to my mind, this is not a case of undue excessive force, it is a case of police brutality. Pure and simple. And I really do hope people do not lose sight of this fact.


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  23. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowraiths View Post
    Otherwise put, to my mind, this is not a case of undue excessive force, it is a case of police brutality. Pure and simple. And I really do hope people do not lose sight of this fact.
    Oh my, no disrespect, but I am trying to wrap my head around the difference between undue excessive force and police brutality. Whatever we call it, it resulted in the man being beaten to a degree that resulted in his death, beaten even when, from some accounts, hogtied and already unconscious. To speak to Mr. Thomas's point of view, I think that in a city of it's size, there is no way that at lease one, and likely more, of these officers did not know Kelly Thomas and were aware of his illness, and the fact that he was relatively harmless. This just underscores, to me, the heinous nature of what they did to him. He and others had a fear of these men in uniform, for good reason, apparently. Not indicting all officers, but this group might have been a perfect storm waiting to happen. IMO, it was murder, but they won't be charged with that, even by FBI, unless witnesses provide overwhelming evidence that Kelly was indeed sitting quietly on a bench when they accosted him, and one allegedly put on leather gloves and said something to the effect "these are the hands that are going to kick your ass." If true, it's a sad statement about this officer's mindset, and the group behavior that followed. All MOO.
    Last edited by redmeli; 08-07-2011 at 06:56 AM. Reason: Nonsensical sentence
    "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." ~Oscar Wilde


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  25. #73
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    I wonder if the police chief is trying to stall, hoping the protests die down and everyone forgets about the incident. He was stone-faced at the council meeting and has had nothing to say, and took what seemed like forever to remove these cops from active duty.

    I believe these cops should be indicted for manslaughter, at least, but I'm not hopeful that any of them will be held to account in the end.

    I have heard that the video they're not releasing is plain as day, and shows them beating the hell out of Thomas after he stopped resisting. That's the gist of what I'm hearing from local radio.

    Two city council members have now called for the chief to step down. Three are needed to initiate proceedings against him, however.

    I am troubled by the reported close friendship the chief and his wife have with the DA's investigator, and the conflict of interest that arises. I don't know if this investigator is in charge of this case. John and Ken have mentioned this on their show.


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  27. #74
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    I am originally from Los Angeles and lived in Fullerton while attending CSUF (and for 10 years after graduating). I am completely shocked and appalled about what went down at the Fullerton Bus Depot. Why on earth were there so many police needed at the scene of this suspected petty crime? Not enough crime to keep them busy? Was the recent LA-transplant psychologically fit to return to duty after being shot (or even before?). It makes absolutely no sense that this was the approach taken to a call about possible vehicle vandalism at the Fullerton Bus Depot. The tragic result makes even less sense.

    I am normally so pro-LE, but I'm crying and pissed off after seeing the photos of Kelly and hearing the bystanders on the YouTube video describe their confusion and outrage over the fatal beating that unarmed, schizophrenic Kelly had to endure (while screaming for his dad; heart-wrenching).

    Haven't heard or read the PD's response to the public outcry yet; afraid it will get me all riled up again. Trying to remain objective, but can't imagine anything that they propagate will change my mind that this is an absolute outrage and every police officer present at the scene should be dishonorably discharged from the force immediately (at the very least)...

    It should be helpful that Kelly's dad is retired PD; he will likely know effective ways to pursue justice for Kelly without, hopefully, putting non-involved good police officers on the firing line too. Just like with Rodney King, I can't understand why not even one of the police officers took a major stand against this violence IMMEDIATELY upon subduing the man and determining he was unarmed. In Kelly's case, he was also very slight in build and obviously scared (he was calling for his dad, FFS).

    I will be following this case, but my heart rate is already through the roof on this one.
    Last edited by yllek; 08-07-2011 at 11:56 AM. Reason: clarification
    My opinions only, with respect to all those whose opinions differ


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  29. #75
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeFromLB View Post
    I wonder if the police chief is trying to stall, hoping the protests die down and everyone forgets about the incident.
    Apparently so, and the OC Register initially gave scant information about the true nature of the incident. It has taken 1 month for this story to reach mainstream media. If not for the Friends for Fullerton's Future (http://www.fullertonsfuture.org/) web site, we still might not know about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeFromLB View Post
    I am troubled by the reported close friendship the chief and his wife have with the DA's investigator, and the conflict of interest that arises. I don't know if this investigator is in charge of this case. John and Ken have mentioned this on their show.
    This is a big concern. I believe the informant on John and Ken said that this DA is known for not pursuing charges against LE. I hope the FBI investigation will force someone's hand locally to pursue charges.

    I am on the East Coast, and usually just scroll and roll, but this case has shaken me to the core. It could have been my mentally ill relative, or anyone's son or daughter, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Peace to all.
    "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." ~Oscar Wilde


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