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IPFS News Link • Police Brutality and Militarization

Family Gets $4.9M After Cops Beat Mentally Ill Son to Death on Video and Walked Free

• By William N. Grigg

Thomas, a homeless man who suffered from schizophrenia, was beaten into a coma by a thugscrum of six police officers on the evening of July 5, 2011. Video recordings of the assault captured the anguished screams of the helpless, unarmed, 160-pound man as he was slugged, kicked, tasered, and clubbed as the attackers bellowed, "Stop resisting!" With his last words Kelly pleaded for his father Ron Thomas, a retired sheriff's deputy. Left brain-dead by the gang beating, Kelly was removed from life support a few days later. 

The lead assailants, Manuel Ramos and Jay Cincinelli, were acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and second-degree murder by an Orange County jury in January 2014. Several defense witnesses, including Fullerton Corporal Stephen Rubio, described the lethal behavior of the officers as compatible with the department's use-of-force policy.

"These peace officers did their jobs — they did what they were trained to do," insisted John Barnett, the police union lawyer who represented Ramos during the trial. Michael D. Schwartz, who represented Cincinelli, likewise insisted that the pitiless assault on Thomas was carried out in strict fidelity to the "training" the officers had received.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Martin
Entered on:

Wonder how much of the $4.9M will go towards the extermination of cops? I'm guessing zero. The whole good cop/bad cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone's anecdote about his Uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) a cop's job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) therefore every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops. ~Robert Higgs

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