With greater and greater frequency I am reading about horrific stories of police misconduct. The worst of it is that these officers act as if they are above the law. The worst offender’s are typically Police and not Sheriff’s Deputies. The militarization of American law enforcement is the apparent culprit. In 1972 there were some 200 SWAT raids, last year the number was over 50000. With militarization comes the inevitable us v. them attitude. Law enforcement see’s itself not as part of the citizenry but apart from it.
I am writing today about the killing of Kelly Thomas. Thomas was homeless. Thomas was a schizophrenic with some severe cognitive issues. Ramos knew Thomas from several previous interactions with him. Ramos knew Thomas was a threat to no one. Officer Ramos targeted Thomas. Officer Ramos found Thomas, and used a pretext to set into motion a series of events that lead to his death. The chief one being the brutal beating of Thomas, whom Ramos outweighed by 80 pounds and got an assist from five other officers.
The killing of Kelly Thomas by Fullerton police in 2011 was a brutal affair, DA Raukaukas provides a apt description of the events in the video above. Thomas was threatened by a cop who knew him. Thomas was killed by a cop who previously had told his fellow cops that he was angling to get Thomas. Immediately prior to the beating Officer Ramos, who lead the charge to destroy Thomas had this interchange with Thomas.
Ramos: You see these fists
Thomas: Yeah, what about them
Ramos: They’re getting ready to fuck you up!
An officer of the law in America is behaving like some thug from the worst third world dictatorship. This did not make headlines across the nation? We have been seeing a gradual rise in such violence over the years. Like the frog who is slowly boiled … we missed the fact that somewhere along the line, we the People of The United States have been cooked.
Kelly Thomas is heard clearly pleading for the police to stop. He is clearly not a threat. He is begging for help, and Ramos was only hitting him all the harder for it. Some of his last words were to his father, …
‘Daddy, help! They’re killing me!’
We as a nation have become numb to the brutality and the lethality of our own law enforcement. The Fourth Estate has been by and large asleep at the switch, kudos to CNN for reporting on this incident. Several questions come to mind. The first is why were only two officers charged in the killing of Thomas? The video shows six police offers beating and tazing him? The second one being why are the police involved in this event not fired from the force? The media have been co-opted completely by one party and have bought into the narrative that the job of Law Enforcement is becoming ever more dangerous. It is safer being a law enforcement officer today than it ever has been
Forty-six officers were killed in traffic related accidents, and 33 were killed by firearms. The number of firearms deaths fell 33 percent in 2013 and was the lowest since 1887
What we have however is the number of American’s killed by the policing is hovering at over 400. More people have been killed in the US since 9/11 by the police than solders in the Middle East by the Taliban. The police are supposed to be a force for justice, and should be our protectors. This is not the case. The result has been a number of tragedies as innocents are ground under the excessive force wielded by the state. Looking at Kelly Thomas’ face one can see what happens to you when the state is running amok.