As the news of Officer Michael Slager being charged with murder after video footage surfaced showing him shoot 50-year-old Walter Scott in the back took over the internet, social media became flooded with cheers of “Justice! Finally.” It was almost as if nobody remembered the case of Kelly Thomas.
In the United States, cops can viciously kill another human being on video, be charged with murder, have seemingly no chance of walking, and then walk free.
On July 5, 2011, six Fullerton police officers committed one of the most heinous and despicable murders in memory.
Kelly Thomas was an unarmed, schizophrenic, homeless man who was savagely beaten to death by the deranged Officers Jay Cicinelli, Manuel Ramos, Joe Wolfe, Kenton Hampton, James Blatney, and Sergeant Kevin Craig. The entire encounter was captured on a haunting video, those who have seen it, will never forget it.
“Now you see these fists?” Ramos asked while snapping on a pair of latex gloves.
“Yeah, what about them?” Thomas asked.
“They are getting ready to fuck you up,” said the Officer Ramos before pummeling the life out of his eyes.
During the nine minute long attack, Kelly pleads with the officers for his life repeatedly while calling out for his father 31 times. He was beaten, tased, and hit with the back of taser as he apologized and begged for mercy. He eventually succumbs to the violence and is left in the road dying. Medics who arrive are told to treat the minor scrape on Officer Ramos’ elbow before even being notified of Kelly helplessly lying unconscious. He never regained consciousness and was removed from life support five days later.
Ramos, 39, was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault under color of authority.
The jury, even after seeing the nightmare video, bought the argument made by the prosecution that the unarmed Thomas posed a threat to six armed officers. They were found not guilty on all counts. Charges against a third officer were dropped due to the outcome in Ramos and Cicinelli’s trial.
It has been nearly four years and there has been no justice. No civil rights charges from the Department of Justice, nothing.
Don’t celebrate “justice” just yet.