The Orange County Register Urges the Public to Not Believe Its Own Eyes

[Moxley Confidential] Bootlicking 101, using the now-infamous Kelly Thomas video

Sometimes, you just have to laugh in disgust at The Orange County Register's coverage of critical issues.

Take, for example, Register front page columnist David Whiting's May 9 story on the newly released, alarming surveillance video of the July 5, 2011, gruesome demise of Kelly Thomas during an encounter with Fullerton police. Whiting, who has reflexively taken the side of the police in all prior columns, begins his latest essay by assuring his readers that he thinks the video "is deeply disturbing." He reports the footage made him "grimace," even conceding that "the video looks and sounds really bad for the officers."

But because Whiting sees himself as the grown-up in media circles, he continues to urge the public to adopt what I'll call the Vulcan approach to the unnecessary killing of Thomas. In other words, dear citizenry, please behave as though you are the character Spock on Star Trek and repress all the emotion—especially if it's anger—that wells up in your soul when you see life savagely taken from an unarmed, homeless, 37-year-old man.

Scene of the crime: mind-numbingly stupid policing
Joshua Sudok/OC Register Pool photography
Scene of the crime: mind-numbingly stupid policing
Cicinelli: "I just started smashing his face to hell"
Joshua Sudok/OC Register Pool photography
Cicinelli: "I just started smashing his face to hell"
A still from the video of Fullerton police officers beating Kelly Thomas
Joshua Sudok/OC Register Pool photography
A still from the video of Fullerton police officers beating Kelly Thomas

Despite their pleas for caution, Whiting and the Register have found their own anger—and it's not at what was done to Thomas. It's directed at other news organizations, such as "ABC and CBS News," because, according to Whiting, they outrageously labeled the video "Beating death of Kelly Thomas." That innocuous description during broadcasts left him "troubled" because he believes it's not fair to the cops accused of horrific police brutality.

In Whiting's world, we can't know the identity of Thomas' killers for two reasons. First, the coroner didn't tell us. Second, the cops "are presumed innocent until proven guilty." See? Even though we've all seen the video, we have to wait until other people decide for us what to think.

"Perhaps to suggest a more neutral term sounds too genteel in an age of Twitter rants," Whiting opined. "But we only know from the coroner's autopsy what [his emphasis] killed Thomas—not who [his emphasis] or exactly how [his emphasis] he was killed."

The Reg scribe needs to get more experience covering criminal trials. By its very nature, a coroner's report never concludes who [my emphasis] is the killer. The report merely describes the condition of a dead body.

Yes, boys and girls, officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli can't be considered officially guilty until the criminal-justice system slams that label on their foreheads. If you graduated from the fifth grade, you know the civics lesson. Nevertheless, Whiting has now made the point in at least five separate Kelly Thomas columns. According to a Nexis check of his work, he's never issued the same public reminder for non-cop criminal defendants.

Let's further explore the notion of innocent until proven guilty. It doesn't just extend to arrested cops, does it? Thomas had not been proven guilty of any crime—not even jaywalking—when the group of Fullerton cops acted as judge, jury and executioners.

Let's also not lose sight of some ugly key facts. In addition to unnecessarily pulverizing Thomas' face, those cops literally beat the shit out of him. As audio recordings prove, the officers also repeatedly laughed as they stood over their unconscious victim. When the paramedics arrived, the cops demanded that their minor scratches be treated before giving medical assistance to the person with the bloody, crushed, dying body.

Given what I've seen covering Orange County juries for nearly 17 years, I don't know if District Attorney Tony Rackauckas can convert his passion to win justice for Thomas into convictions against Ramos for second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter for Cicinelli. Historically, our neighbors have extended incredibly generous latitude for police officers to do whatever they damn well please, especially if the victim—as in this case—is a member of the county's poor underclass. (If you doubt me, Google my name and "David Alex Park.")

I also have lingering questions about Rackauckas' decision to not charge a few of the other intensely involved officers with at least an excessive-force count. The DA's theory holds Ramos primarily accountable for the killing because of the words he uttered at the outset of the escalating affair. His fists were prepared to "fuck you up," the cocky cop said before the assault.

Cicinelli's actions were much worse than Ramos' words. The one-eyed cop repeatedly slammed the butt of his Taser into an already-subdued Thomas' face. The excuse here is that officers in California can legally use all force necessary to eliminate a physical threat. I've heard of people being physically afraid of a weapon or a fist or a foot, but not a face.

An audio recording of the killing captured Cicinelli uttering these words to his colleagues at the scene: "I, I, I ran out. . . . We ran out of options, so I got the end of my Taser and I probably . . . I just started smashing his face to hell."

Hand me the verdict form.

The admission—likely delivered while Cicinelli forgot police recording devices were active—demonstrates the mindset of these cops. Besides causing serious wounds to Thomas, the face-smashing had another result. It stopped him from continuing to plead for help in hopes that someone civilized might appear on the scene to rescue him.

Except perhaps over at Register headquarters, we all know the answer to this question: At least a half-dozen, fully armed, veteran cops—supposedly with extensive training in de-escalating situations and subduing people—honestly ran out of options with a relatively petite, unarmed, homeless man who didn't initiate the violence?

Let's place a call to the Orange County Sheriff's Regional Training Facility for rookie cops and ask to see the textbook chapter on smashing faces to hell.

That really won't be necessary, will it? Despite Whiting's bootlicking and handwringing and the clever gobbledygook of high-priced defense lawyers, Thomas did not die because he fearfully tried to flee violence-hungry cops. He prematurely died because some immature officers believed they were free to inflict whatever damage they wished on a defenseless human being—and that no one would hold them accountable for being thugs.

 

This article appeared in print as "Cop Beat: The Orange County Register can't stop defending the Fullerton cops who beat Kelly Thomas to death."

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45 comments
lambright
lambright

we need to change this and I have the answer.  OCTimes.com is for  sale.  contact me 415 8002856 its on ebay, ends aug 25th.

Soho_d J
Soho_d J

The O.C. Register is an ass rag.

yahoo-SZLS4K7PAXCX4SPTPWLFMY7V5A
yahoo-SZLS4K7PAXCX4SPTPWLFMY7V5A

The OC Register is kittie litter liner, on a VERY good day. It's the worst piece of propaganda garbage in the US. Complete garbage drinking at the religious nutjob, neocon waterhole.

MurderOfCrows
MurderOfCrows

I'm just Twisted up inside... i saw the video. I'm a big guy, i could have taken down this guy by myself, i swear these Guys really know how to perform for the police recording devices, Don't They? i heard one cop say "this guy is on something" yeah, he was "on" the cement being Ground into Hamburger by these Huge SWINE, i am 45 years old, and i won't go into it , but i have seen some pretty Awful things in the past. so I'm usually kind of numb to the Gritty side of things... and I'm not a man who Tears up.. but i swear to God i just lost it from the Audio, of this Tortured man calling for his Daddy... the SHEER AGONY in his VOICE as he PLEADED for Mercy... BUT NO MERCY WAS SHOWN... NONE. the two of the Animals MOST Responsible, deserve NOTHING LESS than "an EYE for an EYE"... if that was my boy, they would NEED to be in jail... Can you Imagine HIS DAD, WATCHING THAT? AND LISTENING TO THE SOUND OF HIS BOY BEING SNUFFED OUT ? No Mercy AT ALL... I'm Totally Sickened by the Bully's in the Video...if they had some 400 pound Giant high on P.C.P. and had to Battle him, that would be one thing, but that small, MENTALLY I'LL, and innocent man was no more than a bug on their windshield. His CRIME ? was just being there. The Video made me remember when i was a boy i saw the Elected SHERIFF in the town where i grew up, beat his 11 year old (my little league teammate, his dad was coaching) to a bloody pulp, nearly unconscious before he stopped. in front of my mom, and the other moms at Baseball practice. the man was about 6.3 in height and 220 lb. his kid "couldn't do anything right" and i remember the look of pure Horror on everyone's face and that nobody made a sound.. it was shock.. but nobody said a word later either. they were Terrorized... that was my first lesson in Control. i was sickened by what i saw, but i was getting a full body Rush at the same time... i smiled at the jerk.. and F__k Me,.. the P.O.S. smiled back... i know i was a disturbed kid.. lol. but i know what to do with BULLY'S... one thing though, i know what Mercy is... and i don't stand over them and laugh when I'm finished. it ain't Funny. my experience taught me PAYBACK should always be as swift as possible, if too much time passes, you step aside and leave it to God- "the BIG guns" because he will do a number on a bully you could never match. not even close. you just have to trust. life has a way of bringing Actions back Around.R.I.P. Kelly Thomas..

Wholetruth2012
Wholetruth2012

This is an example of how the media reports only partial truths. When Ramos says, "See these fists, They're getting ready to f--- you up," he ALSO says, "iF YOU DON'T DO WHAT I SAY." Another thing the media so conveniently neglects to include is Thomas' response, "START PUNCHING DUDE." Does that sound like someone who is in fear for his life?

Kpryan
Kpryan

Whiting's smart to wait until all the facts are in. He says: "We don't know what killed Mr. Thomas!"

Perhaps a large meteor impacted on Mr. Thomas's face and head at the time the police were trying to save themselves from the monster. Perhaps a stray pit bull quickly entered the fray, did the damage, and left... and it was missed on video. Perhaps Mr. Thomas beat himself and the poor police were only attempting to save him from himself.

See? There's lots of possibilities. And Whiting is a sharp guy to wait and not point fingers. After all, that newspaper is beholden to the PD. And why ruffle feathers if there's another explaination?

Michael Zorn
Michael Zorn

No American policeman has ever been convicted of killing a civilian while on duty. And that goes back through Amadou Diallo in 1999, in New York . Unarmed, shot 41 times by 4 policemen - who were acquitted.

I really don't expect this one to be any different.

In most other cases, when a homeless schizophrenic person wanders in the street, armed with a wet noodle, the police shoot, claiming "we were in fear of our lives". One can only conclude that we have - as a nation - the most scaredy-cat policemen in the world.

Jaynianne
Jaynianne

You have Got to be kidding R. Scott I will never buy a Paper as long as you are with it!!You are unbelievable dont tell me how to view it ! it clearly was Murder and it was the Officers who did it ! I think you need to watch again. Do you know what Cyonotic mean lack of oxygen you can hear them say it in the video and you can hear Cicinilli say" he smashed kellys face to hell" we are not stupid! and dont care to read what you have to say!!!

Carol Leonard
Carol Leonard

There is a petition to put pressure on OC DA Tony Rackaukas, Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva & State Rep Chris Norby to bring charges against ALL the cops involved in Kellys MURDER. please sign & share!! http://www.change.org/petition...

Joe Friday
Joe Friday

Luckily, we have you - who can render judgement based on hearing one side of the story and declaring "victory" belittling all those who await the lawful, jury verdict on this case.

You and your media cohorts depict rapists, murderers, and robbers as "alleged" - and interview the families to show what wonderful, misunderstood people they were.. and oh yeah - they were turning their lives around.

So why not treat all defendants equally?

FYI - the loudest voice on the audio is Thomas, screaming that he can't breathe. My brief knowledge of anatomy indicates that is not truly the case (at least until much later in the video)

Soho_d J
Soho_d J

Whiting, The Register & FPD, Fuck em all!

Jon
Jon

Are you really gonna let John and Ken align themselves with you for this? Own your position and please do not let them!

Johnrose7588
Johnrose7588

Sounds like whiting went to journalism school with gustabo. He doesnt accept the facts and lives in his own world with fucked up perceptive on how things should be

Prawda
Prawda

"It appears to be that the officers weren't handling this situation in a cool fashion. They were pugnacious about it."

A direct quote from the OCRegister story this morning. They are apologists for the police as much as The OCWeekly is for the do nothings invading this country.

Crowism
Crowism

I sat on the first haidl trial and nobody agreed with me. I wasn't able to read anything during the trial and now I have seen some of the things you have written. Very nice.

PatDog
PatDog

And where the Hell is the ACLU, Obama, Al Sharpton, THE NATIONAL MEDIA?? Anybody? Hello? We have video that makes Rodney King look like a schoolyard fight compared to a 130 pound schizophrenic, homeless man beat to death by 6 pigs!

PatDog
PatDog

Kudos to Mr. Moxley for a great article. However, it's not that complicated. They beat him to death for no reason. Like wild boars to a carcass.

Marcotor
Marcotor

A fat thug with a badge is still just a fat thug

Adler Bloom
Adler Bloom

Amazingly cogent article, Mr. Moxley-

909Jeff
909Jeff

Good Shit Moxley... You're ratio is going up!

PVDude
PVDude

Thank you Mox. Well done.

Joseph
Joseph

That guy is an idiot. I wish he could be locked up with those pieces of shit in general population. He could be writing "who" is that behind me and "what" is he sticking up my ass?

buy views
buy views

It stopped him from continuing to plead for help in hopes that someone civilized might appear on the scene to rescue him.

Sadaist
Sadaist

Great article. The photo of the 2 cops is the stuff of nightmares. They sure don't look like Californias Finest. Scary stuff. But they do look like the typical wannabe tough guys who have been picked on a lot and want to show how tough they are by choosing much, much weaker prey. Absolutely disgusted to share the same race as these 2 pos.

Frtizenhof
Frtizenhof

too bad the felony murder rule does not apply to this type of crimes.

Carpetbagger
Carpetbagger

He needs to go the way of the other recently disgraced OCR employee: Andrew Galvin.

This is bird cage stuff

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

Great article! I've said all along why aren't all 6 officers involved being charged!? It's ludicrous that only 2 are facing charges. I also agree that Cicinelli along with Manuel "Manatee" Ramos should be facing 15 years to life.

Buttercup
Buttercup

I've watched as police subdue suspects...it's not pretty, looks like it hurts (and most likely does) Most suspects who endure that kind of manhandling deserve it, they try to escape, run, fight...from the video? NONE of that applies...from the pictures...they brutalized that man.

There is no excuse for the horrific beating Thomas endured, none.

Prawda
Prawda

He is ready to be a reporter on CBS, CNN or MSNBC as I see it.

Guest
Guest

Whiting is a coplicking assclown.

Allan Bartlett
Allan Bartlett

David Whiting has hit a new low with that piece of garbage article he wrote.

JoeCNY
JoeCNY

Thanks for a rational interpretation of this cruel and unnecessary incident.

MurderOfCrows
MurderOfCrows

Wholetruth2012 - So WTF are you getting at ? the DIALOG from the situation Revealed to you that he ask for it ? the Situation the cops themselves created, so they could milk their stones, Beating him nearly to Death that night ? only to die later ? are you F___ING SERIOUS ? did you watch and listen to the same AGONIZING sounds that i did, AND YOU WANT TO NIT PIK about ""This is an example of how the media reports only partial truths"" THIS IS WHAT TOOK AWAY FROM THE EXPERIENCE..... so i suppose you think he Deserved this ? i hope you're not Defending those Animals.the man was Mentally ill...so he had an Excuse,... What's Yours ?

Joseph
Joseph

It sounds like a statement that somebody would make who has the reasonable expectation that he is not about to be murdered by police officers

Carol Leonard
Carol Leonard

you are truly despicable Joe Friday......sorry mate the video doesnt LIE -but those cops sure did!!

Joseph
Joseph

America is a wonderful country, the best in the world! It's nice that we are able to express our opinions so freely. That being said, I think you are a Dickhead.

Dan C.
Dan C.

Fired and Sued. Terrible way to go down.

Too bad Jihad Todd ain't around to help!

cntuw8t
cntuw8t

@MurderOfCrows, I here that...I also seen the video and heard the audio, and my whole being became numb, but I watched it a couple more times, now I see all that has taken place and I can figure out how and why charges where set in the order as they where...humm I can't help but wonder if there was maybe a more personal charge aimed at Ramos.. and I do agree that the media has a act first habbit and many believe all news media's out there do just that....see I do believe in justice for Kelly but from watching and listening Ramos seem to me resistant to act hostile even as he tried and control Thomas legs it was clear to me he had his own view of what was not suppose to take place as he tried and look else where, so I can't understand how 2nd degree came from hearing about these fist and what they would do and Thomas replying back would make 2nd degree where as another officer so clearly stated how he bashed his face in repeatedly...well as I and I'm sure you all will continue following the case will just have to wait and see.... Oh and as far as the parents go, sorry I ain't in remorse for anyone, sorry I ain't heartless but I have to wonder where there role came to play as parents of a mentally ill kid, because being awhare of his mental state and being appointed at one time as a conservator, why was he allowed to be label a homeless man, his mom seemed more eager to get her hands on the money, ron too but he enjoys the spotlight to much he thinks he will probably get a bigger pay off if he waits or shows more concern...wow damb fools let see him be quick to wash his hands now...thoses deadbeats

Wholetruth2012
Wholetruth2012

The people who lie, Carol dear are the OC DA and his cohorts. Just ask Todd Spitzer.

Joe Friday
Joe Friday

Carol,

What did they lie about? They haven't even testified!

remember, I didn't say that what they did was appropriate (IMHO) - because at some point during the struggle, I believe they could have deployed a "swarm" tactic rather than just continue beating him.

I can assure you that video tapes do NOT tell the full story - even if the full story doesn't change the jury's ultimate decision - I think it will cause all the frothy mouthed folks in the public to be exposed to BOTH sides of the story.

For example - Ramos could explain his "F you up" statement and acknowledge he intended to use force against Thomas. But does "F you up" always mean "I am going to kill you"? That is one for the jury to decide.

Prawda
Prawda

America is a great country. Just as the apologists for the wrong doers can have their say so can i. Why call me a dickhead? Name calling is childish and shows you have no reasonable response, ask Gustavvo, he does it all the time. Go ahead, call me a name. LOL.

 
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