Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen Is Innocent

Bombshell evidence destroys a lawsuit claiming the Fullerton restaurant's owner tricked cops into attacking Kelly Thomas

Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen Is Innocent

Last June, a 30-year-old security guard shocked Southern California by announcing he could prove a criminal conspiracy led to the fatal beating of a homeless, schizophrenic man by a group of Fullerton police cops on July 5, 2011. Michael Reeves filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court, and then held a press conference at his lawyers' Playa del Rey offices, where he told reporters he'd been fired as a front-door bouncer at Fullerton's Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen as wrongful retaliation for not agreeing to keep a dark secret about the death of Kelly Thomas. According to Reeves, Slidebar employees were aware of a standing order by owner Jeremy Popoff to do "anything necessary," including commit a crime, to lure police to the establishment in hopes of removing the often-unkempt, pesky Thomas from the nearby curbs and sidewalks, as well as the customers' parking lot.

Reeves claimed he witnessed Slidebar manager Jeanette DeMarco execute Popoff's alleged orders on the night of Thomas' beating when she called 911 and concocted a brazen lie—that Thomas was "breaking into cars" in the parking lot—to summon officers to the scene. What happened next will scar Fullerton for years to come. Within 50 yards of Slidebar's entrance, a group of cops savagely pummeled the unarmed, petite Thomas until the 37-year-old permanently lost consciousness. Then, the officers stood victorious over his bloody, mutilated body and demanded paramedics treat their minor scratches before they rendered life-saving measures to the victim.

Because police officials pretended the incident had been routine, news of the shocking death was tardy. Weeks later, Friends for Fullerton's Future, a blog run by local businessman Tony Bushala, published a photograph of Thomas' gruesomely disfigured, post-beating face. The photo helped spark international news coverage of the case and arguably the biggest public outrage Fullerton has ever witnessed. For months in late 2011 and early 2012, hundreds of placard-carrying citizens—from middle-school students to grannies—protested every weekend against police brutality outside the police department headquarters. The intensity of the anger prompted cops involved in the killing to go into hiding.

Popoff: “I couldn’t let them get away with what they are doing”
Kenneth M. Ruggiano
Popoff: “I couldn’t let them get away with what they are doing”
The fired bouncer began his lawsuit deposition confident he was on the verge of a $4 million payday . . .
The fired bouncer began his lawsuit deposition confident he was on the verge of a $4 million payday . . .
. . .  but after he was confronted with video evidence that wrecked his case . . .
. . . but after he was confronted with video evidence that wrecked his case . . .
. . . he lost his cool.
. . . he lost his cool.
Reeves at his deposition
Reeves at his deposition
Reeves ended his deposition prematurely when his case fell apart
Reeves ended his deposition prematurely when his case fell apart
Dubin (center), shown being interviewed by LA media, won a $30 million judgement against actor Robert Blake
Dubin (center), shown being interviewed by LA media, won a $30 million judgement against actor Robert Blake

It was in that highly charged environment that Reeves unveiled his allegation that Slidebar was responsible for Thomas' demise, and, as one of his lawyers declared, "He was terminated for doing the right thing"—refusing to keep Popoff's secret. The assertion caused protesters to launch an anti-Slidebar campaign, with rallies designed to discourage potential patrons from entering the restaurant. One of the protesters' signs read, "Slimebar + Cops = Murder 1." According to Popoff, the hostile sentiments succeeded in wrecking the restaurant's popularity.

But if the campaign against Slidebar was well-intentioned, it was also, it turns out, misguided. The Weekly has learned that Reeves, a Huntington Beach resident, isn't a heroic casualty in the Thomas scandal. Evidence shows the former bouncer's story is a fiction of his imagination and a likely shameless attempt to capitalize on Thomas' tragic death with an unearned, multimillion-dollar windfall from a dubious lawsuit.

*     *     *

Irvine's Eric J. Dubin is one of Orange County's best civil lawyers. Though he has routinely appeared on national-network news shows for his legal expertise, he doesn't always enjoy the celebrity status afforded to other, older (and, frankly, less skillful) members of the local bar. His accomplishments include defeating Robert Blake's high-priced legal team to win a $30 million judgment in the murder of the Hollywood actor's wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. The Michigan native who graduated from college in Arizona in 1988 also successfully sued Rose Hills Memorial Park in Los Angeles for botching funerals by losing corpses, then displaying the wrong ones to horrified, grieving family members.

In the legal showdown over the Slidebar's alleged role in the Thomas case, Reeves hired Solomon, Saltsman & Jamieson, an acclaimed firm known for representing Indian casinos and gambling interests, as well as obtaining state alcoholic-beverage licenses. The firm's top partners, Stephen Warren Solomon and Ralph B. Saltsman, are considered multitalented "super lawyers." They also produce a cable TV show, Cheap Eats, about affordable meals in LA.

Popoff chose Dubin, and he doesn't regret it. In the first three months of Reeves' lawsuit, the lawyer noted in court records, he found proof that the ex-bouncer's story, while loaded with seemingly supportive details, was "blatantly false" and a "possible extortion" attempt. "[Reeves] has created an entire lawsuit based on false statements and groundless legal theories [and] cut and past[ed] from blogs surrounding the highly publicized Kelly Thomas murder case," Dubin declared in a September 2012 filing.

The following month, Reeves—who cleaned up the bearded-biker look he maintained at Slidebar in exchange for a beige, buttoned-up shirt—sat for an eight-hour deposition in Dubin's office. For the first seven hours, he confidently answered questions about what happened during his shift the night Thomas was beaten and how he was retaliated against for not agreeing to cover up the restaurant's role in the death. His unambiguous story was this:

He arrived at Slidebar at 8 p.m., retrieved a driver's-license counter from DeMarco in the office inside the restaurant, then returned to the entrance to set up the podium at which he checked arriving customers' IDs. Within a minute, DeMarco came from the office and stood close beside him to his left. For the next six minutes, the two of them watched a shirtless Thomas pacing back and forth in front of Slidebar and picking up cigarette butts in the nearby parking lot. The homeless man was not zigzagging between vehicles, attempting to break into them or committing any crime. From the parking lot, Thomas stopped occasionally to watch the Slidebar's outdoor TVs. Nevertheless, the manager declared that she "was going to take care" of him.

"Jeanette said she was going to call the police," said Reeves. "I told her not to, that he would leave. He was just picking up cigarette butts and, like he'd always done, meander away. She said, 'No, he's breaking into cars. I'm going to call the police.' I said, 'No, he's not breaking into cars.'"

DeMarco then asked Reeves for the number to Fullerton police dispatch. He supplied it, she lit a cigarette, walked 5 feet away, to the other side of the entrance gate and made the deceitful call claiming she'd witnessed Thomas trying to break into cars. Nobody else was around, but the bouncer heard every word she uttered to the dispatcher.

"Jeanette made the phone call where she falsely accused [Thomas] of breaking into cars," said Reeves. "The police arrived within minutes. The police beat him to death. . . . I believe the phone call was made to make it sound like he was armed and dangerous—a man committing a crime."

That was Reeves' version of events, assertions that Dubin made him repeat over and over during the deposition. The lawyer asked if it were possible he'd mistaken the details of the night of Thomas' beating with another night. Without hesitation, the bouncer shook his head and replied, "No," according to a videotape of the interview.

"She was standing next to me, and we were both looking at the same vantage point of Kelly Thomas," said Reeves. "And that's why I believe it to have been a false police report."

Dubin pressed again, asking him if he'd change his story—if, in fact, DeMarco never stood beside him that night before calling police and if almost all the other key details didn't happen. The question visibly rocked Reeves. After a pause, he replied, "I don't know how to answer that."

*     *     *

On the night of Thomas' beating, Slidebar had two surveillance cameras posted in the vicinity of the restaurant's entrance: one behind and above the bouncer's station, and a second one near the roof. Reeves was not aware of the second camera, and according to his testimony, he underestimated the view range of the camera above his station.

Dubin, who worked in cooperation with Slidebar attorney Steven A. Fink during the deposition, handed the bouncer a photographic still from video taken in the minutes surrounding the call to police. The image undermined the crux of Reeves' story: that DeMarco had been standing with him watching Thomas, that they had discussed Thomas' conduct, and that he'd heard her call to the police. He studied the photograph—he is standing alone, with his manager nowhere in sight—and said, "Uh, I was always told our eye, our video, didn't go past the, um, didn't go out into the street."

Popoff's attorney asked Reeves if he would like to change his testimony if confronted with videotape of the events leading up to Thomas' killing. The bouncer didn't say a word. He licked his lips, turned toward his lawyer, Ryan Kroll with Solomon, Saltsman & Jamieson, and asked, "May I speak to my counsel?"

Dubin refused, and Reeves then complained he didn't understand the question.

"I'll represent to you that we have you on videotape during this alleged time that Kelly Thomas walks by and so forth," said Dubin. "Knowing that you're about to see that, is there anything you'd like to change about your sworn testimony given under penalty of perjury today?"

Reeves looked deflated. Long gone was his earlier confidence. With a solemn face, he explained, "If I'm on tape with anybody surrounding me, the traumatic event has caused me to forget."

Before Dubin could pounce, Kroll rescued his client by calling for a break. When the deposition resumed, the bouncer saw footage that eviscerated his version of events in several critical ways, including:

• DeMarco never stood next to him at the podium; the two couldn't have, as he insisted, watched Thomas together for six consecutive minutes before the call to Fullerton P.D.

• Contrary to Reeves' story, he couldn't have known what DeMarco observed about Thomas' activities in the parking lot or that she fabricated anything; while the bouncer was busy looking in the opposite direction from Thomas, dealing with arriving customers and chatting with co-workers, DeMarco is seen emerging not from inside the restaurant, but from the section of the parking lot where Thomas roamed.

• Thomas wasn't pacing back and forth, stopping only for discarded cigarette butts and to watch television, as Reeves claimed, but was rather zigzagging through rows of cars, as DeMarco reported.

• Given the substantial distance between himself and DeMarco when she emerged onscreen, already on her cell phone with police, Reeves couldn't have supplied her the number for dispatch, argued with her to not make the call or protested her action immediately afterward, as he claimed.

When Dubin was done showing him the videos, Reeves declared himself "confused." He then suggested the footage might not be genuine. But the attorney vouched "as an officer of the court" that the time-stamped videos documented the precise minutes leading up to Thomas' beating. He re-asked the bouncer if he wanted to match his story to the visual evidence.

"I'm sticking with my testimony," said Reeves, who also learned that phone records undermined his assertion that DeMarco had only made one call during the period. In fact, as Dubin pointed out, the manager had also called her husband from the parking lot when she observed Thomas.

Reeves eventually grew so frustrated with Dubin's dissection of his story that he accused him of being too confrontational, tossed his microphone on the table, and prematurely ended the deposition by walking out and refusing to return.

*     *     *

Reeves' credibility has issues other than the videos. In his lawsuit, he claims he was fired from Slidebar two months after the Thomas killing "in furtherance of a conspiracy between Popoff and his managers to prevent and dissuade anyone from providing information to law-enforcement agencies." Not only had the bouncer already spoken to the DA investigator before his firing, but also DeMarco had arranged the interview by supplying Reeves' contact information.

During the deposition, Dubin asked the bouncer, "Did anybody ever tell you not to speak to the DA?"

"No," replied Reeves, who was also interviewed by the FBI and, as in the interview with the DA, never claimed that DeMarco lied in her call to police.

In the lawsuit, the bouncer also insisted he immediately confronted DeMarco for filing a false report on the night of the incident and refused to remain silent with his co-workers in a noble act of honesty for Thomas' memory. But in his deposition, Reeves changed that story. He told Dubin he remained quiet for weeks because he didn't want to risk his job.

But according to Popoff and a state judge, Reeves' firing had nothing to do with Thomas. The bouncer violated company policy by allowing three inebriated women back inside the restaurant through a side entrance after a manager had ordered them tossed out; afterward, Reeves caused a scene in front of dining customers when he was involuntarily relieved of his shift.

In paperwork documenting his official firing the next day, Reeves confirmed the side-entrance incident and, in a section in which he was allowed to vent in his own writing, he had his first chance to document he was being fired because he refused to remain silent about DeMarco's police call. He declared at his deposition that he had exposed the retaliation in the paperwork. Dubin handed him a copy. Reeves reviewed it and admitted, "I was wrong." He'd omitted the central theme of his eventual lawsuit because, he explained, he'd been "flustered."

Still later, when he sought state unemployment benefits before filing his lawsuit, he didn't cite the call and retaliation then, either. During a telephonic appeal hearing of the denial of benefits, Reeves failed to tell a judge considering the merits of his firing about his alleged confrontation with DeMarco over the Thomas call. She upheld Popoff's declaration that the bouncer had been fired for "insubordination" over the side-entrance incident.

During the October 2012 deposition, Dubin asked Reeves why he didn't tell the unemployment judge he was fired for refusing Popoff's alleged anti-Thomas conspiracy-cover-up demands. "I was never given the opportunity to bring that up," he explained. "The judge wouldn't allow me."

Yet, according to an audio recording of the hearing obtained by the Weekly, Reeves had multiple opportunities to raise the Thomas incident as the cause of his dismissal—but didn't.

Instead, he spent all of his allotted time during the 24-minute hearing complaining he should have been allowed to override a manager's decision to boot the three drunken women and to argue with management in front of customers. The judge repeatedly asked him if he wanted to confront DeMarco, who was on the line, about any other issues. Each time, Reeves said, "No."

About seven months after his unemployment-benefits appeal failed, Reeves couldn't keep a job elsewhere. He found himself in what he admits is a "depressing" situation: living off handouts from relatives. That's when Reeves, who earned $12 per hour at Slidebar, filed his lawsuit demanding $4 million for lost wages and emotional distress.

After the disastrous deposition, Reeves' lawyers refused to back down. They filed an amended complaint that fixed several errors and added a new allegation: The fired bouncer is entitled to damages because he now claims Popoff twisted the ends of his handlebar mustache, and the trauma from that alleged contact is contributing to his emotional inability to work.

"It's gotten ridiculous," said Dubin. "The videos are beyond conclusive that his story is a complete fabrication. This lawsuit is completely frivolous, and there's no justification for keeping this [case] going."

Efforts to interview Reeves about the discrepancies between his story and the videos were not successful by press time.

*     *     *

On a recent afternoon at his restaurant, Popoff is still incredulous about what he sees as Reeves' ongoing sham lawsuit. The accomplished vocalist/guitar player for Lit was out of town touring with his band—prepping for the release of their first album since 2004—when the fired bouncer's lawyers sent an unexpected notice of their lawsuit plans.

"They attached a cover letter that said they were going to file a lawsuit if I didn't pay them money," he recalled. "I refused, and they've cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars in business. If I were smarter, maybe I would have paid them to go away at the beginning."

Popoff—who'd been generous with the local homeless community prior to the police killing of Thomas by paying for meals and motel rooms—paused and shook his head. "But I couldn't let them get away with what they are doing."

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78 comments
irisspringflower
irisspringflower

The problem is with our failed Mental Health System. People like Kelly Thomas cannot survive in the Community. They need 24/7 humane care and treatment, probably in a group home or a hospital setting. Instead they are left to fend for themselves in a hostile Community. They end up homeless and in the hands of our Law Enforcement. This is an injustice and cruel! Our Mental Health System treats the worried well instead of the severely mentally ill. We must re-open (humane and caring) in-patient hospitals and group homes for people like Kelly Thomas.

http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/


doctordetroitsrudera
doctordetroitsrudera

I worked security at Slidebar that night.

The bartender called the cops, not the manager, as I recall.  Popov had a standing order to say that any homeless problems outside were to be handled by calling the cops and saying that someone´s lifting handles on cars.  If they were inside causing trouble you were supposed to call the cops and say that you THINK you saw a gun.  Otherwise the police never come; not unless you make those claims.  No one that´s ever met Popov would claim that he´s good to the homeless, or that he´s a decent guy.  He´s not exactly a class-act.

The other security guy, Baby Huey, and I saw Thomas screaming and jerking-off at the bus depot as we walked from the parking garage to Slidebar for our shift.  We mentioned it to the head of security (Will), and rest is history.

That´s what really happened, if anyone cares to know.

Crosshairball
Crosshairball

I don't think the Slidebar is so innocent.

Their personnel called those fucking insane cops!

See something say something?

Fuck that. All this article proves is that the fucking Slidebar made the call to the insane cops that led to the brutal death of Kelly Thomas.

provoriver
provoriver

I am sickened by the alarming and increasing rate of police corruption. I know first hand what takes place being a retired cop and it aint a pretty site ladies and germs. There is a ton of physical abuse inflicted by police officers, a ton of intentional K9 bights to people, a HUGE amount of false reporting in the police reports and much much more

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Is it possible for an attorney to claim that a person has a disease that the person does not have and get away with disagnosing that person with when there is no background evidence for it, no doctors notes or any such things. The disease is Aspergers Syndrome and it's supposed to be a form of high functioning autism that has also never been diagnosed. Can the attorney be charged for doing this?

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

"That's when Reeves, who earned $12 per hour at Slidebar, filed his lawsuit demanding $4 million for lost wages and emotional distress".

 Um, How do you justify a $4 million dollar payout for a job that only pays $12 bucks an hour for emotional distress from the cops beating up and killing someone?  Oh well, the payout lawsui failed anyway and in this economy it's not easy to get greenbacks?

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

"80 percent of all cops are criminals, they violate the laws while they are on duty and they are being paid to do so and be so". They have the police protective leagues to protect them because they are a union of thugs and bullies but then accuse you and arrest you for the very crimes they are commiting themselves.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

"The intensity of the anger (against the criminal cops) prompted cops involved in the killing to go into hiding"

That alone should be the whole story. They are (paid) bullies and then they charge you with the crime of being a bully.

The cop in the video moved on Kelly Thomas first and was telling him to put his hands on his knees and put his legs out in front of him (you cannot do both at the same time.) The cops touched Kelly Thomas first not the other way around.

Jill Alisa Carabba
Jill Alisa Carabba

Why I protest; My case against the Slidebar in the murder of Kelly Thomas - (Rumored) Anti-homeless policy. Employees were instructed to keep them away from the Slidebar to protect the business' image. - (Rumored) Calls of loitering were not treated with enough urgency for Popoff's and the Slidebar's managements liking, so the decision was either made by the Slidebar, or possibly instructed by officers of the Fullerton Police Department to call and report a more serious complaint in order to get a more aggressive response. - (Fact) Jeanette DeMarco, working as the manager of the Slidebar on the night of July 5, 2011, called the Fullerton Police Department to report she had seen Kelly Thomas trying door handles of parked cars in an an attempt to break into vehicles. http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid23629761001?bckey=AQ%7E%7E%2CAAAAADrXnTk%7E%2CprBKvYCdnSiPuUdNp2JgmbUxgbQNucYa&bctid=1752552524001 - (Fact) Not one witness, out of hundreds there that night, has come forward to state they saw Kelly Thomas touch a car door handle, or behave as if he was attempting to break into vehicles. - (Fact) Many witnesses have come forward to say he was walking through the parking lot, picking up cigarette butts, not disturbing anyone, including the Slidebar and their customers. - (Fact) Popoff and DeMarco lied for a year about the call not originating from them or the Slidebar, obstructing the investigation into the cause of Kelly Thomas' murder. - (Fact) Jeanette DeMarco is still employed by the Slidebar, and has never been charged with filing a false police report, though it is said by those who know her that she feels horrible for her part in Kelly's murder. - (Fact) Very regular customer of the Slidebar/ friend of employees admits to family members of Kelly Thomas that they "sometimes take things down and destroy the memorial", at the location where he was murdered. - (Fact) The possibility of the Slidebar's call to the police being a false report has still not been investigated, causing the need for the people to hold them accountable. BONUS FACTS - Had the police been told the truth, that Kelly Thomas was loitering they would have drove by, and asked him to move along, as they had in the past. The need to find stolen property on him and charge him would not have been there, and the altercation that led to his murder very likely could have been avoided. - The Slidebar does not own the property of the parking lot, where Kelly Thomas was looking for cigarette butts, not breaking into cars. - There are better businesses in Fullerton to spend your money at!

Jill Alisa Carabba
Jill Alisa Carabba

I am disappointed in the misleading headline and stand by my opinion on the Slidebar's involvement in Kelly's murder.

wallywharton1
wallywharton1

It's amazing how Kelly Thomas has now evolved into some kind of sanctified martyr post mortem. Everybody seems to forget how obnoxious and repulsive he could be and how he repeatedly soiled the community with his very presence. He had 95 run-ins w/ the cops. One of his LAST offenses before his death was EXPOSING HIMSELF AND URINATING IN FRONT OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDS. But now you people cry: "Oh, what a tragic loss! He was harmless! He wouldn't hurt a fly!" C'mon. When some creep perpetually causes problems and impedes commerce and recreation sooner or later someone's gonna do something "pro-active" to eliminate the source of these problems. The cops lost their patience--that's wrong--- but Thomas set himself up for his own untimely end. Sad but true.

QuestionTheAnswer
QuestionTheAnswer

The article and rscottmoxley's responce to the comments are very misleading. It makes it seem like the phone call was just a fabricated story by Reeves. Here's an example: "The videos are beyond conclusive that his story is a complete fabrication." His story is not a complete fabrication as Jeanette Demarco(Slidebar manager) did make a call to Fullerton police about Kelly on the night in question. Here is an NBC news link to parts of the transcript and the audio http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/911-Call-That-Led-to-Kelly-Thomas-Beating-163722006.html In responce to comments Scott Moxley states: "The alleged evidence against the Slidebar came from one person: Michael Reeves. With the video surveillance evidence, his inflammatory tale has been thoroughly destroyed." The evidence is the actual phone call that was made by Slidebar manager Jeanette Demarco which was only mentioned briefly in the article. Why not print some of the transcipt of the audio?

Ronald-Monerief-Jr
Ronald-Monerief-Jr

Actually, the article does little to clear the collective name of the Slidebar. Previously, it was my understanding that no personnel made contact or observed Kelly Thomas directly before calling the police. A bar patron reported Kelly Thomas to bar personnel who then called the police.

Now I learn that Slidebar personnel called the police after going into the parking lot. If Kelly Thomas was not touching any of the vehicles and was not witnessed doing this, what was the justification for the phone call? Did any one hear glass break? Alarms going off? Why don't the publicly accessible records contain a notation of this call?

Why did the Slidebar personnel call the police and what did they provide as a justification for doing so?


coastx
coastx

What they're not talking about is Thomas had lawful access to this restaurant's restroom (Handicapped have unchecked to restroom facilities throughout the state) which it the reason for staging his summary execution by law enforcement.  There were no cars vandalized, which should have been a first priority determination to validate the complaint.  Your bouncer has his issues, but he's also describing a difficult memory based largely on a trauma bond relationship with the owner.

Karen McHale
Karen McHale

Scott, I just read your response on the OC Weekly site and, to be honest, I find it a bit on the histrionic side. And, for a journalist, that takes me aback. You are suppose to be neutral, not kissing Jeremy's boots. Again, the lawsuit is bullshit but that doesn't absolve the Slide Bar. FACT: Jeanette DeMarco DID call the cops, claiming Kelly Thomas was breaking into cars. FACT: Jeremy Popoff DENIED for months that it was Slide Bar that made that call. FACT: We are still not clear that it is or is not Jeremy's policy to call the cops when undesirables are around Mr. Popoff's establishment. Because the Slide Bar shares property with the Fullerton Transportation Center, he cannot claim "private property", thus he cannot evict undesirables. So, the only way to get rid of these people is to call the cops and make allegations, such as car break ins or menacing. Are they responsible for Kelly Thomas' death? That is for a court to decide when Ron Thomas takes them to court. But, that does not absolve them in the court of public opinion. I don't think I am being unfair. I am just looking at the facts of the case. And for a journalist to be "saddened"? Really? I thought your place is in giving the public the facts of the case, not taking sides.

Karen McHale
Karen McHale

Louie, then why did Jeremy Popoff lie for months about the Slide Bar being the ones who called the cops? Because they did make a false police report. Kelly Thomas was NOT breaking into cars. He was only wandering between the cars. The only thing the story says is that the bouncer is a liar about his part in all this. The facts still remain that DeMarco DID call the cops. She DID say Kelly Thomas was "breaking into cars". And it did NOT dispute the allegations that it was Popoff's policy to call the cops on the homeless if they came around the Slide Bar. Because Slide Bar shares space with the train station, they cannot claim "private property". So, they have to make up allegations to get Fullerton PD out there. So, sorry, Jeremy Popoff and the Slide Bar are NOT off the hook.

Sinner
Sinner

Focus on the murder, and nothing else. The blame lies in the hands of the men who brutally beat another man to death. After having seen, for the very first time, the horrifying photo of Kelly Thomas from the hospital room, I have made this same comment (as vulgar as it is) many times: Only a baby raper deserves to be beaten like this. It's not the phone call, it's not the video, it's not the car door handles, it's not the band everyone hates - it's the murder. This headline makes good copy and reaction, but time to stop looking away to the shining objects designed to distract all of us, and time to re-focus on the murder of an innocent man by a gang of 6 corrupt and ultra-violent murdering cops.

-paulc-
-paulc-

"The accomplished vocalist/guitar player for Lit..."  You're giving way to much credit to Lit as being  accomplished.  Just saying.

baxter65
baxter65

I’ve knew Kelly off and on for over a decade while living in downtown Fullerton, I hung with him for many hours, and although he was at times clearly suffering with mental illness, and he was at times capable of strange (uncommon not violent) behavior, most of the time he was just was just mellow with me and I trusted and liked. I was horrified and sad when I learned what happened to him. I had just seen him walking a week or do earlier down my old street, for the first time in a couple of years. I just kept thinking “6 on 1”, what bunch of thugs.

If I thought the Slidebar was responsible for Kelly’s death I may have lit the match that burnt it down, but I have seen zero evidence of them being guilty of anything other than making a phone call, that many other people would have made under similar circumstances,  and not handling their response to this murder very well in the press. But we are activists for social justice, not fucking life coaches, and insensitivity just doesn’t rise the level of requiring protest and boycotts. When we see proof of something, like the tape of Kelly’s publically executed by up to six officers, and we confront armed police and those in government who hold power, but do nothing, we are activists fighting powerful bullies … we are the good guys.  When we do the same to a bar manager, who could have had no expectation that the police would escalate her call to a on a compliant suspect to a 10 minute stomp fest and beat down,  and we do it based on rumor, we are the fucking bullies and this needs to stop. When you protest the Slidebar you provide a false equivalency between murderous scum and someone who perhaps is just a little too eager to report suspicious behavior. Doing so helps the police and more importantly, it’s just wrong.  If our reactions do not differ depending on the level of evil we are fighting, we have zero credibility, and to the public an activist with zero credibility is just loud and annoying.

Maybe I never bought into this conspiracy story because I have always disliked bouncers just about as much as I mistrust the police, but maybe it’s also because no one was ever capably of backing up the claims they made about the Slidebar. The last one was the another bouncer had defaced the memorial. I was told it was on film. Also not true, but yet no retraction. We demand that Goodrich retract his false statements, we need to demand that of ourselves as well.

I am not wired to call the police, about making a phone call to the non emergency line if one thinks someone is acting suspicious, is what many people might do. It’s in fact what good citizens are told to do since they were kids.   From this tape we will never know for sure what the manager was thinking when she called. We don’t get to see everything the manager saw. Did she actually see him pull on door handles, did she mistakenly think he pulled on door handles, or did she only see him walking between cars, where to me he appears to be looking into windows but was probably looking on the ground of cigarettes, and then exaggerate his actions? I don’t know. But if I don’t know something, I don’t conclude the worst and try to keep my mouth shut.  Can we claim for sure that Kelly under no circumstances would have every pulled on a door handle when we know he was mentally ill? I don’t fucking know, but I do know that whatever it was, it was minor until the cops escalated it to murder.  When we do not know something we should not just make shit up or assume the worst, and to my mind that is what many of you are doing with the manager.

What this tape proves (to me) is that the bouncer who filed claims saying there was an organized effort to escalate the calls to scare off the homeless, has demonstrated in his deposition that he is full of shit in so many aspect of his suit, that he is not credibly in any aspects of his suit (he also makes my point above by doing so) . He is a first class, top shelf, scumbag grafter. This former hand stamper and wrestler of drunk dudes at bars, pimped out Kelly’s battered body, along with the well intention ed passions of many in the justice for Kelly Thomas movement, in what will now be a failed attempt to profit on Kelly’s death. Does that not piss you off more than what the Slidebar did.  In doing so he made himself and the Slidebar an unnecessary distraction and this story continues to take up space in print and in blogs which would be much better served aimed on at all six cops who are free on bail and the new Chief who is letting three of the other cops remain on the force.

Those are facts, that is the truth and that is what we should focus on . If you believe something in the Kelly Thomas case without having any evidence of it, you are no longer social justice advocates, or political protesters, you are ineffective mystics and zealots and I know you to be better than that.

I am not going to reply to any post. Anyone who has been involved in this case has my phone number and knows where I live. I will be happy to speak to you. I wold like us to focus on what matters and to for the fist time in 162 years in CA get justice for a murder victim of the police. 

Peace and respect,

Stephan Baxter

www.artwithanagenda.orgb

montysimmons
montysimmons

Even assuming Reeves is a liar, such does not mean the Slidebar is innocent.  For all we know Reeves is acting and working under the direction of Popoff.

What a great way to damage the case against Popoff is for Popoff to have one of his employees quit and make the claims Reeves does all the while knowing they have video evidence to pull out at the right time and do what they are now doing.  

Clever people these homeless haters.


 

waltersmall
waltersmall

I see a big lawsuit for Tony Bushala, Travis Kiger and FFFF Blog......for months Bushala and Kiger has caused financial damage to the owners of the slide bar...Bushala has deeeeep pockets... I see some green bleeding out of those Fullerton Slums owned by the would be "King of Fullerton " Tony Bushala and nerd boy Kiger.......better check your facts before you destroy a persons living.

mamaginap
mamaginap

So where are all those people that talked all that smack like they knew the real story? Eat it!

mamaginap
mamaginap

So where are all those people that talked all that smack like they knew the real story? Eat it!

Sinduda
Sinduda

Yes, yes but are their wings any good?

Dac.
Dac.

Lit still sucks.

Louie Corea
Louie Corea

ummm, I think everyone has missed the bottom line here. People call the cops all the time, sometimes for no reason. No one at the Slidebar thought if would result in his death. I have utmost respect for our law enforcement but these bad apples really, really blew it. No one to blame except the cops in this case.

TheTruth
TheTruth

So Slidebar is innocent of what exactly? The wrongful termination of the bouncer? The fact is the call was made by a manager from Slidebar(Jeanette DeMarco) claiming Kelly was "trying door handles" on cars according to the transcript of the audio. 

djfreshboy666
djfreshboy666

i hope this bar does get shut up today the bouncers here sexual harass girls and dont handle people & situation

bruz1111
bruz1111

Whats your comment on the video from them showing Kelly walking past all the cars NOT pulling on door handles etc but headed to his death ????  BTW Ron Thomas has the video and should be able to share it soon!

dkmomemtp
dkmomemtp

The Slidebar isn't at all innocent at all! Jeanette is going to jail for false police report! I hope the bar gets closed down!

marie.lorenz
marie.lorenz

@Jill Carabba well put Jill. One correction, there were not hundreds there that night as that was rare for that time of night around the bar unless a huge band was scheduled. As far as DeMarco goes, I have heard her unprofessional behavior on a phone call with my husband (who was employed there at the time). She used every profanity while yelling at him and accusing him of going to bank to cash his check before the appropriate time. This was all based on a false report from "someone" saying they just saw my husband at tge bank when in fact we had not even been there that day. My husband's phone was not working properly at the time requiring him to only be able to use it on speaker phone. Needless to say my children in the car heard her entire rant, f-words and all. Hmmm not my image of how a manager should speak to an employee. He couldn't get off the phone fast enough so as to end the tirade.

marie.lorenz
marie.lorenz

@Jill Carabba well said Jill but one correction..there were not hundreds in attendance as it was rare for there to ever be that influx of patrons around 8pm. In regards to DeMarco, I have heard her first hand, unprofessionaly handle a situation over the phone with my husband, using profane language and false accusations. Her character is shameful.

alexisyque
alexisyque

  @Jill Carabba As soon as this story broke a year and a half ago I kept my ass away from Slidebar. Hearing this bouncer's story only made me louder when voicing my disgust with that bar. That being said, once I read this update I had to eat crow. This punches holes in so many parts of the anti-slidebar rhetoric I had. Yes, DeMarco still holds a job, but why would her boss fire her? We don't know what she saw or what she thinks she saw. You can't punish her for that. At the end of the day there is no physical proof of someone vandalizing the memorial, just he said she said hearsay. Give me a picture and I will gladly change my position on this.

Kelly is a murder victim..maybe we should all focus our energy on persecuting ALL 6 of his killers instead.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@Jill Carabba Hi, Jill!

irisspringflower
irisspringflower

@wallywharton1 He should have been committed involuntarily to a humane State Hospital. Since the State Hospitals have been closed down, family members of Schizophrenics like him are unable to get them help and treatment. Back in the past, Kelly would have had a bed in a hospital and this would not have happened.

carleo
carleo

@Sinner  Kellys Murder would have NEVER happened if Jeanette DeMarco had not placed a fraudulent call to Fullerton Police Dept...that is a FACT!!!

Ronald-Monerief-Jr
Ronald-Monerief-Jr

@baxter65  

You have every right to call the police whenever you believe they need to be called. This is not the issue of concern.

You do not have a right to call the police and report a serious crime knowing full well that one is not being committed. You do not have a right to convey a believe that there is potential for harm, injury, or danger when you know otherwise.

What this article did was place Slidebar personnel in the parking lot. No broken glass, no car alarms, no yelling, and no danger. Why were the police called?

marletteoy
marletteoy

@baxter65

You will certainly piss off a few of the protesters but you are absolutely correct. Only DeMarco knows what she saw that maybe the camera didn't capture. Like it or not, her obligation is to her customers. Only she knows if she called to protect their property or to unjustly remove someone she found distasteful and annoying. Sadly, some are so consumed with anger that they will continue to believe the worst. There are three categories: what you think, what you know, what you can prove. Focus, people. Justice for Kelly.

baxter65
baxter65

forgive me for posting before editing. "grifter" and 3 cops are free on bail, 3 are still employed". Thanks.

marletteoy
marletteoy

@lookingforfun420420

You can't sue for opinions. That's like suing you for claiming that you see Tony about to be sued.

carlashworth
carlashworth

@lookingforfun420420 its a blog site not a newspaper. and though this may be hard to accept for fascists, people living in the United States have the right to express an opinion formed from what they have seen, read or heard, even uncivil opinions that mock, deride or expose fools drunk on their own municipal power and others money

Joe_McPlumber
Joe_McPlumber

@Louie's Page You reckon all six of the bad apples in the force worked the same shift and showed up at this one scene? Or do you think it might be likelier there's an institutional problem here, a culture of prejudice and violence and a clique that protects its own?

The article explains how the public almost didn't know about this incident, which makes me wonder how many incidents we don't know about. Was this the first heinous crime by these six bad apples, or the first they were caught out?

Respect is earned not commanded. Let me see a public outrage and condemnation on the part of law enforcement officers themselves, let me see them condemn the bad apples and denounce their egotistical power-tripping brethren instead of covering for them, making excuses and blaming the victims, then i'll have evidence that respect is warranted.

Ronald-Monerief-Jr
Ronald-Monerief-Jr

@Louie's Page  

You are right that the police killed Kelly Thomas. The question is whether Slidebar personnel knowingly made a fraudulent phone call to the police. Whether they made the call in such a manner as to convey an emergency or immediate harm or presence of danger.  If so, this is illegal.

You wouldn't like it if someone did that to you and I wouldn't like it if someone did that to me.

ocsurfgirl
ocsurfgirl

Not related to the story...those doggies are too cute!!

 
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