During Monday's testimony in the Kelly Thomas murder trial, defense witness and Ranking Officer at the Scene of the Beating, Fullerton Police Department Sgt. Kevin Craig testified that he saw former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli beat Kelly Thomas in the face twice with a Taser. But the sight of the burly cyclops smashing the machine on a tiny man didn't worry him one bit, because he trusted Cicinelli to use adequate force for the situation.
“[You] trusted Corp. Cicinelli to use necessary force?” an incredulous District Attorney Tony Rackauckas asked.
“Yes,” Craig replied.
Craig also testified that Cicinelli told him that he struck Thomas in the face because he felt he had run out of options.
The defense had called Craig to the stand to explain that the officers' actions during the beating were consistent with their training.
Craig was the fifth of six officers at the scene and saw Cicinelli strike Kelly shortly after arriving. As the highest-ranking officer at the scene, Craig was in charge, and failed to render any aid to Kelly during the beating. Instead, he placed a knee on Kelly's back to help subdue him when the four other officers asked him for help.
Craig testified that none of Kelly's cries for help or claims that he couldn't breathe didn't worry him because Kelly was still “fighting.”
“From the time you arrived to the time the cuffs were on and attached to [Kelly's] legs, you believed that you were dealing with a dangerous subject, correct?” Rackauckas asked.
“Correct,” Craig replied.
Craig is one of three officers involved not accused of any crimes connected to the beating due to lack of evidence.
During cross-examination, Craig also testified that he thought that Thomas may have had a weapon, or might have tried to grab an officer's weapon due to the level of force that the other officers were using to try to subdue him.
But, he admitted, he never saw Thomas with a weapon.
“You never saw Kelly Thomas reach for any weapon, did ya?” Rackauckas asked.
“No,” Craig responded.
“You never saw Kelly Thomas grabbing for a Taser, did ya?” Rackauckas continued.
“No,” Craig said again.