UPDATE, AUGUST 23 2011, 5:35 P.M.: We've got Slidebar co-owner Jeremy Popoff's reaction to Kelly Thomas' death, as told to local blog Fullerton Stories. See bottom of post for update.
ORIGINAL POST 4:23 P.M.: Of the many mysteries currently
swirling around the death of Kelly Thomas, one rises above the rest: Who
placed the phone call that led to six police officers confronting
Thomas and leaving him a bloody, dying pulp?
names have been bandied around on message boards and during the weekly
Saturday protests that have occurred outside the Fullerton Police
Station since his death, but sources tell the Weekly the phone call came from downtown Fullerton's popular Slidebar Rock-n-Roll Kitchen, co-owned by Jeremy Popoff of Lit fame.
The sources (who requested anonymity but have intimate knowledge of the incident) told the Weekly that a Slidebar manager placed a call to police because Thomas was standing outside the Slidebar's patio, glaring at customers. (Police have publicly stated that whoever placed the call was complaining that someone was breaking into cars.) The restaurant-cum-performance lounge, located at 122 E. Commonwealth Ave., sits adjacent to the Fullerton Transportation Center, where Thomas was approached July 5 by Fullerton's finest. Thomas was well-known to patrons of the many businesses around the Transportation Center, where he frequently asked for handouts from the Train Depot to the area around Slidebar.
UPDATE, AUGUST 23 2011, 5:35 P.M.: Local blog Fullerton Stories quoted Slidebar co-owner Jeremy Popoff
in an article posted on July 23, days after Kelly Thomas died. “I feel
guilty ever having contempt for this guy, but if you had asked me about
him a month ago, I'd have nothing good to say about him. I don't want to
say it was justified, what happened. But man, Kelly scared people. We .
. . were always having to kick him out of our bathrooms or tell him to
leave customers alone. Then he would yell at us.”
Because of those comments, a Facebook page was set up calling for a boycott of the Slidebar.
“Slidebar spreads misinformation about Kelly Thomas' character for promotional reasons,” the Facebook page read–but it no longer exists, taken down by someone. Here's the screen grab:
The Weekly's previous coverage of Thomas' death:
- Calls for Resignation, Recall in Fullerton over Kelly Thomas Beating
- Kelly's Heroes: Fullerton police savagely killed Kelly Thomas and businessman/blogger Tony Bushala isn't letting anyone forget
- “Justice for Kelly” Chanted at Vigil for Fullerton Police Brutality Victim
- Hundreds Protest Fullerton Police Brutality After Disgraceful Kelly Thomas Killing
- Protest Fullerton Police Brutality Today: Victim's Vigil Tonigh
- Fullerton Cops Involved in Death of Kelly Thomas Back On Duty
- Kelly Thomas' Officer-Involved Death Was Videotaped; Councilman Calls for Release to Public
- Kelly Thomas' Retired-Deputy Father Blasts Fullerton Police for 'Killing My Son'