FBI, Medical Experts Pin Kelly Thomas’ Brutal Death on Police Beating

Has anybody used mugshots to make a "Gang member or arrested police officer?" quiz site yet?Critics of police misbehavior
may be pleased to hear that the trial of the Fullerton, Calif.,
police officers accused of beating homeless schizophrenic Kelly
Thomas to death has not been ignored by the Southern California
media. The Los Angeles Times, the Orange County
, OC Weekly and several local news stations
have been covering the case since it opened last week. Two former
officers, Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, are on trial for killing
him. A third faces separate charges.

Damning testimony came Monday when a retired FBI agent was
called by prosecutors to the stand to analyze the use of force by
officers and declared it excessive. Here’s how the OC

described it

During [Monday]’s testimony in the Kelly Thomas murder trial, a
retired FBI supervising special agent and tactical police training
expert told jurors that the 37-year-old homeless man had a right to
use force to defend himself against two Fullerton police officers
who’d essentially converted themselves into heavily armed thugs
with badges.

John Wilson, who spent 60 hours studying the gruesome, July
2011, police attack on an unarmed Thomas, said that officer Manuel
Ramos began the minor encounter unnecessarily by immediately taking
out his baton, swinging it in both hands and poking it at the
victim, who hadn’t been physically threatening.

But, according to Wilson, the most unprofessional moment prior
to the killing occurred when Ramos mocked the schizophrenia-addled
Thomas as stupid, dramatically put on gloves as he towered over him
and said, “Now, you see my fists? They’re getting ready to fuck you

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas played related portions of a
surveillance tape of the brutality and, over Ramos defense lawyer
John Barnett’s incessant objections, asked Wilson if he considered
the cop conduct appropriate under the circumstances.

“Clearly, no,” replied the 26-year FBI veteran, who at one point
served on the U.S. Attorney General’s protection detail in
Washington, D.C. “I have problems with everything that happened
after Ramos put the gloves on.”

On cross, defense for the two officers on trial tried to paint
Wilson as a guy who didn’t know what it was like to walk a beat or
what the work of a street cop was actually like, according to the
OC Weekly.

Yesterday, the trauma surgeon who treated Thomas when he was
brought in following the beating testified. He said Thomas’ death
was ultimately caused by oxygen deprivation to the brain, a result
of his inability to breathe properly during the beating. From the

Los Angeles Times

When he arrived, Thomas was breathing through the tube, which
was attached to an air bag that was squeezed by hand, [Dr. Michael]
Lekawa said. His blood pressure was extremely low and his PH score
indicated that his body was producing so much acid that, the doctor
said, he has never seen a patient with a similar PH score live.

“I’ve never seen a survivor, ever, in my 18 years,” he said.

The cause of Thomas’ death, Lekawa said, was inadequate oxygen
to his brain. During the confrontation with police, “various
persons were on [Thomas] and holding him down … preventing him from
breathing,” Lekawa said.

“He was doing everything he could to breathe but becoming less
and less mentally with it to do what he could to breathe,” he

Ultimately, Thomas stopped breathing, which caused his heart to
stop, leading to “irreversible brain damage,” he said.

Below, a vivid reminder from ReasonTV of the brutality that lead
to this case:

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/11/fbi-medical-experts-pin-kelly-thomas-bru

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