August 14, 2011

Taser Death: Kelly Thomas (Fullerton, CA)

This time the police electrocuted a 37-year old homeless white man to death. It happened back on July 5, 2011 in Fullerton, CA. The taser-killing of Kelly Thomas was witnessed by a number of passengers on an Orange County transit bus. [SOURCE]
"The cops are kicking this poor guy over there, all these cops," one woman told the bus driver in a conversation captured on a grainy bus surveillance tape.

"He's almost halfway dead," another passenger told the driver. "They killed him."
Officers responding to reports of an attempted car break-in near the station confronted Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old schizophrenic homeless man who had become a fixture in downtown Fullerton. I'm fairly certain that the penalty for breaking into a car is not supposed to be DEATH!

Six officers fought with Thomas and they used their taser guns to pump his limp body with 50,000 volts of electricity several times. He emerged severely beaten and in a coma. A photo taken of him at the hospital shows his face grotesquely swollen and covered with bruises and cuts. He died five days later after being removed from life support. [SOURCE]

Suspicions about the incident have been heightened by two videos on which witnesses reacted to the police action. In one video taken by a bystander, Thomas can be heard screaming "Dad! Dad! Dad!" over the clicking sounds of the Taser.    Here is video with reaction by his Dad a few days later.
"They've Tased him five times already," a woman can be heard saying on the video. "That's enough!"
One eyewitness, Mark Turgeon, 42, who is also homeless, said he arrived at the scene to see Thomas face down on the sidewalk with one officer on top of him and another hitting him on the back of the head with a flashlight. More officers arrived and Tasered him multiple times, then hogtied him, he said. Turgeon also described seeing officers slamming Thomas' face into the concrete after he was tied.
"They just beat and Tasered him until he stopped moving," Turgeon said.
An initial autopsy did not determine cause of death, and coroner's officials are waiting for additional test results.


Dr. Julian Omidi said...

this is very sad to here. Some people out there like to abuse their power like the bouncers in fullerton at the envy lounge fullerton.

Unknown said...

All - The cover-up is always worse than the original crime. Fullerton powers-that-be are still trying to hide the names of the taser-killing police officers in this case.

raingirl2 said...

It is a tragedy that this country is so blind and hateful that they continue to praise cops who are no more than criminals themselves they have consistently beat harassed and abused too many citizens in the alleged line of duty. every criminal act imposed by them is always because they "feared for their safety" what a crock when six or even more cops attack a single person who's safety is in danger? certainly not the six cops who kick, stomp and use various sprays, tasers, flashlights, guns and other felonious weapons in a manner inconsistent with the law to commit crimes against our citizens who if the same crime was committed by a person not hiding behind a police uniform and corrupt politicians they would go to jail, but ironically the cities, towns and states of this country support and protect these criminals. The fundamentals of physics proves that what goes up must come down and these criminal officers will fall down and the creator will be the arbiter of their fate. Keep praying for peace and equal justice. Evil, hatred, racism has destroyed this world. Just look at what is taking place in this country and through the world God is TIRED and speaking loudly that he is in control. Maybe not today but these criminal officers will get what's coming to them and no one will be able to stop it.

Unknown said...

RainGirl2 - I hope you're right. I wish that more of these taser-killings would end up with criminal charges against the officers involved. However, that seems to happen in very rare cases. This may be different in Fullerton CA with the taser-killing and beat down applied to Mr. Thomas. Only time will tell.

...... said...

Kelly Thomas was killed due to restraint asphyxia: he was held down with the full weight of multiple officers on his chest, interfering with his ability to move his chest wall which causes suffocation. The beatings and Taser use were completely unnecessary but did not cause his death. He could have been easily restrained. All six officers should have been charged with manslaughter or negligent homicide as they all held him down, suffocating him.

Unknown said...

Dr. Murray - I agree that all of the police officers in this case should have been charged with a crime ... not just the 2 most egregious officers.