Sep 5, 2011
Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old mentally-ill homeless man, was beaten to death by six cops in Fullerton, California in early July. Outraged and horrified, dozens of witnesses repeatedly urged the cops to stop the beating. Videos posted on the Internet showed that the cops continued to batter Thomas, shooting him several times with a taser, long after they had clearly subdued him.
Fullerton police and city officials took no action against the six cops for weeks – until demonstrations by hundreds of Fullerton residents, who joined Thomas’s family in protest, finally forced authorities to take the murdering cops off the street.
Police and city officials refused to release the 911 calls and the police’s own video of the incident.
Once again, police brutality and subsequent cover-up by authorities – outrageous, but nothing new. The only thing unusual about the murder of Kelly Thomas is that it happened in a suburban area, and not in a working-class neighborhood, where police brutality is a reality of everyday life.