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View Diary: BREAKING: Officers That Beat Kelly Thomas to Death Charged With Murder (125 comments)

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  •  Do you have a link for the claim that (9+ / 0-)

    they destroyed video evidence? The DA's statement indicates reliance on multiple video sources, including the cell phones of two witnesses.

    It raises an interesting conundrum: Suppose you were there witnessing and recording the event. Do you (a) turn it over to police who show up to investigate the event -- but not the officers who beat him, of course, or (b) refuse to give it up and keep it, likely destroying its evidentiary value but giving you a nice shot at Youtube fame? (And I mean the generic "you" as in "one" -- not suggesting which way you in particular would lean.) Ideally, one would like to both keep a copy and provide usable evidence, but I'm hard pressed to see how I would do that in a real situation. Perhaps one could accompany the cell phone to the station until they could download it in your presence, but I'm skeptical. Any thoughts?

    •  Hmmm. (7+ / 0-)

      Linky1

      Linky2

       Now, we have a Concert today, to benifit the homeless, on behalf of Kelly Thomas, He was the homeless man who was murdered by Fullerton California Police who also destroyed evidence of videos, films and even had 1 officer brag about the beating in the locker room.

      Linky3

      Edward, who says he has already been interviewed by the district attorney's office about what he saw that night, allegedly heard a police officer say, "You're interfering with my investigation. I would appreciate if you don't take pictures."

      Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 05:30:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, thanks, but ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        I should have been more specific. I wasn't really looking for evidence that someone other than you had made the claim. I knew that, and that's all Link 2 is. I was looking for anything to backup the allegation (if you are so alleging) that video evidence of the beating was destroyed. I'm more than prepared to believe it, but none of the linked stories provides such proof. (I didn't read the comments.)

        In short: I've seen reports of that there were 2 cell phone videos taken of the incident. I've seen the DA's list of evidence considered, which reports 2 cell phone videos. Here's what I haven't seen -- a report from a witness who says anything like "I recorded the beating. My recording isn't one of the two identified by the police. My recording device was taken by the police and either not returned at all or returned with the beating video deleted." Perhaps such a witness will come forward eventually.

        I don't wish to distract attention from the beating itself, which is the far more important crime, so I won't belabor the issue, but I would hope that if there actually is proof of evidence destruction, there would be charges filed on those claims as well.

        •  They were shown on CBS News tonight. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Horace Boothroyd III

          With a warning first that they would be disturbing but necessary for the report. They had video of the incident, look like at least two cameras. They showed pictures of his corpse. It was horrible.

          The FBI, DoJ is on this. The federal charges may be different. This is not just a beating; it is governmental action.

          This is the 250th investigation by the DOJ in the past year.

          They have over 20 police departments being investigated. We are trying to get Albuquerque on their list. We have had some 21 cop killings in the past year. They are scary.

          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

          by samddobermann on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:49:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You misunderstand the specific issue here. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Horace Boothroyd III

            Here's what my comment asked for:

            Proof that the Fullerton police or District Atty DESTROYED VIDEO EVIDENCE. That was the claim the diarist made. That is the claim laserhaas made. That is the claim for which, to date, I have seen NO EVIDENCE. The fact that we've all seen videos taken at the scene cuts AGAINST these diarists' claims, not in favor of them (though it does not disprove them). So does the list of evidence released by the DA.

            Of course I agree with everything said about how horrible the killing was and am surprised and glad about the charges, which may have been made more likely by the fact that the DOJ was called in pretty early.

    •  We do not have proof it was destroyed, but (3+ / 0-)

      there are multiple testimonies that additional video/ camera evidence was "confiscated"

      I will look up the link in my previous diary's...

      Verbal repetitive reinforced Bull S; is MSM weapon of mass destruction!

      by laserhaas on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:14:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Could be. There's no question the authorities took (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        possession of 2 cell phones. They might have been confiscated against someone's will, they might have been volunteered, or, in my view most likely, they might have been turned over by their owner after an intimidating conversation with an officer. That's why I posed the broader question of "what would you do?" Because I would want the perpetrators to be prosecuted, I can imagine being convinced by an investigator to turn over the cell phone voluntarily, even though I would be suspicious about what would happen to it. I'm not sure what I would do.

        Other than the 2 phones, every report I've seen -- and you two have been following this much more closely than I -- relates to preventing, interfering with, or attempting to seize photos during the investigation AFTER the beating is over. (See, for example, the story of "Bunny" in the OC Weekly link.) This is a very important issue -- the right of citizens to video the police performing public duties. That's what some of the comments in this thread relate to, and other diaries have described the legal challenges working their way through the system on this issue.

        We do know of one video that was not seized, or stopped by police mid-recording, as far as I can tell. That's the video that everyone keeps linking -- the one in this diary -- apparently taken by someone in the bus shelter. Obviously no police came and confiscated that (I don't see anything incriminating in it, but the audio is certainly disturbing) and, at least for the time of the video, no police came over to stop the recording.

        In this case, I think people tend to mix up the two issues. One issue is "what should police procedure be when people want to record them?" That needs to be informed by whatever courts decide about the right to record. The other issue -- evidence that gets destroyed or deep-sixed -- is, frankly, corruption. The response to it ought to be swift and severe -- if it happened.

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