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And make no mistake. It was murder.

Two Fullerton Cops were acquitted for the beating death of Kelly Thomas.  A young schizophrenic man.  This comes in the wake of story after story of young people with Autism, Down syndrome and other developmental disorders being mistreated, beaten, and even shot by police.  Police who are increasingly trained to respond to every challenging situation with force of some kind or another.  Police who are increasingly trained to see themselves as an armed security force instead of a part of the community they patrol.

There is no rage more spirit-crushing than an impotent one. And no rage harder to put into words.  Fortunately, I found someone to do it for me...

(More under the fold)

... where on Earth are you going to find a jury of 12 people... that live in the community... that will have to see the police every day... that had no love or relationship with the victim... that pay the salaries of the accused... that need the accused to "serve and protect" them... to stand up and say "Fuck you". 12 innocent people, in a courtroom full of uniformed officers, to say quis custodiet ipso custodien (Who watches the watchmen?).

After all... If you stand out, the police may kill you.

These are the words of a good friend who blogs about his experiences raising an autistic child.  As the father of a special needs child myself, it kills me to see stories like this play out over and over again - as if there is no point at which we will say 'enough' to this type of story.

I urge you to read the whole blog.  You'll find it here.  They are the words of a father terrified that his son will meet the same fate.

And to those of you who's immediate reaction is to defend to police and the 'tough job' they do that we just 'can't understand,  I dare you to watch the complete video of the Kelly Thomas incident.  The link is right there, on the Find My Eyes blog.  Go on.  Watch the video and defend it.   See if you can sit through the whole thing without your soul dying a little.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Mother of a 21 year old autistic son (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, old mule, Celtic Merlin

    and our main terror is the "police".

    They have complete immunity to hunt, beat, mock, torture, detain, ticket, and kill our disabled children.

    Thank you for sharing the link.

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:05:26 PM PST

  •  PS: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celtic Merlin

    My 19 yr old daughter who is not disabled, refuses to get a drivers license so she can drive.  The only reason:  She's afraid driving will put her at more risk of having to deal with a "police officer".  

    She'd rather bus and walk in the dark - than have to possibly face a cop.  

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:07:03 PM PST

  •  I think the prosecutions need to be rethought. (4+ / 0-)

    This case is the worst of the many, many horrible cases of its kind that I've seen.  Seems as though there are more all the time.

    I'm a retired criminal defense lawyer from a family of criminal defense lawyers.  My own perspective may not be correct, but I think defense lawyers in general have a lot to offer on these cases.

    Prosecutors have two real problems when they try cases like these:  One, they work with the cops they're prosecuting, or with their colleagues, on a regular basis.  That creates a psychological difficulty because they are accustomed to presenting the cops as heroes.  Two, when they pick a jury, they tend to pick the kind of jury a prosecutor usually wants, i.e. a bunch of authoritarian state-lovers.  That gives them a bad jury for cases like these.

    I believe that if and when the state/DA/government gets serious about abusive and deadly and horrific police violence in these cases, they need to have them tried by a special team of lawyers, preferably from out of the immediate area, who are trained to try them, just as some prosecutors are trained to try sex abuse cases.  That should include criminal defense lawyers, who confront cops for a living and look for anti-authoritarian jurors.

    I don't think juries acquit in these cases because they're scared of the cops.  I think they acquit because they're the wrong jurors and because the cases are being prosecuted by lawyers who are not experienced in accusing cops of misconduct.

    Any prosecutors out there?  What do you think?

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      misslegalbeagle is a prosecutor, upper midwest, I think. The only one I know of offhand on the site, but I'm sure there are others.

      Your suggestion to have some specialty groups for certain types of cases certainly makes sense. And anything we can do to counterbalance vested interests or biases, we should look into, imo.

      In Oregon we don't have pretrial hearings anymore, they've gone to a grand jury system in the interests of 'judicial efficiency'. But, unsurprisingly, since there is no counter to the DAs in front of the grand juries, there is a fair amount of abuse by some of the DAs. Some counties impanel grand jurors who are selected for having no experience on a grand jury to use that lack of experience to the State's advantage.  There have been attempts to change the procedures to include both sides, but so far, no luck, (the DA's offices all screamed bloody murder and lobbied like crazy when it was proposed in the legislature). ::sigh::

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 01:36:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not a prosecutor but an ex-cop & I agree (0+ / 0-)

    this is no place for a "the good guys I know" prosecutor.
    Or team of 'em.

    Look, internal affairs divisions are loathed by the rest of the force, cordially and with reason; but for something like this?

    You want the nastiest IA investigator you can find. In fact, you want a dozen of them. Teaming up. And if your prosecutor won't listen to those guys -- you need a better prosecutor.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:52:32 PM PST

  •  I hate law enforcement (0+ / 0-)

    The vast majority of them are pigs, sexist, racist, conservative pigs.
    Read the odious site PoliceOne.com to see how they think
    Just the avatars  they use are disgusting: a cartoon of a cop beating a crowd with a nightstick, pistols, a outline of a pig brandishing a nightstick.....

    There are two decent, liberal LEO on there, who are pro Occupy too, but they are routinely derided as non law enforcement.

    "Down with sodomy, up with teabagging!" Sign @ TeaBilly rally.

    by pitbullgirl65 on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:08:16 PM PST

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