The added tragedy of the verdict in the Kelly Thomas case



By: Lauryn Beth Faulkner ( Contributor)

The two officers most recently charged in the Kelly Thomas murder case have both been found not guilty of both charges. As someone who works in police accountability with cop block I’m never surprised when it comes to the justice system. But I must say I feel like I’m almost in shock about this one. This case finally reached the hands of a jury of every day citizens. Everyone I have shown this video to, everyone in the comment section on anything written about this case on the internet, said that this was wrong and the officers should be charged with murder. I don’t understand how they found twelve people that in eight to nine hours found both of these men not guilty on every charge they were given to consider.

This jury had every type of evidence you could ask for to easily get a murder conviction. They had video of the entire incident from multiple angles with audio included. They had many witnesses all who were horrified by what they saw. They had pictures of Kelly in the hospital while he was in a coma beaten unrecognizable. They had an autopsy that said there were no drugs in his system and his heart and other organs were in working order before the police tazered him numerous times, sat on him, suffocated him and beat him with everything resembling a weapon within arms length. That was the cause of death. The brutal beating this man took from a gang of police is what caused him to fall into a coma and eventually to his death.

I have a feeling that these people that composed this jury could have been standing there themselves watching it in person with their own two eyes and still reached the same verdict. It’s obvious that these people decided that these men were not guilty because their actions were justified, not because they didn’t murder Kelly Thomas. They have been convinced whether it be by a constant barrage of seeing these types of things in the media or whether it be by the words of the defense attorney defending this despicable behavior, that what these police did was necessary and lawful. Threatening a homeless man sitting on a curb then following through with your threats with a bunch of your buddies and beating him to death for disobeying your orders is justified in these peoples eyes because the men who did it have badges.

If this had happened and it was a group of people with no badges, that being the only difference, they surely would have found them guilty. But because these men wore uniforms the citizens have given them the right to beat someone to death for talking back to them and having an attitude. In any other circle of reality ,except the circle of hell were in right now, this would be heinous premeditated murder.

As if the police needed another excuse to feel like the law doesn’t apply to them this has surely giving them a clear signal that this type of behavior is acceptable and they will get away with it. They’ve clearly already been getting away with it. The only reason this case even made it to a jury is because Kelly Thomas’ father is a retired officer who did everything in his power to alert the media and demand justice.

I remember when I first saw the video of this murder as clear as 911 is in my mind. It was that tragic and traumatic to my soul. I felt a pain in my chest. I cried uncontrollably. I screamed at the computer screen. I was determined to not allow these police to get away with this. Surely with all of this video evidence and all of the eye witnesses and the mangled body they left behind this would not go unpunished. Of course I had my doubts because the police are never prosecuted and never punished for what they do, but I had a good feeling about this one. I thought this might be the one where the evidence is so unbelievably overwhelming that there was no way they can get away with not prosecute these police officers for fear of public reprisal at least. Turns out I was wrong. Turns out I would be crying tears again at the end of this case too.

We cannot continue to stand by and allow this to happen over and over again. The badges, uniforms and fancy hat these police officers have does not excuse them from personal responsibility. It does not allow them to avoid having to pay the consequences for the crimes they committed and continue to commit on a daily basis. Yes, the police have the right to self-defense just as anyone else does, but they don’t have the right to instigate and escalate the situation the way they did in this case. We also have the right to self-defense even if the person attacking us is a police officer. Although I promise you if Kelly Thomas had injured or killed one of these police officers and he had survived he would be in jail right now. Kelly Thomas didn’t wear a uniform. Therefore he wasn’t afforded the extra rights these police officers are with their officer’s Bill of Rights.

Officer safety was talked about an awful lot in this case. What about the safety of the public? I can bet Kelly Thomas’ life as a homeless man was just as dangerous if not more so than any police officer’s life. This fact did not grant him the ability to act before thinking. The police kill and injure way more members of the public on a yearly basis then the public kills or injures members of the police. If anyone has a reason to worry for their safety its us.
Because of the verdict police all over the country will see themselves as even more invincible than they already did. They will see the facts surrounding this case and they will draw the logical conclusion that they can do whatever they want as long as they’re wearing a badge when they do it. We as a society have bred a gang of psychopaths with no remorse for what they do. We have giving ourselves no recourse to do anything about it. Cases like this will continue to pop up in the future. I’m not sure how they could get much worse but I’m sure they will unless we as the public start defending ourselves and demanding that these police be held accountable.

Opinion By: Lauryn Beth Faulkner ( Contributor)