Badges? We got no badges. We don't need no stinking badges...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kelly Thomas - Wait for Justice

Last week, I wrote about the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man who lived in Fullerton. Thomas was homeless, mentally ill and, as with many people in that state, had a minor police record. None of this, of course, was known by the officers responding to a call of someone breaking into cars at the Fullerton Transit Center.

Many have weighed in on Thomas' death. The rant blog (try posting something they don't like on it) The Friends For Fullerton's Future blog has practically dedicated itself to singlehandedly bringing down the Fullerton PD. Lots of allegations coming even from the John and Ken show, where, supposedly, an "insider" called into the show to offer the scoop on the video tape. Another entry reports that the Fullerton Chief and the primary DA investigator are friends (who isn't in the LEO community).

All of this , of course, is to allow the case to be tried in the court of public opinion even before it gets a proper review by the investigators and now, thanks to Shawn Nelson's intervention, the FBI. Curiously, there is not much in mainstream news about the case.

But, how does this help the family deal with their grief? Kelly Thomas' Father Ron, himself a retired deputy, called the beating brutal. Grainy video from over 50 feet away, commentated by someone else is shown on YouTube. It is obvious we don't see the entire situation from this clip. I doubt the video surveillance being held back by the police is going to show much else. Everyone seems to want answers now. They want the names of the officers involved as if they would go out and shoot the officers themselves for their misdeeds. The police department, which has had more than it's share of bad publicity lately, is being hung out to dry. The Chief has clammed up. The DA is investigating. The FBI is investigating. So, what should the people of Fullerton and the advocates for Thomas do now?

How about sit back and wait. Wait for the DA to complete their investigation. Wait for the FBI to do whatever they plan to do. By the way, the only information we have that the FBI will do anything is Shawn of the Dead Nelson claiming that the FBI confirmed they are launching an investigation. Now, that in itself means nothing. Has anyone seen FBI agents swarming Fullerton questioning witnesses? Have they seen black SUVs surrounding the police department? Of course not. And, don't expect them to. Investigation can mean a lot of things. And, in this case, I suspect it means they will review the investigations of both the FPD and the OCDA.

And, what about Ron Thomas? The other day, he claims the City has already offered him just short of a million to settle the case. That was quick. Too quick, if you ask me. And, rather than throw the offer aside, the dad is "considering" it. Now, of course, Fullerton has neither denied or admitted the offer. That is a lot of money that would have to go in front of the City Council to be approved (in closed session, of course). Has anyone looked at the Council agenda lately to see if the proposed litigation/settlement/offer has even appeared? Too much going on too fast and I suspect that much of it is too many entities- FFFF, Ron Thomas, Shawn of the Dead, et al -are running into each other.

Now, lest any of you think I am taking the side of the cops, remember this blog. I love to bash wrong-doing cops. But, there are enough legitimate bad guys in the ranks of LEO that I don't need to jump on a publicity bandwagon for the sake of skewering an entire department... at least until we get an investigation or two completed.

So, again, sit back and wait. We've got nothing but time.

And that is exactly what the citizens of Fullerton and the rest of Orange County should do.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

There's a New Sheriff in Town

The Buzz is reporting that former Assemblyman and candidate for Orange County Board of Supervisors, Todd Spitzer, has applied to be a reserve deputy sheriff for OCSD. This is a good move for both him and Sheriff Sandy who has endorsed Todd Spitzer for the BoS position. Face it, how could it be better for Hutchens than having a boss on her team?

To be fair, Todd is eminently qualified to be a reserve deputy. He is a former LAPD reserve officer who has won awards for his work in that department. He is also an experienced prosecutor, most recently working for the most corrupt DA in California, Tony Rackaukus, until he was mysteriously dumped on trumped up charges involving T-rack's girlfriend, Peggy Buff who got an unposted job in the Public Guardian's office and implied that Susie Girl Kang-Schroeder, the DA's spokesperson, was in line to be the next DA. Did we happen to mention we like Todd both as a person and as a candidate?

Still, you have to wonder how this is going to work. Aside from the rigorous schedule Supervisor's keep (just ask Big John Moorlach), what happens when there is a conflict (and there will be) between the jobs? And, I know for a fact that county policy does not allow county employees to work as reserve deputies. Wouldn't the same apply to elected officials?

Spitzer says he just likes being a cop (I can't blame him). But, he could work for any number of cities in Orange County and it would lessen the chance of conflict. So did Sheriff Sandy make a promise? Or is this Todd's way of keeping a conservative eye on our anti-gun socialist Sheriff?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Police hold America’s Night Out Against Crime | tustin, law, america - News - The Orange County Register

Once again, Tustin PD is participating in America's Night Out. Similar to the Open House held a few months ago, the Night Out will feature demonstrations by K9s and community groups. As it is being held at the District, one shouldn't have too much trouble finding some good chow and something to wash it down with as well. All happening at the district on August 2nd.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Who's Crazy?

Remember the Westminster cop and his prison guard buddy that allegedly kidnapped and raped a woman in the IE? The whole story is a bit too crazy even for cops to be involved in. But, to make it even stranger, now Anthony Orbin, the former cop, wants to plead insanity. What a hoot.

His attorney calls it a "psychotic break". I am sure he will want to put the former Marine's record on trial as well, showing how his PTSD drove him to the brink.

He was overprescribed Zoloft which, in severe cases, can cause "bizzare behavior" and hallucinations. But, who overprescribed the drug to begin with. This is an anti-depressant. He would have known about side effects prior to his so-called break from reality.

If this is his whole defense, that he has PTSD and suffers from depression, I would ask the Westminster PD why they hired this guy. No, face it, this guy just stinks. He is a bad cop who, along with his buddy who is ratting him out, did bad things. He should go to jail for a long time and be required to register as a sex offender for life, assuming he ever gets out. Hopefully, the jury will see through this sham defense and do the right thing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Man Dies in Scuffle with Police

Friends and family held an impromptu service at a makeshift memorial for a homeless man who died after a scuffle with police. The original story can be found here.

Questions have been raised by the family and friends of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man, after he died from unknown causes on Sunday. Kelly was involved in a scuffle with police on Tuesday in which it took 5 officers to subdue him. Richard Thomas, Kelly's father and a former OCSD Deputy, believes it was the beating that killed the young man. Well, he should know. Supposedly Richard Thomas is a specialist in arrest and control techniques.

Kelly has been called a "free spirit" who lived homelessly by choice and like to "sleep under the stars". Family of homeless people are often in denial of the real reasons of homelessness which is often mental illness or drug use. They prefer fond memories so they use euphemisms such as these to make themselves feel better and take the blame off each other. In this light, the senior Thomas sounds more like a former sheriff deputy who knows how to get mileage started early in a lawsuit rather than an experienced law enforcement officer who would wait to see all the evidence before making a snap judgment.

Of course, Fullerton PD, who has seen it's fair share of bad press lately, denies any wrongdoing. Rightfully, they prefer to have the evidence weighed before making a decision. Early on, they turned the investigation over to DA's office.

What I can tell you from my experience is things are not always what they seem in a scuffle like this. Contrary to popular belief, cops are not experts in martial arts. They do not have time to spend half their day training like everyone thinks they do (unless you count time at the donut shop as training). They have real jobs that include protecting the citizens of their city, county or state (usually from each other). And sometimes, just sometimes, tasers don't work; pepper spray doesn't work; that neat new hold the instructor taught you in your semi-yearly refresher course on arrest tactics doesn't work. Then, it's a war. It is when 5 officers have to work to subdue one crazy subject who's family should have worked harder to keep him off the street rather than memorialize him at a makeshift funeral pyre. Come on back. We'll keep an eye on this one for you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

1984 Calling

If the above editorial doesn't send shivers up your spine, it's because you've already drunk the socialist Koolaid. I am a big believer in the Constitution. I doubt seriously that our forefathers foresaw the use of smartphones, PDAs and other technologies we have available today. If they had, there is no doubt some personal technology would have been explicitly protected. My desktop computer is personal property. If a cop wants to see the contents he must, in most cases, have a search warrant. Likewise, to read my postal mail, a warrant is also required.

Nowadays, nearly every piece of data I own, be it addressbook, medical documents, email or what have you, is accessible via my handy Droid X. It is still just as private, just as personal.

But, for some unknown reason, the courts have blown it big time. In this recent ruling, they have likened your cellphone to your wallet or your pockets when it comes to warrantless searches. This has a chilling effect on the 1st and 5th Amendments. We should, cops included, be very wary of this.

Not surprisingly though, cops are all in favor. They think it will make their job easier. Until it is used against them. You have the ability to stop this travesty. Call your legislator. State your support of the bill discussed in the linked article. Let them know the people won't stand for this.
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How do I Get One of These Jobs?

You're not serious right? Here it is straight from the Capitol. The highest paid civil servant is not a teacher or even the head of the university system. It's not even a cop. From Around the Capitol: "The highest-paid state employee in California last year, a prison surgeon who took home $777,423, has a history of mental illness, was fired once for alleged incompetence and has not been allowed to treat an inmate for six years because medical supervisors don't trust his clinical skills." Amazing. And the want to come after LEO and Firefighters for exorbitant pay?????

Friday, July 8, 2011

Incident at JWA

We received a sheriffs advisory that a man attempted to disarm a deputy at John Wayne Airport today. The suspect was disarmed by the deputy and another sheriffs department employee who sustained a minor injury. The suspect was later found to be under the influence of narcotics. Go figure. Everyday, our LEO take care of the business of the county and our cities. Instead of going after their pensions, maybe the so-called leaders of our communities should thank them. That would be a difficult pill for the likes of John Moorlach and the Gang of Five to swallow.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fullerton Cop Pleads Guilty to Prescription Drug Charges

Drugs, thefts cost Fullerton officer his badge The Orange County Register
Read the above article and answer the question why our police departments in this county are not doing a better job of helping their cops before they go too deep. Why, according to the OCR, is this a union problem? Are these cops letting us down or is society neglecting those charged with protecting us?
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