In Praise of ‘Rogue’ Cops
by William Norman Grigg
“His death was gang-involved, the way I see it,” lamented former Orange County Sheriff’s Detective Ron Thomas after viewing the mangled body of his 37-year-old son, Kelly. “A gang of rogue officers … brutally beat my son to death.”
The description of the crime is appropriate: Kelly Thomas was murdered by a thugscrum of at least six police officers on a sidewalk in Fullerton. Kelly, who had a criminal record, was a homeless adult who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. On the evening of July 5, police were called to a street near the Fullerton bus depot by a report that someone was burglarizing parked cars.
Kelly was identified as a suspect, and was uncooperative with the police. He was tasered at least five times and beaten until brain-dead while pleading with the officers and crying out for his father. Multiple eyewitness accounts have disclosed that the beating continued – punctuated by the familiar demand that the victim “stop resisting!” – long after Kelly was on his back, motionless and defenseless.