August 02, 2011

Uniformed Gang Violence

Kelly Thomas (deceased) - Before & After Gang Beating

According to Wikipedia: A gang is a group of people who, through the organization, formation, and establishment of an assemblage, share a common identity. In current usage it typically denotes a criminal organization or else a criminal affiliation.

Today it is true to say that society has become afflicted by the scourge of street gang violence. But the most dangerous gangs are not the ones that hide in back alleyways and the seedier parts of town - you can always avoid going around those places. No, the really dangerous gangs of our time are the ones that strut around the city with colors in plain view and weapons openly displayed at their side. Should you find yourself on the wrong side of town and happen to get mugged by a conventional gang, you may be deprived of your wallet, but most times you'll walk away, perhaps a little shaken, but survive to live another day. But if you should have the misfortune to come across the uniformed gangs that freely roam our city streets today, you must comply immediately and without question to any demand they choose to make of you. Otherwise you may end up either not seeing another sunrise, or if you're lucky getting the beating of your life for 'resisting'. Moreover, should you actually get your day in court the judge/jury will almost surely choose to side with your uniformed attackers!

Of course, if you happen to be homeless like the late Kelly Thomas, then there can be no way for you to avoid a certain encounter with 'street justice' by these gangs as recounted in the following article:

Monday, August 1, 2011

In Praise of "Rogue" Cops

“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.

That this was a gang-involved murder is indisputable. With all proper respect to Ron Thomas, however, the grieving father is desperately wrong about one detail: The murderers were not “rogue officers.” Once the gang assault on Kelly began, practically the only thing that could have saved his life would have been the timely intervention of a rogue officer. 

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