Just Shake Your Head and Cry:
In Orange County it’s not Justice that is blind,
it’s the Jury. And a D.A. Who Blew the Case.
Rant by Dennis Davis
I had a strong suspicion that the verdict would be not guilty based on the inherent conflict of interest of Prosecutors prosecuting police. But I also had a much stronger hope that justice would prevail and my faith in the justice system would be restored. After Rodney King, George Zimmerman and so many other cases too numerable to mention, I have become disillusioned and highly skeptical that our system of jurisprudence is capable of serving and protecting the people. Yet again in this case of Kelly Thomas my hopes were dashed and my suspicions upheld. The Kelly Thomas case is particularly close to my heart because it involves a mentally ill and chronically homeless man. I come across this type of men and women through our foundation while performing outreach to the homeless and mentally ill with my partner Robin. This horrific, brutal beating and murder of Kelly Thomas, a vulnerable, mentally ill homeless man, was committed under the color of authority by up to six police officers of which only two were charged. The subsequent not guilty verdict of the two defendant peace officers is the most egregious miscarriage of justice case that anyone who listens to and views the videotape can imagine.
A mentally ill homeless man was sitting on the curb. He was calm, compliant and had no weapons. Within thirty minutes he was lying in a pool of blood and later died at the hospital. During that thirty minutes 4 police officers were all over Kelly and the video and audio taped evidence shows the brutal and deadly actions of officer Ramos and the rage of officer Sicinelli who pummels Kelly’s face into a bloody pulp, fracturing bones and destroying Kelly’s left eye. Coincidentally Officer Sicinelli lost his left eye while working for the LAPD but was released from duty and came to Fullerton PD where he was allowed to serve. All the while during this encounter we hear Kelly crying out “I’m sorry, I’m sorry”, “I can’t breathe” and “Dad” until his voice falls silent.
What is done is done. But who is at fault for this miscarriage of justice? Well, we could say that the jury was “insane” and “how could they possibly?” But the blame lies squarely in the face of the Orange County District Attorney, Tony Rackauckus. He did not meet the burden of proof. It was his job to convince the jury of 12 of the guilt of the 2 police officers charged. A prosecutor has to work 12X as hard as the defense to convince a jury. Mr. Rackauckus, you did not work 12X as hard as the defense. You slacked off and failed at the job and now 2 psychopathic policemen are on the streets and the message you sent to other cops will be deadly.
I watched you labor clumsily through disjointed opening and closing arguments to the jury, leaving defense arguments unchallenged. Mr. Rackauckus you never brought into evidence the mental illness of Kelly Thomas as part of the case. Why? This opened the door for the defense team to paint the victim Kelly in the worst possible light. You did little to refute the character assassination of Kelly by the defense and allowed the jury to buy the argument that these two cops armed with batons, tasers, a hobble and handcuffs were in fear for their lives by one skinny schizophrenic man bleeding and pleading for his life. Bottom line Mr. Rackauckus, is that you failed miserably in connecting with the jury. You never convinced them that your case was just. From your website you say that “I am committed to seeing that justice is realized by providing the highest standard of legal representation for the public and for crime victims.” I think you fell short on that standard in this case.”