Cop Who Was Fired After Kelly Thomas Beating Trying To Get His Job Back

from the because-we-can't-trust-the-mentally-ill/homeless-to-beat-themselves dept

The disappointing (and surprising) “not guilty” verdict handed down by Orange County jurors in the beating death of homeless man Kelly Thomas has sparked a variety of reactions. Thomas’ father called it a “miscarriage of justice.” A protest held over the weekend resulted in thirteen arrests. The FBI, for no discernible reason, has declared it will look into the evidence, presumably in hopes of righting the perceived wrong of the jury’s verdict with an actual wrong that undermines the criminal justice system.

One of the two cops charged in the beating of Kelly Thomas, former officer Jay Cicinelli, is now fighting for his job back after being found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and excessive force. This itself isn’t unusual. Fired cops who have been cleared of charges frequently try to return to the force. The unusual aspect here is that Cicinelli’s former boss doesn’t want him back.

Dan Hughes, Fullerton chief of police, said in a statement that his decision to fire Cicinelli is separate and unaffected by the acquittal.

“Former Police Officer Jay Cicinelli has alleged that he was wrongfully terminated and has demanded his job back,” Hughes said. ” I stand behind the employment decisions I have made.”

Cicinelli previously sued the LAPD when it assigned him a desk job after a suspect shot him, taking out one of his eyes. By the end of it, he had been promised 70% of his wages for the rest of his life ($40,000/yr.) but still wasn’t returned to active duty as a patrolman.

This left him in a bit of trouble when the footage of Thomas’ beating surfaced, showing that he was back in active duty (albeit with a different police department). The pension board considered yanking his guaranteed payout, but ultimately decided to not to pursue the case.

Now, Cicinelli wants his job back with the Fullerton Police Dept., which Chief Hughes intends to fight every step of the way. There’s no word yet on whether Officer Manuel Ramos will try to return to the force after being acquitted for more serious charges (second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter). Whatever the jury saw in the recording of Thomas’ beating (including Cicinelli telling other officers that he “ran out of options and smashed [Thomas’] face to hell” [using the butt end of his Taser]) may not have convinced them that Cicinelli crossed the line into criminality, but it certainly seems to have convinced his former boss.

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Comments on “Cop Who Was Fired After Kelly Thomas Beating Trying To Get His Job Back”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Civil rights

So the Techdirt author does not think it’s fair that the ffederal government uses its constitutional power to enforce civil rights?

Congress has the power under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to enforce the Bill of Rights against anyone who under color of law violates an individual’s civil rights.

This has been blackletter law since the 1950s.

Without statutes like ? 242, Alabama police could have murdered martin Luther King and suffered no consequences.

Another Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Civil rights

I think the author’s concern was that the feds would be attempting a whitewash of what many perceive as police violation of civil rights.

And many would say that the Alabama police department, with the assistance of special forces snipers, did and did. I’m not quite convinced of that yet.

NeuronsFromSpace says:

The scientific and well reasoned mind would accurately deduce that the sub-reason Cicinelli is having employment troubles is because having only one eye leaves Cicinelli with no depth perception. The fact that Cicinelli was back on duty, and allowed to use weapons that *require* depth perception implicates his boss to a paramount degree.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This. I shoot bows, which I imagine are similar on this score — binocular vision is not helpful, and usually makes proper aiming more difficult.

At distances, depth perception comes more from visual cues than binocular vision. Where having two eyes really helps with depth perception is when you’re looking at things close up.

CorporateHeadquarters (profile) says:


Jan 21. In our American Police State now there are lots and lots of killer cops, we even recently had a Killer Neiborhood Watch Guy. We got killer cop prosecutors, killer cop judges, killer cop juries. We got dead black guys reaching for their ID. We got dead homeless women wielding deadly shopping carts. We got killer cops who are afraid for their lives cuz of homeless people. We got killer cops who are afraid for their lives cuz of children with toy guns. We got millions of Americans who do not get a $40,000 paycheck. We got two Fullerton killer cops who enjoy driving all over town taunting their protestors. We got a lot of dead Americans killed / executed / murdered by cops. And now we got on alive pathological liar as a Gov. of New Jersey named Chris Crispy – he’s done!

arkiel (profile) says:

One of the root causes of killer cops? Strong policeman unions that back pieces of shit like this cop. Seeing as how cops do nothing but work within exceptions to the Constitution (i.e., the Constitution allows people to be arrested, etc) it seems kinda silly that they would even be allowed to unionize. I guess we should let the army and national guard union up too?

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