Monday, January 13, 2014
An Orange County jury today found former Fullerton police officers, Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, not guilty of beating Kelly Thomas to death at the Fullerton Transportation Center, despite a 33-minute video of the murder recorded by a nearby security camera supplemented by audio recorded by their body microphones.
This verdict is absurd and indefensible.
Whether by mistake or by deliberate act, the prosecutors in Trayvon’s and Kelly’s cases permitted cops to testify as experts on the use of force and to express their opinions that Zimmerman in Trayvon’s case and Ramos and Cicinelli in Kelly’s case acted reasonably and did not use excessive force.
In both cases, the prosecutors did not object to the question and move to strike the answer until the following day.
In both cases the judges sustained the objection and instructed the jury to disregard the answer.
But that didn’t unring the bell.