Tuesday, December 31, 2013

WORLD OBSERVER: h e a r t b r e a k i n g



This picture is haunting and it’s been floating around the internet with the sentence:
The last sentence a 3-year-old Syrian said before he died:

“I’m gonna tell God everything”
And that’s equally haunting.  It’s impossible to verify but the picture tells a story about the pain and suffering that exists in Syria right now.  There are many in the media who would like to say this is because president Bashar al-Assad is a ruthless killer.  And that’s half true.  Like other government leaders – he has engaged in war and with that war has come the death of tens of thousands and the displacement of over 1 million Syrians now living in refugee camps.
But this hasn’t always been the case.  This is the inevitable result of a covert war being waged by the U.S., Israel and other Sunni countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia.  Our interests in taking down the Syrian dictator al-Assad are all about geo-politics.  If we take out Syria – we neuter Iranian influence in the region.  It has gotten so bad that al-Qaeda is now fighting on the same side as the United States government and Bashar al-Assad and his government are fighting al-Qaeda.  And Syrians are all the victim of this massive global covert proxy war.
It has gotten to the point where we don’t even know if the chemical weapons that were used in Syria were the result of al-Qaeda or the Syrian government.  When it comes to matters of intelligence and propaganda – it’s very hard to discern truth from fiction.  But no one can deny that Syria was a very stable country until we decided to go in all guns blazing.  We’re not bringing democracy to the world – that’s the sound of imperialism baby.

- Al-Fatihah - Heaven is where you truly belong, little one....

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Officers acted within policy; trainer testifies

A use-of-force trainer testified Tuesday that the actions of two Fullerton police officers charged in the 2011 beating death of Kelly Thomas were acting within the department’s policies.

Manuel Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death. Jay Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.

A 33-minute video of the altercation, synced with audio from devices worn by Fullerton police that night, shows officers repeatedly striking Thomas with batons and a Taser. The video has been key to the prosecution’s case and helped propel the July 5, 2011, clash to the national spotlight.
On the witness stand, Cpl. Stephen Rubio said the Taser that Cicinelli used on Thomas wasn’t working correctly because Thomas continued to fight and the device made a noise that indicated it was being “ineffective.”
After watching segments of the video, Rubio -- who trains officers in the Fullerton department -- said Cicinelli hit Thomas three times in the head with the Taser. Officers, he said, are allowed to improvise with their weapons, though they aren’t trained to use a Taser as an impact weapon.
Strikes to the head and face can be dangerous depending on what items are used, how hard they land and where they hit the suspect, Rubio said. They’re only acceptable when there’s the threat of great bodily injury or death to an officer.

“In the video, all things considered, I don’t see anything out of policy,” Rubio said.
A former FBI agent and use-of-force expert who testified for prosecutors last week said hitting a suspect in the head with an impact weapon is considered deadly force.
“That would not be good proper police procedure,” John Wilson testified as the surveillance tape of the police encounter with Thomas was played and paused.
Thomas died five days after the struggle. A county coroner’s investigation determined that he died of brain damage from lack of oxygen caused by chest compression and injuries to the face. Defense lawyers have argued that the findings were incorrect and he died of a bad heart due to his drug use.
Defense attorneys also asked Rubio about a part in the video in which Ramos put on white latex gloves and tells Thomas, “See these fists? ... They’re getting ready to f--- you up.”

Prosecutors have identified the moment as the point at which the encounter escalated from routine to deadly.
John Barnett, who is representing Ramos, asked Rubio if his client’s words were consistent with his training.
“Yes, it was a conditional threat,” Rubio said. “The profanity may be off-color and may be a slight policy violation.”
Still the use of words, even profane ones, as a means to avoid endangering an officer or suspect is acceptable, Rubio said.
During cross-examination, Senior Assistant Deputy Atty. Jim Tanizaki repeatedly asked Rubio if Ramos was trained to calm tense situations using words when dealing with suspects, in particular with someone believed to be mentally ill.

“Sir, I trained him, once again, to communicate with people effectively,” Rubio said, “whether they’re mentally ill or not.”

The defense is expected to call its last witness Wednesday morning.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-cops-kelly-thomas-beating-within-policy-20131217,0,2336086.story#ixzz2no8UGZbw

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kelly Thomas MURDER Case: Cicinelli You Look Like Shit- You Are, Shit




Update: 1:30 pm: Under cross-examination, emergency medicine expert Dr. Gary Vilke acknowledged that weight on a person's body can restrict breathing.
Vilke was responding to questions from Orange County District Atty. Tony Rackauckas. 
But he maintained that the change in Thomas' voice hear during a video tape of his altercation with police did not indicate his breathing was obstructed. 
Vilke said Thomas' voice becoming low and elongated could have been an indication of a "modification" of his airway. 
He said Thomas was still "ventilating" or moving air into and out of his lungs. 
Rackauckas asked Vilke whether it's possible somebody can be ventilating but still not getting enough oxygen. 
Vilke answered, "possibly yes."

11:37 a.m. Defense attorneys in the trial of two former Fullerton police officers accused in the death of a mentally ill, homeless man called to the witness stand Monday an emergency room physician who challenged the official cause of death determination for Kelly Thomas.
The Orange County Coroner’s Office ruled Kelly Thomas died July 10, 2011, from a lack of oxygen to the brain brought on by compression to the chest and by head and facial injuries. His death came five days after he was involved in a violent struggle with six police officers outside the Fullerton Transportation Center.
On the ninth day of trial for defendants Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, Dr. Gary Michael Vilke testified that blunt force trauma did not cause or contribute to Thomas’ death.  Ramos and Cicinelli have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, with Ramos facing an additional count of second-degree murder. Cicinelli has also been charged with using excessive force.
Vilke is a professor of clinical emergency medicine at UC San Diego and has researched in-custody deaths. Under questioning from defense attorney Michael Schwartz, Vilke said he reached his conclusion after reviewing Thomas’ medical and autopsy records and after watching a surveillance video tape of the July 5, 2011, altercation between Thomas and police.
“Facial trauma doesn’t kill people,” Vilke said. He testified Thomas did not lose consciousness immediately after the struggle indicating there was no brain injury. Vilke said a CT scan later performed on Thomas looked normal.
Vilke also testified Thomas didn’t appear to have suffered a lack of oxygen during the struggle. Vilke said he was an expert in how air moves into and out of the lungs, or ventilation. He said after reviewing the video, he didn’t see any instance in which enough pressure was used to cause ventilation failure in Thomas.
Vilke said he found no evidence that Thomas suffered asphyxiation. He said he saw no indication of a broken nose and no blockage of airways.
As part of their case, prosecutors have pointed out that Thomas can be heard in the video yelling that he couldn't breathe. Vilke testified the fact Thomas was able to yell indicated he was breathing.
“’I can’t breathe,’ this is a common thing people will say,” Vilke said. “The fact that he is screaming and screaming and screaming[…] We know that he is getting a long burst of air out.”
Vilke also testified that the amount of blood Thomas lost during the struggle was not enough to kill him or trigger cardiac arrest. He said records indicated Thomas lost about 150 cubic centimeters of blood, much less than what a person loses in donating blood. 
Earlier Monday, clinical psychologist Dr. Robert Flores de Apodaca testified that Thomas had acknowledged in a 1995 interview that he had been using methamphetamines for several years.
Defense attorneys contend Thomas died from an enlarged heart brought on by drug abuse.