Kelly Thomas Protests Intensify: The First March

Hundreds of people spilled into Commonwealth Avenue Saturday morning for a march as the protests against Kelly Thomas’ beating death intensified for a sixth week.

Chanting slogans such as “When they say get back/We say fight back!”, the protesters deviated from their usual gathering at the intersection of Commonwealth and Highland Avenue and marched from the Fullerton Police Station right to the bus terminal where the 37-year-old was beaten by police in July.

Bystanders on Commonwealth looked with curiosity and awe as a sea of sings headed towards the bus station.

Organizers of the march—led by Answer LA—said to the audience that they were not fazed by any action for not having a permit to march on the streets. Instead, they claimed that it was their right to protest because they “owned the streets.”

Garo Madirossian, the attorney representing the Thomas family and Veth Mam, the man suing the Fullerton Police Department for a wrongful arrest, made an appearance a couple of hours after the march. He stressed that what happened to Kelly Thomas and Veth Mam is part of the culture of corruption in the Police Department.

“We want to keep trying to change the culture [of the Police Department] not hoping for any more Kellys,” he said. “I’d love to see the interim Chief [Kevin Hamilton] to take charge [of this situation].”

Madirossian is asking for a stop to the corrupt practices of “if you write it, I’ll swear to it,” especially when it comes to the police writing reports. He cited the fact that the Police Department allowed the officers involved in the Kelly Thomas beating to watch the video before writing their reports as an example of corrupt practices.

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Alternate View of the Verdict Protests

An inside look at the Kelly Thomas verdict protests. While the mainstream media reports that the protests "turned violent", the truth is more interesting. (photos by Ed Carrasco)

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