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Avoid the 13% Affected

As citizens, we believe that everyone should abide to the law of the land, to serve and protect those in danger and to keep our government in place. However, power manipulates the authority and makes our system corrupt. Police officers are known to be the citizens’ protectors and we depend on them when a bad act comes along, but they too are open to become corrupt. Kelly Thomas, “a 37-year-old homeless man afflicted with schizophrenia” was brutally beaten to death by Cpl. Jay Patrick Cicinelli and Officer Manuel Ramos in Fullerton, California. To make matters worse, Ron Thomas, father of Kelly Thomas,was “offered…nearly a million dollars to settle the case” by Fullerton city officials. However, Ron Thomas declined and pushed for a criminal trial.

These men committed a violation of the 8th amendment for “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted” and by violating the right of a mentally ill man, they should be charged as criminals. Under a U.S. code called Section 1983: Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights, “it [is] unlawful for anyone acting under the authority of state law to deprive another person of his or her rights under the Constitution or federal law. The most common claims brought against police office [of many]…excessive or unreasonable force.”

Though these policemen violated Kelly Thomas’ rights, they also have rights to stand trial according to the 6th amendment and have the right to have a “jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.” Currently, Officer Ramos “faces a potential sentence of 15 years to life if convicted of second-degree murder but only four years if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Cicinelli faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison.”

Research has shown that there are number of percentages that police have used unjustified brutal force against a person, 13% are fatalities, sadly, Kelly Thomas was one of that 13%. No government system is perfect but it shouldn’t be so brutal that instead of protecting citizens, they kill them. Learn your rights as individual citizens and don’t be a victim of that 13%.

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