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"See these fists? They're getting ready to f*ck you up."

Today in vicious jackbooted thuggery comes via Reason, with a video of a swarm of cops tasing and beating a mentally ill homeless man, Kelly Thomas, into a coma (from which he later died) while he apologizes and cries for his father. I've watched this, and I warn you, it takes a strong stomach. I think it's important to realize how this thing went down, but I won't judge you if you don't watch. The beating starts about 15:00.

It's another example of the rot in our elite institutions. Law enforcement are among the most powerful government employees--tasked with exercising violence in the name of the state. They should in a just society be among the most restrained and careful with that power, heavily trained to avoid confrontation and escalation, to use violence only when absolutely necessary. They should be professionals.

Watch, if you can, the swaggering, swinging dick cop, who is clearly just looking for the tiniest excuse to pound the piss out of this wretched guy. He says, "See these fists? They're getting ready to fuck you up," when Thomas is being sort of snotty and uncooperative. Watch how, when Thomas brushes off the cop's hand, then backs away, open hands raised, the cops shout "get on the ground," then immediately start taking heavy, full-power swings with their clubs at Thomas' knees and head. Violence is the first resort.

Then, when they've wrestled him to the ground, Thomas immediately starts apologizing, even while they're still beating him: "Okay, I'm sorry, dude!" He repeats this over and over and over. Instead of trying to talk him down, or just restrain him until he calms down, the cops are satisfied with nothing less than absolute surrender. They yell commands at him, and when he doesn't comply immediately they use more and more force. As more cops arrive, making additional force less and less necessary, it actually gets more violent. At one point one cop is yelling commands at him while another is tasing him, while he screams in agony and flops around. (See here for the DA's description of what happened.)

This was, literally, a Cartmanesque bunch of thugs. This mentally ill homeless person didn't properly respect their authoritah, so they tortured him to death.


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