Officer John J. Nazarian

A couple of weeks ago I discussed this case briefly on my radio show, ‘Straight Talk with John J. Nazarian. The photo on ‘’ is terrible, how these officers climbed that ‘ladder’ of aggression has been looked at closely. And what we find is an officer or maybe two going a little overboard with the ‘use of force’ to gain compliance.

I was not there and have only the media and now the documents of the Orange County District Attorney’s office to go by. The D.A. is a political animal and this is a great cause to show ‘the’ people, ‘look at how I handled this’. What about the officers? The two officers and maybe more will have their lives ruined and maybe at times they will wish they were dead. Not that many people care in this society but lots of cops commit suicide and it gets a blip in the paper depending upon the news that day.

“First Degree Murder”, Rose? Did you loose one of your oars? These officers did not lay and wait to kill anyone, they responded to a call and for whatever reasons the call spiraled out of control. As a former officer I expected and demanded that people that I was dealing with follow my instructions to the letter. Now am I going to say that I never went ‘hands on’, of course not, I also feel that any officer that goes through his police career and never has had a complaint from some disgruntled arrestee or citizen was either lucky or lazy.

(Who cannot remember the Rodney King debacle and the affect that had on police officers. King was and still is a criminal and knew the game more likely better than the cops, but we all know where that went. When will our society realize that bad people do bad things and it is the cops who have to confront this cultural garbage. Once again, the cops got the shaft and King got the gold.)

Also keep in mind Kelly Thomas went from being someone’s child sweet and loving child, on to a teenager with all the dreams that kids have at that time in their lives and then….he became an adult and at some time a public nuisance. I am sure that his dad and mom did not set out to raise a public nuisance but that was the end result. Where was dad when his son was roaming the streets of Fullerton. This is a sad story on several levels, it is sad that Kelly is dead, should he had been locked up in a mental hospital as it would have been in the days of old? But no, people like Kelly Thomas, and there is no shortage of people like this in our society, they roam our streets and in some instances create havoc. Either rummaging through the recycling or sitting and stinking perhaps in close proximity to us when we want to enjoy some time with family and friends.

It has become the responsibility of our local police and sheriffs to deal with the loons and all related baggage that they bring. The death of Kelly Thomas is a terrible thing.

Knowing this is not a defense, had he been on his medications and or under the watchful eye of ‘daddy’, could this had turned out differently? Perhaps. Officer Ramos appeared to be getting a little overly aggressive, I have arrested hundreds and hundreds of bad guys. I have also smacked a few and would do it again if given the opportunity, I realized that I had all the power in the world at times. I had the power to deprive someone of their freedom and if given the ‘green light’ I could and would have taken their life.

Officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli never set out to kill this guy, it was a progression of more and more force being used when it was more likely not needed. I am 60 years old and I have no question I could have taken junior into custody, not a doubt in my mind. For me if it meant walking and talking to this mental midget I would have, that was my style. And again, I loved having the opportunity to put my tight leather gloves right into a bad guys face, only when it was warranted.

Now, that the cheering squads are getting their pound of flesh and these officers are no longer going to be cops and will be made to be the most miserable that the system can make former cops. Remember for a cop this is nothing short of a death sentence, yes I can see some of you wriggling your fat asses on the couch, will this also make you happy? What about Kelly Thomas’s dad, what explanation does he have of not taking charge of his ‘not so right’ kid? For me, I taught all my kids to cooperate and don’t say anything other than their names, and call me. Cooperating a little more may have stopped what was coming and on the other hand, just maybe that train has already left the station.

God Bless the men and women in blue and Khaki and I wish both of these officers all the best in defense that they can get. They are going to need it now that they are going to be a part of ‘Political Tom Foolery’.

Here is a ‘second thought’, who? Other than maybe Kelly Thomas’s father is really going to miss him? Will a street in the run down part of town be named after him? Will a special issue garbage bag be made in his honor? Will there be a Kelly Thomas super dooper stun gun? And who is going to miss his presence at Thanksgiving dinner or those wonderful and warm moments sitting around the Christmas tree? Who I ask?

My other thought is did his mom and dad have him over for those special holidays, I am only asking. Quite frankly if this guy was a dog he would have been put down as a public nuisance, and I understand that we don’t do that in our society. Nor should we, it is not fair to dogs, but boy do I have a problem with all of this.

Here is another thought to go with the one above, who is going to miss officers Ramos and Cicinelli? My bet is going to be lots and lots of people, and was there a point that this should have stopped, it did not. So now we have two cops who will be sacrificed to a system that they both supported. They will both become political stepping stones for many gutless politicians who would not know whether to shit or throw donuts if they had to for one minute confront what cops have to on a daily basis. Will Officer Ramos’s family miss him at Christmas and Thanksgiving, I am thinking yup! Jay Cicinelli’s family I am guessing another yup.

For me as a former cop and writer I guess I was lucky, sure lucky that we did not have the technology that haunts the modern day coppers. Sure the old days of ‘gunfighters’and ‘metro’ units are gone. Hey what about the ‘Hat Squad’ of the old L.A.P.D. There was a time when a cop if he knew that a felony had been committed could shoot ‘a fleeing felon’, ah what the hell, ‘I Roger That’.

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©Straight Talk by John J. Nazarian, Private Investigator
September 25, 2011
Used with the permission of John Nazarian P. I. – writer
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24 Responses to “John J. Nazarian on the Kelly Thomas Death and Officer Ramos and Officer Cicinelli”
  1. heath says:

    John that Photo speaks very very loud….the damage done to that mans head is dreadful… do that is just not normal and I can think of no defence these guys have..

    It hasn’t even anything to do with being a cop but a human being.

    I haven’t been able to keep this from coming back and forwards in my thoughts since I saw the photo. Just think of a jury.

    I also have to ask if person is a criminal does that mean that they can be treated dreadfully and because they are a criminal that makes it alright.. no it makes the abuser a criminal as well.

    The spin doctors will have a hard time glossing over this one…

  2. John J. Nazarian P.I. says:

    The photo is so bad that I thought it was photo shopped, as I said, the level of aggression is hard to understand on how it escalated out of control. Given the circumstances taking Kelly into custody should have been a walk in the park….he was a little nuts. Also the officer was wearing a ‘mic’, he had to know what was being recorded. The verbage every cop has heard and is not so unusual…….
    I hope that these guys have great lawyers as we have seen good lawyering is critical in getting away with murder in this country…..and in the end, how about this, ” shit happens”.

    John J. Nazarian, P.I. Writer

  3. Kathy says:

    Those officers had no grounds to arrest Kelly Thomas. His ONLY crime was sitting on a bench looking like a homeless guy. As a former officer, you should be well aware that a parent of a mentally ill adult has absolutely no authority to confine their child to his bedroom, a hospital, or anywhere else. Even if Ron Thomas could have his son involuntarily committed, it would only be for 72 hours. Ron Thomas isn’t the reason his son is dead.

    Kelly Thomas did not deserve to be savagely beaten to death. The animals with guns and badges who killed him should be locked away for life, because they are a danger to society. Those other four officers who sat idly by and watched should be fired and thankful they aren’t charged too.

    The police chief and all the other high ranking individuals who set out to cover up this crime by lying, and encouraging these animals to falsify their reports should also be charged and locked up. As a taxpayer, I shouldn’t have to fear those who’s salary I pay. When I walk through Fullerton, it is not the homeless people who scare me, it is the police.

    John, your callous disregard for the life of this vunerable human being is disturbing. I am happy that you are no longer a police officer.

    Justice for Kelly Thomas!

  4. Robert says:

    Sometimes you hear people say things so out of whack that you realize that you will never find a point of reference to begin a discussion.
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the Iranian president who says it was a US conspiracy that the world trade centers were bombed and the holocaust didn’t happen. You both share this same boggling approach to thinking that no normal people relate to. I am sure this causes you both much discomfort.

    I think really the problem is compassion. You stopped associating yourself with normal citizens and only classify yourself as an officer or former officer. Let me paint a picture for you that may blur those lines you have drawn. Your daughter/son/wife goes out drinking and decides to drive drunk. They get pulled over in their diminished capacity. The cop beats them to death and the DA/judge says they only went a little overboard in their use of force to gain compliance. In my last stunning bit of irony, we use that same technique of dehumanizing that you just used when you cry to the papers, internet and legal systems. It was just a cops daughter/son/wife, who is going to miss those SOB’s.

    The only reason for you to be glad that there isn’t the technology that you describe as so haunting would be if you were yet another abuser of the badge…or more specifically the gun. Which in the end is all it is. But be careful how much you divulge about being happy about it. I’m not sure there is a statute of limitations on murder and I don’t think the world would cry too much if you were in the cell beside them.

  5. John J. Nazarian P.I. says:

    Well said even if I disagree, I was a good cop and I knew how to get the job done and was respected by some and hated by many. A little like now. I am prepared to go to my grave with a smile on my face for most of what I have done. Typical your thoughts on ‘dont blame mom or dad’…..the apples do not fall far from the tree. One other thing I would love to see the cops and deputies go on strike and see what people like yourself would do. IT WOULD NOT BE PRETTY, I ASSURE YOU. For me and my own, not a care in the world would I have.

    John J. Nazarian, P.I. Writer

  6. John J. Nazarian P.I. says:

    Bob, you watch too much television, as an officer you learn a great deal, what you learn in the academy is nothing what the reality will be. ‘Abuser of the badge’, I never broke the law in enforcing it…..did not have to I liked doing what I was doing and did not want to loose what I had worked for. Bob, I worked at three different levels in law enforcement and left each one with my head held high. When I became a cop Bob, it was dam near impossible and thousands wanted the job and few got hired, THREE TIMES. Maybe you missed that part that I state, that I would walk and talk to these assholes at times to get them to cooperate. Seldom did I have to have a shirt replaced or pants sewn due to fighting with arrestees. As for murder, sure I did shoot something, a dog that attacked me and a prisoner. That is it for gun play Bob. More bad news Bob, only one is in a cell for now, and the other is going to be sacrificed to appease someone like you Bob
    John J. Nazarian, P.I. Writer
    Oh Bob, PS- did you also miss the part that I said that I could have taken Kelly into custody without much ado? So Bob be careful as you step off your soap box that you dont slip and hurt yourself..

  7. Liann says:

    heath and Kathy, I completely agree!.

    Kelly Thomas was 140 lbs and 37 years. What was his dad supposed to do??.. It just is so annoying imo when people comment on how the father should have done something without saying what he should have done. What Should have the family done???.. The family kept tabs on him and he had loved ones but some people really need to educate themselves on schizophrenia.

    Kelly DID NOT choose to have schizophrenia and it is not his nor his families fault that he did!. The Officers DID choose their actions and must account for them…

    I heard in a interview that Ron Thomas said that if the family receives any money form this he is going to donate it to helping the homeless and mentally

    Also there is still the FBI investigation regarding the officers violating Kelly’s civil rights.

    “The FBI has opened a parallel investigation into whether the officers violated Thomas’ civil rights and Fullerton City Council members have also hired an independent investigator to do an internal review of the arrest”.

    Hopefully the Federal Government will bring some charges to the others also.

  8. Dan Harper says:

    Mr. Nazarian, how you conducted yourself as a police officer is irrelevant to the wrongness of Kelly’s death. There is a line and I am glad to hear you never crossed it. However, your defense of these bad cops only lends credibility to the widespread belief that police protect their own. Beating someone for 10 minutes and not stopping even when they lose consciousness is not “going a little overboard with the ‘use of force’ to gain compliance” Your comparing Kelly to a dog is beyond the pale. Given such a beating alone would have constituted a felony, the fact that the person died while they were committing a felony makes this a possible capital murder case. If Ramos only gets murder 2, he should count himself lucky.

  9. Liann says:

    Blunt force to the head 8 times with the butt of a taser gun and that same taser gun was already deployed on the victim more then once does not show intent on a 140lb mentally challenged man???.. That they knew was harmless???.. It took cops SIX cops to subdue him??? I know that cops in OC are so pissed off about what they did and how this only makes their job harder…

    I have no pity on the ones that did this only on the real Police Officers that are now facing repercussions of this on the job…

    Good job John showing light on how all cops past or present stick together and not owning up to their own actions. BS, just talk to one or two and see how this BS has made their job even harder, they don’t think this shit is right and regardless of homeless dogs or people, police know their limits.

  10. Liann says:

    If you look at it in a certain way you can see that a light is shining on OC police force to keep them in check or at least until this blows over but another way to look at it is that cell phone cameras and citizens have a voice..

  11. Liann says:

    Maybe officer Cininelli only saw out of his glass eye, He was found not fit for duty in Los Angeles and was hired by Fullerton.. ( Sad story)..

    What is up with their mug shots regarding their left ears???? :dunno:

  12. John J. Nazarian P.I. says:

    There was a time that a ‘brotherhood’ did exists in law enforcement circles and that too has gone away little by little. And I agree with you some issues and it is what it is. Again,
    being a cop in todays world is not easy for anyone who wears a badge and uniform. For sure I will go to one of these people aid if given the choice….just the way it is. It is not clear to me how what should have been a simple contact turned so wrong. And again, lets see how this plays out with the court, the jury and the lawyers who will defend them.
    Being a cop and have this happen to you is a huge disadvantage, and let me just leave you with this thought, ‘one week with no cops’, just sit back and imagine that.
    John J. Nazarian, P.I. Writer

  13. John J. Nazarian P.I. says:

    9, 10, 11, :bootyshake:

  14. Dan Harper says:


    I appreciate you giving us the perspective of the police as to just how difficult the job is. But let’s not conflate the two issues. The difficulty of the job, the importance of the job to a civil society, and any advantage or disadvantage a police officer may have with regards to coming before a jury are all irrelevant. What is relevant is whether or not they broke the law and in doing so needlessly cost a human being his life. I don’t think the actions of the officers were premeditated, but Kelly is just as dead. Other irrelevant issues are Kelly’s mental illness, Kelly’s father’s child rearing skills, who will or will not miss him, whether or not he was a public nuisance, whether or not my ass is fat, Christmas, Thanksgiving, things named in honor of someone, what it would be like with a week without cops, and whether or not it is appropriate to put down a dog. I dare say that none of these irrelevant issues you raise will every be heard in a court of law, nor should they. Relevant issues will be whether Kelly was combative or resisting arrest, his strength, at what point resisting became a lawful self-defense against the police, the length and severity of the beating, the state of consciousness of Kelly at various stages of the beating, the fact that the police are subject to the same laws as everyone else, and probably others I can’t think of, but which the prosecutor or defense may raise.

    The fact that you raise so many irrelevant issues makes it appear that you are blaming the victim and making excuses for the perpetrators. It is hard not to come to the conclusion reading your post for both content and tone, that you believe a homeless mentally-ill person is somehow not worth of the same protections and rights enjoyed by upstanding citizens. If you are not embarrassed by the impression your post leaves, I am embarrassed for you.

    If I may, I would like to comment the veracity of one of the irrelevant issues you raise. Police officers are not at a disadvantage in a court of law. There testimony is given more weight than the average person.

    As more and more people are carrying phones that are also video cameras, the ability of a bad cop to abuse his power is greatly reduced. This is a good thing for the citizenry and for all the good cops out there.

    Dan Harper, human being.

  15. Kathy says:

    Good Post(s) Dan. I am just hearing that Ramos bail will remain at one million, as it should.

  16. John J. Nazarian P.I. says:

    I enjoyed reading your comments, no Dan I am not embarrassed but thanks for taking that thought on. We will be discussing this in length on an upcoming radio show and why there are more “beatings” than in years gone by. The reason will surprise many of you are interested in relevant issues and causes.
    Thanks for the comments,

    John J.Nazarian, P.I. Writer

  17. Kathy says:


    I would be surprised if one of the causes of more police beatings was sitting on a bench, head down, minding one’s own business. You have mentioned that you could have easily just arrrested Kelly Thomas, without necessarily beating him to death. My question is, on what grounds would you have to arrest this man? What law did he break?

  18. Dan Harper says:


    I don’t have a problem, per se, with the police trying to question Kelly. Assuming Kelly tried to avoid being questioned, I also have no problem with him being detained. Otherwise, any and all would just run or walk away from the police and that obviously makes the investigation of anything impossible. To go further, I don’t have a problem with the police using force to detain him. Detention without arrest is not unusual and can be perfectly lawful. In this case, however, I think the application of force in the name of detention increased to the point it became unlawful.

    Things seem to be going in the right direction now in Fullerton with respect to this case. I am hopeful that the full truth of what happened is determined and adjudicated with fairness. I don’t think we will ever know if it was Kelly’s army that pressured the DA to bring charges or whether he would have anyway.

    Despite my personal opinion that the officers are guilty, I firmly believe that the principle of innocent until proven guilty is a cornerstone of our judicial system. Whatever the outcome of this case, I will respect the outcome even if I think justice was not served. In that our system is comprised of fallible people, perfect justice may not always be served. But it is a good system, maybe the best, and the alternative is anarchy.

  19. Liann says:

    #13, I DO NOT care what you say or think! EVERYTHING I posted is TRUE!!!!!..

  20. Liann says:

    John, Please answer.. What didn’t the parents do????… What options did they have???… What should they have done better???… This is a big question on many of the blogs and some follow you..

  21. Liann says:

    No One has that answer…. If they did so many families would not have to deal with this mental disorder..

  22. John J. Nazarian P.I. says:

    #9 :blabla: #10 :console: #11 #20 #21…… :bootyshake:

  23. John J. Nazarian P.I. says:

    :console: we will find your coloring book and crayons :yeah:

  24. Danilo says:

    I just happened to read this blog because it is a bit slow at work and this BLOG is complete BS. Any reaosnable officer knows that this was a “Murder” and both of these poor excuses of police officers will be held accountable. The Glass Eyed Freak charged with Involuntary Manslaughter? Please, man, there was nothing Involuntary about that. When the FBI is done with their probe, they will most likely ALL face charges(adding to the the charges to Glass Eye and the “Ese” Ramos; already handed down by the DA). I think the Second Degree Murder charge to Ramos is right on, but, I think Glass Eye should have been charged with Second Degree Murder as well or “Voluntary” Manslaughter. The other 4 cops will most likely be charged by the FBI, as I said. Nazarian, P.I., go do something productive and investigate a cat that is stuck on a tree. I love when people like you blame the DAD for Kelly’s death. Read on Schizo, Mr. P.I. The DAD did not kill Kelly, the FPD did that night. Since you are doing P.I. work now, maybe you should check out the INSPECTOR GADGET reruns so you can use “MODELING” to produce positive results and be the best P.I. you can be. Got Tony Robbins?

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