‘Daddy, help! They’re killing me!’

By Ruben Navarrette Jr., CNN Contributor

Editor’s note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a CNN.com contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist.

San Diego, California (CNN) — As evidenced by media stories and public awareness campaigns, Americans have resolved to get tough on bullying. In that spirit, it’s time to send a message to bullies with badges.

We need to tell police who prey on the vulnerable: “No more! When you pile on a suspect and beat him to death, we will treat you just like any other alleged criminal. We will arrest you and prosecute you. And if convicted, you will go to prison for a very long time. We will make an example out of you so that other police officers will think twice before abusing their power.”

The messenger could be the jury that will hear the case against two police officers in Fullerton, California, a city about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles. A judge ruled Wednesday that the officers will stand trial in the beating death last July of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man afflicted with schizophrenia.

Cpl. Jay Patrick Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony use of excessive force. Officer Manuel Ramos faces the more serious charge of second-degree murder, because prosecutors believe he took a more active role in the assault. Both officers have pleaded not guilty.

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Categories: Americas

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