Something far worse and more extensive than a “bad apple” — or six of them — happened to Thomas Kelly. If he had encountered a rogue cop, then that man could be fired and the problem solved. This is what police apologists wish the public to believe: that police departments across America have problems, like every other organization, but they are fundamentally sound. Kelly Thomas proves differently. He encountered a group that acted in concert in causing or contributing to his death. His family confronted a legal system committed to justifying and excusing any death caused by the police. Typically, such accused officers are given “paid leave” during an investigation and then returned to the streets.
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