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Did Ramos Know Thomas Was Mentally Ill?

                                                          by Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR

                                                                               Schizophrenic Kelly Thomas

Did Ramos know Thomas was mentally ill?

Did Officer Ramos know that Thomas was mentally ill? This is an important question because if he had had previous peaceful contact with Thomas, why did he decide this time to brutalize him?

From all reports and his own admission on the video, Ramos knew that Thomas was a regular on the streets and had had contact with him on several occasions. Ramos knew Thomas so well that he didn’t even frisk him, a standard procedure, while the officers detained him. We can only surmise that Ramos did not consider Thomas a threat.

It would be hard to believe that Ramos did not realize that Thomas was mentally ill. Thomas was shirtless, bearded, disheveled, long-haired and needing a bath. He was wandering the streets, carrying a ratty backpack. He was quiet, submissive and compliant and couldn't remember his first name.

California is the prime location for the homeless due to its climate. On any given night, 672,000 are on America’s streets, half of them with a serious mental illness. With an estimated 2.4 million Americans with schizophrenia, Ramos has undoubtedly dealt with many of them.*

*Source: NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness; National Alliance to End Homelessness. www.nami.org

I’m not sure it matters that Thomas was mentally ill. Can anybody be subjected to psychological, emotional and physical cruelty and then be expected to cooperate like a reasonable, calm person?

For the official definition of schizophrenia, please click here.

For a profile of how schizophrenics like Kelly Thomas think and act, please click here.

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