It took me a while to decide whether I had the stomach to watch the newly released video of Kelly Thomas’ beating.   However, as the day progressed, and I continued seeing more and more posts about the video, it became something I could no longer ignore.

Last night the video that captured the beating of Kelly Thomas was released to the public.

The video captured what many wish would have not happened that Tuesday night in July.

Kelly Thomas was diagnosed with schizophrenia since his younger years.

The picture was dark and grainy, but the audio was what disturbed me the most.  The constant “I’m sorry[s],” to the agonizing “help me[s],” that later followed by several “I can’t breathe” statements by Thomas.

For a moment I even wondered, what is that “teetering” sound?  To my dismay, it was the sound of a defenseless, 37-year-old, being tasered, not once, not twice, but more than enough times.

The aftermath of that July night in Downtown Fullerton.

Most of us have already heard about this local story, how Fullerton police officers beat this mentally ill man in Downtown, which ultimately led to his death five days later.  However, today, almost a year after the tragedy, we are still to see what the future holds for Officer Manuel Ramos and Cpl. Jay Cicinell.

Almost everyone in the community is certain that these men, along with four others (who weren’t charged) are guilty for the occurrence of that summer night.  But I ask myself, “Why didn’t any bystander come to Thomas’ rescue?”

(Left) Officer Manuel Ramos, 38, charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. (Right) Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of use of excessive force.

Now I’ve been to Downtown Fullerton more than a handful of times and I’ve seen how crowded the streets can get, and how it’s quite obvious that on that “Taco Tuesday” plenty were out watching.

So I continue to wonder–

Are we all not human enough to feel another man’s pain when in plain sight? Do we all not have the courage to stand up for what is essentially right? Are we all too afraid of the harm we could potentially be in for helping someone else?

If I was present that night, would I have stepped in? After seeing this video my heart immediately says, yes!

But… I wasn’t and others were, why didn’t they?

Too often we live with many should haves, could haves, and would haves.  Isn’t it time to put our foot down and start fighting for what we believe in? Isn’t it time to say, I can and I will?

Don’t be afraid to be that one to stand up in the crowd, the rest are thinking the same, they are just wanting to follow someone else’s lead.