|Kelly Thomas in a family snapshot, (l.) and in the hospital following a July 5th beating by Fullerton, CA police officers.|
From the Los Angeles Times:
Kelly Thomas: D.A. charges two officers with murder, manslaughterAs I watched District Attorney Rackauckas make his announcement on live TV today, I couldn't help but wonder if the outcome of the Arthur McDuffie case might have been different had there been a videotape of his beating in 1979. Sadly, we'll never know.
Two Fullerton police officers have been criminally charged in the violent confrontation that left a homeless man dead, Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas announced Wednesday.
Officer Manuel Ramos has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the beating of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic man. Officer Jay Cicinelli has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.
Booking photos of Fullerton police officers Manuel Ramos, left, and Jay Cicinelli.
Rackauckas said the department reviewed 151 witness statements, videos of the beating, medical reports and police statements.
The district attorney's office had been awaiting the coroner's determination on the cause of death before deciding whether to file charges.
Officers approached Kelly Thomas on July 5 at the bus depot in downtown Fullerton while responding to a report of someone trying to break into cars. According to witness accounts, Thomas ran when officers attempted to search his bag. Exactly what happened next is unclear, but witnesses said they saw multiple officers hitting Kelly and shooting him with a Taser while he was on the ground.
Officials from the district attorney's office have said they were awaiting toxicology and other test results from the coroner before making a decision on the case. That report was handed over to the district attorney's office Tuesday, but the findings were not made public.
Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man with schizophrenia, was a regular presence in downtown Fullerton. He died five days after the confrontation, after being removed from life support.
Fullerton Police, Jay Cicinelli, Manuel Ramos, Kelly Thomas beating video and photos