Nearly a month after six Fullerton police officers viciously beat a homeless schizophrenic man named Kelly Thomas to death, information is still only trickling out.
But there is at least one video from a city-owned surveillance camera as well as a second video from a witness that may have been confiscated by police that have yet to emerge.
The surveillance video supposedly shows a one-eyed officer doing most of the beating, according to an anonymous caller into a Fullerton radio show.
That officer is Jay Cicinelli, a former Los Angeles police officer who lost an eye in a 1996 shooting, according to Friends of Fullerton’s Future, a local website which has been keeping a close eye on developments surrounding this case.
Cicinelli lost his eye just three weeks after graduating from the police academy at the age of 26. He was eventually hired by the Fullerton Police Department, even though the LAPD believed his injuries rendered him incapable to be an officer.
In 2005, Cicinelli was commended for saving an austistic boy from train tracks as a train was approaching.
The anonymous caller, who obviously has close ties to the department, accuses the one-eyed officer of repeatedly beating Thomas with the butt of his Taser gun as well as dropping his knee repeatedly on Thomas’ nose and throat.
The one-eyed officer then bragged about it the following day in the police locker room.
Meanwhile, another video emerged Monday (posted above) from a city bus that shows a conversation between the bus driver and witnesses in the aftermath of the beating.
The witnesses told the driver that Thomas ran off after being confronted by police, which prompted them to chase him down and beat him mercilessly.
I’m telling you Homeless guy was just chillin’, and then the cops came, two cop cars came, two cops, they tried getting him but he just ran off from them, ran away from them, and then they caught him pound his face, pound his face, against the curb, was red, and they beat him up
Besides that video, the only other video to emerge was posted last month that captures the 37-year-old Thomas screaming for his father as he is being tased repeatedly. His father is a retired Orange County sheriff’s deputy who has accused the cops of murdering his son.
He also said that the City of Fullerton offered him a $900,000 settlement, which he declined.
Thomas, who was well-known to locals, including police, was suspected of breaking into cars. His father said he may have been off his medication.
On June 11, Friends of Fullerton’s Future interviewed a witness (below) who said there were about 50 people watching the beating, including a local real estate agent who was videotaping it.
But that video was apparently confiscated by police.
So far, not a single witness account indicates that Thomas fought back, despite the Orange County Register referring to it as a “fatal fight.”
The anonymous caller who identified the one-eyed officer first contacted the John and Ken Show on Friday, describing the footage from the city-owned surveillance camera.
He said the police dispatcher, who controls the camera, zoomed in during the beating, capturing one officer repeatedly beating Thomas with the butt of his Taser gun until blood splattered over the officer’s arms and hands.
This same officer repeatedly dropped his knee on Thomas’ throat and face.
All this took place after Thomas had stopped moving.
On Monday, the caller contacted the radio show again, stating that it was the one-eyed officer doing the beating. This time, they disguised his voice.
He said the quality of the surveillance camera is so good that it could pinpoint the freckles on a person’s chest once it is zoomed in, but the district attorney’s office is choosing to not release the video.
He also said most of the officers know the identities of the officers involved and many are not happy with what took place.
He said they were turned off by how the one-eyed officer bragged about the beating and many officers have not been happy with his “heavy-handed tactics” from before the incident.
Five of the six officers who participated in the beating remain on active duty. The sixth is on some type of medical leave.
The one-eyed officer has been transferred to the undercover gang unit, the caller said.
The incident has stirred protests against the department and an FBI investigation.
Below is another video posted two weeks ago that doesn’t appear to be related to the Thomas beating, but shows a Fullerton police officer smacking a man who was video recording an arrest in downtown.
UPDATE: The five remaining cops have been suspended, according to CBS.
UPDATE II: Orange County residents, including Thomas’ father and two Fullerton city council members, are demanding the release of the video, according to the Orange County Register.
UPDATE III: The L.A. Weekly confirms that Jay Cicinelli is one of the officers involved in the beating death of Kelly Thomas.