Two Fullerton police officers will face criminal charges in the beating death of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old schizophrenic man who was killed in July.
Now the question is, will the D.A.’s office release the surveillance video that captured the incident as well as other citizen videos that were confiscated?
Officer Manual Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced.
See the press conference above.
According to the Orange County Register:
The news conference is continuing, and Rackauckas has not said whether any other officers will be charged in connection with Thomas’ death in July. The District Attorney’s Office has been investigating six officers who were involved.
Rackauckas said officers delivered a barrage of blows to Thomas’ head as he cried out for his father and told them, “I’m sorry.” He said Ramos confronted Thomas with fists raised and the words, “These fists are ready to (expletive) you up.”
“Ramos instilled in that victim fear, a reasonable fear for his life, that he was in danger and he was in danger by a police officer who wanted to ‘(expletive) him up with his fists,’” Rackauckas said.
He said Thomas died because of the force of the officers on his chest, which made it impossible to breath. Thomas fell unconscious, then slipped into a coma, and died when he was taken off life support five days later. The injuries to his face and head, Rackauckas said, contributed to his death.
And here is the Los Angeles Times version:
Six officers were placed on leave after the beating, but Rackauckas said he filed charges only against Ramos and Officer Jay Cicinelli, who is accused of excessive use of force and involuntary manslaughter. The other four officers were not charged and were unaware of the statements and threats made by Ramos, the district attorney said.
Cicinelli allegedly Tased Thomas four times, kneed him in the head twice and hit him eight times with the Taser, Rackauckas said.
“Kelly Thomas was not responding when blows to his face occurred,” Rackauckas said, adding, “That is not protecting and serving.”
Rackauckas said the cause of Thomas’ death was “medical compression of the thorax,” basically chest compression that left him unable to breathe. His other injuries were contributing factors, according to the coroner’s report.
Everything so far is in accordance with previous witness statements.
I will be updating this story as it progresses, so come back for more details.