Two Fullerton police officers have been criminally charged in the violent altercation that left a homeless man dead.
Orange County District Attorney, Tony Rackauckas announced Wednesday that officer Manuel Ramos has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the case of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic man. Additionally, officer Jay Cicinelli has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force.
D.A. Rackauckas said the department reviewed over 150 witness statements, videos of the beating, Kelly Thomas’ medical reports, and fellow Fullerton police statements.
The delay in charges were due to the D.A. office waiting for corner reports and issued cause of death.
On July 5th, Fullerton police arrived at bus depot in downtown Fullerton in response to a report of someone trying to break into cars. According to bystanders, Kelly Thomas, 37, ran when officers tried to search his belongings. Once Kelly was apprehended is the topic of debate, but witnesses said they saw multiple Fullerton police officers striking Kelly and Tasering him multiple times while he was on the ground. He died five days after the altercation, after being removed from life support.
The D.A. office have stated that they were awaiting toxicology and other test results from the coroner before making a decision on the case.
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