DA Claims No Evidence Police Intentionally Killed Homeless Man
A District Attorney in Fullerton California claims there is no evidence that police intentionally tried to kill a homeless man who died after being savagely beaten beyond recognition and ultimately killed by police officers.
On July 5, in response to a routine check on a car break-in report, police confronted Kelly Thomas, 37, near the bus station ? a location he often resided. Shortly after, Thomas, who is a diagnosed schizophrenic, was brutally beaten. His face was repeatedly smashed into the curb, flashlights were repeatedly hammered into his skull, he was tasered at least six times as he screamed in terror: ?Dad, Dad, Dad?, and then he went unconscious. Thomas died five days later after being taken off life support.
The video of Thomas? cries for his father have been viewed more than 715,000 times on You Tube.
Earlier last week, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said that there is no evidence the officers intended to kill Kelly Thomas, but are still in the process of trying to determine if officers used excessive force in his death.
The statements by Rackauckas have further outraged an already angered community over city official?s handling of the incident.
?How can it be inconclusive when his face was so bashed in?? said Ron Thomas, Kelly?s father, in response to the District Attorney?s finding. Such a result appears logical considering the extent to the beating. A hospital-bed photograph Ron Thomas took as his son lay in a coma shows a face grotesquely swollen and bloody, eyes blackened.
Ron Thomas is a former investigator for the Orange County sheriff?s department and wants murder charges filed against the officers.
According to the USA Today, he said doctors showed him MRI scans revealing his son suffered two severe types of brain injury, one a lack of oxygen because his heart stopped, and the other blunt-force trauma.
?They just beat the hell out of him,? says Cathy Thomas, Kelly?s mother.
Eye witnesses said Thomas was unable to offer any resistance as he was beaten beyond recognition by the officers.
?They kept beating him and tasering him. I could hear zapping, and he wasn?t even moving,? said an eyewitness. ?[H]e wasn?t resisting. And they kept telling him, ?He?s resisting, quit resisting?, and he wasn?t resisting.?
Witnesses said the beating reminded them of the eerily similar brutality engaged against the protestors in Egypt and Syria.
The incident has resulted in a massive backlash against the Fullerton police department, the Chief of Police, the officers involved, the city council members, and the Mayor. Already Chief Michael Sellers has taken a ?30-day medical leave? and is not expected to return to his post.
Mayor Richard Jones, 78, a retired Air Force doctor and plastic surgeon, says he needs to know the cause of death.
Comments that did not win him any support in the community.
?I will say these are gruesome injuries, but I?ve seen worse in people who survived,? Jones said. ?I don?t know why he died.?
Fullerton is a conservative, majority-white, Republican-leaning city of roughly 135,000, and is home to a 35,000-student campus of the California State University system.
Since the July killing of Thomas, there are protests every weekend at the police station, and city leaders? silence has sparked recall petitions.
?It?s devastating for Fullerton,? Councilwoman Sharon Quirk-Silva said. ?This does not characterize Fullerton.?
She is right, previously the city was not well-known by many in the United States, but now it has garnered worldwide attention as the place where the mentally ill Kelly Thomas was brutally beaten to death by Fullerton police.
?Anonymous,? a hacktivist group infamous for their attacks against Visa, Mastercard, Sony and The Sun, says they are launching ?Operation Fullerton.? The group of shadowy technology wizards sent a letter to the Fullerton Police Department criticizing the local city government for having a ?broken moral compass.?
?This is not just a brutal attack against another human being, but an attack against human rights,? said the letter. The group says it is making the following demands:
1) We demand the prosecution of Officers Jay Cicinelli, Kenton Hampton, Manny Ramos, Joe Wolfe, James Blatney, and anyone else involved in the gruesome beating, torture, and murder of Kelly Thomas.
2) We demand the immediate resignation of the Chief of Police in Fullerton, California.
3) We demand that the City of Fullerton immediately pay a lump sum settlement of no less than 5 million dollars to the legal survivors of Kelly Thomas.
If the demands aren?t met, the letter states, ?We will begin to treat the web assets of the police, city government ? and any other targets we deem in support or a cause of this incident with as much mercy as was shown to Kelly Thomas. He may have been silenced, but his screams will live on forever, and we will join him as Operation Fullerton.?
In a surprising twist, the Fullerton?s acting police chief, Kevin Hamilton, acknowledged late last week that the department had allowed police officers involved to watch a video that captures the incident before writing their reports; contrary to the normal procedures of writing up the incident from their own perspective ? thus not being allowed to tweak the report to fit the video footage.
LAPD?s former inspector general, Jeffrey Eglash, told the L.A. Times, ?It is not a practice that advances the truth-seeking.?
The officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave while two separate investigations by the FBI and the police department?s internal affairs division are ongoing.
Interview with Thomas? father:
There may not be evidence of pre-meditated murder, but that does not matter. They still killed him, and deserve to go to jail. Why are they not already charged with abuse of power, excessive force, assault, and man slaughter, or second degree murder? The DA can not be that incompetent. Why does justice take so long when the cops are the criminals?