[UPDATED with PD Protest PHOTOS:] Kelly Thomas' Retired Deputy Father Blasts Fullerton Police for 'Killing My Son'

Categories: Crime-iny
UPDATE, JULY 18, 7:12 P.M.: The Fullertonian's Alex Stouffer was at this afternoon's Fullerton Police Department protest with camera in hand, and some of the resulting shots have been graciously shared with the Weekly.

Among those who turn up in Stouffer's lens is Ron Thomas, the father of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas, who was taken off life support by his family after he'd been knocked into permanent unconsciousness and brain damage by a half dozen Fullerton cop earlier this month.

Expect to see some or all of these demonstrators at Tuesday night's Fullerton City Council meeting.

All photos by Alex Stouffer/The Fullertonian
Protesters gather at Commonwealth and Highland, in front of the police station.

Ron Thomas (left) talks with protesters. He says he did not organize the demonstration.

For more protest details, read the post below.

UPDATE, JULY 18, 5:34 P.M.: About 20 demonstrators--some toting signs that read, "Who will police the police?"; "The police are not above the law"; and "Cold-blooded murder"--have been protesting for the past two hours in front of the Fullerton Police Department.

The group demands answers into the death of a homeless man and downtown fixture, Kelly Thomas. The 37-year-old died after taking a beating from a half dozen police officers who'd been called the evening of July 5 about car burglaries near the downtown bus depot.

The Orange County District Attorney's office is now investigating the officer-involved killing, but several Fullerton observers are ready to draw conclusions now, which explains their demonstration on the northwest corner of Commonwealth and Highland, in front of the police station.

Ron Thomas, the father of the dead man and a retired Orange County sheriff's deputy, has been highly critical of the police beating, and he joined the protest, although he said he had nothing to do with organizing it.

Thomas tells the Weekly he hopes the protest shows the local media and the Fullerton City Council that "the people" are hungry for answers.

"This thing needs to go national," he said.

But first, Thomas will go local, appearing at the police department's request to Tuesday night's City Council meeting, even though there is nothing on the agenda about the police beating. Thomas vowed, "There will be a lot of people there tomorrow" to address his son's death.

Also applying pressure is International Assemblies, a Fullerton church sponsoring a protest of its own at the police station 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

"We will have members of the homeless community there, minority community,  babies, anyone," said church member Kyle Colyar, a Cal State Fullerton track and field athlete. "We want cats and dogs to show up."

Also spotted in the crowd today was Tony Bushala, editor of the Friends for Fullerton's Future blog, which OC Weekly named the Best Blog of 2010.

(And . . . viola! Here is Friends' protest post.)

Sponsor Content

Now Trending

From the Vault