[UPDATED W/FIRST VIDEO OF POLICE ARRESTING VICTIM:] Kelly Thomas' Officer-Involved Death Was Videotaped; Councilman Calls For Release to Public

Categories: Breaking News
UPDATED, JULY 25, 8:42 A.M.: Now comes the first video of police arresting Kelly Thomas, posted on Youtube and available through Fullertonsfuture.org. You can't see much besides onlookers milling around on the sidewalk, mostly blocking the view of a few police officers who appear to be crouching down in front of a cruiser. The onlookers discuss how the cops apparently have tased Thomas five times while he was already down on the ground. Disturbingly, you can hear someone, presumably Thomas, sobbing "Dad, dad, dad...." over and over.

PREVIOUSLY UPDATED, JULY 22, 4 P.M.: The Fullerton news blog Fullertonsfuture.org has posted a graphic hospital photo of Kelly Thomas that website administrator Tony Bushala tells the Weekly was taken by the victim's father, Ron Thomas, who gave it to him with permission to publish. You can read various reactions to Bushala's decision to post the photo online on his website, but needless to say, the majority of the comments express shock and outrage over the extent of the injuries visible in the photo. 

Photo and rest of story after the jump...


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Kelly-Thomas-Police-Beating-500x299.jpg
Courtesy of Fullertonsfuture.org
ORIGINAL POST, July 22, 2:00 P.M.: Bruce Whitaker, a member of the Fullerton City Council, is calling for the Orange County District Attorney to release a police video showing half a dozen officers beating up Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old schizophrenic homeless man who police apprehended downtown on the evening of July 5. The cops were in the process of investigating a rash of car burglaries when they attempted to arrest Thomas, who allegedly resisted. He went into a coma and died five days later when his family allowed doctors to remove him from life support.

kelly-thomas.jpg
Kelly Thomas RIP
Whitaker made his feelings known in a July 17 "Open Letter to Fullerton Residents" that was written on city stationery and which has been posted online by the local news blog Fullerton Stories. In it, he states that he and his wife Linda attended Thomas' memorial service  and that he spoke with Ron Thomas, the man's father, who is a former deputy with the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

"We...extended our heartfelt condolences to his family for their loss and our sincere sympathies for their sorrow," Whitaker wrote. "A tragic event resulting in a loss of life can generate extreme grief and intense pain for loved ones, and even more so when circumstances and even a cause of death are not clearly understood or explained. I fully support and urge any efforts which will result in a clear and complete explanation of events which led to the death of Kelly J. Thomas and insist that related evidence, including video and audio recordings be made public."

Mayor Richard M. Jones doesn't agree and was quick to tell Fullerton Stories that Whitaker wasn't speaking on behalf of anyone but himself. "He is exercising his right to free speech as a private citizen," Jones said. "It's just not good to speculate on things until we know all the facts."

District Attorney spokesperson Susan Kang Schroeder refused to comment on the case. "The Orange County District Attorney is investigating the in-custody death," she said. "We will not comment until the investigation is complete."

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74 comments
mslindascott
mslindascott

The Fullerton PD committed murder against the schizophrenic man in full view of the public. Since a third of prison population are just like Kelly....I wonder how many murders have been committed by prison guards against them, and have been easily covered up by claiming suicide.  

revolutionforamercia
revolutionforamercia

Is a call to a REVOLUTION of Awakening for American civilian.

The Police are OUT OF CONTROL, NATIONWIDE! I keep telling people it isn't a RACE ISSUE! It's bigger than that. Its GOVERNMENT BACKED Law Enforcement KNOWING they're untouchable! Like the old gangs. And FULLY exercising their licenses to kill! (Like Fullerton polices). With are Taxpayer money.

We need constitutional law to protect us from the police. Who is going to protect the average American from the police?

Officers need to be sentenced and prosecuted 3 times as strictly as a civilian. They are meant to protect and serve, they know the laws, and when they break them, and try to hide behind the badge, they need to be stripped of their titles and be punished more severely them the civilian. And tax payer should not have to pay the bills for Law Breaking Officers that break the law.

We need Revolution Kelly   

 I’m going to walk from LA to DC to protest in March 2013 for this Revolution to stop the Untouchable. Any Civilian like to joint me please e-mail me at

  RevolutionForAmerciansCivilan@yahoo.com

To: Revolution for Kelly Thomas & American’s

       PO BOX 1356

      Upland, CA 91785

MyBacksUp
MyBacksUp

6 f-en cops to beat the shit out of 1 man.  What an f-en joke.  These cops should all be beaten to death by vigilante citizens.  That 1st cop instigated the whole thing.  F-en loser, piece of shit.

Narohanian
Narohanian

When I read this story, I remembered my own two arrests and how brutal the cops were. I have bipolar disorder mixed state and I have had psychotic symptoms. I sympathize with Kelly. I know that he not only suffered from his illness, but also the beating. I can't believe how cruel and violent police officers can be to the mentally ill. They know very little about psychotic illnesses and they haven't been trained enough to handle situations like this. I think we need to bring awareness to the public about mental illness and end the stigma once and for all.

Jane
Jane

My sincerest condlences to the Kelly family. I agree that the officer should be prosecuted for murder, although I must say that if Mr Kelly were a black or latino man the officer most likely would not have been charged with murder.

Ldrhyno
Ldrhyno

I think those 6 sons of bitches should be charged with 2nd degree murder and be convicted as well They do not deserve to be free or even live as far as that goes. The U.S. needs gun control like we have here in Canada. They say that the US is the murder capital of the world and I belive that.The people need to rise up so that those 6 sick assholes do not get away with this

Moni
Moni

This is unbelievable, how would these cops feel if this were their son they were viewing and it was done all in the name of "the law"? There is no logical, legal excuse for a person to ever be beaten like this period. I hope they all serve time and that they are dealt with accordingly in the afterlife, where they beg for our father to help them! Money will never bring this precious human life back, but I sure hope the father receives plenty. RIP Mr. Thomas. So sorry for your hardships and pain here in this life.

Kelly Thomas
Kelly Thomas

FPD site: "A citizen complaint form can be obtained at the front desk of the police department or calling the on duty watch commander at (714) 738- 6715." Umm.. yeah I have a complaint after watching a video and hearing someone scream out to their DAD for help while restrained and being repeatedly electrocuted while having their face, neck and skull crushed. It's actually more than a complaint.

Maribel
Maribel

This is a very sad and depressing story, hopefully there lil be justice, if not from man but for sure by God... My condolences to this family

David
David

This was an act of gutless cowards. If any one of these six offigers was challenged to a one on one fight by an able bodied man they would mess they're pants.

Hanei
Hanei

These pigs should be brought to justice and they deserve capital punishment. They think they can beat and harm anyone at any time because they are in uniform. I saw those horrifying pictures and videos.......very brutal and troubling!! The head of PD should resign and those six animals should be charges with murder. My heart cries for this young man's parents. We are behind him with our full support until justice is done. Our thoughts and prayers are with this wonderful family who did not have to go through this kind of pain and suffering. 

Scorpion_saga
Scorpion_saga

Outrageous behavior. This type of thing will not stop until these thugs are charged with murder and placed in prison for the rest of their lives like they do for everyone else. Whats more shocking is the mayor and town councils backing these murders up.

iphone 5 cases
iphone 5 cases

Man, this is just horrible - i'm afraid to go to bars in fullerton now!

Joe
Joe

Brutality and Cruelty of Americans Justice System at its finest in Orange County, California. Hitler is laughing in his grave. Chinese laughing all week about our demands for Civil Rights, Europe and South Americans watching us closely...Fullerton and Orange County Justice system and Politics are on the World stage

Imperfik
Imperfik

They have been doing this and more to black men for years. Then they throw down some kind of fake gun to justify the shooting. Or they say he tried to run them over with a car when he was removing his foot from accelerator to break. We all know the car will jer forward. They lie lie lie. They cheat, steal, rape and murder. When he's black you don't care. Now you do. I hope.

Ferrer Maria
Ferrer Maria

I am deeply saddened by the cruel beating and subsequent death of a young man with a mental illness he never chose. In reading other postings, it is clear, that many folks do not understand how much a family does to take care of their loved one.  Schizophrenia is the worst of mental illnesses. For example, if I am told I have cancer, I will get recommended treatment to get better. I know I am sick. A person with schiz is disconnected from reality. They have no insight they are ill.  Saying it is difficult to give them insight into their illness is understatement. In many cases, impossible. Denial of the illness IS a symptom of the illness. I have done everything I can to provide a safe place for my adult son with schizophrenia including search for hime and I have had him admitted in to a mental health facility.  Each time, psychiatrist and social worker are unable to obtain an order from a judge to "force" meds on him.  I have not seen or heard from my son in 2 months. He walked out of our home with only the clothes he was wearing (no money, no ID, nothing).  They are NOT able to think rationally. Their reality is their reality.  This is never a reflection of the parents. You are truly naive if you think that.  Finally, our mental health system protects the ill to a fault. Because my son is "legally" an adult ther.  is very little I can do. And, I have tried it all.  Yes, they end up in jail and in a revolving mental health facility door.  The families mourn the loss of the child they knew.  It is like a death. But we never stop loving and we never stop trying to get them help though they will never be the same.  I hope this answers questions around why Kelly did not live with this dad. I feel confident in saying they tried over and over with no success.

My heart hurts for the young, harmless, gentle man (much like my son), who was inflicted with the worst of mental illnesses and did not ask for it. It was in his genes.

J Jim
J Jim

nothing will be done... this situation should be handled by real American citizens who have the power to see that justice is served to these 6 police officers and Any/all who attempt to coverup their crimes.

Jaynianne
Jaynianne

This is so Sad... Shame on The police that did this... serve and protect? and where was his Dad? why was the Man homeless that suffered schizophrenia His Dad should give the Money they have offered and give it to the homeless. God has Kelly safe in his Love and now he has a Home in Heaven. and is so Loved.Why are the mentaly ill  just left  homeless? we all need to be better people and be a part of change.This is so unfair...I am so Sorry Kelly they hurt you .this Breaks my Heart. Hugs to Heaven!

Rucarysma
Rucarysma

It's amazing how police pigs get away with everything in this country, this terrible act they committed against a sic homeless person is unbelievable, what a bunch of sic bastards are you not getting enough victims every day to abuse your authority? I hope you go to jail and then get abused and beat by your boyfriends there in prison.Please Fullerton citizens don't let this bastards get away with this..

C fender1
C fender1

this is the sickest thing.  Those cops no all cops are getting way out of control.  One after another citizens are getting killed or beaten by cops.  someone needs to do something, so I will protest.

Ace P
Ace P

I want to know how Fullerton of all places ended up with an inbred retarded hillbilly for Mayor!Amazing.

Sorry...he gives retarded people a bad name.

Cocacola1973amo
Cocacola1973amo

OK, Police officers that do this sort of thing make it difficult for the public to respect any form of authority. My first reaction when I saw this was 'bring it on'. If you want a war then we the people of the United States will stand together. I have reached a point that I am fearful of all police officers because I cannot tell the good ones from the bad ones but they themselves can. And the good officers have a responsibility not only to the public but to their own families to stand up against this sort of thing. If they don't then one day it may be their son or daughter that is getting beaten to death for no reason and than it will be too late. A brotherhood is based on trust and you cannot trust someone if they are psychotic. If you want the public to stand beside you than it's high time you realize that the only brotherhood you belong to is the brotherhood of the people. Otherwise I say lets bring it on. There is a new age dawning and soon the people will take a stand and take our country back from the corrupt politicians that sit back and allow a travesty such as this to happen. All of the officers involved should be fired immediately whether they participated or not. For standing by and doing nothing is the same as participating. We have brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers dying abroad and an act like this makes their deaths all in vain because the officers that perform acts such as this are no better than the terrorists we stand against.

Apparthur3
Apparthur3

these so called police need to go to jail for life, no one needs to be beat to death, shame on all of them.

Brorson
Brorson

We the people, pay and train police Sargents to serve the public, NOT to provide an outlet for violent people.I truly hope the police officers involved will get what they deserve and nothing less.

Mr_Pants
Mr_Pants

Absolutely disgusting...this is what you get when you have a nation wide police force abusing steroids/human growth hormones, and returning vets with undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder (who are used to killing) becoming cops in mass.  How many more police (gang) murders is this country going to stand? 

Fate
Fate

and that is why there is a fuckin Hell, and yes it does exist you naive children who hug your science books at night hoping for a quick painless death to a nice heavenly non existence...none of you cunts are that lucky lol hahahahahahahahaha your all fucked

Joebob
Joebob

It's time to start scratching these pigs off the planet.

Scott Grass
Scott Grass

how much are we willing as a society and private citizens going to allow out of control policemen to beat and kill us.....how more people have to die while in the custody of so-called cop's..this is one but of many events that has happened over and over again..beatings...deaths by cops who go to far..police abuse there power every day..from the most major..to the most petty...!

tile saw
tile saw

Yikes. There's a homeless man that takes huge s**ts behind our building, so we hired another homeless man to act as security (we let him hang out/sleep there, give him socks and toothbrushes) and he's handling biz LIKE A BOSS.

Godzilla8662
Godzilla8662

That first cop, A HISPANIC... When he goes to the joint, the AB's will be waiting for all of them, but him in particular. Fallen cops are like rapists, pedophiles, and snitches, and one who is a minority will be THE FIRST TARGETED.

malasangre
malasangre

dont worry the piggies will be on tiptoe till this dies down.  then the hunt will be on for the people they know talked.  In Santa Cruz cops beat homeless to death with bats. noone even knows how many. they got away with it.  the ONLY reason this is going down was Dad. cops in New Orleans shot unarmed people in the back. only convicted for a coverup 6 years later.

FedupwithmoronsTwo
FedupwithmoronsTwo

Knock off the race baiting will you? This is not the place or time for it!

dagobarbz
dagobarbz

Ever hear of a guy named Rodney King? A lot of people cared. You know why? Because even white people don't like asshole cops beating on civilians of any color. However, the system, on the other hand, suspends these jackholes with pay until the heat dies down. Not many cops lose their jobs because of brutality, even if they have a record of abuses.

ALICIA
ALICIA

My mom came down with the disease of schizophrenia when I was 10.  She has SUFFERED from this disease for half of her life now (& MOST of my life).  As long as she took her medication (something she periodically REFUSED TO DO) she would ALWAYS be fine, but after I graduated from college, she went off her medication (something I was unaware of UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE), & TRIED TO HARM ME (something she had NEVER done before)...  If my mother had accidentally KILLED ME when the voices in her head were telling her that I was a DANGEROUS alien that NEEDED TO BE KNOCKED OUT, & if I had still existed after I had died, I would have UNDERSTOOD that what she had done to me WAS NOT HER FAULT!  It's not a person's fault when he becomes afflicted with a mental illness.  It's just a case of that person getting a "bad dice throw" in life...

L

Sunshine
Sunshine

Good on you! I have just one question. How many of these officers are veterans? Everyone who wants to go into law enforcement should be required to serve their country in a military capacity first so they can experience both sides of the stick. The hunted and the hunter. It gives perspective before placing absolute power in their hands as we give them as peace officers. Bottom line. Want to be a police officer? Pay it forward and when you make it through that then we will see if you are good enough. This would weed out more of the bad seeds.

Mark-apv
Mark-apv

I have read the 5 of the 6 are already back on the job...what the hell is that all about, and why haven't their names been released????

Delta
Delta

well if there is a hell, I'm sure we'll all see you there you hypocrite.

JD
JD

Believe what you want, but let other believe what they want. Now quit whiping your opinion out like its fact, its people like you that give religion a bad wrap.

Joebob
Joebob

Your speech only works on the those to stupid to think for themselves, dim wit. Go back to school and get a real education.

Joebob
Joebob

This statement is directed towards the crooked cops, I know there are good police officers who do a very difficult job. But there are many that should be in prison or executed.

Rick Nunez
Rick Nunez

no different than the poor people that the people in Washington keep on beating up,them overspending and wanting more when we have people starving,parents can't feed their children,people who can't pay rent,no free education anymore,but our Government spending on CRAP,giving our hard earned money to other countries(under the pretense that we are helping them)Well lets help ourselves.Time to FIRE some people in D.C. Remember,"We the People" we hired them,we can FIRE them

Guest123
Guest123

Why didn't you just do that for the first homeless guy?

Outrageous8881
Outrageous8881

other blogs have mentioned the following names. J. Cicinelli, K. Hampton, and J.Wolfe as officers possibly involved.  if i find out which ones, ill come back and post the info.

Joebob
Joebob

Religion gave religion a bad wrap.

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