Kelly Thomas Protesters March From Police Station To Transit Center, Thomas Family's Attorney Shows Up At Protest

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Marisa Gerber/ OCWeekly
Around 11:45 a.m., organizers with bullhorns gathered about 200 of the protesters outside the Fullerton Police Department and led them east on Commonwealth Avenue en route of the transit center, where Kelly Thomas was beaten by six Fullerton police officers.

The protesters spilled onto the street, filled the right lane and marched to the transit center, where Doug Kauffman, an organizer with the ANSWER coalition, led the group in chants. After Kauffman, Tamara Khoury, a student activist from Cal State Fullerton, took the microphone. "Are we angry?" she asked. "Yes," responded the protesters. "Are we gonna let these six thugs walk?" "No." 

After a brief moment of silence to remember Kelly Thomas, the crowd headed back to the police department to continue the protest there.

Among the protesters, were several people in Guy Fawkes masks -- a symbol used by Anonymous, the well-known hackers who took aim with the Fullerton Police Department last week

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Marisa Gerber/ OCWeekly

When asked if he was part of Anonymous, a man in a mask stressed that it isn't a group, saying, "Annonymous is an idea of freedom and human rights for the world. It's against oppression of human beings. It's an idea that unites us as one, divided by zero. We do not forgive. We do not forget injustices around the world. Where there's injustice, we'll be there." Another man in a mask said he planned to come to protests every week until the police officers are convicted. Asked what his name was, the man responded: "Kelly Thomas." His friend, who was also wearing a mask, nodded his head in agreement. 

Blogger Tony Bushala, who was also at the protest, said he heard back from Mayor F. Richard Jones, Mayor Pro Tem Don Bankhead and Councilman Pat McKinley in regards to the recall papers he delivered to the city for them. All three response letters were very similar, Bushala said, adding that they all "ignored the issue" and suggested "This is all about Tony Bushala." 

As the protesters continued to chant and passing cars honked, Garo Mardirossian, the attorney representing Kelly Thomas' family, showed up with his daughter and a private investigator. 
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Marisa Gerber/ OCWeekly
Ron Thomas, left, and his attorney Garo Mardirossian at the protest.

Mardirossian said it was too soon to comment on the overall culture of the Fullerton Police Department, but added that the lawsuit, which he filled on behalf of Veth Mam in federal court Friday, was telling. 

Mam was arrested by Fullerton police officers in October for allegedly jumping on an officer's back. Officer Kenton Hampton, one of the officers who allegedly beat Kelly Thomas, was also allegedly present when Mam was arrested. The Fullerton Police Department admitted recently that they likely arrested the wrong guy. 

"What do you mean, the wrong guy?" Mardirossian says. "Was there someone else that looked like Mam? To say it's a mistake is an insult to our intelligence. They didn't make a mistake, they did something wrong."

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Marisa Gerber/ OCWeekly
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Marisa Gerber/ OCWeekly
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Marisa Gerber/ OCWeekly

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