[UPDATED with Arraignment:] Murder Charge, Counts Against 2 Cops in Kelly Thomas Beating Case

manuel-ramos-fullerton-police-kelly-thomas-200.jpg
Courtesy of Orange County District Attorney's Office
Officer Manuel Ramos
UPDATE, SEPT 21, 4:03 P.M.: At his arraignment this afternoon, which the Weekly's Marisa Gerber attended, a handcuffed Fullerton Police Officer Manuel Ramos pleaded not guilty to felony second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges in the beating death of Kelly Thomas.

Held in lieu of $1 million bail, Ramos then had his arraignment continued to Monday in Judge Erick Larsh's Orange County Superior Court courtroom in Santa Ana.

Police Corporal Jay Cicinelli also pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force in the unarmed homeless and mentally ill man's death. Cicinelli was not in cuffs as he'd already posted a $25,000 bond. He has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Nov. 4.

Larsh told both cops to relinquish their guns within 24 hours.

Representing the People was the district attorney himself, Tony Rackauckas. When Larsh considered a defense motion to reduce Ramos' bail, the veteran prosecutor had the victim's father, Ron Thomas, approach the bench.

Thomas pleaded with the judge not to reduce bail because of the  "horrific way my son was murdered."

It worked.

Motion to reduce bail: denied.

UPDATE, SEPT 21, 3:25 P.M.: The booking photos for Officer Manuel Ramos and Police Corporal Jay Cicinelli have been released. See below:

manuel-ramos-jay-cicinelli-fullerton-police-kelly-thomas.jpg
Courtesy of Orange County District Attorney's Office
Fullerton Police Officer Manuel Ramos, left, and Police Corporal Jay Cicinelli.
UPDATE, SEPT. 21, 11:59 A.M.: Since the beating death of Kelly Thomas, there has been a call for justice.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas provided some of that this morning with the charges against Fullerton Police Officer Manuel Ramos and Police Corporal Jay Cicinelli.

"We want to praise the DA for his courage and intestinal fortitude," Thomas family attorney Garo Mardirossian said over the shouts of a Ramos supporter nearby, during live televised coverage immediately after T-Rack's announcement.

After going to great lengths to say Orange County law enforcement is "second to none" and has established a strong level of trust in the community, Rackauckas began his announcement by saying maintaining that trust includes prosecuting officers who violate the law. That happened on July 5, the district attorney said, citing the evidence culled from two cell phone video recordings, Fullerton Transportation Depot surveillance video, the statements of 151 witnesses, the police reports from all involved Fullerton Police Department personnel, physical evidence from batons and tasers and the county cororner's report.

Based on that and legal research in applicable laws, Rackauckas decided to charge Ramos with one felony count of second-degree murder and one felony count of involuntary manslaughter that could bring a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison. Cicinelli, meanwhile, was charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of use of excessive force that could put him in a prison cell for four years.

"The biggest shame about this case is it did not have to happen," Rackauckas said. "It could have been avoided." Instead, according to the DA, Ramos took a routine stop of a homeless man he knew to be harmless and turned it into something ugly, reckless and in disregard for human life "under the color of authority."

"Kelly Thomas did not pose any risk," Rackauckas said, noting the homeless man was shirtless with no bulges in his pants and carrying a backpack. "The officers did not feel he had to be patted down for weapons," the county's top prosecutor noted.

As one officer checked the backpack 15 feet away, Ramos barked out instructions that Thomas was obviously having trouble following. "Ramos escalated contact to a physical altercation and unlawful police conduct" by showing up in front of Thomas with latex gloves over fists in the fighting position, standing over the frightened homeless man menacingly and saying, "They are getting ready to f--- you up," Rackauckas related.

"That was definitely a turning point, a defining moment" the district attorney said. "Telling Kelly Thomas at that moment in this encounter had changed a fairly routine police detention into a beating by an angry police officer. By doing this, Ramos instilled in that victim a reasonable fear for his life, in danger of a police officer who wanted to f--- him up with his fists."

Police are allowed to exercise reasonable force, Rackauckas added, but citizens also have a right not to be subjected to unreasonable force and unlawful detentions.

Soon, the batons came out, Thomas' open palms came up in a defensive position and he took a beating so savage he was ultimately taken off life support.

Over the shouts of the Ramos supporter outside, Kelly's father Ron Thomas--who said of that knucklehead, "Too bad for him"--that he was "very happy" and "emotional over the [DA's] decision," as the elder Thomas had wanted at least two cops to face charges.

"I didn't really expect this," he said later. "That is why I am elated. This is really what I wanted to see, [charges] against at least two of them."

 As for the other four cops involved in the confrontation, Mardirossian said he will reserve judgment until seeing another video that only the police and DA have examined so far.

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107 comments
w.A. r.
w.A. r.

those are cops - uuugh - what do criminals look like in cali?

vanessa
vanessa

That's way too light. I hope the FBI does a better job then Rackauckas.

andreaharlow
andreaharlow

"I didn't really expect this," he said later. "That is why I am elated. This is really what I wanted to see, [charges] against at least two of them."

At least two of them has been charged with the crime, however it is better if all of them are convicted.

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50 year old
50 year old

  This is a story, that actually, let me think, the video option on cell phones, was a great plus. It is also sad to know, how many other people, are abused by the police and sheriffs, and neverhave a chance to see, justice served. I was a passenger in a car, and witnessed my driver,getting tricked by the Pasadena  Police. They asked him to step out of the car, the policemen stepped away, as my driver was opening the car door slowly(so our big dog wouldn't escape). The policemen, jumped right where the door opened, it smacked him in the leg. And, then it allwent downhill from there. He dragged my driver out of the car, tied my do outside to a pole in a Vons parking lot, then he decided to frisk me. I'am a girl!!! Ended up, I was charged with notshowing him my I.D..By the way, my driver and I were dropping off our rented movies, and I had the flu. I'am white,so was my driver,and so was the policemen. My driver was let off to go home.I had my change purse with my I.D. in it. Stuck in my jacket pocket. I was not thinking clearly,withthe fever I had. I was taken to jail, my jewelry was dropped and kicked across the dirty jail room floor. Just to see if I was going to get mad. I stayed calm. 6 hours later, I was let out. At 3:00 a.m.  I was not high,drunk, or verbally emotional. The weirdest part for me,was the cop putting on loud gang banging music, as he drove me handcuffed to jail.

Mike Coggins
Mike Coggins

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There should be a law created in Kelly's name where by if a lawenforcement officer is convicted of a serious crime his directsuperior should be named as an accomplice for allowing an environmentwhere it could happen. Accountability.

 

Bounceone
Bounceone

the military has a weight limit... fat fuck ramos and if you have any kind defect...punk ass one eye cop...you would be discharged. how is it that these two unfit for duty assholes stayed on the force? oh yeah you gotta have friends in high places who dont give a crap about the oath they took to protect and serve the public. when cops die in the line of duty its sad but isnt that the risk they knew would be there when they raised their hand and said they would agree to uphold. and now the his union is paying for his defense...something very wrong about that.

john
john

Well I guess with all this concern for the homeless & mentally ill, a lot of people in the Orange County area and beyond will now be opening their doors, hearts and wallets to help them.

Daniel Heredia
Daniel Heredia

There is some discrimination going on here. Why just the Latino cop being charged with the most serious and bail @ 1 million when the White cop was responsible for the most serious injuries which probably helped lead to Kelly's death? And a much lower bail. What about the other Officers & their Supervisors. Ramos is being used as a scapegoat if it stops here,

Christina39
Christina39

Why can't the two pigs also be charged with a hate crime?

Christina39
Christina39

After reading the autopsy report in the newspaper of what those ugly fucks did to Kelly Thomas, I was not only stunned because an animal wouldn't do that, BUT THOSE FUCKS BETTER NOT GET A JURY PARDON. 

Christina39
Christina39

I don't want to make enemies here, but Affirmative Action, whether it be about age, sex, or race has not helped the police department, fire department or paramedics. I was rejected years ago in California despite having a grade point average of 4.0 because I was white. 

Jack
Jack

I would love to see Ramos beat to death in jail. he deserves no less

Christina39
Christina39

I am white and when I thought they were white, I condemned them as such. Get real and take blame for something. 

Christina39
Christina39

Everybody can get angry after the video tape was reviewed. But the video showed Manny Ramos as the killer and Jay Cicinelli as a co-conspirator and the rest as standing around. No one was more vocal than I, but they did their investigation which we demanded and the facts are in the video. Suck it up. 

Smith
Smith

Officer Ramos does look like Gustavo!! He is probably related to him. It runs on the family on beating up on White People. Mexican cops are more corrupted and they want a "mordida" (bite).

Christina39
Christina39

They are going to fuck you up in prison Ramos and I wish I had that video.

ceez714
ceez714

and thats why i hate cops. we dont need cops. cops r gangsters!!!!!!!!

Bounceone
Bounceone

in the brian stow case, he got beat by two individuals that didnt result in death...yet.  in that case one faces 12 years, the other faces 9 years. now just because these guys are cops they get a break? all of them beat the shit out of someone and one died. funny how cops are innocent and if you look like a gangbanger like ramirez falsely accused you dont even get an apology. i hope these guys get convicted. and Larry W. is a douchebag

Goldencody
Goldencody

I am here to tell you like I have commented on numerous times before, OC Law Enforcement is out of control. The number of OC officers who are corrupt and criminals has sky rocketed in the past decade. Any reporter worth their salt would do an in depth article on this fact alone and ask why this is.

There is a serious break down somewhere that needs serious attention. Why are so many OC Cops crossing the line from law enforcement officer to criminal or corruption??? Westminster PD, La Palm PD, the OC Sheriffs Department, Fullerton PD and on and on has had officers turn criminal in the past year alone.

We need to have accountable oversight of the DA office and all the municipalities in the OC to examine what the hell is wrong that this is happening with such frequency

Devin
Devin

What do you expect when you hire babosos mexicanos as cops?  Ask any mexican and they'll tell you their cops are the most brutal and corrupt anywhere.  Now because of the blind adherence to diversity, theses cochinos have infested our LEOs too.

jackal
jackal

Everyone involved in the cover-up should be charged as accessories to murder, beginning with the chief of police.  This is bs; the DA would never have filed charges in the absence of damning  publicity.  The nepotism among public officials is a disgrace to taxpayers who provide the money that funds their livelihoods.

yahoo-MRG7EAX6W4WBZZX3REGWN5WZ2A
yahoo-MRG7EAX6W4WBZZX3REGWN5WZ2A

The Mexican gangbanger cop used his gang tactics to intimidate a homeless man that he was itching to beat up.  Easy to beat on mentally deranged people who are weak and destitute.  Hope you get yours in prison you fat Mexican killer.  Immoral f-er, rot in hell.

Joe
Joe

This is what happens we we start refering to Thugs as "Hero's".  Cops are not hero's!  They are supposed to be public servants you know "Protect and Serve".  Society places them up on a pedestal, and this is what we get.  See this Shit has always happened in the Barrio and the Ghetto.  Now that it has hit middle America, people think this is something new.  Men will always abuse power...............

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

So, if they are found guilty, do they go into protective custody?

Guest
Guest

both of these pigs are goin to make lovely bit*hes to some guy name big al in jail

Christina39
Christina39

Must be something about age. When I was 50 I lived in Lancaster  Calif. I am also white.  I am very conservative and moved there to have a nice quiet life and work at Lancaster Community Hospital. The Antelope Valley Sheriffs took an instant hatred of me. At first when they were harrasing me I honestly thought they were flirting. Yeh right! It escalated, they had me fired from the hospital and I lost my pension. I am the type who stays at home and reads, My main outings were to the Palmdale Library and they would harass me going there. After I was fired from the hospital wondering what was going on. I was not fired for cause but because the sheriffs told the hospital I was under investigation. I was sure this whole thing would disappear, It was too weird.

 I had to take the Metrolink to Sylmar for my new job and the sheriffs harassed me on the train while I was reading. Finally I contacted what was then the a police investigation board in Los Angeles. There was an investigation and I received an apology from a Sargeant. Now I live in Las Vegas where thanks to the sheriffs and their big salaries I will work until I die. Two people whose names I will not disclose did tell me they were harassing me. You don't know me, but I would be the last person on earth you would want to investigate. I cannot get over what they did because it just made no sense except they just didn't like my face.

Christina39
Christina39

People who think like you intrigue me. I like psychology. I would like a reply. What does  helping someone or not helping someone have to do with murder. I may not like a lot of things or people, but I am not going to bash them in head and smother them. During all the postings of the incident involving Kelly Thomas, you are the second person who made a comment that now everyone is going to open their homes to the homeless. Not likely, we hope the plight of the homeless changes to the way is was before Ronald Reagan, but all of us who are not going to open our doors, are also not going out today and murder and torture someone. 

mperez
mperez

Love the cynicism john!  Read a little more carefully, most of the remarks are of personal nature, not cumbaya drivel.  The diversion to the recent history of homelessness and mental illness has been so far the most informative part of this particular forum.

cheerio

Marcoperez
Marcoperez

You'll have your grown up moment eventually Daniel.  I just know it!

Katerperez
Katerperez

Boy, I'm not the most photogenic guy in the world but these guys are FUGLY!  Yikes!Wouldn't you be enraged if God made you that unattractive?

Good Lord!

mitch young
mitch young

It's hard to convict cops. They are the ones society entrusts with the states main function -- the legitimate use of violence. They deal with situations most of us would rather not, and they do put themselves at some risk. Juries are sympathetic to all this. 

ceez714
ceez714

its not just oc its everywhere!!

ceez714
ceez714

AYE YA YAY NO SABES NADA BABOSO!

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Another moron injecting race just for the sake of being stupid...why not go after the goombah?

Christina39
Christina39

NO IF THEY ARE FOUND GUILTY, CALIFORIA HAS TO LOOK FORWARD TO ANOTHER RIOT!!!

Joe
Joe

Yes, or they will go to a lock up with other cops and non-hostile inmates.

Joe
Joe

Won't happen thier in Protective Custody...........locked up with other corrupt piggys..

Katerperez
Katerperez

Not with a movie.  The video will shock anybody (except possibly a jury of 12 cops) enough to see nothing but a slaughter.  That's the difference.  Cops get away with murder every day, this one is a filmed documentary.  Not this time.

Marco Perez
Marco Perez

whatever race race race, mexican, bnlack, illegal alien, sand n...., blah blah blah

the radio pundits have been asking a predictably stupid and boring question: "is ramos the rule or the exception?"  Neither.  He represents 1/2, 50%, ONE OUT OF TWO, police officers out there.

Any of the two or three policemen out there sickened enough to be reading this will tell you that in a candid moment.

I have figured out having lived in a crappy neighborhood (read hispanic and / or black) for years I learned to appreciate the officers who joined the force to protect the average, weak, clueless citizen from DIRTBAGS.  Not to collect 1200 dollar fines from struggling taxpayers who are already financially stressed out.

You who are good people on the force know who you are.  You who are bad people on the force do not know who you are because you are already sociopaths who squeaked into the profession,

To the good cops:  time to man up, be honest and open about this disturbing trend amd take the leadership position it takes to help us PAYERS OF YOUR SALARIES AND PENSIONS be free of just one more thing to be scared of: cops.

If you joined the force to torture a 145 pound half-wit to death then all I can do is pray that you are hit by a bus tomorrow morning first thing.

By the way, if you think even the good cops are there to protect you remember this: WHEN SECONDS COUNT THE POLICE ARE JUST 20 MINUTES AWAY"

Any grown man who values himself and his family had better excercise his second amendment rights and plunk down the lousy 35 bucks a year for a membership in the NRA.

Cheers

mitch young
mitch young

Maybe he's Sicilian -- you know, part Eggplant.

mitch young
mitch young

I wonder what Arellano's position would be if it had been a white cop taking the lead, instigating role in beating up, digamos, un jornalero. Probably a bit different.

mitch young
mitch young

You gotta admit, with the bigote and the whole 'these feests are gooin' to eff you oop', the guy wasn't exactly playing stereotype.

909Jeff
909Jeff

true... Unfortunate as it is

mitch young
mitch young

wasn't exactly playing *against* stereotype.

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