Then there Were Three: Jay Cicinelli Drops Like a One-Eyed Fly

jay cicinelli fullertonsfuture org.JPG
fullertonsfuture.org
Despite only having one eye, we're sure Jay Cicinelli saw this one coming from a mile away. The Fullerton cop, charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force in the unnecessary beating death of homeless man Kelly Thomas, has been fired.

 "The employment status of Corporal Jay Cicinelli ended with the City of Fullerton, effective July 20, 2012," Sgt. Jeff Stuart said in a statement released yesterday.

Prior to his departure, he had been on unpaid administrative leave since October of last year.

This follows revelations that both Manuel Ramos, charged with second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the Thomas death, and officer Joe Wolfe were also recently fired. Though Kelly's father Ron Thomas has called on Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to file charges against Wolfe, Cicinelli and Ramos are the only ones currently facing trial. 



Cicinelli is the third officer to depart the troubled department in the wake of the beating. He came to Fullerton after the Los Angeles Police Department put him on its permanent disabled list. Back in 1996, Cicinelli was two weeks into his assignment in South LA when he was shot six times and lost the use of his left eye as a result.

During last July's attack on Thomas, grainy bus station video shows Cicinelli arriving on the scene as several officers pile on the unarmed homeless man. Cicinelli can be seen repeatedly bashing Thomas in the face after zapping him with a Taser.

Cicinelli's stepfather John Huelsman recently told KTTV-TV Channel 11 that he believes what appears to be Cicinelli striking Thomas in the face, is in fact an attempt by Cicinelli to keep the Taser chord away from Thomas. Hueslman also maintained that far from hitting Thomas in the facial area eight times as alleged by DA Rackauckas, Cicinelli probably only hit Thomas twice. For the full story, including a response from OCDA Chief of Staff Susan Schroeder, click here.

While three other officers involved in Thomas's death have been handed letters of intent to terminate, they presumably remain with the department. Seems like they're dropping like flies. So dear readers, who of the dirty half-dozen is next? We're taking all bets. 

Be sure to read this week's column on attempts by Fullerton residents to establish civilian oversight of the police department. No big surprise, with powerful police unions and lobbyists, citizens face an uphill battle.

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