California city to pay $4.9 million for killing of homeless man

November 24, 2015
Kelly Thomas in the hospital

Kelly Thomas in the hospital

The city of Fullerton has agreed to pay $4.9 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the father of a homeless man whom police beat to death in July 2011. [Reuters]

Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man with schizophrenia, died five days after police officers beat him and shocked him with a stun gun. A surveillance camera recorded footage of the killing, and the video sparked national outrage and street protests in Fullerton.

An Orange County jury acquitted officers Jay Cicinelli and Manuel Ramos of all criminal charges in January 2014. After the verdict, the FBI said it was re-examining the case.

Fullerton settled the civil case on Monday, the day the trial was scheduled to begin. Had the case gone to trial, the officers would have been forced to testify.

“We know the truth, and I wanted that truth brought out,” Kelly Thomas’s father, Ron Thomas, said at a news conference.

Ron Thomas filed suit against the city, the police department and Cicinelli and Ramos.

City officials previously paid Thomas’s mother $1 million to settle any claims she might bring. Thomas’s parents are divorced, and they litigated separately.

Legal fees have reportedly cost the city at least another $1 million.

Video footage of the killing showed Ramos strapping on latex gloves and telling Thomas, “You see theses fists? They are getting ready to fuck you up.”

Officers delivered multiple blows and shocks with a stun gun, the surveillance footage shows.

Thomas was heard on tape calling dozens of times for his father to help him. The mentally ill homeless man was yelling, “Daddy, they’re killing me.”

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Is there ANY conceivable reason why a unarmed citizen of this country should wind up looking like this and ultimately dying at the hands of police officers?

Can ANYONE justify a beating of such magnitude?

The two cops who committed this murder should be serving life sentences.

Look at the picture of Mr. Thomas in the hospital and tell me his civil rights weren’t violated by two cops who took an oath to serve and protect. Exactly how were they serving or protecting…ANYTHING?

“homeless man with schizophrenia”

Close prisons and open mental institutions…..

Did he have any siblings? Maybe the city can buy them off for a few million as well.

With two loving parents, how was he homeless?

I can’t even bring myself to watch the video. As a parent, the fact that he was crying out for his dad is almost unbearable to think about. I so saddened by the state of this world. I hope they find a way to criminally prosecute these @ssholes.

It will have to be an O.J. moment for these ass wipes. They were acquitted. I believe what goes around comes around. They’ll find their own piece of hell some day.

Apparently his dad and mom abandoned him many years ago. Nice that they are back to cash in on his terrible demise.

Not true. His parents tried to get him all the help they could, in fact they would leave food and clothes in their unlocked car for him where he would sometimes sleep. Like so many, he would not take treatment. You can blame the ACLU and Ronald Reagan for eliminating all the psych wards in California where sick people could be committed.

Clearly, the Feds need to criminally prosecute this case. Mr.Thomas’ civil rights were violated and the cops should have been found guilty of murder.

Where is the outrage? Lesser beatings by cops have resulted in riots across this country.

Law enforcement behavior like this must NOT be tolerated.

This is horrible and becoming way too prevalent. Police need to start going to jail just like anybody else. No more EXCUSES. But we all need to start taking some responsibility here by holding those who let sick people who want to carry clubs and guns on the force to begin with.

What is wrong with the psych test? Why are nuts cases passing it? How often are they retested including a lie detector test and why aren’t they drug tested? The police force should be number 1 where testing is concerned rather than above it all. Only the people can bring about change. It starts there.

BTW, I know 95% of the LEO out there are good guys, maybe they need to take a stand and start turning in the pscho’s as they know who those guys are.

Cindy, as per usual, you are absolutely correct!