Kelly Thomas Death: Two Officers to Stand Trial For Homeless Man's Beating

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Two police officers in Fullerton, Calif., have been ordered to stand trial for the death of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old mentally ill homeless man.

Thomas died in July 2011 from injuries sustained during a violent arrest by six Fullerton officers, part of which can be seen in the video below.

Fullerton police officer Manual Ramos approached Thomas while responding to a call that someone was peering into cars at the town bus depot.

Surveillance video at the depot was running during the incident, and officer Ramos was also recorded by a device he was wearing on his uniform.

Synced together, the audio and video formed the key evidence shown in court during a preliminary hearing to decide whether to try the officers.

Kelly Thomas, who is shirtless and sporting a full beard the night of the arrest, was a well-known fixture at the bus depot before that night.

In the video, Manual Ramos approaches him and tells him repeatedly to extend his feet in front of him and to put his hands on his knees.

After several minutes, the tape shows a visibly annoyed Ramos putting on latex gloves and, using expletives, threatening Thomas with his fists.

The confrontation escalates, and Thomas is seen trying to run from Ramos, who hits him with a baton. Soon after, another officer assists Ramos.

Thomas apologized and insisted that he can't breathe. In all, six officers tried to subdue Thomas, who is heard in the recording crying for help.

Thomas fell into a coma and died five days later after being taken off life support. Kelly's father, Ron, says the recording is too difficult to watch.

The judge reviewing the evidence this week halted proceedings as audience members gasped and cried out as the video was screened.

Ron Thomas says those haunting cries have pushed him to seek justice for his son.

For weeks last year, dozens of supporters rallied in front of Fullerton's police headquarters demanding that the officers be prosecuted.

Under pressure, the chief of police took a leave of absence, then resigned, and three City Council members have been targeted for recall.

Orange County D.A. Tony Rackauckas personally presented the case and took the extraordinary step of charging Ramos with second degree murder.

Officer Jay Cicinelli faces lesser charges, including involuntary manslaughter.


First these two officers try to blame the EMTs, doctors & nurses saying it was their actions that resulted in Kelly's death. Now, they are blaming the victim. In the video, one officer puts on gloves, stands over the Kelly & says "these fist are going to f&@k you up", 15 minutes later he is dead. All this because they suspected him of stealing a backpack (he was eventually cleared of this). Despite their claims, no drugs/alcohol. The police have blamed everyone but the 6 officers who beat this man beyond recognition. The photos of him after are brutal to say the least. Haven't these officers put this family through enough hell. They kill their son, then make them go through a trial, blaming everyone but themselves. For once, they need to do the right thing, stop blaming everyone else & take responsibility for their actions. Pathetic to say the least!


This is beyond sickening! What sane person would beat someone who is crying for their parent? The police are animals and these ones need to go to prison and get their reward for killing a mentally ill man. Think about it: The police only have to have a GED to get on the force. The majority of them are brutal psychopaths that are on a power trip and harbor a grudge against society. And we give them guns and put them in charge??


Police officer are nothing more than a LEGAL GANG!
The force they used was way to excessive and the results of that killed poor kelly thomas
my prayers gout out to his father and family.


Even RonThomas admits to using force with Kelly, 
"Ron once used his jujitsu skills to apprehend his son, wrestling Kelly into his car from a Yorba Linda park using wristlocks. "A lot of things I did with Kelly were very painful. But what are the alternatives?� -Orange Coast Magazine, March 2012


This was hearbreaking. They were all on top of him asking him to turn onto his stomach, how could he when they were on top of him. The calls for help to God, his Dad was sickening. These cops should be held accountable for his death. What a terrible way to die.
Hope they get life for this.


I completely agree with Dan...ALL of those cops involved in that beating should go to prison. FOREVER!!!!! And, once they all get to prison, they all had better watch their own backs 24/7. I have a feeling that ALL of the prisoners there are gonna "have a little fun" (aka violently) with those toxic-ass cops. Then, those toxic-ass cops are gonna know what it feels like to be victims themselves. Karma Karma!!!!!


Burn, pigs, burn!! I know cops have a lot of stress post trauma etc. but that's par for the course. Dear Policemen, you need to find another occupation if all that serving the public causes is primarily aggression, frustration, anger, hate, violence and eventual undeserving death. It takes a special person to become a police officer. Here to SERVE the public and protect, not kill with hatred. Superior officers, you need to screen your officers more closely for potential threats to civilians. Have some compassion. Not everyone is the enemy.


I have a mentally grown son and this video is my constant fear. Too often the arrogance coupled with ignorance of what constitues mental illness makes for a horrific disaster just as it did for Kelly Thomas. THEY NEED TO BE TRAINED!!! Before going off on the deep end and making judgement calls they are not equipped to make. My son was in a psychotic state and we brought him to four hospitals and no one would keep him because "He hadn't harm himself or anyone else, but when it got, which was the next night after the fourth hospital visit, and he and his father fought about an unreal situation oh they came and took him to jail not to a hospital but to jail. I had to fight tooth and nail to get him the medical treatment he needed, and the criminal act of harming someone is now on his record. Why can't we do better by the mentally ill people in this country? They need all kinds of help. They are so misunderstood and the fe in stay in the trenches and try and help them get so worn out.


Some cops should not be cops!They should go to prioson!


I completely agree with HadEnough...MOST cops are complete assholes. Ya'll check this out...back in mid-January of this year, a lady friend of mine (who shall remain her request) finally had enough of her asshole of a husband (a crooked-ass COP) and left him. They were married close to 3 years (no children). Anyway, she would confide in me that he was (among other things) arrogant, chauvinistic, insensitive, selfish and unloving. Most of all, she got tired of him working all the time and his constantly cheating on her. I feel like MOST cops are cocky, corrupt, crooked, humorless and rude as hell. I try to avoid cops (in general) AT ALL COSTS. PERIOD!!!!! PEACE!!!!!

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