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6 Fullerton officers involved in fatal beating placed on leave

August 2, 2011 |  9:18 pm

Kelly Thomas memorial in Fullerton
All six police officers involved in the fatal beating of a homeless, schizophrenic man in Fullerton have been placed on administrative leave.

Kelly Thomas, 37, died July 10, five days after the incident at a bus depot in Fullerton.

Police officers found Thomas at the depot after getting a report of someone trying to break into cars in the parking lot. After Thomas tried to run, an altercation ensued in which witnesses said officers beat him with a flashlight, used a stun gun on him multiple times and slammed his face into the concrete while he was restrained.

The Orange County district attorney's office and the FBI are investigating.

One officer was placed on leave days after the incident. The other five were reassigned to nonpatrol duty Friday and then placed on leave Tuesday by order of Chief Michael Sellers, according to Sgt. Andrew Goodrich, a department spokesman.

Thomas' father, Ron Thomas, said the announcement that the officers had been placed on leave came a few hours after he met with the chief Tuesday afternoon.

Nevertheless, at an overflowing City Council meeting Tuesday night, dozens of people called for the chief's resignation over the incident.


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-- Abby Sewell at Fullerton City Hall

Photo: A memorial for Kelly Thomas outside the Fullerton bus depot where he was beaten by police. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times