Kelly Thomas: Loud cheers greet charges against police
Loud cheers were heard outside Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackaukas' office Wednesday after he announced he was filing criminal charges against two Fullerton police officers in the death of homeless man Kelly Thomas.
Dozens of people, who had been protesting in connection with the case, watched TV monitors silently. Kelly's father, Ron Thomas, stood silently, accompanied by his attorney, while the charges were read.
After, he choked back tears and said he was "extremely happy with the D.A. right now."
"I'm very emotional," he said, standing with his hands clasped in front of him.
"It's exactly what we all wanted," he added, adding that he wanted to praise Rackaukas' decision.
He then walked into a private meeting with prosecutors.
Officer Manuel Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Thomas, who suffered from schizophrenia and was a regular presence in downtown Fullerton. Officer Jay Cicinelli has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.
Thomas died five days after a confrontation with six officers, after being removed from life support.
Earlier this month, an attorney representing the Thomas family released hospital records that showed Thomas had tested negative for drugs and alcohol and that the immediate cause of death was "brain death" due to "head trauma" from the incident.
The hospital records released showed that he suffered brain injuries, a shattered nose, a smashed cheekbone, broken ribs and severe internal bleeding. Thomas also had been shocked with a stun gun "multiple" times, including in the left chest near the heart, the records showed.
-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Santa Ana
Photo: Fullerton resident Susan Brodbeck,left, hugs Kelly Thomas' step-mother Dana Pape and step-sister Melissa Pape after the District Attorney announced that criminal charges have been filed against two of the officers of the six officers involved in the beating death of Thomas. Credit: GIna Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times