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Kelly Thomas' father, other angry Fullerton residents want cops fired

May 16, 2012 |  9:15 am

 

Angry Fullerton residents, including the father of beating death victim Kelly Thomas,  blasted the City Council on Tuesday night for their handling of the Thomas case and urged them to fire the police officers involved in the incident.

It was their first opportunity to address city leaders since prosecutors played a graphic video of the beating during a preliminary hearing last week for two officers charged in the death.

A Superior Court judge last week found there was enough evidence for Officer Manuel Ramos to stand trial for second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli to face a trial for involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.

VIDEO: Kelly Thomas beating

At the meeting, Thomas' father, Ron Thomas, said he believes that another officer, Joseph Wolfe, should be charged -- and fired by the city.

"This is the first time you've ever heard me use this word. I demand ... " Ron Thomas said, trailing off while trying to hold back tears.

"You see what this has done to me? I can't even talk," Thomas said. "I demand that Joe Wolfe be terminated."

PHOTOS: Kelly Thomas dies after run-in with Fullerton police

The crowd responded with applause.

Wolfe is the first officer seen in the video using physical force against Kelly Thomas, striking him with a baton.

"Why is Officer Wolfe still on paid administrative leave?" one resident asked. "Why is he on a holiday at our taxpayer expense? That's horrible, unconscionable and it needs to change yesterday."

Wolfe was one of four officers -- including Officer Kenton Hampton, Sgt. Kevin Craig and Cpl. James Blatney -- who were not charged in connection with the beating.

All four officers are currently on paid administrative leave.

Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas has not ruled out additional charges in the case.

The City Council also announced that it had approved a $1-million settlement resolving Cathy Thomas' legal claims in the death of her son. Ron Thomas has a separate claim that remains unresolved. The couple is divorced.

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-- Richard Winton and KTLA News

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