Kelly Thomas beating: Charges possible against third officer
Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said he hasn't ruled out filing charges against additional officers involved in the fatal beating of Kelly Thomas.
Kelly Thomas' family and supporters have called for the arrest of Officer Joseph Wolfe, one of six police officers involved in the fatal altercation. In a video of the beating, Wolfe is seen striking Thomas. Wolfe and Officer Manuel Ramos, who is facing charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, were the officers on the scene.
Rackauckas did not name any additional officers, but when asked specifically about Wolfe, he said: "We are not done with this case.... We are still considering all the evidence."
Outside the courtroom, Christina Walker, 41, of Fullerton wore a baby blue shirt that said, "Justice 4 Kelly Thomas" and vowed to keep the pressure on -- even after a judge on Wednesday ordered Ramos and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli to stand trial in connection with Thomas' death.
"There is no way I can feel happy about this," Walker said. "It's just one teeny tiny slice of victory on the way to justice."
After Kelly Thomas' death, she protested for four weeks alongside the Thomas family in seeking charges against the officers involved.
Walker said she believes prosecutors should now charge Wolfe.
"I don't care if I have to protest for the next year," she said.
Walker, who sat with the Thomas family during the three-day preliminary hearing, said she was an acquaintance of Kelly Thomas' as a child, but was drawn to the case after his death because her brother is also a homeless schizophrenic.
Outside the courtroom, supporters hugged each other.
John Oetken, 50, was among the supporters. The Tustin resident attended the hearing along with eight other members of Oath Keepers, an organization of active, retired officers.
"Justice should be served," he said.
Oetken is a citizen member, but he said police officers who are members of his organization are "depressed about what happened, the beating and charges, and the disgrace that comes from an incident like this."
"it drags everybody down," Oetken said. "It's a dishonor that is brought upon them."
-- Angel Jennings and Richard Winton at Orange County Superior Court
Photo: Ron Thomas talks to the media during a noon break from a hearing on Wednesday. Thomas and supporters want additional police officers charged. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times