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Kelly Thomas: Councilman wants more details on fatal beating

September 21, 2011 | 12:52 pm

Click here to see more Kelly Thomas photos. Fullerton Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who early on questioned Fullerton Police authorities about the death of Kelly Thomas, said though the details of the case were not new to him, he was still processing the enormity of the district attorney's announcement that two policeman will be charged in the fatal beating. 

“It’s pretty hard to go beyond what the district attorney has said at this point," Whitaker said of  Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas' announcement Wednesday that one officer would be charged with second-degree murder and a second with involuntary manslaughter.

"I’m still absorbing it, what it means and what it means personnel-wise in the city,” the councilman said.

Photos: Kelly Thomas death

“I had great concerns about whether the facts of the case squared up with what we were being told [by police officials]," he said.

Whitaker said Wednesday's news conference confirmed a lot of what he already knew, although he said he wants to get further explanation about the way the encounter with Thomas was initiated and whether police had “probable cause to detain” the homeless man.

“I would like to achieve clarity on the events that preceded the encounter,” Whitaker said.


Full coverage: Kelly Thomas death

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Kelly Thomas begged for his life from 'menacing' officer, D.A. says

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Demonstrators in the Kelly Thomas case deliver their message outside the Orange County district attorney's office in Santa Ana on Wednesday. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times