Kelly Thomas' father satisfied with charges in son's death
Ron Thomas and his attorney spoke to reporters briefly after officials announced the charges. They said they hoped veteran prosecutors would be put on the case.
"They still have to try him," Ron Thomas said.
When Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas announced the charges, cheers erupted outside the Orange County Justice Center, and Ron Thomas smiled.
Officer Manuel Ramos has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the beating of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless schizophrenic man. Officer Jay Cicinelli has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.
Rackauckas said the department reviewed 151 witness statements, videos of the beating, medical reports and police statements.
The district attorney's office had been awaiting the coroner's determination on the cause of death before deciding whether to file charges.
Officers approached Kelly Thomas on July 5 at the bus depot in downtown Fullerton while responding to a report of someone trying to break into cars. According to witness accounts, Thomas ran when officers attempted to search his bag. Exactly what happened next is unclear, but witnesses said they saw multiple officers hitting Kelly and shocking him with a Taser while he was on the ground.
-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Santa Ana and Shelby Grad
Photo: A picture of Kelly Thomas is surrounded by flowers at a memorial at the Fullerton Transportation Center last month. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times