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Six Calif. Officers Involved In Fatal Beating Suspended

August 03, 2011  | 

Six Fullerton (Calif.) Police officers involved in the fatal beating of a homeless man in early July have been suspended, as investigations into the incident have been launched by the department, Orange County District Attorney's Office and FBI.

On July 5, Fullerton PD officers responded to a report of a man looking in the windows of cars. Responding officers encountered Kelly Thomas, 37, at a transit station.

Thomas, who suffered from schizophrenia, apparently became violent when officers attempted to search him, which caused the physical altercation, reports the Orange County Register.

Witnesses said the officers beat Thomas with a flashlight, used a stun gun multiple times and slammed his face into the concrete multiple times, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Thomas was critically wounded and died five days after the incident.

One of the officers involved in the incident has been identified as Jay Cicinelli, a former LAPD officer who lost an eye when he was shot multiple times during a 1996 shooting while he was a rookie cop.

A citizen used a cell phone that captured mostly audio from the incident that has been posted to YouTube. Also witnesses were captured on surveillance cameras on an OCTA transit bus giving their impressions of the incident.

Ron Thomas, the father of Kelly and a retired Orange County (Calif.) Sheriff's deputy, told Times columnist Steve Lopez he hopes the incident will serve to teach other law enforcement officers.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Friends for Fullerton's Future

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