An Orange County grand jury indicted Joseph Wolfe, 37, on charges of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.
Earlier this year, the department terminated Wolfe, Manuel Ramos, and Jay Cicinelli for their roles in the death of Kelly Thomas. Ramos and Cicinelli were criminally charged a year ago.
Officer Wolfe was seen in surveillance video delivering the first baton blow to Thomas. Wolfe's attorney, Vicki Podberesky questioned whether "external pressures or political response to public outcry" had motivated the decision, reports the Los Angeles Times.