Mentally ill homeless man beaten to death by Fullerton police
(Disturbing Footage and Image)
FULLERTON, CA (BDCi) —Kelly Thomas, 37, a schizophrenic, died five days after a run-in with Fullerton officers.
According to witness and an amateur video released on You Tube, six Fullerton police officers beat to death a mentally ill homeless man, Kelly Thomas, at an Orange County transit bus the night of July 5th.
“The cops are kicking this poor guy over there, all these cops,” one woman told the bus driver in a conversation captured on a grainy bus surveillance tape.
“He’s almost halfway dead,” another passenger told the driver on the recording. “They killed him.”
This case has outraged the local community and gained international attention based on the brutality of its details.
City of Fullerton police, responding to reports of an attempted car break-in near the station, confronted Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old schizophrenic homeless man who had become a fixture in downtown Fullerton.
Six officers fought with Thomas and tasered him several times, according to witness accounts.
He emerged severely beaten and in a coma. A photo taken of him at the hospital shows his face grotesquely swollen and covered with bruises and cuts. He died five days later after being removed from life support.
Now, both the FBI and the Orange County district attorney’s office are investigating, and the case has generated an emotional response from residents of the college town, who are demanding answers from the Police Department.
Suspicions about the incident have been heightened by two videos in which witnesses reacted to the police action. In one video taken by a bystander, Thomas can be heard screaming “Dad! Dad! Dad!” over the clicking sounds of the Taser.
The FBI, district attorney, Police Department and horrified civilian witnesses want answers.
By Janete Weinstein
Source: Los Angeles Times & Huffington Post
Photo by: NY Daily News
August 4, 2011
12:42 p.m. PDT