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Feds Asked To Investigate Death Of Homeless Man After Fight With Fullerton Police

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FULLERTON (CBS/AP) — An Orange County supervisor is asking for a federal investigation into the death of a homeless man who died after a fight with Fullerton police.

The Orange County Register says Shawn Nelson made the request Thursday in a letter to the Justice Department’s civil rights division. Nelson says he’s been told the FBI already is investigating.

Thirty-seven-year-old Kelly Thomas, who was schizophrenic, died several days after he struggled with six officers on July 5. Police say he became combative after officers investigating reports of a man burglarizing cars in a Metrolink station parking lot tried to search him.

Thomas had severe head and neck injuries, and witnesses claim he was struck with a flashlight and shot with a Taser. An autopsy failed to determine the cause of death pending further tests.

Witnesses or anyone with information about Thomas or the incident can call District Attorney Investigator Stan Berry at (714) 347-8813.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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