Witnesses Recount Alleged Fatal Beating Of Homeless Man By Officers

FULLERTON (CBS) — Six police officers suspected of beating a homeless man to death have been pulled from street duty, but are still working.

The District Attorney’s Office and the FBI are investigating the allegations that the officers severely beat 37-year-old Kelly Thomas on July 5, 2011.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landon reports the victim’s father said he’s upset the officers haven’t been arrested.

Friends for Fullerton’s Future obtained this video footage from an OCTA bus that pulled into the Fullerton Transportation Center moments after Thomas was beaten. Several witnesses can be seen and heard describing the attack.

A transcript posted on the website fullertonsfuture.org recounts what witnesses said on the bus.

Woman: We watched the whole thing.
Bus Driver: What’s going on?
Woman: The cops are kicking this poor guy over there. All these cops
Bus Driver: What happened?
Woman: I have no idea. I didn’t know what the guy did. They were pulling his hair,
kicking the s*** out of him.
Bus Driver: Really?
Woman: Yeah. And he’s all full of blood.

kellythomas with ron thomas Witnesses Recount Alleged Fatal Beating Of Homeless Man By Officers

(credit: CBS)

“Am I happy with that? No. Because if you or I were suspected of possibly beating someone to death where would we be today? We’d be behind bars,” Ron Thomas said.

kelly thomas Witnesses Recount Alleged Fatal Beating Of Homeless Man By Officers

(credit: CBS)

“They’re getting a full paycheck, they’re at work. We wouldn’t be afforded that luxury,” Thomas said.

Thomas says a civil attorney hired by the city has offered him $1 million – presumably, he said, to keep quiet.

  • http://losangelesforme.com/2011/08/caught-on-tape-witnesses-recount-police-officers-beating-homeless-man-to-death/ Caught On Tape: Witnesses Recount Police Officers Beating Homeless Man To Death | Los Angeles for Me

    […] Six police officers suspected of beating a homeless man to death have been pulled from street duty but are still working. More from: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com… […]

  • good father

    this family has no credibility to me they say the man was homeless by choice if they allowed him that choice then they are horid people a person with mental issues should not be given full choices like this i have a son who is also schetzophrinic and he takes his meds and stuff well but my wife and i have a order conservitorshgip over him as long as hes on his meds hes ok to do as he likes by the way hes 24 but we got this order in the event that he goes off his med we can take charge of his affairs and make sure he is safe it seems this family did not care enough to do this very simple thing

    • citizen

      Lets see if you still love the f-ing cops if this was your kid. You have no credibility. How dare you try and blam the parents.

      • good father

        if you read my post you see that i have a son just like this man who died who MUST take his meds to stay in a good way if my son DOES NOT take his meds he becomes very paranoid and very violent so we MAKE SURE he takes them and we have this order of protection to make sure he cant just walk away from our care and do as he pleases cuz not only his safety is at hand if he was to walk away so i DO BLAME THE PARENTS cuz if this had been my son it would be 100% mine and my wifes fault

    • myself

      Some people just know exactly how to run someone else’s life. And you’re one of them. Your lack of education screams out, and so does your need to seem better then others.my

    • Elizabeth

      I also have a son who is schizophrenic and refuses to take his meds. Perhaps your son does not have schizophrenia to the degree that my son or others has it. It is IMPOSSIBLE to force some mentally ill individuals to take their meds. It is also IMPOSSIBLE to find a hospital or facility that will keep a non-violent mentally ill person locked up for not taking their meds. It is a person’s legal right to refuse meds if they choose. It is also a paranoid person’s right to sleep outdoors if they wish. I do my best EVERY DAY to help my son, and am shocked at the judgment you so willingly pass on someone in shoes similar to your own.

      I can’t believe that you would call the parent of a schizophrenic man “horrid” for their inability to force compliance on their child. I am involved in many support groups for families of mentally ill individuals and have met very few people who haven’t had to deal with med compliance issues. You are among the rare few who have been lucky enough not to have to deal with some of these very difficult issues.

      Also, please tell me how I am supposed to FORCE my 6’6″ son to take his meds? I also have conservatorship of my son, but that doesn’t give me the right to hold a gun to his head and make him swallow a pill. When a child becomes an adult, the parents have very little power in forcing their will upon the individual. Even the courts are on the side of the mentally ill — even when you have conservatorship.

      • good father

        my son before we got this order refused ALOT to take them i would beg him and because of the deep LOVE AND CLOSENESS he and i share he would take them GRUDGINGLY yes but he took them then came the EVENT where he beat my butt. he was arrested and taken in and they forced meds into him to get him right when he got back to his normal state we as in my wife, myself and his doctors and the lawyer we hired to file for the court order all sat down with him and calmly laid it out to him i told him that it hurt what he did persoanlly to me and he remembered having tossed my butt he also remembered the police tossin his lol his mom and i told him what we intended to do in getting an order to make him take them the lawyer told him that if we get this order and you do not comply your parents can admit you to a care facility A PLACE HE HAD SEEN BEFORE because he has 2 personal friends in one for this same reason and he HATES THE PLACE his friends can not come and go as they please they cant work they cant have most any of the freedoms he has so he realized how good his life is if he just takes a few pills so NO i did not hold him down and jam the meds down his neck. we have NEVER had to physically hold him since the EVENT and make him take them its been all LOVE AND CARE for us he sees how much me love him and care for him and he feels how much he loves and cares for us SO HE DOES AS WE SAY for us it has not been very hard as for futher answer to HOW DO I FORCE MY 6’6 SON well have you ever sat down with him when he is level and just talked?? told him how it makes you feel when hes off meds and a little crazy acting?? have you shown him how pleasent his life is ON MEDS as opposed to OFF MEDS? you say it is a ill persons right to sleep outside if they choose that is flat wrong cuz as far as i know it is agaisnt the law just about any place to sleep out of doors except in designated camp areas or on your own land and no one has been talkin about pitchin a tent in your back yard this is about living on the mean streets. in short my son at times can be VERY VIOLENT when off meds his doctor says his DEGREE of this sickness is fairly bad im no doc so frankly i dont know one degree from the next but i know how bad my son gets. and yaaaaaaaaaa maybe we are a little lucky cuz hes a runt lol but that runt beat my faf butt up quite well. as for my comment that the family if this dead man is HORID i stand by that because his father is a former police officer he has got to have contacts from that work that could have led him to places for info on how to help his son. and IFFFFFF my son was to flat refuse to play along as he does guess what I WOULD BE ON THE STREETS WITH HIM that right there is what i think is diffrent with me then with the majority of other parents who say WELL HE IS OF AGE WHAT CAN I REALLY DO??? God gave me this boy of mine and trusted his mother and i with his care yes his car has lasted longer then the expected 18 or so years a normal kid requires but i dont care he is my pride and my joy and if i had to i would live in the cardboard condo next to him if i had to just to make sure he was safe

  • Francisco Barron

    Another example of the police state killing an innocent man in Fullerton. These cops are nothing but thugs with a badge, they need to be punished like any other criminal. But of course they will not, the city will cover up the crime and insist they acted according to proper police procediures. Perhaps after this incident, the police will be hunted like their victims….!

  • david

    We all know that the only way a person could be homeless is if that person’s a liberal. So I guess he had it coming because that’s what a lot of people think that liberals are and deserve. Rush and Hannity will defend these cops because they shave every morning and make sure the non job creators are put in their place.

  • JC

    the parents should atleast take some responsibilities for their son’s mental being. come on, they are aware of that the son is sick and that required medication inorder to stay normal. if they are a responsible parents they should leave a sick person wondering around without supervision.

    • citizen

      How dare you try and put the blam on the parents. It’s the cops fault. They beat him to death. Lets see if you will still love the cops if this happens to you or someone you know.

  • igor doublebubblevich

    cops are granted qualified immunity,. a decree from the courts, compounded with creative writing.aka falsfying reporrts, code of silence, they lie for each other, public has no chance win.

    • bonnie love

      These officers CANNOT GET OUT OF THIS , not only are there private citizens who recorded this , the metro stations security cameras have it all. AND THEY have no desire to let these men go unpunished.

  • jkaang

    The cops will be suspended with full pay, get fired and no charges will be filed, cops sue city and get millions. Who says crime doesn’t pay. Here is a lesson, if you like to kill people, don’t be a idiot and just do it, join the police force and get paid for doing it and, the best part is you’ll have full protection of the police union and tax payer paid lawyer with unlimited amount. And when you retire people will call you a hero.


    Fullerton PD gets away with violating our rights all the time. Here is an examlpe of a experience I had last month with Fullerton PD. I was ecently pulled over for no front plate. My passenger was arrested.after Fullerton PD searched her purse without her permission. When Fullerton PD asked to search her purse she said NO several times. They even brought the dog in. Dog keeped hitting on left front tire, nowhere else. In the police report they wrote that “I told them my friend had drugs”. Which I never did. Granted she had something she was not suppose to have. Fullerton PD was able to get away with an “illlegal seach and seizure” by falsifing a police report. I was let go with no citation.

    “creative writing.aka falsfying reporrts, code of silence, they lie for each other, public has no chance win”

    My condolences to the Thomas Family, “justice will be served”

    • hh

      “Granted she had something she was not suppose to have”.
      They saw something in her.It was probably obvious.
      So shut up already.

  • YokRoo

    So sad, and they wonder why people rejoice everytime some stupid cop gets clipped in the line of duty.


  • fabi

    My condolences to the Thomas Family. I really hope that the family gets justice and get does men arrested or fired. how can they sleep at night knowing that they took an innocent live away. what did he ever do to them, hearing him scream for his dad was very hurtful.

    it’s not the family’s fault! he was old enough to do what he wanted to u cant pin this on the parents. what if it happend to your family whould you blame your parents?

  • Arglebargle

    Tell the popo nothin. Goodfather, you are a moron. Ever heard of a run on sentence? Please, the cops are a family and get away with murder. They are a necessary evil and should be held accountable just like regular folk. F them if they don’t play by ours, society’s rules.

  • http://usecmagazine.usecnetwork.com/usa/?p=16932 Kelly Thomas, Fullerton Homeless Man, May Have Been Beaten To Death By Police | USEC IM USA Edition

    […] The Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI are now investigating the case, reportsCBS Los Angeles. […]

  • Joe

    The Fullerton police offered the family $900k to just go away,
    But when the internal investigation comes out it will be that the officers did nothing wrong. Good thing the feds are looking into this.

  • http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/08/05/aclu-orange-county-da-has-abysmal-record-of-investigating-police-involved-deaths/ ACLU: Orange County DA Has ‘Abysmal’ Record Of Investigating Police-Involved Deaths « CBS Los Angeles

    […] Witnesses Recount Alleged Fatal Beating Of Homeless Man By Officers […]

  • Shirley

    Homelessness under California law is not a crime. Auto burglary, Auto tampering, and Auto dismantling… is a crime. Did the Fullerton police officers beat this man to death for being a sinster “homeless” terrorist off his meds? How could he be homeless if he belonged to his parents by an order from the Orange County Superior Court – the parents apparently are not homeless?

  • http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/08/08/orange-county-da-talks-exclusively-about-kelly-thomas-death/ Orange County DA Talks Exclusively About Kelly Thomas Death « CBS Los Angeles

    […] Former Fullerton Police Chief Sympathizes With Family Of Schizophrenic Man »RELATED: Witnesses Recount Alleged Fatal Beating Of Homeless Man By Officers Share this No comments […]

  • http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/08/17/uproar-at-fullerton-city-council-meeting-over-violent-police-arrest-of-homeless-man/ Uproar At Fullerton City Council Meeting Over Violent Police Arrest Of Homeless Man « CBS Los Angeles

    […] RELATED: Witnesses Recount Alleged Police Beating Of Homeless Man Share this No comments // […]

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