SANTA ANA (CBS/AP) — A civil rights group says the Orange County district attorney’s office shouldn’t be investigating the police-involved death of a mentally ill homeless man.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California says the DA’s office has an “abysmal” record when it comes to investigating and prosecuting officer-involved deaths. Executive Director Hector Villagra says some other government agency should look into last month’s death of Kelly Thomas following an altercation with Fullerton police.

Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless schizophrenic man, was beaten and tased by Fullerton police officers answering a burglary report. He died following the July 5 altercation.

District attorney’s chief of staff Susan Kang Schroeder tells the Orange County Register that the DA has a long track record of prosecuting law enforcement personnel for crimes.

Six Fullerton police officers are on leave while both the DA and the FBI investigate the death.


OC DA Won’t Release Security Video Of Homeless Man’s Beating By Fullerton Police

Former Fullerton Police Chief Sympathizes With Family Of Schizophrenic Man

Community Outraged After Homeless Man Dies Following Police Altercation

Witnesses Recount Alleged Fatal Beating Of Homeless Man By Officers

Father Of Dead Homeless Man Says Fullerton Offered Him $900K To Settle

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

Schizophrenic Man Dies After Suffering Head, Neck Injuries During Arrest

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (9)
  1. ts says:

    If the aclu dosent like how cops do there job maybe they should take over and it. They think its so easy and should be done peacefully. What aboit the countless other contacts that cops do without a problem? The aclu never says anything aboit that…..

    1. sad dad says:

      agreed TS my son did just about the same thing this man did in that he went off his meds and became hostile almost killing me it took 5 cops to stop him and it was his wakeup call now he takes his meds religiously with the watchful eye of his mother and i and even at 24 we have a court order to see to it he takes them

  2. cachamelion says:

    The ACLU has never done anything good. They support illegal immigrants and criminals. Excuse for thinking that organization is part of what is wrong with the United States.

  3. Astonished says:

    If the ACLU was and is so concerned about Thomas’ fate where were they when he was homeless on the street and failing to take his meds. I guess helping what would have been one annonymous homeless person wouldn’t have gotten the media attention they crave. So, now that it’s a big deal, they weigh in with their “opinion.”

    Also, they are, as usual, a day late with their “advice.” The FBI is investigating this case, not just the OC District Attorney.

    IF it an’t got a media camera attached to it, they couldn’t care less.

  4. Mike says:

    The ACLU has an abysmal record of thinking clearly. They’re the last organization that should be talking about an abysmal records. The American Criminal Lovers Union needs to be wiped off the face of the earth.

  5. Dr.Martin Griffin says:

    The ACLU defends the coloreds. Coloreds aren’t part of the human race. They are space aliens from a planet where everyone is on eternal welfare and children don’t know who theior fathers are.

  6. Robert Gettinger says:

    Sadly Police jobs are often given to psychopaths who seek power and control. They’re not doing the job to serve or protect but to have a gun, badge and power. The training excuse doing what they were trained is a LIE, I know I’ve been there, its when the agency hides these mentally ill officers and rewards them for abuse by protecting them instead of exposing them. Counties and cities allow judges and police to MURDER and abuse their power and go unprosecuted. This has been going on for years, FBI, Police, Sheriff, DOJ, California bar you name it they IGNORE MURDER, see for a judge who caused the death of Lee Peters an innocent woman, Bobb also caused the death of a child. When the heat started to get bad Bobb retired early running away from her crimes with millions of dollars scammed in legal fraud via the probate courts. Find the real victims at​bertagettinger FACEBOOK, where murder is not hidden. Why should it take a crowd of people to get these horrendous crimes out?cting them. Please do yourself a favor and network for stories the media wont tell you at facebook

  7. jet-ski says:

    I dont disagree with this article

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