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.
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