Family Expected To File Suit Over Homeless Man’s Deadly Arrest

FULLERTON (CBS) — The family of a man who died after a violent arrest is expected to file a lawsuit against the city of Fullerton.

Kelly Thomas, 37, suffered from schizophrenia. He died five days after suffering severe neck and head injuries when he was arrested on July 5.

Thomas’ family filed a claim Thursday that alleges conspiracy, negligence, violation of civil rights and unlawful customs and practice.

No charges have been filed against the six officers who have been placed on leave.

Meanwhile, Fullerton’s police chief, Michael Sellers, has been placed on paid medical leave.

Captain Kevin Hamilton, the department’s investigations commander, is now acting as chief.

The Fullerton City Council met behind closed doors Friday morning as part of a session to determine if they will hire an independent consultant to conduct an investigation into Thomas’ death.

Meanwhile, Fullerton residents are angry, with at least one person claiming they have filed an intent to recall Mayor Richard Jones and two city councilmembers.

  • Family May File Suit Over Homeless Man?s Deadly Arrest | Los Angeles for Me

    […] The family of a man who died after a violent arrest could be preparing to file a lawsuit against the city of Fullerton. More from:… […]

  • Linda

    Where were the parents if they cared so much the guy should have been with the parents if he was sick now their going to sue that is just BS anything to cash in I say

    • upyours

      HeyLINDA, been said before, over eighteen you can make your own decisions, but pu$$Y dumbf**ks like you still living off their mama’s t!t don’t understand that. Having your mama lock you up in your bedroom is no problem since the t!t is still there and the brain cell you’re burning does no good. Now all she needs to do is take away the internet. And, if any of you dumbf**ks could read the money is not for the family. Involuntary confinement is the responsibility of the State, dumbsh!ts.

    • Right On

      Thank you! Exactly! Where were these “parents” when this poor man was on the street? Clearly you didn’t care enough then. Any decent judge will immediately throw out any frivolous law suit.
      In fact, make these dead beat parents pay any associated court costs for wasting everyone’s time.

    • Dave

      Having first hand knowledge of living with someone that is a paranoid schitzophranic it’s quite ignorant to blame the parents for this man’s situation. You have no idea of the difficulties involved with trying to control or make sure the individual is taking their meds all of the time. They NEED the meds but after they take them for a while they think they’re ok and they stop taking them and many times they don’t realize their own sickness as it’s occuring. It’s an extremely sad and difficult illness to deal with and many times the individuals just run off and go or do whatever they want. In addition it’s also very difficult to keep them in a facility and I won’t go into the details of the complications involved. You can love them to a fault and you still have no control. Bottom line is this man should not have been killed. It’s not the parents fault and murderes need to be held accountable whether they’re wearing a badge or not. It’s all very sad.

      • Kim

        @ Dave ~ very well said and so true! And the cops involved should be arrested and charged with murder just like any other person would be. Just because they have a badge doesn’t give them the right to murder someone!!!

      • Pay Attention

        Maybe you should read the first posts a little more carefully. No one is blaming the parents for his “situation”, but rather asking why were they not taking better care of him if he was ill? At least, why were they not providing him a home?
        How is the thin air up there on your high horse?

    • joe

      EXACTLY!!! Recent photos of the guy look as though he had not showered in months….

      And this father, why is he a “former” oc sheriff and not retired? He was probably a parking enforcement officer

    • Jenni

      You are an idiot! It was announced YESTERDAY–8-11-11..that any money won in that lawsuit is to be given to charities that serve the homeless…

      • Dear Sweet Girl

        Wow, you are one naive chick? Really? You honestly believe that? In that case I won’t come in your mouth.

    • rich

      i agree i dont know if the cops messed up or not but how will money solve anything? if the cops messed up then by all means fire them put them in jail or what ever but i have never understood suing for money especially in a case like this.. if it was a father or mother that was the support for someones life then yes they may need money to makeup for that lose but this man was not responsible for anyone no one depended on him to earn a living so what does his parents need money for?

  • Linda

    The parents Knew he was sick but he was out on the street I really feel bad for the guy but the parents in all this where were they when he was homeless? he was sick so instead of putting him somewhere he could be cared for he was out on the street HOME LESS . It isen’t right what happened to him by officers by no means and there is no reason for it but for this family to sue for not caring for the man is another They lived their lives and went on knowing he was out on the street and now they profit from this WRONG IT’S WRONG

  • Mike

    The parents dont care about their son, if they did he would not have been living on the streets. All they want now is the money. The guys is not even cold yet, and they’re already suing. That should tell everyone the story right there. The dad is a LOSER.

    • Jenni

      You and Linda both need to LEARN your facts before you post..they will NOT be keeping the money as annouced YESTERDAY..8-11-11..the money is going to charity….

      knowledge is power….learn to use it!

      • Mike

        You’Qre an idiot if you actually believe that. Knowledge is power, learn to use it.

  • copsarent perfect

    the video shows squat, nothing, him shouting big frggin deal….i feel bad for this sick man however all you people are acting like he had a bullet put in the back of his head while he stood still, this guy was obviously looking into cars and may have even stolen items, the police get called to investigate, they stop the guy he resists and the fight is on….i dont think 6 cops were on scene cause they wanted to be, i think 6 cops were there because they were needed, the photo of this injured guy doesnt tell a story, it shows gauze shoved in his nostrils and dry blood over his face, people i got beat up many years ago and i looked alot worse….have an open mind people, these cops didnt know poor little johnny suffered from x y and z, they were investigating a crime and came up on a violent individual.

    • Jenni

      One of the videos as confirmed does in fact show this man getting beat in the back of the head with a taser…it also shows that he was NOT resisting…

      so yes there is proof of excessive force

  • What a Dork

    Wow, “upyours” you need to see a good therapist about your issues.

    Are you off your meds as well?

    • upyours

      WHAT A D!CK
      Meet me at the Fullerton police station and ask me in person, pu$$y dumbf**k, but since it’s the balls up your a$$ doing all the talking that won’t happen, a$$breath. You and PU$$Y MIKE must have the same $lut mama as you share the same dead brain cell.

  • sad dads happy son

    for all you people who keep tellin lies that parents have no options with an adult child you really need to check your facts. i am SAD DADS son you may have read his or even my comments on other posts here are the REAL FACTS
    i am 24
    i live alone in my own home
    i have a job FULL TIME
    i have a girl friend that ive been with for 2 years now
    and i am EXACTLY LIKE THIS MAN WHO IS DEAD in that i have the same ILLNESS
    4 years ago i went wild off my meds and beat the tar out of my dad then 5 police officers returned the favor I AM IN NO WAY DEFENDING THESE POLICEMEN cuz i do not know the facts of the beating but i do know that a person like me can be a royal pain in the butt to stop that being said AFTER MY melt down my parent sought and got an order of protection over me WHICH IS ENFORCEABLE which plainly says
    so PLEASE make no mistake the parents in this case DID HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO MORE FOR THEIR SON BUT CLEARLY DID NOT

    • william

      upyours clearly you can not read well sad dads son clearly said his parents have a court order to compel him to take his meds and your so full of it sayin that a court order makes a person ward of the state i also have a court order to see to my elderly father who is a little demented he i have full control of his affairs can admit him to a hospital when i see fit or take him out of one if i see fit i can sign for his business affairs he is totally MY RESPONSIBILITY not the states the state has nothing to say about it a court order to handle someones affairs in the event they are not fit to do it them selfs gives the family total control and actually your sort of wrong about the care facility releasing the person if they took their meds if i admit my father because he is ill the hospital will get him better and then release them which in the case of a menal issue BETTER includes counciling till the FAMILY is satisfied that their loved one is ok not till the state is satisfied the state does not hold the order over sad dads son SAD DAD DOES and as for the cussing at everyone is that really needed? is it needed to call someone an a@@wipe because they disagree with you or have FACTUAL EVIDANCE showing how your ideas do not always hold true? mr thomas’ death was un needed i will agree with you on that but do not cuss others out who have a valid idea and show evidance of how that idea worked in their life

    • sad dads happy son

      upyours at no time in any post of mine nor of my fathers has either of us used a foul word to anyone else so please do not use them on me yes your right in SOME cases once the person takes their meds the care facility can and often will relase them HOWEVER in my case and most likely in the Thomas case since i have a record from beating my dad up and its been said that mr. Thomas also had one they would keep us for a while and give us help to try to help us understand that taking the meds is to our own good IM NOT sayin it works every time cuz clearly it does not but if the parents had the same type of order my parents do the VERY MOMENT that mr. Thomas left their home and they knew he was at risk he could have been picked up at a time and place where MAYBE this would not have happen. I know my view is full of MAYBES but all i can deal from is the cards i have in my deck and the stuff i personally have seen. i have given my parents some grief and i regret it and i honor my parents for spending lots of time and money to see to it im safe. as ive said i have a full time job but as many people know health care on some jobs just aint so great so my parents pay for mine out of pocket YES THEY PAY FOR IT IN FULL my dad and mom have worked hard at extra jobs and scrimped on what they would like for them selves for fun and enjoyment my sister has missed out on some stuff she would have liked because of me so i know what my family has done for me and THAT IS WHY i take my meds even when i dont want to cuz i know they love me and its for my own good maybe mr. Thomas did not think like i do i dont know but it just seems to me that his parents concern and ACTION on his behalf came just a little to late.

  • sad dads happy son

    upyours you say i never stated that i can not leave a facility with out my parents approval? maybe you do not get the point of IF I DO NOT TAKE MY MEDS OR DO AS CORT ORDER SAYS MY MOTHER AND OR FATHER CAN COMMIT ME TO A CARE FACILITY? that is rather clear to me, if they can COMMIT ME then simple logic dicatates that they have to be satisfied that i will behave better or i will not be released. and NO i am not speaking from what i assume to be the translation of my order i am speaking from what the judge that issued it said and this is the verbatium MR ———— i am issuing this order on behalf of your parents so that they can see to your care in the event that you go off your medication again. they will not have to wait till you become angry or violent, they can mearly call the police when they see that your off your meds and have you taken at once to a care facility once you are in this facility, you will be given the meds and will be subject to being admitted to said facility until such time as your parents are convinced that you will not repeat such actions. your care in siad facility will not only be taking your meds but counciling and any other services said facility may provide. Mr. ————- i hope your parents never have to enforce this order, i hope the events of the last few months have served as enough of a wake up call to show you that you can not go off your meds with out drastic effects. young man i realize you are now 20 years of age and by social standards are a man and can do as you please but the fact that you made choices like this to not take your meds and to by your own admission beat your father quite badly, i feel i have no other choice but to enter this order so that your parents can see to it that you do not end up harming your self or others. END OF STATEMENT
    that IS WHAT I LIVE WITH a very plain very simple order that gives my parents full power to commit me if i do not take my meds. you may say i am an adult i should be allowed to do as i please take my med or not take it. AND YOU WOULD BE WRONG a parents job does not stop at 18 with a person like me who when left to my own devices MIGHT choose to do something stupid like NOT TAKING A FEW SIMPLE PILLS. again i respect my parents for doing this and i will abide with this as long as i need to in order to stay right and not do something like what i did 4 years ago. people who are like me deserve to be well, we deserve to be kept safe we deserve to be loved. all to often our familys choose to let us go about our life on our own because they dont understand why we do what we do, or they do not know where to get us help. or even worse they never try to find us help my parents found me the help i need and i am thankful to them

    • cindy

      wow upyours he clearly proved that had thomas parents had the type of deal that sad dad has that thomas WOULD NOT have been able to leave with out his parents permission and that the care place would not be allowed to just kick him to the curb and futhermore all you can really point out wrong in his statement is the one word he spelled wrong your a sad person

  • cindy

    ok so he spelled two words wrong so what this is not an english class room and VERBATIM means WORD FOR WORD he was quoting exactly what the judge told him and his family what has that part to do with anything?? you said you were talking about forced confinement and how the place would have to let thomas go once he was back on meds well clearly that is not the case. everyone i know, knows that if the court gives you a court order over your loved one that you now control their rights the person subject to the order does not control them.. so if thomas was ever forced into a center then his parents clearly did not do it right and get an order over him to keep him there till he was better you really need to lay off the foul language also even if you don’t think sad dads son knows what he is talking about he has spoke politely to you so try being polite back

    • sad dads happy son

      actually i live 30 miles from my parents they drive to my place daily or i drive to them to deal with the meds issue and i admit i dont spell everything real well BIG DEAL as i said before if all you can come at me with is my spelling then i think you could use some meds your self for your clear anger issues

    • sad dads happy son

      its really simple how i recall every word the judge said i have read it so many times in the last four years that it is burned into my memory. if all you can do is point out things people spell wrong or their use of bad grammer well then your hopeless you are not out to help anyone or to stand up for the rights of this man who died your only on here to bad mouth people and act rude i may have mental issues and all that but i don’t go off cussin at people just because i dont agree with their views. all my comments were about bad spelling or bad grammer aside was to state that there is help for people like me and this thomas guy my parents found me the help his did not you have stated they forced him into a center once? well i dont know if they did nor did not but they clearly do not have the type of order my parents do or he would still be alive and on the of side chance they do have a like type order then they did not enforce it which to me is wrose. they did not get him help when he needed it and now he is dead and they are seeking a money pay out to me that is wrong because they are saying money will in some way make it better that he died. go a head and prrof read my statement i know you will but bad spelling or bad grammer does not do away with the point MY PARENTS HAVE KEPT ME SAFE HIS DID NOT END OF STORY

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  • bologny

    It’s the parents fault not the police? they knew he was sick and they allowed him to run amuck in the streets instead of having him put in a mental institute for his own safety! hahahaaa and now they want to sue the cops for their ignorance that got their son killed? oh hell nooooooo!!!!

  • cindy

    ever heard of pins and stuff to fix broken bones moron upyours i belive he quoted the order from his memory so ya its not word for word but so friggin what base fact is his parents are taking care of his needs and the parents of this dead guy did not pure fact

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