Kelly Thomas’ Father Reacts To Fullerton Officer’s Release From Jail

FULLERTON (CBS) — The Fullerton police officer accused of beating a 37-year-old homeless man to death has been released from jail.

Manuel Ramos, 37, who is facing a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Kelly Thomas, was released on bail early Thursday morning.

Ramos, a 10-year-veteran with the department, pleaded not guilty Monday before a judge rejected a request to lower his $1 million bail.

Thomas, a schizophrenic homeless man, died after a confrontation with six police officers who were responding to reports of car burglaries.

Officer Jay Cicinelli, 39, was also charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas says video of the incident shows Ramos initiating the deadly beating.

CBS2 spoke with Ramos’ attorney John Barnett, who confirmed that his bail money was raised by family and friends.

“Being a police officer does not strip you of your constitutional rights,” Barnett said. “He made bail… I’m glad that he’s out. It will be much easier to mount our defense with him out of custody.”

Thomas’ father spoke exclusively with CBS2 Thursday morning about Ramos’ release.

“Well, I’m dissatisfied, but it is out process that we have to life with. Ramos, and even Cicinelli, belong behind bars,” Ron Thomas said. “That’s really where I want them to be.”

He also says his son was the victim of a hate crime.

“I think it was definitely, and I’ve said this from the beginning, a hate crime towards the homeless and the mentally ill. Ramos knew my son very well and he should have handled it much differently, but he didn’t. So I think he was specifically targeted in that very, very aggressive manner because he was homeless and schizophrenic.”

Thomas says he will attend Ramos’ preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for Nov. 4.

“I absolutely will attend. I need to stay aware of what’s going on. I need to be there for my son.”

  • John Holmes

    “I absolutely will attend. I need to stay aware of what’s going on. I need to be there for my son.” Now he is there for his son a little too late. All he is looking for is a big payday and he will surely get it even though he does not deserve a penny of it. The dad is a martyr and did not care enough to take his son in his house and get him the professional mental help that he needed, but now all he sees in dollar signs once lawyers started calling him saying that he won the “lottery”.

    • citizen

      you are so wrong. Just let the cops get away with it. Real good.

    • T Fillmore

      Sir –

      I believe the father has noted he does not intend to keep any monies received – instead he intends to create a charity foundation.

      Also, please be sure to read the comments from parents/friends of mentally ill persons, you may be enlightened.

      T Fillmore

      • John

        The father filed restraining orders against his son, and kicked him out of the house. Don’t believe the lies you hear, this man WILL profit from this.

      • T Fillmore

        I’m replying to John, not my own comment.

        Do you know why a restraining order was in place? Most people assume it is for violence but it can also be for trespassing or even repetitive, distressing behavior such as continual phone calls. It can also be through third parties as well.

        A parent always holds out hope that their child will see why it is in place and stop the behavior. Is this not, then, a parent looking out for the well being of their child? If the alternative is to report a criminal action they are likely to go to jail, perhaps prison. The jails and prisons are full of violent persons, so wouldn’t you take every precaution to try to keep your child out of jail?

        I would caution you not to jump to conclusions on this issue, it’s not as clear cut as it may seem.

    • wgaf

      You must be using that name to let everyone know you’re a big d!ck. Your comments have succeeded in doing so.

  • Gabriela

    My Sister and I were discussing the same this past weekend. As mothers, we just don’t understand why his son was sleeping in the streets. I told her that perhaps he was severely violent to his family, uncontrollable and probably escaping from home or institutions… we were trying to come up with reasons as to why he was living on the streets. He’s father claims that his son was not violent and that the officers knew that he was mentally ill and targeted him for it. I just don’t get. Why was he homeless? I can’t imagine allowing my child to be homeless, unless I was homeless myself and incapable of seeking help for her.

    • T Fillmore

      Hi –

      Please refer to my comment below, it may help you understand why things unfolded the way they did.


      T Fillmore

    • NumbrOne Male

      @willy and gabriela why are you focusing on why this man was living on the streets and not the evil act of his murder? when i read your comments i truly understand the phrase <"the more you talk,the more stupid you sound" smh

  • Zimmer

    Sadly, I tend to agree with Willy.

  • Rick

    Ramos is just an ignorant thug who thinks that a badge and a gun legitimize his real nature as a crim and a bully. Hope he goes to jail with the rest of the thugs.

  • citizen

    I don’t believe you would be following or sleeoing on a bench. What are you so mad about? The mans son was beat to death by the brutal cops. I want to see the cops go to jail for life. You have no compasion. THE KILLED HIS SON PLAIN PERIOD SIMPLE.

    • willy

      i have 4 kids 12,16,18,22 recently my 18 year old wanted to attend a concert with friends and they planed to camp out to get tickets i reluctantly agreed cuz i dont think its the safest idea but she wanted the tickets so i let her do it. un-known to her and her friends i was parked half a block down the street watching them ALL NIGHT so trust me if one of my kids was like kelly and insisted on being on the streets I WOULD BE RIGHT THERE WITH THEM NO QUESTION IN MY MIND its what a parent does

    • Roger Wallace

      @willy: I’d say anyone who is stalking their 18 year old adult daughter has some serious issues. I’m so glad you are not my father — I would have fast and far away.

    • wgaf

      Check that a 22 y.o. too, jeezus looks like real trailer park trash.

  • Suzy Castles

    Regardless of what Ron Thomas did or didn’t do, that in no way excuses the criminal behavior of Ramos. He should be locked away for life so that his aggressive violent nature isn’t applied to the public again.

  • lbcman

    My brother-in-law was schizophrenic and would always run away from home even though he was welcome at his mothers or our home because of his condition he felt he was being held captive. He was on medication but at times refused to take it and did things like run from the police, who would harass him all the time. After battling the state for years he was finally admitted to a state hospital where he died of cancer (probably from the drugs he took for years for his schizophrenia). With people like this you try and try to help but most of the time they just won’t accept it.

    • Gabriela

      It sounds like it took an incredibly lengthy battle to get him admitted into a State institution, but not impossible. Most of the people that have posted, claiming knowing “The Law”; state that it’s impossible, that anyone over the age of 18 if mentally ill, a danger to himself or others can’t be helped if they don’t want to be helped!! Your statement above; despite it taking years and a lot of heart-ache, time, money, etc proves that’s not the case.

      I absolutely believe that the actions of the police officers needs to be fully investigated. In my opinion, the pictures taken definitely show that he suffered a terrible beating. I haven’t seen any videos. Like I said in my previous comment, it simply doesn’t make sense that he would be homeless if he had a father that was so devoted to him as his father appears to be now, after his death. If in effect, the people that posted about knowing Healthcare law, are correct that it would be unlawful to do everything in your power to help your child when they can care for themselves, but are considered adults in our system, I can sort-of understand… not everyone is strong enough to hold up against incredible adversity and the challenges that life presents. However you can bet that I would rather be placed in jail if I had to choose between protecting my child from harming herself or others…

      In summary, my statements/comments don’t indicate that I’m in favor of the Police Officer actions, Justice must be done! They’re simply an observation as a parent….

  • T Fillmore

    Sir –

    Mentally ill people have the same rights to their independence as does everyone else under California law – once a person becomes an adult, mentally ill or not, they cannot be forced to do anything, including take medication, and a parent cannot interfere in their life. Also, mentally ill children cannot, under law, be forced to take their medication or get treatment either, and a parent has no rights to ask their doctor anything about their treatment. Did you know that?

    Please sir, I would ask you to research the rules I reference – I suspect you may change your opinion and will be as angry about the rules as your words suggest you are towards this man’s father.

    In closing, I would ask you – what would be your feelings if you knew that the person(s) who killed your child knew him and his history, had training in how to deal with the mentally ill and homeless, and that your child had called out for you as he died?

    I grieve for this man, his son and his family.

    • Realist

      Oh bleeding hearts…Americans used to be tough…that is until the ACLU was formed

      • Ian MacLeod

        There’s “tough”, and there’s “heartless” and then there’s “sadistic.” Do you know the difference? Kelly didn’t choose his disorder, and you have NO IDEA what he put his family through in the course of almost four decades, or what he would accept or not accept for help. The only certain thing I see here is that Ramos had absolutely no excuse for beating Kelly to death! The man was down and restrained, Tased, and could have done nothing. His head was beaten to a bloody, unrecognizable pulp with a flashlight! WHILE HE WAS DOWN AND RESTRAINED. And no, he wasn’t fighting the cop who killed him.


    • Justice for Kelly Thomas

      Well said T. Fillmore…. My reply posting above to Willy’s almost mirrors yours…. You must work in healthcare or are a healthcare worker or caretaker.

    • sad dad

      T-filmore your not totally right YES its harder with an adult child but my wife and i have an order from the courts that allows us to monitor our son who is 24 and just like kelly. my son beat me bad once when off his meds prompting this order. we now over see him taking his meds DAILY by cort order. he holds down a job has a girl friend and is doing well you might ask what keeps my son in line with this order HE FELT HORID about kickin my butt for one as we are very close and 2. he knows if he goes off meds again and does something like that again the court can nail him harder since it would not be his first time. point is IT CAN BE DONE. does it work with all NO but it does not seem THIS father ever tried. so in parting PARENTS CAN GET PROTECTION AND HELP FOR AN ADULT CHILD IF THEY TRY HARD ENOUGH

      • bringbackcommonsense

        sad dad is exactly right. It’s called “Assisted Outpatient Treatment,” which allows a court to order that medications be SEEN to be taken as prescribed as a condition of staying in the community. The physical strength of persons who are seriously mentally ill and off their meds is phenomenal, no matter their size. They can be physically violent to themselves and, more likely, to others, requiring equal physical force to subdue them. If Kelly’s father had a restraining order against his son, he knew that his child was dangerous. Blaming police does nothing to solve his son’s problem. Check out

      • wgaf

        SAD DAD
        Jeezus, you again dumbf**k. Are you going to be signing on again as “SAD DAD Son,” too, aS$wipe?

    • Maggie Andras

      Well said T Fillmore, The horror of knowing your adult child was killed is more then most could take.. Knowing your adult mentally ill child was killed by a few hateful, cops is undesirably impossible to understand.. Police that take the law into their own hands are far worse then then the common murder. We try to teach our Children to trust and respect them, go to them in time of need. They see more and more police officers beating, kicking and take their power hungry control. We all as citizens need to make sure police officers are punished to the highest level if they abuse or kill anyone, due to their GOD like view of themselves. Otherwise, we might as well count on living in a Nazi Germany Country.

  • Justice for Kelly Thomas

    Willy, you can’t force an adult patient to take their meds regardless of their disease, neither can clinicians. It’s quite obvious you have no understanding about patient rights. To disrespect the father with your harsh words is unexplainable. Psych patients are the worst to treat because of being non-compliant. Look at the guy who shot all those people in Arizona, he’s locked up in a mental hospital and refuses to take his meds and no judge can order a clinician to force the meds. I’m sure he was mentally ill when he shot all those innocent people at the community affair but he wasn’t taking any meds there and he lived at home with his parents. This is a father who helped his mentally ill son for as long as he could. His son chose to live on the streets and his son chose to not take his meds. That doesn’t mean he didn’t love his son or want him to endure the type of death he received. There’s a saying, you can pick and choose your friends but you can’t pick and choose your family. Your family is going to be who and what they want to be. You can choose to associate with them or not. When his son decided to stop taking his meds and live on the streets they chose not to interact or associate with him because they knew very well how his behavior was going to be. Of course he needs to be there for his son so someone else doesn’t endure the same loss as his family did at the hands of individuals who are hired to serve and protect; not intimidate and beat. Also, the father already publicly stated, any money received in the wrongful death beating of his son is all going to a foundation to help the mentally ill. He said he is not keeping one cent. He is not driven but the fact that he can receive millions for what the Fullerton PD did, only to get justice for his son which he knows the meaning of because he his self was an Orange County Sheriff. If he was money hungry he would have taken the 2 million that the FPD offered him before this all started. But he didn’t. This death was preventable and I’m sure justice will prevail and the officers involved will pay the price for what they did. Termination, and not eligible for rehire…. If Hermosa Beach PD can terminate employees and demote a sargent for covering up a fellow officer’s DUI hit and run, Fullerton can do the same for their officers beating a cilvilian to death. Maybe you should have researched this case a little more before posting such an ignoramus, illogical response.

    • Smokey

      Maybe you should do more reasearch…..Dad had a restraining order aginst his poor homeless mentally ill son. Dad knew his kid was dangerous. Cops are also aware that some of the most dangerous people are the mentally ill. The crazy ones don’t follow directions, are likely violent, and you are no less dead if the mentally ill attack you. Contrary to the political rhetoric by the DA, there was no intent to kill this guy. The intent of the comments to use force on Thomas is a common tactic into verbally getting someone to comply so that force doesn’t have to be used. In other words, if you think I am going to kick your butt and therefore comply, so much the better so that no force is used and no one gets hurt.

  • Anna

    Reading some of your comments, it seems clear to me that you are ignorant to the conversation at hand. If you’ve never had a severly mentally ill friend or family member you have no idea. Once they become of legal age, their parents can no longer force them to live with them, stay on their meds,etc. Many homeless people, because of their mental illness, CHOOSE to be homeless – CHOOSE to live that way. To crucify his father or his family when you were never in their shoes is ignorant, cruel and pouring salt into open wounds. Think before you speak or write. The police have a responsibility that they applied for and accepted…to protect and serve. They did neither here.

    • Justice for Kelly Thomas

      Well said Anna…. You, T. Fillmore, and myself obviously have a little more experience in the area of understanding mentally ill individuals and patient rights… We can only hope justice will prevail.

  • Accountability

    the facts are, at least 2 fullerton police officers terrorized an innocent man with physical violence, before they beat him to death. and, at least 4 other fullerton cops watched it happen, and did nothing to stop it.

    the innocent man’s living arrangements with his parents are irrelevant, and have nothing to do with a gang of out of control cops beating an unarmed citizen to death on the streets of fullerton.

    • Ian MacLeod

      They did more than just “nothing to stop it.” They blocked other citizens who would have helped. they ignored the people who said repeatedly, “Man, quit tasing him! That’s enough!” And others who told the cops they’d done enough. The other cops ENABLED this murder.


  • Justice

    First of all….my biggest fear is that idiots like Willy will end op on the jury. The father has stated publicly that he does intend to sue the officers and any money would be donated or used for something positive. He does NOT intend to profit from this at all. Its so easy for an idiot to just assume the parents want money so they can go blow it in Vegas.
    Secondly, Kelly was a 37 year grown man. Sick or not you can’t force him to take meds, you can’t force him to live at home, you can’t force him to let his parents care for him. He was a grown man.

    • John

      If he is gravely ill, his parents could have had him committed. You are looking at this through a biased eye. This man will profit from this. Mark my words

      • T Fillmore

        In California committing a person requires lengthy court procedures and (in most cases) annual, and sometimes bi-annual court appearances. There is a huge burden of proof for this. I’m not personally aware of a single instance where a commitment attempt such as you describe was successful.

        I would suggest you read up on the process of commitment in California, and where a person would be sent as a result.

      • Maggie Andras

        John, You can not commit someone that easy.. They have to be suicidal and then they only hold them 48 hours to observe. If someone is proven to be a danger to the community then and only then they will be committed.



  • TorpedoBoat

    Quote – “Being a police officer does not strip you of your constitutional rights.” It also does not allow you to commit MURDER and walk free. Manuel Ramos should pay the ultimate price…

  • Johnny Popp in L.A.

    You people are ALL missing the point ~ As a former Homeless man myself, I can tell you that the Homeless are Ridiculed, Harrassed and Berated by the Cops on a daily basis!
    Whether Kelly was homless or not… it’s not his parents fault and it is HIS Right to be homeless if that’s the way that’s the way HE chooses to live.
    Those COPS Should ALL be Charges as Accessories to the fact ~ They are a Hoodlum Gang just like any other typical Street Gang!

  • tony afzal

    The other day, the LA Tmes ran a report about the case where the defense put forward the statement that the young man was dangerous. If he was dangerous why are not the 5 police officers lying dead in a pool of blood rather than Kelly. Kelly was a young, probably malnourised, unarmed man whereas the police had guns, tasers, batons, flashlights, etc. Who is dangerous here? Give us citizens a break! This group of policeman and others throughout the LA are are armed gangsters with mob-mentalities!

  • quinton

    im confused i do not live in california im just here to visit my sister.. this is my question some of you say that it was the dead mans right to be homeless? his right to live in the streets?? ummmmmmmm is it not against the law to be a vagrent?? where i live (virginia) i belive it is an arrestable offence to be homeless. i dont say the cops had a right to beat him but i do agree that if he was cronicly running away and living on the streets and assuming its against the law as i belive it is then IT IS HIS PARENTS FAULT they could have easily called and had him arrested for being homeless. and before any one says i dont know what im talking about my 18 year old daughter ran off once because she and her 14 year old sister got into a fight. she stayed gone for 3 days before we found her with the help of the police. once she was brought home she was cited for vagrancy and released into our care. and NO SHE COULD NOT do as she pleased unless she had the MEANS to rent a place or arrangements with friends or family to stay with them SHE COULD NOT live on the streets

    • T Fillmore

      It’s not against the law to be homeless in California; based on what you say about your 18 year old daughter running away, in California a missing persons report would probably not be taken by most police departments unless there was probable cause for danger or she was a danger to herself or others. Reason? She is an adult and chose to leave.

      California is not Virginia, and homelessness does not imply vagrancy.

  • Robert

    If you knew anything about the case you would retract your comments. The media keeps using the phrase “homeless” Kelly Thomas was not homeless he went from house to house (parents, siblings, & friends) but occasionally slept on the street. If you knew anything about schizophrenia you would understand why they jump from place to place.

    • T Fillmore

      a Homeless person has no place to call their own – skipping from place to place is almost an absolute definition of homelessness.

  • mark

    What many people posting here do not understand is that schizophrenia is a disease that has a big impact on not only the person that is ill, but on family and friends as well. Doctors don’t even know how to deal with schizophrenic patients. they simply drug them up. So, how much more difficult do you think it would be for non trained people to deal with it? I’ve dealt with people who are schizophrenic and it is not easy. Many experience sleeplessness and will stay up all hours acting out. It puts a lot of stress on a person’s patience and physical well being. The stress that family and friends experience is overwhelming and something that many of people who blame the family on this thread will never understand.

  • John Ashton

    All six of those cops should be punished for thier wrong doing. American is flooded with corrupt cops, its not just a few its the majority. And the only reason this case got attention was the fact that the victim was caucasian. These corrupt cops murder Afro Americans and Latinos unremittingly and walk away with it; just like the four other cops involved in this case.

  • John

    I don’t have a great deal of respect for Ron Thomas. I agree with Willy in that the parents should have gotten the son help. This is just another cop-bashing incident. There are two sides to every story…

  • Serious?

    Ron Thomas needs to crawl into a hole and shut his mouth until the trial. Every citizen in this county has a right to bail unless the judge sets it at “no bail”. His son was probable arrested and let free on bail until his court cases. All the cop haters out there….grow up and act like a responsible person. Law and enforcement of it is necessary for you all to have rights. I don’t like some cops either, but that does not mean all are bad. Just follow the rules and you won’t have problems. If a rogue cops comes across you, complain to his department. Now a days, every complaint gets looked at. Law enforcement is under the microscope now.

    • T Fillmore

      As enforcers of the law police are held to a greater level of accountability.

      I’m not suggesting he should be held without bail, but would like to suggest that the bail amount was set so high because of this.

  • Disturbed Taxpayer

    “I think it was definitely, and I’ve said this from the beginning, a hate crime towards the homeless and the mentally ill. Ramos knew my son very well and he should have handled it much differently, but he didn’t. So I think he was specifically targeted in that very, very aggressive manner because he was homeless and schizophrenic.”

    If, in fact Ramos knew Kelly, he knew he was sick and harmless. The adrenalin rush of “being in control” is all it takes to go too far and kill someone. Regan closed all the mental facilties and it’s not going to get any better becausse we would rather take care of people from outside or our country instead. The money is not there to do both anymore!

  • Dee

    No one seems to point out the safety of the police officers who risked their lives everyday. I know its their jobs and yes, there are some bad ones but in this case, dealing w/ a mentally unstable man is always a difficult issue. Their physical strength is not to be taken lightly and the chance of injury is always high for both parties.

    The media keeps mentioning the fact the grown man ask for his dad is nothing more than over-dramatizing this incident. The guy is crazy and dangerous just like Loughner who shot Gibbons and Garrido who raped and kidnapped Dugard.

    • T Fillmore

      All law enforcement officers accept as part of their job the possibility and likelihood of danger and injury. This is in part why there is so much training involved, so they do not get hurt. This is also one reason why they carry weapons.

      Stating that the police acted as they did simply because the person was mentally ill is a roundabout way of saying that it’s OK for police to use any force necessary to minimize their own injury. Please note that the persons you mentioned actively partook of their crimes, but there is no suggestion here that a crime was committed by the son, only that he was in the area. In other words he was a suspect, and nothing more.

      Regarding over dramatizing the situation – most people, I believe, would interpret calling out for your parent as a last attempt at getting help, calling the one person they knew would never let this happen if they were there. Can you not picture this being true? Is this not a plain sign that the person felt they were in serious, serious harm? Please note that the fact that the officers knew this person was mentally ill from past encounters indicates they had at least some idea of what the son was and would be like.

      I do not want to see any law enforcement professional to get hurt or killed, and really respect their putting their lives on the line for me; but, I also believe that what happened probably did not need to happen.

      • Dee

        so how exactly do you handle a mentally ill man who won’t comply at all? do you block of the streets and disrupt everyones lives? All this for a deranged man who serves no purpose in our society. What about the dad? he cared so much he left him in the streets coz the son was an adult and it was his choice.

        I really don’t know if the 2 cops are good or bad. I know for a fact their jobs are not easy and mistakes happen but I’m not gonna be on the dad’s side to say the 2 cops should be in prison.

    • Jamie Chambers

      this policfe officer went beyond and killed a nd iits on film and sudio to boot
      RAMOS is a killer and enjoyed it and also a sour police officer is worse that
      a serial killer

  • Bill Wooley

    The reporter says “prelitemary.” NICE!

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