Hundreds Protest Acquittal Of Fullerton Officers In Homeless Man’s Beating Death

FULLERTON (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds gathered Saturday to protest the acquittal of two police officers in the 2011 beating death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man.

CBS2’s Art Barron said the protest, held outside the Fullerton Police station, was mostly peaceful.

At one point, however, a demonstrator assaulted a CBS2/KCAL9 camerawoman.

The demonstrators were calling on the Fullerton police chief to resign.

Members of Thomas’ family, including his father and sister, were also on hand.

“I appreciate this [turnout] so much more than anything,” said Thomas’ sister, Tina Kinser. “It helps us to know that there are so many people fighting for justice.”

Thomas’ father, Ron Thomas, called for peaceful protest.

To the violent he said, “There are some radical groups out here, I  would say that an opportunist. It’s not indicative of who Kelly’s Army is, or what we’re trying to get across.”

On Saturday evening, Fullerton Police announced they made 13 arrests in all. Two people were arrested for tagging the police station with a profanity.

The woman who allegedly assaulted the CBS2/KCAL9 photog was also taken into custody.

Of the arrests made, one person was charged with vandalism and possession of alcohol in public while a second person was charged with vandalism. A third person was charged with assault.

Ten people were arrested and charged with refusal to follow a lawful order to disperse. Police said some in this group blocked intersections, intimidated drivers and vandalized businesses.

Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes said the department was reviewing video of today’s incident and that more arrests were possible.

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