FULLERTON (CBS/AP) — A small but vocal crowd of protesters have gathered outside Fullerton police station to decry the death of a homeless man with schizophrenia after a violent confrontation with officers.

Waving placards and chanting slogans, the crowd Saturday in Fullerton called for the resignation of Police Chief Michael Sellers and demanded justice for Kelly Thomas, who died July 5.

A man on a bullhorn led the crowd of about 130 in chants including, “no justice no peace, no killer police.” One protester held a sign that read “mental illness is not punishable by death.”

No police were visible at the protest.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landa Talks With Thomas’ Grandmother During Friday’s Candlelight Vigil

On Friday, City Councilman Bruce Whitaker joined Councilwoman Sharon Quirk-Silva in calling for Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers to step down over his handling of the fallout following the death of Thomas. Whitaker said he’s concerned the chief hasn’t taken a more public role in his department’s response to the incident.

“I think right in a time of crisis like this, with this magnitude, the leadership is in critical and I feel that we needed to be out there immediately letting our citizens know what occurred,” Silva told Michele Gile, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, on Wednesday.

The FBI and the district attorney’s office are investigating.

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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 (21)
  1. ts says:

    So, the family only cares about their son now that he died? Why were they not there when he was on the streets and needed help? They are just as much to blame as the cops.

    1. Chris says:

      I agree, if the guy was accused of breaking into cars, which prompted this whole mess….Why wasn’t the father helping his son? financially? Instead he let his son live the streets to rot….I don’t agree with the beating and death of his son but I was not there….I don’t know all the facts….Why would they need so much force to take down a weakened homeless guy? was he wielding a knife? was he under the influence, PCP? If he was in and out of mental hospitals, then the whole system failed him! He was doomed to die.

    2. wobbles says:

      Yes, they did abandon him. Hence the “homeless” part. If they hadn’t abandoned him, he’d have had a home now, wouldn’t he?

    3. drum says:

      upyours~let’s refrain from using personal ad hominem attacks & name calilng. Learn to use logic & reasoning when presenting your viewpoints.

  2. Phiilip says:

    After hearing of this debacle, the chief called the DA that very night for an investigation. The system (for the most part) worked. Obsessing over his resignation at this point makes little sense. It seems that the only mistake this chief made was not putting the officers involved on immediate administrative leave. When this all went down, he was probably at home on the couch. I say we let the investigation run its’ course. I am fairly certain the cops involved will all get jail time for civil rights violations. This chief will most likely resign anyway.

  3. swhitS says:

    I agree with the father. Why should anyone get paid while under investigation such as this and so much proof. The guy is dead. Mentally ill or not – no one should be beaten to death. These cops need to go to jail for murder.

    1. ts says:

      Cops are still innocent until proven guilty. plain and simple.

      1. upyours says:

        Yeah right, guess someone should have told that to the a$$wipe moron cops before they beat Thomas to death, BEAT HIM TO DEATH, dumba$$.

  4. Engel Ross says:

    I respect your decision to go after the individuals that are suppose to be protecting the public. I want to see more changes in law enforcement, do you see whats going on in the middle east, well thats because the cops just like the usa cops have been getting away with it for so long so yes lest go after the chief’s and the captain’s and lieutenants’ why because they believe we the citizens give up or right to bear arms so the cop on the street can shoot anyone and everyone they want. No i dont want cops to protect this society anyomre they are breaking it down and they dont know how to fix it. I just hope that is doesnt get to be like Mexico or the middle east where civilans are tired of it and they shoot them on the spot. Well not the same scenerio, but less cops less government the better more respect and responsibility people will trun around and support the cops, but i support your cause because cops have been getting away with killing innocent people for so long.

  5. Not so Sure says:

    I’m not sure, but isn’t the Fullerton police the same department that ‘released’ a young black woman from custody, then went missing for over a year, only to be discovered as a corpse not so far away from the station she was being held? If so, maybe that case should be further investigated because it never made any sense to me that someone mysteriously vanishes shortly after their release. I was always skeptical of that case and thought of the possibility that she was beaten to death at the station by police officers, who then covered it all up; dumping her dead body in an area she would not be found soon.

    1. Jack says:

      That’s Malibu police I believe

      1. emt driver says:


    2. AJ Morgan says:

      That was the wondeful Malibu PD.

    3. Black American says:

      Mitrice Richardson was her name and it was the Los Angeles County, Lost Hills Sheriff Department that released. She graduated from Call State Fullerton with honors and won the Miss Fullerton pagent in 2007. She and her family paid the ultimate price as a result of how this Sheriff Department POORLY handled her detainment and release.

      All cops aren’t bad– Just the stupid ones..

    4. Talega says:

      You can do your own investigation. Ask for the autopsy report.

  6. Tim says:

    It disgusts me that this is being tried in the court of public opinion by ignorant people who do not have any idea about the very methodical process that is now occurring. Of course, the yellow press does not seem to be reporting that. The family is in front of the cameras, playing to the public sympathies in front of the inevitable civil suit. Anybody who really knows what is going on is keeping their mouth shut because there is an investigation going on. The kooks with axes to grind are out protesting. I’m glad the other posters here really have no power, because most of them are idiots. I’d rather live next door to any of the cops involved than the decedent or his people.

    1. Black American says:

      Have you seden this guys picture after the beating? I wouldn’t mind at all living next to a cop, but NOT the one(s) that beat this dude to a pulp.


  7. Talega says:

    I think the police should close down in response to the protestors. Let them figure out how they will keep their city safe.

  8. 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 avivakbobb.com 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 http://www.facebook.com/ro​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

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