UPDATE: FULLERTON, Calif. — Thirteen people have been arrested while protesting the acquittal of two former California police officers charged in the beating death of a homeless man.
Police Sgt. Jeff Stuart says Saturday’s demonstration in Fullerton, which drew about 200 people, turned violent when someone assaulted a KCBS-TV camerawoman. Stuart says the camerawoman fled into her news van, and her crew called 911 when a group surrounded the van.
Stuart says officers in riot gear came to disperse the crowd, and arrested 10 for not complying. Police also arrested a woman in the assault and two others for scrawling an obscenity and an anarchist symbol on police property. (LINK)
Another Report from the LA Times HERE
HatTip Jello – CALIFORNIA – An Orange County jury Monday found two former Fullerton police officers accused of killing a schizophrenic homeless man, Kelly Thomas, not guilty.
Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli were charged with striking Kelly Thomas with a baton and a stun gun in a beating that left him comatose. He died five days later.
[…] Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said prosecutors would not pursue charges against a third Fullerton officer accused in the Thomas case. That officer’s trial was pending.
“I don’t intend to proceed with another trial when the two officers here were acquitted,” he told reporters.
The jury took less than a full day of deliberation to reach the not-guilty verdicts.
Rackauckas told jurors the former officers had abused their authority on the July evening when they confronted Thomas.
Ramos was facing second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges, and Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force under the color of authority.
The incident, captured on surveillance tape, was shown repeatedly during the trial, but each side drew different conclusions as to what it showed.
Prosecutors said the video captured a real-time homicide with the officers beating a homeless man, even as he called out for help. Defense attorneys said it showed two policeman trying to restrain a violent suspect who possessed abnormal strength.
The coroner’s office determined that Thomas died of brain damage from lack of oxygen caused by chest compression and other injuries sustained during his struggle with police. (continue reading)