imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Police killing of Kelly Thomas rattles Fullerton

by Amber Stephens Friday, Aug. 26, 2011 at 3:47 PM
amber.stephens@gmail.com

Thomas was a 37-year-old schizophrenic homeless man who died in a hospital after a violent July 5 run-in with Fullerton police next to the Fullerton Transportation Center. Police officers confronted Thomas after a call about an individual breaking into cars in downtown Fullerton. According to witness accounts, six officers used force against Thomas resulting in what appears to be a brutal beating at the hands of law enforcement. Thomas was taken off life support five days after the encounter. According to his family, Thomas battled with schizophrenia and he voluntarily drifted the streets of Fullerton and nearby cities. In the weeks following his tragic death, a community unites for justice.

   Jim Arambula was sitting at the bus stop at the Fullerton Transportation Center when two men in suits came up to him.

The men identified themselves as officials from the Orange County District Attorney’s office. They proceeded to question him about Kelly Thomas.

Thomas was a 37-year-old schizophrenic homeless man who died in a hospital after a violent July 5 run-in with Fullerton police next to the Fullerton Transportation Center.

Arambula told the DA officials he was not present during the incident but would see Thomas nearly everyday near the bus depot.

“He was harmless,” said Arambula when asked about Thomas’ demeanor.

The men took down his contact information and walked away.

Arambula, who stopped to look at the makeshift memorial for Thomas before he took the bus home on Aug. 9, said the questioning happened a few weeks after the incident.

The Orange County District Attorney investigates all officer-involved deaths. Most investigations take anywhere for six to nine months. Interviews are typically conducted with the officers involved, as well as on-scene and character witnesses. Along with any physical evidence gathered, it is then determined if criminal charges are warranted.

According to a Aug. 7 article in the Los Angeles Times, the six officers involved had not spoken to the District Attorney’s office up to that point.

At first, the story made only local news and raised concerns among residents. However, as weeks passed, it gained more coverage as more information started to surface.

A local blog, Friends for Fullerton’s Future, began to play a big role in the releasing of information about what may have happened that night.

The blog’s mission statement is in support of intelligent, responsible and accountable government. Most of the posts have a “tea party”-esque libertarian overtone and its authors have been known to try to rile up local politicians on matters such as use of taxpayer money, redevelopment, increased water rates and their claims of labor union influence over local government.

A photo posted by the blog showed a badly beaten, bruised and bloodied up Thomas that caught the attention of, not only local, but national news outlets as well.

Video taken by a bystander was released showing what appears to be Thomas’ last waking moments. He can be heard screaming “Dad! Dad!” as bystanders look on.

There was also a video taken by bus surveillance showing witnesses speaking to a bus driver about what they just saw. One of the witnesses tells the driver “They were kicking the s--t out of him.”

In the days that followed, anonymous law enforcement sources talked at length on KFI 640 AM talk radio about the incident. There were also demands for the city surveillance tape that captured the beating from overhead to be released to the public.

Ron Thomas, Kelly Thomas’ father, was vocal to the media about the lack of cooperation he has experienced with the Fullerton Police Department in the weeks following his son’s death.

The case was handed over to the Orange County District Attorney two days before Thomas died. The FBI started to investigate incident at request of Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson.

On August 6, about 400 protesters demonstrated in front of the Fullerton Police Department. The crowd was mixed, consisting of community members both young and older. Two diametrically-opposed groups – the left-wing ANSWER LA and the right-wing Oathkeepers – both rallied in support for justice for Kelly Thomas.

Jeff Levine, a lifelong resident of Fullerton, attended the protest in support of Thomas. Levine lived on the streets himself up for a period of time until last year. He said he would see Thomas around the downtown area frequently.

“He was not the type to break into cars,” he said. “Kelly didn’t want anything from anybody. He would keep to himself and he wouldn’t bother anyone.”

Levine said while he himself was living on the streets, he would encounter police frequently. He said at times he was subject to random searches. He was also cited for unlawful camping in the city, just as Thomas was during his time on the streets.

He said he encountered at least one officers speculated to be involved, Officer Jay Cicinelli, in the past. Cicinelli worked for the Los Angeles Police Department and was shot six times while on duty just weeks after graduating from the academy in 1996. He lost his left eye, which now is a glass replacement. He has been with the Fullerton Police Department for 13 years.

Levin was not a witness the night of the incident, however he said the officer gave him an eerie vibe when he was face to face with him in the past.

“There was something about him, the way his gaze was with his real one eye and the other one made of glass,” he said. “I got the creeps just looking at him.”

Andy Anderson, a Cal State Fullerton graduate and organizer of the protest, has lived in downtown Fullerton for five years. He said he has seen the police presence in the city change over the time he’s lived in the city.

“I have seen the police step up their aggression and be disrespectful not just in downtown but all over the city,” he said.

Anderson said he wants those who were involved to be held accountable and he’d like to see change in the city as a whole. He said he wants Fullerton to feel like a safe place for everyone.

“I’ve always been a strong advocate for change on small level,” Anderson said. “If we speak out and tell our leaders that we refuse to let this happen then we can change the way things are handled from police procedures to getting a permanent homeless shelter built in Fullerton.”

He credits Tony Bushala, owner and founder of Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog, for bringing attention to Thomas’ case.

“If it weren’t for his blog releasing photos and video, I don’t think any of these protests would have the turn out they have been getting,” he said. “We are all thankful for him because we want to see to it that what happened that night won’t ever happen again in our city.”

Visit my blog The Other Side of the Tracksfor videos from protests and a timeline of events of this local tragedy that has made national news headlines.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy