Fullerton Cops Involved In Death Of Kelly Thomas Back on Duty
UPDATE, AUG. 3, 2011, 3;28 P.M.: Calls for resignation, recall in Fullerton over Thomas beating.
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 29, 1 P.M.: All but one of the Fullerton police officers who were involved in the death of Kelly Thomas, the schizophrenic transient who died of multiple injuries to his face and neck after being arrested July 5, are back to work. According to an Orange County Register story today, Fullerton's chief of police, Michael Sellers told an LA-based television news crew that he'd reinstated the officers, but didn't provide any further details or explanation. The Register story also notes that while police officials first claimed that two officers involved in the arrest had suffered broken bones--which would tend to justify serious force by the cops--they now admit that only "soft-tissue" damage was inflicted on them.
"It was more than just fists," Sgt. Andrew Goodrich told the Register, without elaborating while also implying that the officers had hurt their fists in the fight, although readers are left to wonder how that might have happened. As the Weekly has previously reported, a photograph taken of Thomas at the hospital shows a severely battered face, and a video taken at the scene while Thomas was still alive shows onlookers remarking in disgust about the officer's behavior while, in the background, someone, presumably Thomas, can be heard loudly moaning "Dad, dad, dad," over and over.
While the district attorney is investigating the incident, as it does all officer-involved shootings in Fullerton and other cities, the Register reports that the FBI also has launched a civil rights probe into Thomas's death. Meanwhile, activists are planning a candlelight vigil in memory of Thomas to take place Saturday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Fullerton's city hall. And keep reading the Friends for Fullerton's Future blog, as they've been on the story from the beginning.
The Weekly's previous coverage of Thomas' death:
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