Fullerton Police Chief Reacts to Charges in Kelly Thomas Case

In response to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas' announcement of a second-degree murder charge against Fullerton Police Officer Manuel Ramos and an involuntary manslaughter charge against Corporal Jay Cicinelli in the death of Kelly Thomas, Fullerton Acting Police Chief Kevin Hamilton read a statement this afternoon saying he respected the decision.

"The Fullerton Police Department will continue to cooperate with the District Attorney's office in their investigation," he told reporters during a 4 p.m. press conference at the Fullerton PD headquarters.

Councilmembers Bruce Whitaker and Sharon Quirk-Silva attended the short meeting; Mayor F. Richard Jones and councilmembers Don Bankhead and Pat McKinley were noticeably absent.

Hamilton: "A tragic event"
Hamilton: "A tragic event"
Ed Carrasco

Hamilton added that the Fullerton Police Department is dealing with two other investigations: the FBI's civil-rights investigation and an independent internal investigation conducted by the Los Angeles Office of Independent Review.

"We cannot make a determination as to specifically how long it will take the FBI and the Los Angeles Office of Independent Review to complete their investigations," he added.

The police officers involved in the Kelly Thomas case are still under administrative leave, Hamilton said before concluding his statement.

"This has been a tragic event for Kelly Thomas, the Thomas family, the community, the police department and for all of those who were involved," Hamilton concluded. "To those of you who live in, work in and visit the city of Fullerton, your police department remains fully operational and we will continue to provide police service to our community."

After Hamilton made his statement without answering questions, many members of the group of protesters calling themselves "Kelly's Army" gathered in front of the police station cheering the decision made by Rackauckas earlier in the day. They chanted "Two down/Four to go/Kelly's Army/We won't go!"


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