When Kelly's Army met to protest this morning, they convened at a new location. Instead of gathering in front of the Fullerton Police Department, where they protest on Saturdays, they stationed themselves in front of the Orange County District Attorney's office in Santa Ana.
Ron Thomas, one of about 30 people who braved Santa Ana's searing sun this morning, says the group of people who regularly protest his son's death at the hands of Fullerton police -- Kelly's Army, as he calls them -- aren't confined to Fullerton. "We're everywhere. We're gonna be everywhere."
Like Saturdays in Fullerton, the crowd hoisted sings and shouted chants. "We're not giving up, Tony [Rackauckas]. I'll be in there everyday if I have to," says protester Christine Walker.
Thomas says he thinks the DA's office has "overwhelming evidence" and wants to see action soon, but he said he also understands some delay and wants due process. "We're saying issue indictments. The right indictments. I don't want anybody here going to jail if they're not guilty. I mean that."
Later on, Thomas said, he's has a working relationship with the district attorney's office, adding that he's shared several tips with them regarding witnesses. "Mr. District Attorney, we're here for you. We're working with you. Please do the right thing."
Some of the protesters had a bit harsher words for the DA, however. "The DA's been putting his tail between his legs. We have the evidence already. We need a trial and a jury. I wouldn't even give [the officers] the death penalty, I want them to suffer like Kelly," says protester Bunny Dew, who says she was at the transit center the night Kelly was beaten and was intimidated into giving her camera film to a police officer. After she forked over the film to the officer, whose name she couldn't remember, she says his tone changed dramatically. "He was totally like my best friend after." Dew says an investigator from the district attorneys' office interviewed her, but she got the impression that "he didn't care at all," about her story.
Although Ron Thomas' attorney Garo Mardirossianreleased Kelly's medical records earlier this week, the coroner's office still hasn't released an autopsy report. Thomas says the coroner's office told him that he can expect the autopsy report within the next couple of weeks and the DA's office told him that once they get the results, they plan to release them within a couple of days after that.
Thomas says he thinks several changes need to be made in the wake of his son's death, including changes to the police officer's bill of rights. He called it "too lenient," in cases like Kelly's, where he says there is evidence of extreme malice. "Murder is murder is murder. Malice is still malice. Why protect them under the police officer bill of rights?" Thomas added that the two officers who "finished him off" aren't the first two officers who approached Kelly. "The two that did come in, have a history as terminators," Thomas said, calling them "the hit squad."