Ron Thomas at an earlier Fullerton City Council meeting.
Ron Thomas at an earlier Fullerton City Council meeting.
Marisa Gerber

Ron Thomas Approached to Appear at Trayvon Martin Rally, Declines

Ron Thomas confirmed today he was approached by the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation, which sought his support along with civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for an April 26th rally in Los Angeles. The event was geared toward bringing attention to the unarmed  Florida teen shot in February by George Zimmerman. Acting on the advice of his attorney, Thomas declined to offer his support at this time, though he added members of the organization may be present in Fullerton tonight.

"It's a very good possibility they may show up tonight at the city council meeting," Thomas said.

The father of slain homeless man Kelly Thomas, who was beaten to death last July by Fullerton police officers, will join other protesters tonight to demand answers from the city council, which remained largely mum in the wake of the incident.

"The city council has just been trying to put me off and hide behind their lawyer," said Thomas "The facts are out now and I have some things I'm going to challenge them on." 

Although several rallies were held near the police station and during city council meetings immediately after the incident, public outrage quieted down when District Attorney Tony Rackauckas charged two officers involved, Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli,  with involuntary manslaughter.

During the three-day preliminary hearing the public heard testimony from the pathologist who conducted the autopsy, and got its first look at the horrific video, captured by a city camera, in which a dying Kelly pleads for help as he's mercilessly pummeled by officers.

Thomas said he intends to confront city representatives on several issues including why Officer Joe Wolfe,  also involved in the beating, hasn't been fired.

"He could have been suspended without pay. But (acting Police Chief) Dan Hughes didn't do that," Thomas said.

Though not one member of the city council was present for the hearing, Thomas said Councilman Dick Jones, who was mayor when the beating occurred, called yesterday to extend his condolences as did Councilman and former Police Chief Pat McKinley.

"He said he understands now why I'm doing what I'm doing. He said he'd be doing the same thing if he were in my position," Thomas said.

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