A little after 8 p.m. tonight, scores of people holding candles and representing a cross section of society gathered around the flag pole in front of the Fullerton City Hall.
They chanted “Justice for Kelly!”
That would be Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man who was beaten to death by six Fullerton police officers earlier this month.
Local TV news reporters milled through the crowd as cars zipped by on Commonwealth Avenue honking loudly in support of the quiet protest against police brutality.
victim's father and a former Orange County Sheriff's deputy–stood
inside a massive human circle and announced he would return Tuesday
night for Fullerton's City Council meeting.
Thoma says city officials have verbally bullied him to keep quiet in the aftermath of the killing.
those in the crowd were teenagers holding signs, area homeless as well
as Orange County's more affluent residents. Yorba Linda resident Jon Hansen
said he was online this afternoon when he learned a vigil was planned.
“I saw the terrible picture his father had taken in the hospital. That's
murder. And I'm not the protesting type, but I told my wife, we gotta
spoke of Thomas, the red-headed transient he saw around Fullerton.
Williams declared, “This isn't about hating all cops. It's about six
cops going to jail for murdering a 37-year-old man.”
said she supported the protest, though she doesn't describe herself as
anti-cop. “I just think the homeless should be better taken care of. I'm
not anti-police, but they should practice a little more tolerance with
these people,” said Schawula.
stood by the nearby bus bench. Levine said he lived on Fullerton's
streets for 20 years and knew Thomas. While he said he never had any
encounters with Fullerton cops that rivaled what Thomas experienced, he
wondered how things ended the way they did. “The police said he was big
guy. [The victim weighed about 135 pounds.] But I'm not buying that. He
may have worn baggy clothes but you can he tell he wasn't a big guy.”