UPDATE, SEPT. 10, 6:27 P.M.: Fullerton police officers have had little to no presence at the Kelly Thomas protests outside their building for the past several weeks.
Goodrich says the police department has received “numerous complaints from residents and businesses” about the protesters in the past few weeks. The department received a complaint from one motorist who said their kids were frightened by a protester running in the streets.
Walker says she thinks it's a move by the police department to make the protesters look bad. “The way that I feel is they're trying to get them riled up, so we look like a lynch mob, and we're not.”
UPDATE, SEPT. 7, 10:53 A.M.: The personal injury attorney representing the family of Kelly Thomas has released to the media graphic new images depicting how Fullerton police officers killed the 37-year-old homeless man.
Garo Mardirossian maintains this evidence proves Thomas died of an assault by cops the attorney referred to as “brutal bullies,” adding he hopes the release of the dead man's medical records will prompt prosecutors to take legal action against the arresting officers.
Asked by KTLA/Channel 5 reporter David Begnund what he believes was the cause of death based on the computer imaging, Mardirossian replied, “It is obvious that it was the brutal beating by these bullies, these Fullerton police officers.
The personal-injury lawyer first exposed the images on KTLA News at 10 last night:
UPDATE, SEPT. 6, 3:15 P.M.: Fullerton's City Council, which has had a slew of contentious meetings following the death of Kelly Thomas,
was slated to meet tonight. The meeting was canceled, though, and some
activists are crying foul. The city, however, says cancellations
happen every year.
says he thinks the cancelled meeting sends a message. “They've had
hundreds of people at city council meetings for the last month and now
that pressure hasn't let up at all, the city council decided to shut
down the meeting. It's a clear response from them.”
the city says the cancellation is the norm. Every year the council
members get together and pick which summer council meeting to skip, says
city spokeswoman Sylvia Palmer Mudrick, adding that some council
members have “family obligations.” “It isn't always the September
meeting. Sometimes it's in August, but there's always one meeting
they'll be dark,” Mudrick says.
While Fullertonians will have to wait until the next meeting to tell the city council how they feel, people continue to share their thoughts and insights into the Thomas case on the Friends For Fullerton's Future blog.
One woman, identified in the blog post only as Bunny, says she took photos near the transit center on July 5 when police officers beat Kelly Thomas.
Unlike in the Kelly Thomas case, Mardirossian says, the officers weren't allowed to watch videotape of the incident before writing their reports. “In this case they didn't see the videotape and they wrote reports that are full of lies, that are false reports. And there will be a lawsuit filed on behalf of the man tomorrow in federal court.”
“And the good officers — I think not all six of these officers are equally culpable. There's got to be one or two of them that were not involved in the beating. Please, I beg of you, come forward, stop and break the code of silence. Come forward and tell us what happened. Tell us truth.”
1) We demand the prosecution of Officers Jay Cicinelli, Kenton Hampton, Manny Ramos, Joe Wolfe, James Blatney, and anyone else involved in the gruesome beating, torture, and murder of Kelly Thomas.
2) We demand the immediate resignation of the Chief of Police in Fullerton, California.
3) We demand that the City of Fullerton immediately pay a lump sum settlement of no less than 5 million dollars to the legal survivors of Kelly Thomas.
The LA Times reports that the police department knew about the planned attacks and worked to fortify its website.
Acting Police Chief Kevin Hamilton, who took over the helm of the Fullerton Police Department a couple days ago after Chief Michael Sellers' medical leave, opened up to the OC Register about a surveillance video he saw.
To hear more from Hamilton, including his brief comment on Sellers' medical condition, check out the video of the interview on the Register's website.
A small group of protesters who gathered outside the Fullerton Police Department Wednesday evening expressed relief that Sellers was no longer in charge, but they insisted that their protesting was far from over.
“Kevin Hamilton is one of the best people the department has. He's a policeman, but if there's a shady cop, he'd turn them in,” says the woman, who says she met Hamilton through a citizen's police academy several years ago.
“We don't believe all six of these officers are equally culpable. We believe at least three were pretty bad. We're hoping that one or two of these officers will come forward and break the code of silence. Tell us what happened. Why did they continue to beat Kelly Thomas after he was completely motionless?”
UPDATED, AUGUST 10, 4:58 P.M.: Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers has been placed on medical leave, according to a statement just released by City Manager Joe Felz.
City Concilman Pat McKinley, who was Fullerton's police chief before Sellers, tells the Orange County Register that Sellers will not return.
That's fine with scores of residents who have been calling on the chief to step down in the wake of the Kelly Thomas beating.
He told them that within 72 hours he planned to serve them recall papers, adding that he had accrued a hefty budget to make it happen.
ORIGINAL POST, AUGUST 4, 3:19 P.M.: Aside from scores of citizens who spoke during the public comment period at the Fullerton City Council meeting Tuesday, at least one local public official is also calling for Police Chief Mike Sellers' resignation. This collective dissatisfaction is rooted in how the department has handled things in the wake of Kelly Thomas' death at the hands of six Fullerton police officers.
Several other bits of information have surfaced, as the story of this mentally ill transient, who was beaten to death by police officers, starts to go national.
Last night, Susan Kang Schroeder, chief of staff at the Orange County District Attorney's Office, went on CNN to talk about the story. The CNN anchor started the report by saying a Fullerton Police spokesman agreed to be on the show, but backed out at the last minute and, instead, sent over a two-line statement from Police Chief Sellers: “This was tragic for our community. We are in the midst of an investigation.”
- That the officers got to see a video of the incident while they were writing their reports of it.
- That the officer who did the most damage to Thomas is a onetime LAPD officer, who was shot in the eye years back. The informant says LAPD wouldn't let the officer keep working, and he retired, but was eventually hired by the Fullerton Police Department. (Dennis Romero at our sister paper, LA Weekly, ID'd the one-eyed officer as Jay Cicinelli.)
- That after the beating, the aforementioned officer allegedly bragged in the locker room about “beating the crap” out of Thomas.
- That the police reports were rewritten several times, as the higher-ups wanted to “clean up some things they didn't like.”
- That the Fullerton Police Department has an ongoing problem with cover-ups and excessive “leeway.”
To see a video of witnesses talking about what they saw a few minutes after the beating, and for other updates, check the Friends For Fullerton's Future blog.
The Weekly's previous coverage of Thomas' death:
- Calls for Resignation, Recall in Fullerton over Kelly Thomas Beating
- Kelly's Heroes: Fullerton police savagely killed Kelly Thomas and businessman/blogger Tony Bushala isn't letting anyone forget
- “Justice for Kelly” Chanted at Vigil for Fullerton Police Brutality Victim
- Hundreds Protest Fullerton Police Brutality After Disgraceful Kelly Thomas Killing
- Protest Fullerton Police Brutality Today: Victim's Vigil Tonigh
- Fullerton Cops Involved in Death of Kelly Thomas Back On Duty
- Kelly Thomas' Officer-Involved Death Was Videotaped; Councilman Calls for Release to Public
- Kelly Thomas' Retired-Deputy Father Blasts Fullerton Police for 'Killing My Son'