Fullerton police brutally beat homeless man to death

July 29, 2011 | 7:06 p.m.

Very rarely do police officers get charged for committing murder while on duty, but Fullerton police officers will definitely be charged in the July 5 beating death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man by several Fullerton Police officers. Depending on what the unreleased video of the beating reveals, it is very likely that second degree murder charges against at least one of the officers will be filed by the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

Kelly Thomas
Kelly Thomas, 37, suffered from schizophrenia

In 2009, Oakland District Attorney’s office filed murder charges against Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer Johannes Mehserle, but the jury found Mehserle guilty of the lesser involuntary manslaughter in 2010 after Mehserle’s attorney argued that the killing was accidental, but the injuries that Thomas suffered at the hands of the Fullerton police suggests that the beating was deliberate, calculated and excessive. If a civilian was responsible for such a beating that lead to death, that person would certainly be charged with first degree murder in California.

Thomas was being treated at a local hospital where he fell into a coma, then died.

According to Sgt. Andrew Goodrich, Thomas resisted arrest when it was believed that he had been stealing items from parked cars. When Thomas resisted, several officer were needed to subdue him. Even though Thomas was unarmed, he was stunned with a taser and then beat with the butt of the taser by one of the officers. When the beating caused Thomas to lose consciousness, an officer continued to beat and hit Thomas in the face.

There are two videos of the incident, one captured by a witness which has been made public, and another video captured by a city camera, which the DA’s office has not made public.

Thomas’ father, Ron Thomas, a former sheriff’s deputy, described the beating as gang-related. “His death was gang-involved, the way I see it. A gang of rogue officers who brutally beat my son to death,” the father explained. Thomas suffered a crushed throat and brain damage.

The DA’s office, the Fullerton police department and the US government are investigating the beating and have not made any comments thus far.

None of the officers have been disciplined for their role in the beating death.

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17 Comments for “Fullerton police brutally beat homeless man to death”


    crooked cops

    • JCK L

      More than merely “crooked,” sir.

      The cop-thugs are ki*lers and the local district attorney is hard at work trying to shield them from being held accountable.

      Anyone from the DA’s office reading this ????? YOU ARE SCUM JUST LIKE THE THUG COPS.

  2. Wolfman

    they really messed this kid up no wonder a lot of folks don’t have any respect for the gang in blue.

    • rosco rules

      Oh I get it now. The presumption of innocense doesn’t apply to police.

      • MCD

        Half the time it doesn’t apply to the citizens they are detaining, why should officers who were video recorded beating a homeless man be any different? I would love to hear their defense against the charges, that will be a laugh.

        • Frankfort

          they are going to say that the homeless man was high on PCP and that he was fighting aggressively against the police

      • Balla

        there is no doubt whether the police did it, the question now is was the beating justified, but I cant see any reason how this beating can be justified. ANd you were the same person who thought Giovanni Rameriz was guilty even though there was absolutely NO EVIDENCE.

  3. The six Fullerton Police officers involved in beating death of Kelly Thomas have just been taken off of active duty. This may have been influenced by the FBI’s investigation into the incident.

  4. NoSense

    How is it that police are too often, overzealous, beating, even kil#i*gg innocent, unarmed BLack males and mentally ill unarmed persons but cop ki*lers always manage to come out without a scratch? There are plenty of examples to my statement but a few that come to mind are HOuston P.D. Chad Holley-HOuston P.D. Juan Quintero, illegal alien ki*ler of HOuston Off. Rodney Johnson; Dallas P.D. cop shooter Maricella Villa-Off. Lt. Carlton Marshall; Dallas P.D. cop ki*ler and Zeta enforcer Wesley Ruiz-Off. Mark Nix; Dallas P.D. cop ki*ler Juan Quintero-Off. BriAN jACKSON…lots of other examples.
    Why do cop ki*lers emerge unscathed but people like Chad Holley, Kelly Thomas, etc, suffer primitive frenzy and or die? DOesn’t make any sense. Are the FEDS brainwashing police TO ki*l, mame? What’s up with this?

    • JCK L

      Cop thugs are usually protected by the scum of the county district attorney office.

      Ever notice that ?

      Thats why few cops ever go to prison. They’re protected by the system that employs them as the hired thugs that they are.

  5. phuckdalaw

    how is that cops can do whatever they want and get away with it..and yet let one of us commit a beating like this and they wanna bury you under the system…the politics that keep these fools on the streets is beyond me..those cops will get whats coming to them..one way or another..

    • JCK L


      When civilians get caught beating a man to death, they’re off to prison without a doubt.

      Notice when cops get caught, with video as a witness, the thug-cops are protected by the corrupt scum of the local county District Attorney office ?

      And we pay taxes to these scum, why ?????????????

  6. grow some balls

    Yea its funny how them cops will do this to a homeless white guy. But never a gangbanger you have all those gangsters from tokerstown and this has yet to happen to one of them damn no balls guess gangstas really run the streets

  7. How can these cops have the heart to beat up such a homeless man regarding of what he was doing the should of used other methods in which the poor man wouldnt have lost his life they have no right to do that how can they say they protect our country with integrity and look at what there are doing. Cops just keep in mind what ever goes around comes around and if u guys did that intetionally its going to come back at u twices hard.

  8. StreetGangs.Com Staff

    We called second degree murder charges back in July.

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