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Kelly Thomas’ father, other angry Fullerton residents want cops fired


Angry Fullerton residents, including the father of beating death victim Kelly Thomas,  blasted the City Council on Tuesday night for their handling of the Thomas case and urged them to fire the police officers involved in the incident.

Kelly Thomas’ mom accepts $1 million

settlement

John D. Barnett, attorney for Manuel Ramos, confers with Michael Schwartz, attorney for Jay Cicinelli, at the preliminary hearing on the beating death of Kelly Thomas in court in Santa Ana
FULLERTON – The mother of Kelly Thomas will accept a $1 million payment from the city as settlement for the death of her son, a mentally ill homeless man who died five days after a confrontation with police officers July 5.
The deal was announced at Tuesday’s packed City Council meeting, the first since two officers were ordered to stand trial on murder and manslaughter charges and a graphic 33-minute video capturing the incident was made public during the preliminary trial.
In exchange, Cathy Thomas, who did not attend the council meeting, agreed to not pursue any further claims or lawsuits seeking damages for the death of her son.


“To lose a son at the hands of rogue police officers is an indescribable horror,” Thomas’ attorney, Brian Gurwitz, said when addressing the council. “There is nothing this council could ever do to compensate her for the loss she’s suffered.”
The announcement came shortly after the panel left a closed session to begin the public council meeting. There had been no public indication that such a settlement was being brokered, or even discussed. The council voted 5-0 to accept the deal.

It was their first opportunity to address city leaders since prosecutors played a graphic video of the beating during a preliminary hearing last week for two officers charged in the death.
A Superior Court judge last week found there was enough evidence for Officer Manuel Ramos to stand trial for second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli to face a trial for involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.
At the meeting, Thomas’ father, Ron Thomas, said he believes that another officer, Joseph Wolfe, should be charged — and fired by the city.

“This is the first time you’ve ever heard me use this word. I demand … ” Ron Thomas said, trailing off while trying to hold back tears.
“You see what this has done to me? I can’t even talk,” Thomas said. “I demand that Joe Wolfe be terminated.”
The crowd responded with applause.
“Why is Officer Wolfe still on paid administrative leave?” one resident asked. “Why is he on a holiday at our taxpayer expense? That’s horrible, unconscionable and it needs to change yesterday.”
Wolfe was one of four officers — including Officer Kenton Hampton, Sgt. Kevin Craig and Cpl. James Blatney — who were not charged in connection with the beating.
All four officers are currently on paid administrative leave.

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