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Family Of Homeless Man Beaten To Death By Police Reaches $4.9 Million Settlement

Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old man with schizophrenia, died after he was beaten by police officers in Fullerton, California, sparking widespread protests.

Posted on November 23, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. ET

Pool / Getty Images

Footage from a security camera that shows much of the altercation between Fullerton police officers and Kelly Thomas.

A Southern California city has reached a $4.9-million settlement with the family of a homeless man who died after he was beaten by police officers during an arrest in 2011.

The death of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old man with schizophrenia, in Fullerton sparked protests when photos showed his bloodied, swollen face in his hospital bed.

Pool / Getty Images

A bloody picture of Kelly Thomas drew audible gasps during a preliminary court hearing.

Three Fullerton police officers were fired and later charged with murder and manslaughter for their actions, which were captured on surveillance video.

A jury, however, found two of the officers not guilty in 2014, and charges were dropped against a third. Their attorneys claimed Thomas' death was not caused directly by the force used by the officers, who also believed the mentally ill man posed a threat.

Damian Dovarganes / AP

Ron Thomas, the father of Kelly Thomas, stands at a news conference in a file photo.

A civil wrongful death lawsuit filed by Ron Thomas, Kelly's father, remained in the court system, but on Monday, city officials announced they had reviewed a settlement, which was awaiting final approval by the city's insurance company.

Thomas told the Associated Press the settlement was $4.9 million.

The city previously reached a $1-million settlement with Cathy Thomas, Kelly's mother, who is divorced from Ron.


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