BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

news

Massive Uproar After Two Police Officers Found Not Guilty In Beating Death Of Schizophrenic Man

Kelly Thomas cried for help as police beat and tased him until he choked to death on his own blood.

Posted on January 16, 2014, at 2:11 p.m. ET

This is Kelly Thomas. He was a 37-year-old man with schizophrenia. He was living on the streets of Fullerton, California and he died in 2011 after being subdued by police in the summer of 2011.

AP Photo/Courtesy Ron Thomas

While living on the streets he had 92 reported encounters with local law enforcement. He was known as "a fixture" of Fullerton's local homeless community.

AP Photo/Courtesy Ron Thomas, File

This photo was taken after Kelly's altercation with Fullerton police. According to the coroner's report, he had broken bones in his face and he choked to death on his own blood.

AP Photo/Courtesy Ron Thomas

Officers Manuel Ramos, Jay Cicinelli and Joseph Wolfe were charged with murder and manslaughter for Kelly's death. All three plead not guilty.

AP Photo/Orange County District Attorney, File

Jay Cicinelli, left, and Manuel Ramos were both acquitted of all charges against them and Joseph Wolfe, who was awaiting trial, will no longer face charges.

Joshua Sudock/Orange County Register / MCT

Kelly Thomas' death was caught on tape, which was played often during the trial. Kelly was hit multiple times by various officers' batons and then hit with the butt of a stun gun at least eight times.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

As Kelly was beat by police he called for his father over and over again, begging for help.

AP Photo/Orange County District Attorney, File

As news of the verdict spread on social media, many were furious that the officers were acquitted.

Aaaaand then I watch Kelly Thomas get beat to death by 4 cops. That's my hint to stay off the Internet for the remainder of the day.

Trevor Kuehn@Kuehn_Kong98

Aaaaand then I watch Kelly Thomas get beat to death by 4 cops. That's my hint to stay off the Internet for the remainder of the day.

11:14 AM - 16 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Keep Kelly Thomas above the radar. They want him burried. Don't let them do that. Justice for Kelly Thomas! Keep posting, making videos.

Mary @Marymo2015

Keep Kelly Thomas above the radar. They want him burried. Don't let them do that. Justice for Kelly Thomas! Keep posting, making videos.

11:21 AM - 16 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Makes me sick that police brutality is covered up in America, land of the free. Yeah right. Hope his death haunts them. #KellyThomas 2/2

Mike Salter@MikeSalterTV

Makes me sick that police brutality is covered up in America, land of the free. Yeah right. Hope his death haunts them. #KellyThomas 2/2

11:35 AM - 16 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

just seen the kelly thomas video, absolutely speechless on news like this, blood boiling and heart breaking.

Cassi@x_bookworm

just seen the kelly thomas video, absolutely speechless on news like this, blood boiling and heart breaking.

11:48 AM - 16 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

How can anyone excuse ignoring a plea for breath or a grown man begging for his dad? How have these policeman gotten off?! #KellyThomas

Lauren Kittle@xLaurenkits

How can anyone excuse ignoring a plea for breath or a grown man begging for his dad? How have these policeman gotten off?! #KellyThomas

10:57 AM - 16 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Tasered upto 5x, pistol whipped, suffocated & beaten so bad with batons that he choked on & lay in a pool of his own blood... #KellyThomas

Lauren Kittle@xLaurenkits

Tasered upto 5x, pistol whipped, suffocated & beaten so bad with batons that he choked on & lay in a pool of his own blood... #KellyThomas

10:59 AM - 16 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

There are multiple Facebook pages popping up demanding justice for what they call the murder of Kelly Thomas. Each have collected thousands of followers.

There's even a White House petition asking for federal charges to be brought against the officers involved with Kelly's death.

Kelly's parents, Cathy and Ron Thomas, held a press conference on Monday after the verdict was announced. Cathy wept as Ron slammed the ruling.

Alex Gallardo / Reuters

"It’s carte blanche for police officers everywhere to beat us, kill us," Ron told reporters. "They’ll get away with it."

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times / MCT