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http://newsflavor.com/world/usa-canada/fullerton-cops-beat-homeless-man-to-death-disturbing-footage-and-image/#ixzz1UGXMuABn[h1]Protest planned in Fullerton for Kelly Thomas[/h1]
Saturday, August 06, 2011
FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Protests are planned Saturday morning in Fullerton, where a homeless man died after a violent police confrontation.
A candlelight vigil was held Friday at the bus depot where the incident occurred July 5. At the time, police suspected 37-year-old Kelly Thomas of burglarizing cars.
When six officers responded to the transit hub, they said Thomas ran and resisted arrest. Prosecutors are reviewing video of the incident - two tapes shot by witnesses and another from a police surveillance camera at the bus stop.
A very graphic photo of Thomas has been circulating on the Internet and has sparked outrage in the community.
The photo, which shows Thomas' face bruised and bloodied almost beyond recognition, was taken by his father, Ron Thomas, shortly after the beating.
Some are calling for Fullerton's Police Chief Michael Sellers to step down over the department's handling of Thomas' death.
The officers involved in the incident are reportedly receiving death threats. Ron Thomas said the officers who beat his son should be tried for murder and receive the death penalty.
"As far as death threats against the individual officers, you know what? They need to die as far as I'm concerned, but I'm not advocating somebody go out and kill them. I want it done in a court system. They need to go to prison - whatever the legal system does to them," said Ron Thomas.
The names of the six officers involved were made public on a Fullerton-based blog. Some of those officers have reportedly moved into motel rooms for anonymity.
The office of Fullerton Mayor Richard Jones is telling the city to not rush to judgment in the case. Chief Sellers issued a statement saying Kelly's death is a tragedy to the community and that the matter is under investigation.
Thomas' father said his son suffered from schizophrenia and had been in and out of mental health facilities for years.
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