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Californian cops to be fired for beating homeless man to death

Published time: May 24, 2012 21:31
Edited time: January 16, 2014 06:04
A combination photo shows Fullerton police officers Jay Cicinelli (L) and Manuel Ramos (Reuters / Joshua Sudock)

A combination photo shows Fullerton police officers Jay Cicinelli (L) and Manuel Ramos (Reuters / Joshua Sudock)

More than a year after they beat a disabled homeless man to death, three California police officers are expected to be fired from the force soon over their role in the killing of Kelly Thomas.

Cpl. Jay Cicinelli and Officers Manuel Anthony Ramos and Joe Wolfe of the Fullerton Police Department all received letters this week from their superiors explaining the force’s intent to terminate their roles. They have ten days to respond with an appeal or else their titles will be revoked.

Both Ramos and Cicinelli are currently awaiting trial over the May 2011 death of Thomas, 37, a known schizophrenic and son of Fullerton’s former police captain. Wolfe has been linked to the assault but has not formally been charged in the crime.

Thomas was suspected to be involved in a series of break-ins outside a Fullerton bus depot last year when police officers responded to the scene and interrogated him. After being threatened with violence, Thomas walked away only to be assaulted by the officers before other cops were called in. Although other officers are believed to be involved in the beating, only Ramos and Cicinelli have been pressed with charges.

A California judge agreed earlier this month to force Ramos and Cicinelli to stand trial for their role after surveillance video footage was submitted as evidence in a preliminary hearing. On the tape, Thomas is heard pleading for his life as he is beat mercilessly by officers sworn to serve and protect. Also recorded were the officer’s own explanations in the immediate aftermath of the brutal beating.

"We ran out of options so I got the end of my Taser and I probably…I just started smashing his face to hell,” explains Cicinelli on the tape.

An evidence photo of beating victim Kelly Thomas in hospital, as it was shown during a preliminary hearing on his death, for Fullerton police officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli at the Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, California May 7, 2012 (Reuters / Joshua Sudock / Pool)

According to the official report filed by the coroner, Thomas’ death was caused by facial injuries and compression of the chest caused by the officers. He also suffered a collapsed thorax and several other serious injuries. He was on life support for several days before passing away last year.

Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and Cicinelli with involuntary manslaughter — both have plead not guilty. If Officer Ramos is convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years-to-life in jail; Cicinelli could end up with as little as four years behind bars.

All three officers now have a chance to appeal and Ramos and Cicinelli are scheduled to be arraigned on June 26. Prior to their termination letter, both men had been on unpaid leave for several months. Wolfe has been receiving pay throughout the ordeal, pending an administrative hearing.

“Ramos, he set the whole thing up. He is charged with second degree. Not only should he be terminated from the department but he needs to stand trial for the murder of Kelly and setting it all up. I want Wolfe not only terminated from the department, on the administrative side, but I want Wolfe charged with Kelly’s murder. He’s the one who hit him initially with the baton. He’s also the one dropping the two huge elbows, just breaking Kelly’s face apart,” Kelly’s father, Ron Thomas, told reporters outside a Fullerton courtroom this week, according to CBS News.

In all, six men have been linked to the killing.

Comments (13)


Amador Camorlinga 21.05.2014 22:28

tengan cuidado ciudadanos que los verdaderos malos tienen permiso y asta les dan patrullas armas y todo un equipo para hacer daño a la increíble ver este tipo de videos de una sociedad que creen tener derechos humanos y eso le isieron a ese pobre indefenso de la calle que no habran hecho durante su carrera policiaca ...yo mire que todos los policías son lo mismo y solo dos fueron a quienes les impusieron se puede esperar nada bueno de la policía gringa ...solo son criminales...


Cathy Colburn 09.05.2014 04:15

These guys have got to be the ugliest cops I've ever seen. So they beat to death a defendless homeless man to make up for their ugliness. I can't believe they're getting off this easy. FIRED that's nothing compared to what they deserve.


James Saunders 08.05.2014 22:37

OMFG a US of American citizen, a human being is dead. As a result of some bored or pissed off guys with badges and hand guns, who are concerned they might have to fill out an employment applacation to another police dept or government agency. All thanks to a DA who couldnt get an conviction with blantent evidance. Now if it wasnt cops doing it "I mean people who dont work hand-n-hand with the local DA office and Judges" the outcome would be very differant.

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