Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cops to be tried for beating of homeless man who later died

Two cops are going to be tried for the death of a homeless man who they beat on until he was unconscious and later died in the hospital. Read the whole story via the link below.

Two Fullerton, Calif., police officers will be tried in the death of a mentally ill homeless man whose apparent beating by police was captured on video, a judge ruled today.

Officer Manuel Ramos, 38, and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, 40, are charged in the death of Kelly Thomas, 37 -- Ramos with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, and Cicinelli with involuntary manslaughter and assault or battery by a public officer, according to The Associated Press. Both have pleaded not guilty.

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"The grainy-but-gripping video of a homeless man being beaten to death was the key evidence in the prosecution's successful effort to convince the court to force a police officer to stand trial for murder in the second degree," said Royal Oakes, an ABC News legal analyst, according to ABC News Radio.

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The July 5, 2011, surveillance video, taken from a publicly mounted camera, coupled with an audio recording device worn by an officer, stunned a packed courtroom of Thomas' supporters when it was shown for the first time Monday.
"I can't breathe man," and, "sorry," Thomas could be heard telling officers as he allegedly endured punches to his left ribs and blows to his face from an officer's knee.

Thomas, who is reportedly schizophrenic, repeatedly cried out for his father.

He was also Tasered three times with the stun gun applied directly to his skin for five-second periods. He was hit a fourth time with two darts connected to the gun by wires, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office. The entire time he could be heard screaming in agony.

The apparent beating lasted nine minutes and 40 seconds and ended with Thomas' limp body in handcuffs.

Thomas was transported to St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, Calif., for intubation to help him breathe. He never regained consciousness.

Five days later, Thomas died. The coroner's office ruled the death a homicide.

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Thomas had no illicit drugs or alcohol in him at the time of the incident, according to the toxicology report.
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