On July 5 last year Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old schizophrenic homeless man, was so badly beaten and stun-gunned by Fullerton California police officers that he was left unrecognizable. He died 5 days later from blunt force trauma to the head.
Up to 5 police officers assault him with batons, tasers and fists. When the unconscious and bloodied body of Thomas was finally delivered to the local hospital, the doctors determined that he had suffered multiple broken bones in his face, several cracked ribs and a crushed thorax. Doctors also found that Thomas had choked on his own blood during the attack. He was on life support for 5 days before passing away.
Shelved for nearly half a year, the case was revived last week when a bus driver handed over to the press an amateur video which shows how Kelly was brutally beaten.
On Monday 7 May, footage of the brutal beating and stun-gunning of Thomas was shown in a courtroom. It shows Thomas calling for his father in pain: "Dad, they’re killing me. Dad, dad". Thomas is clearly heard pleading for his life, "OK man, I can’t breathe," "I’m sorry, dude, I’m sorry!"
Ramos has been charged with second-degree murder and Cicinelli with involuntary manslaughter. Both police officers have pleaded not guilty.
Ron Thomas, father of the deceased, told CNN that he would not settle “for anything here except for complete justice for my son.”
Thomas Kelly is not the first victim of violence at the hands of U.S. security forces. In the last decade alone, at least 50 similar cases related to police brutality have been recorded.