Coverage of the trial involving two ex-police officers charged in the death of a homeless man

"They Just Killed Him": Witnesses Describe Police Beating of Homeless Man

Their first-hand accounts are caught on surveillance tape moments after the beating

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Witnesses boarding a bus in Fullerton describe what they'd just seen: a homeless man being beaten by six police officers. That man later died from his injuries.

    Video of shocked eyewitnesses relaying what they saw moments after police allegedly hogtied and beat a homeless man in Fullerton have been released by the Orange County Transit Agency.

    "He's almost halfway dead," one woman said.

    "They just killed him," another witness said.

    The surveillance video was captured on a bus that pulled into the Fullerton bus depot just moments after a July 5 police confrontation with Kelly Thomas, 37. Thomas later died from his injuries. 

    The witnesses appeared in shock as they boarded the bus and told the driver what they had seen: a homeless, mentally ill man crying as he was beaten and tased by six Fullerton police officers.

    The driver asked, "What's going on?"

    "The cops are kicking this poor guy over there," said a woman climbing on the bus.

    She added, " I don't know what the guy did."

    The bus driver asked her if the victim was dead.

    "He's almost halfway dead," she answered. She said she thought he was intoxicated but she had no idea why the police were beating him.

    "Oh my God, I can't believe we were just standing there and watching all that action," she said.

    Another witness got on the bus and announced, "They just killed him."

    The bus driver asked him what happened and the witness replied, "the homeless guy was just chillin' then the cops came, two cop cars came. They tried to get him but he just ran off."

    He went on to say when they caught him, "they pounded his face against the curb."

    He said when more police officers arrived, "they tased him six times and then they hogtied him."

    The bus driver suggested the witnesses contact the news media.

    He called his dispatcher on the radio and repeated what he'd just heard.