Kelly Thomas to be Cleared of Wrongdoing - NBC Southern California

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

Kelly Thomas to be Cleared of Wrongdoing

Thomas was falsely accused of committing crimes and police suggested he was resisting arrest, his father said



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    Audio was released from a call made to police last year by an employee of the Slidebar who had spotted a homeless man known to her only as "Kelly" pulling on the door handles of cars in a Fullerton parking lot. Kelly Thomas died five days after Fullerton police responded to the scene, where they beat him.

    Fullerton city officials are expected on Tuesday to clear Kelly Thomas of wrongdoing, his father said.

    Thomas is the homeless man who died after being beaten by police on July 5, 2011.

    Full Coverage: The Kelly Thomas Case

    Kelly Thomas’ father, Ron, said he has been trying to clear his son’s name for 14 months. He said police wrongfully accused his son of committing crimes and suggested he was resisting arrest during the videotaped beating at a Fullerton bus station.

    Fullerton Officers Fighting for Careers, Freedom

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    The two officers charged in the Kelly Thomas beating case will have to fight for their careers, and their freedom. A high profile defense attorney is already on board.
    (Published Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011)

    Ron Thomas called the clearing of his son’s name “another victory in the pursuit of justice for my son Kelly Thomas.”

    Ron Thomas said he has been working over the last three weeks with acting Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes on wording that clears his son’s name. Fullerton officials are expected to announce the news at a Fullerton City Council meeting on Tuesday.

    Kelly Thomas died five days after the beating.

    Kelly Thomas Case

    [LA] Kelly Thomas Case
    Two Fullerton Police officers charged in the death of Kelly Thomas.
    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011)

    Ron Thomas, who is also suing the city over the death, said police initially said his son stole a backpack and that someone fitting his description was breaking into cars.

    Two of the six officers involved in the beating are being tried in court. The case prompted a recall of three Fullerton City Councilmen in June, and the retirement of the former police chief.

    An independent review of the case determined that the Fullerton Police Department "suffered from a culture of complacency."

    Lawsuit: Restaurant Falsely Reported Kelly Thomas

    [LA] Lawsuit: Restaurant Falsely Reported Kelly Thomas
    Accusations from recently fired bar bouncer Michael Reeves against his former employer, the Slidebar, drew a handful of protesters Tuesday, June 12, accusing the restaurant of setting into motion the chain of events that led to the beating death of Kelly Thomas at the hands of Fullerton police officers. Two of them are now on trial for the murder. Vikki Vargas reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 12, 2012.
    (Published Tuesday, June 12, 2012)

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