After investigation, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackaukas announced in a news conference today his decision to charge Officer Manuel Ramos and Corporal Jay Cincinelli in the death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill, homeless man.
Officer Ramos is a 10-year veteran and has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter while Corporal Cincinelli is a 12-year veteran and has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.
Ramos and Cincinelli had responded to reports that homeless man was looking into vehicles in downtown Fullerton. They found Thomas without a shirt and wearing a backpack. Thomas, a schizophrenic, encountered difficult complying with the officers' orders. Following this, the situation escalated and resulted in the fatal beating.
The coroner reported that the death was a result injuries to the face and head and compression of the thorax, a circumstance that made it impossible for Thomas to breathe normally and thus deprived the homeless man of oxygen.
Ron Thomas, the homeless man's father, has filed a claim against the city.
See the press release here: http://orangecountyda.com/home/index.asp?page=8&recordid=2581