On July 5th, 2011, a 37-year-old schizophrenic homeless man from Fullerton, California, named Kelly Thomas was beaten to within an inch of his life by several Fullerton Police Department officers.
He passed away five days later, shortly after being taken off life support.
The Orange County Coroner determined that injuries he sustained during the beating, as well as the "mechanical chest compression" which took place during the altercation, were directly responsible for Thomas's demise.
Out of the six officers involved in the incident, only two were charged with crimes: Officer Manuel Ramos (second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter), and Corporal Jay Cicinelli (involuntary manslaughter and excessive force).
Despite allegations that Thomas was uncooperative and combative, surveillance footage shown for the first time at yesterday's preliminary hearing proves these claims are grossly inaccurate (beating starts at 15:20).
Further, paramedics who arrived on the scene stopped first to treat minor scratches and bruises sustained by the officers before turning their attention to an unconscious Thomas who was bleeding — literally — to death on the ground.
According to the testimony of Fullerton Fire Department paramedic Ron Stancyk, this was at the request of the officers.
The hearing to determine if sufficient evidence exists for a trial continues today.
[photo via AP]