Officer Charged in Fatal Beating of Schizophrenic man

You may remember the case in Fullerton, California where police officers beat a schizophrenic homeless man to death. Surprisingly, the two officers have actually been charged in the case.

Prosecutors charged officer Manuel Ramos with second-degree murder on Wednesday, saying he initiated the lethal beating of Kelly Thomas with the words, “My fists … are getting ready to f— you up.” They accused a second officer, Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, with shocking and beating Thomas with his Taser and charged him with involuntary manslaughter.

Ramos is scheduled to enter a plea on Monday and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. He was being kept in isolation at the jail because of death threats, the high-profile nature of the case and his status as a police officer, Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Cicinelli pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and was released on $25,000 bail.

Whether they can convict them is another matter. Juries tend not to convict police officers, no matter how obviously guilty they may be.

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About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • MikeMa

    I am pleased this is going to court. Any history of violence from this ‘officer of the law’?

    Fullerton is pretty intolerant of anyone messing up their idyll and this kind of punishment (short of murder) may be more common that we’d like to believe.

  • ManOutOfTime

    Juries will do what they do – good on the DA for trying!

  • Didaktylos

    Second-degree murder? Murder by a police/prison officer on duty should be first-degree with special circumstances – and every other officer in sight of the incident in question should be charged as an accessory.

  • jollywahlstrom

    Police always want special punishments against someone if they shoot a police officer and it should go the other way too. They should get special punishment if they are convicted.