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Last July, video emerged featuring the brutal beating of a 37 year old homeless man named Kelly Thomas at the hands of Fullerton police officers.
Thomas died five days later.
Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Cicinelli faces an involuntary manslaughter charge and a charge of use of excessive force.
Thomas' father, who already saw the video, was asked outside the courtroom Monday what people can expect. "Get your tissues ready," Ron Thomas said. "It's going to be brutal for you."
In the surveillance video, Officer Manuel Ramos can be seen twirling his baton, asking Kelly Thomas what language he’s speaking. “It seems like every day I talk to you,” Ramos can be heard saying. “Do you enjoy that?”
Thomas says he can’t remember his name, and then is questioned about what he has in his backpack.
Police say they found paperwork belonging to an attorney named Casey Hull in the backpack. The back and forth goes on for some 15 minutes until Officer Ramos puts on latex gloves and orders Thomas to put his feet out:
Thomas appears confused. Ramos: "Now you see my fists?"
Thomas: "Yeah, what about ‘em?"
Ramos: "They’re getting ready to 'f' you up."
Thomas: "Start punching dude."
About 30 seconds later, Officer Joseph Wolfe arrives and as Kelly Thomas steps out of view, he is struck with their batons.
The altercation goes on for nearly five minutes. More officers arrive including Cicinelli, who uses his taser.
Ultimately, Kelly Thomas died because of the force of the officers' compression on his chest, according to the District Attorney. The pressure made it impossible for Thomas to breathe, according to the DA's report.
In the surveillance video, Thomas can be heard screaming, "I can't breathe."
Both officers pleaded not guilty. The 38-year-old Ramos, a 10-year Fullerton police veteran, is free on $1 million bail, one of the highest ever posted in Orange County. Cicinelli, 42, is free on $25,000 bail.Source
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