A preliminary hearing in the 2011 beating death of a homeless schizophrenic man in Fullerton, California, has ended, and a decision could come today on whether there is enough evidence for the two police officers charged in the incident to stand trial.
Officer Manuel Anthony Ramos and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli encountered Kelly Thomas near the Fullerton Transportation Center on July 5. The officers engaged with Thomas, whom they suspected of car theft. Ramos is accused of telling Thomas, "Now, see my fists? They are getting ready to f--- you up," before chasing him, hitting him with his baton, punching him in the ribs and sitting on top of him to restrain him. Cicinelli allegedly kneed Thomas twice in the head and used his Taser on him four times.
Previously unreleased surveillance video of the horrific beating surfaced at the hearing this week. Thomas can be heard on the video calling for his father and telling officers, by then a group of them, that he cannot breathe.
Thomas died five days after the beating. Dr. Aruna Singhania, the pathologist who performed the autopsy on Thomas' body, testified in the hearing that Thomas died due to bleeding from his broken nose and other facial injuries. The blood filled his lungs and oxygen deprivation left him brain dead.
Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in Thomas' death, and Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive force. Both have been released on bail, and both have pleaded not guilty.
(Heads up -- video is graphic and Not Safe For Work. Altercation begins at 15:20. A shorter version can be found here.)