Kelly Thomas Beating Video: Fullerton Homeless Man's Clash with Cops Revealed

Caution: This video is violent, contains obscenities and may be difficult to watch.

Previously unreleased surveillance footage of the fatal beating of Kelly Thomas, a schizophrenic homeless man from Fullerton, was revealed Monday during a hearing to determine if the police officers involved in the altercation will face trial.

The 33-minute video starts with Thomas being approached by Fullerton Police Department Officer Manuel Ramos, who engages him in conversation. By minute 15, Ramos has donned latex gloves.

"You see my fists?" Ramos asks Thomas. "They're getting ready to **** you up."

"Start punching, dude!" responds Thomas, who was sitting on the ground. When Thomas stands up to walk away, a second police officer hits him repeatedly with a baton. The first few minutes of the altercation are off-screen, but the audio indicates Thomas was verbally giving up.

"I'm sorry, dude! I'm sorry," Thomas said. But the blows apparently continue. At minute 16:30, the trio comes back into focus, and both police officers are on top of Thomas.

"I can't breathe, dude, I can't breathe!" protests Thomas. "Please, I can't breathe!" Throughout, officers keep telling him to put his hands behind his back.

At minute 18, a backup police car arrives at the scene and at least one more officer joins in. This is when the tasering starts, amid police requests to "stop resisting." After more prolonged tasers, Thomas is wailing and multiple officers are piled on top of him.

At minute 20, Thomas cries out to his father, who isn't there: "Dad! Dad! Dad! Help me, help me, Dad!"

The video ends with emergency responders removing Thomas from the scene, unconscious.

The officers involved in the altercation surround him, discussing what had just happened.

"We ran out of options so I got the end of my Taser and I probably ... I just start smashing his face to hell," says Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, according to the transcript provided by prosecutors. "He was on something. 'Cause the three of us couldn't even control him."


On July 5, 2011, Fullerton police officers responded to a call about someone breaking into cars at a local bus depot. Officers encountered Thomas, a shirtless, unarmed transient, and asked to search his backpack.

According to police, Thomas refused to submit to a search and became combative, requiring six officers to subdue him. During the altercation, Thomas sustained severe head and neck injuries and lost consciousness by the time medics were on the scene.

After five days in a coma at the UC Irvine Medical Center, Thomas' family made the decision to remove him from life support.

The coroner later determined that Thomas died from mechanical compression of the thorax, which made it impossible for him to breathe normally and deprived his brain of oxygen. The autopsy also showed he had multiple broken bones in his face and several cracked ribs.

While Thomas was in a coma, his father, Ron, revealed that Kelly suffered from schizophrenia. His sister Christina Kinser described him as a "quiet, gentle soul."

Officer Ramos and Cpl. Cicinelli were the only two policemen charged in the beating death of Thomas. Ramos is charged with one count each of second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Cicinelli is charged with one count each of involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.

Currently, the FBI is investigating whether Thomas' civil rights were violated, and the city of Fullerton is also conducing its own internal probe, reports the Associated Press.

The Huffington Post, by Anna Almendrala

T.Spayede May 09, 2012 at 01:11 AM
You have to wonder sometimes that there might be some approach or solution to bad(horrible) encounters like these (from rodneyking to present...!) that might foster a good degree of safety for the police and some less catastrophic restaraint for the detainee? A direction might be in using some high strength NETTING product (one or two separate ones?) that can be highly restraining to the individual, easy to train on for the police; and you may more often get a result that keeps the police at a distance from the purp, and also ties him up sufficiently that he is little able to have any sense of resistance. Be alot of tripping and falling and less threat. The weave and fabric could even make for a softer fall for the person of interest the more he flails...or doesn't...). H-smokes, if even fishnets set for shrimplike creatures can ball up Shamu at sea in his own environment, why couldn't something simular work for the troubled citizen...? (I won't even mention spiderman or kingkong, but anyone can search...)(bad pun if I gave the 'link'....).
T.Spayede May 09, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Truly tho, a net restraint system for these type terrible traumas might help some. (and if the POI has a gun or a knife - the police aren't safely going to be near enuff before knowledge of a gun is present, that will resolve at a further distance than hand to hand; and if a knife in the picture, let the purp cutaway until he/she tires out or trips and rips his or her own shorts and stops obn their own...?). If "Q" were around, from JamesBondville, he could come up with some higheffect netgear, I'm sure...Maybe something that can be easily carried and fits in nothing larger than a donut box - sorry didnt mean to divert/myfault - but there has to be some techno-safety guys/ladies in law enforcement labratories that could perfect such?? ! [...could even call it 'Net Flicks'...if that's not allready taken...] Now, 'the lawyers' getting intosuch a plan...well that could be a bigger bag of troublesomeness, but could also be resolved...?!
Janie D. May 09, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Fullerton is my old hometown. It makes me vomit to know that our once exceptional police department has incorporated murderous gang members -- roving excrement -- into their ranks! They are the ones who elevated the situation to what it became. Two or three of these pompous, obese suckers compressing a man's ability to breathe is bad enough, let alone 5 or 6 of them -- about 1,000 pounds or more crushing a 150 pound, shirtless man frantically begging to breathe! Then sending a constant current of electricity zapping through his body. Geez -- seems that anyone in their RIGHT mind would be struggling with all they might have to do the same thing! This poor man's life was so viciously pummeled out of him, and a family and a community will never be the same. I feel no pity at all for these "men in bloody-blue" here. They are not police in my book -- they became a frenzy of sharks with blood in the water -- and they deserve whatever hell they are now going through in court! May justice be served!
Sarah de Crescenzo May 09, 2012 at 06:43 AM
@matthew payer, profanity isn't allowed in our comments section. We work hard to keep a civil atmosphere on Patch, regardless of the topic under discussion. Please feel free to repost your comment without the inappropriate language.
Bong Sativa May 09, 2012 at 08:09 AM
Convicting them & housing them in prison with no protective custody would be an apt lesson for these repugnant human beings & any other law enforcement officer who takes it upon themselves to administer their own brand of justice ! Here's hoping their deaths are as slow & grotesque as that of Kelly Thomas. Fittingly these cowards would no doubt take their own lives rather than live in constant fear of their impending doom. Their wives & mothers must be quite proud,although they should be hiding out of shame.
The Beast ! May 09, 2012 at 08:34 AM
Although I do not agree with the level of force that was initially used by Ramos or his behavior prior to the use of force. But I believe 2nd degree murder will be very hard to file due to the fact 2nd degree murder is a specific intent crime and it will be very hard to prove that Ramos specifically intented "beyond a reasonable doubt" to kill Kelly Thomas. If thats the case it makes you question the experience and knowledge of the Orange County DA.
The Beast ! May 09, 2012 at 08:41 AM
Where was Ron Thomas all these years while his mentally ill son wandered the streets and lived as a homeless person ? Why didnt Ron Thomas get Kelly Thomas the help that he needed while he was unable to care for himself or others. The bottom line if Ron Thomas truly cared about his son he would have never allowed his mentally ill son live in the streets. I real loving and caring Dad would have provided his son with all the proper care that is needed to help stablize his sons life. Weve seen these case's over and over .................shame on a Dad who lets his son walk aimlessly around the streets rather than providing care for him?
Ann Sue May 09, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Re: the beast Have you ever tried to help someone with this level of illness? Walk in their shoes before judging. There are cruel and then possibly professional police officers, Kelly, unfortunately encountered the cruel. Equal treatment should be their fate.
GreenInOC May 09, 2012 at 04:09 PM
@The Beast !, what would you have him do - chain him up and lock him in a room? Mental illness is NOT something you can force someone to change nor something you can control regardless of how much you love someone. I love this post about mental illness: http://issascrazyworld.com/2009/03/19/uncle-marky/ While it comes off as such, I will assume you surely don't mean that since Kelly's father didn't do what you believe you would do, that he deserved to die. I hope that you never have to know what it's like to love someone who suffers from mental illness.
GreenInOC May 09, 2012 at 04:12 PM
As disturbing as this video is, the full unedited version on OC Register's site is even more so: http://www.ocregister.com/video/c/1125901233/latest/1628003509001/crime-kelly-thomas
Joker Joe May 09, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Brad Get real. The f word is used everyday and Patch is reporting what was said. It is a newspaper doing their job. It is not for family pleasure that the words should be changed. If you want altered words read a congressional report or get the Disneyland type newspapers.
Joker Joe May 09, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I agree about the net but who was suppose to throw it over the 5 cops????
Brian May 09, 2012 at 04:27 PM
"see my fists? They’re getting ready to @#$% you up" The words of a well trained and disciplined public servant... unbelievable. The sad thing is, is IF this PIG is convicted he will spend all his time in segregation and never get to experience the pleasure of general population
MFriedrich May 09, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Including the officer's expletives has nothing to do with the legitimacy of a news source. I'm dismayed that LF Patch would remove it per one reader's request. On the contrary, censoring the content, as you have requested, subtracts from the accuracy of the report, and distorts to contempt and malice of the officers in this act. As for swear words, let's not delude ourselves. I'm sure your children and mine have, and will continue, to hear f-bombs throughout their lives - on planes, in public restaurants, on the t-ball pitch, on the internet, etc. I heard a young mother use an f-bomb last weekend at a youth soccer game for crying out loud. Sadly, it's become a common piece of 21st century American jargon. What's really important is teaching kids the context and that it's not an acceptable part of THEIR daily vocabulary.
The Beast ! May 09, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Brian, Although you may not like the verbal judo (language) that was used by Ramos (and I dont) it does not support 2nd degree murder. GreeninOC, If police and doctors can provide "Goverment Paid For" mental health care such as 5150 of the welfare and institution I believe Ron Thomas could have and should have done more. I see lots of caring families everyday caring for members of thier familes who are mentally unstable. Ron Thomas just did not care until this horrible event. AnnSue, Perhaps the Fullerton Police department failed to properly train their officer's on how to handle people with mental illness. Has that ever been a though in your mind? The bottom line is that this event is horrible but look at both sides. The officers are entitle to something called "DUE PROCESS" have any of you considered that ? Let them explain there actions rather then your small minds draw conclusions off a video that does not show all the events of explain what was going through the officers minds at the time of the incident.
ms.sc. May 09, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Well said Janie D.
steve May 09, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Brad McGirr Really---that bothered you more than the content about what happened to Kelly---What fairy Tale Land do you live in--If your Kids are not old enoug to read this--KEEP them off the internet--P.s--Mommies titty is waiting----
GreenInOC May 09, 2012 at 10:45 PM
@The Beast !, you are watching the same video and drawing conclusions as well. Hyprocrite or perhaps your brain works differently from everyone else's?
MFriedrich May 09, 2012 at 11:02 PM
@The Beast, "Why didnt Ron Thomas get Kelly Thomas the help that he needed while he was unable to care for himself or others." Don't know. Here are some logical theories: 1. He couldn't afford to provide the level of care his mentally ill son requires? 2. He has a mortgage to pay or a business to run and cannot watch over his son 24/7? 3. He too is unemployed, or retired and living on fixed income? 4. He may have other limitations that prevent him from physically caring for a mentally ill adult? 5. He has been searching for his son for weeks and could not find him. It may be a combination of these things. You're assumption that a mentally ill and homeless person on the street equals parents who don't love him is just dumb. It probably didn't occur to you before you hit "Reply", but I'll clue you in: there are thousands of homeless people in the US who have no living parents and no local family members to care and support them. And this doesn't mean what you think it means.
MFriedrich May 09, 2012 at 11:15 PM
@The Beast "your small minds draw conclusions off a video". Careful that "due process" quip. I mean, come on, you've already indicted, tried and convicted Ron Thomas of not loving his son enough based on, oh I don't know what you would call it, probably "my big brained clairevoyance". Listen, everybody knows. It's ok that you don't know the answer to everything in this case. It's still not an excuse to jump to wrong conclusions.
Panglonymous May 10, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Transcript of video here: http://www.fullertonsfuture.org/2012/here-it-is-read-em-and-weep-justice/
JB May 10, 2012 at 08:03 AM
These cops should be executed by a firing squad. They are ANIMALS.
JB May 10, 2012 at 08:11 AM
AGREE...they should be put to death by a firing squad.
cheryl roberts May 10, 2012 at 04:08 PM
--- Such obvious brutality and bloggers can't believe it. In NY, on HDTV, a NYPD supervisor begins beating a pedestrian for no reason and his subordinates run down the poor pedestrian, running for his life, corner him and beat him unconcious. And viewers say the cops must have had a good reason. --- There has never been a greater love than America's love for its police; god like, and we all want our gods to be infallable. --- There is a reason, which we cant see, that cops are brutal. They are self absorbed by their power, like a drug, become delusional and become drug stupid as a camera is nearby, and they brutalize for the whole world to see. -- Ever wonder where they go after they leave the force.
Panglonymous May 10, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Jeff May 10, 2012 at 06:14 PM
I agree with you 100%. The poor guy was struggling for his life as those terrible brutes plummet him to death. As the story goes if someone is drowning stay clear, they have the strength of 10 men as they struggle for their life, or they might take you down with them. This poor man was beaten so bad his instinct took over for his survival. He wasn’t resisting he was struggling for his survival. Did you see those mug shot of those ‘cops’? Are you sure they are cops and not thugs? Also what’s with that ugly dude’s eye? Did someone hit him with a taser in his face when he was young or something? I’m glad this homeless guy has a decent family to follow up on his vicious beating and death.
greene fur May 11, 2012 at 08:59 AM
-glonymo, yure such a cop-out
tinytom May 11, 2012 at 02:08 PM
It looks like a pOd of Orca's in a feeding frenzy.
The Beast ! May 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I have a few words to sum up many of your comments; SMALL MINDS BLAMING THE POLICE FOR OTHERS PROBLEMS NO UNDERSTANDING OF THE RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS ONE SIDED Where were all of you while Kelly Thomas was wandering the streets everyday for years desperately in need of medication and mental help? where was his caring loving dad ? EXACTLY !!!!!! take responsibility even when your not required to
Bo Bo May 17, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Beast Your a piece of work. Where was I? Never knew he existed until he was murdered so I do not know where I was. Where were you? Where were the police? They knew about him walking around. They saw him on many occasions. What did they do? Don't know about what his father thought or what he had been through either. People are blaming the police for the murder... signed.... A large mind


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