The World Needs to Know About Kelly Thomas: Police Beat ‘Gentle’ Homeless, Mentally Ill Man to Death


This video, shot on July 5 by a student in Fullerton, California, ostensibly features the sounds of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas crying for his father while being Tased by police officers after he supposedly resisted arrest. Thomas was also beaten so badly that he was placed on life support. He died several days later.

Thomas—who suffered from schizophrenia, and was homeless—caught the attention of the police after someone reported that a burglar was breaking into cars parked near a Fullerton bus station. When officers approached Thomas in the depot parking lot and tried to arrest him, he resisted. What happened after that is a topic the Fullerton Police Department doesn’t seem too enthusiastic to discuss—but the sound of Thomas’s voice certainly speaks on their behalf. And as this gruesome photo shows, the six officers involved in the altercation beat Thomas beyond recognition; after several days on life support, Thomas was taken off the machines and died. (To be fair, two cops suffered broken bones.) Update: According to this report, a police sergeant stated on July 20 that, contrary to several news reports, no officers suffered from broken bones as a result of the Thomas incident—only “soft tissue damage.”

Did Thomas actually resist arrest? Mark Turgeon, who witnessed the beating, says no:

“They kept beating him and Tasering him. I could hear zapping, and he wasn’t even moving,” said Turgeon. “He had one arm in front of him like this, he wasn’t resisting. And they kept telling him, ‘He’s resisting, quit resisting,’ and he wasn’t resisting.”

Here are links to several articles:

http://fullertonstories.com/kelly-thomas-a-quiet-gentle-soul/

http://www.fullertonsfuture.org/2011/kelly-thomas-story-stirring-worldwide-outrage

http://www.fullertonsfuture.org/2011/a-case-of-mistaken-identity-yeah-right/

http://gawker.com/5825010/police-beat-gentle-homeless-mentally-ill-man-to-death

http://anthonyreyez.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/police-beat-%E2%80%98gentle%E2%80%99-homeless-mentally-ill-man-to-death/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2019225/Police-beat-taser-gentle-mentally-ill-homeless-man-Kelly-Thomas-37-death.html

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