2 Fullerton officers charged in death of Kelly Thomas

By David Edwards
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 15:25 EDT
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Orange Country District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced Wednesday that he was charging two Fullerton, California police officers in the July 5 death of a mentally ill homeless man.

Officer Manuel Ramos faces charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter for allegedly killing Kelly Thomas. Police Cpl. Jay Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.

“The cause of death in this case is — it’s mechanical compression of the thorax, making it impossible for Kelly Thomas to breathe normally,” Rackauckas explained during a press conference. “In other words, the chest being compressed, Kelly Thomas was not able to inhale, and he can’t take in oxygen. Over time his brain was deprived of oxygen, and he became unconscious and went into a coma and died. That is the primary cause of death. The other injuries to the face and head contributed to the death.”

Watch this video from CNN’s Newsroom, broadcast Sept. 21, 2011.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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