Los Angeles—Six Fullerton police officers were given leave as the Orange County District Attorney and the FBI investigate the savage death of a homeless man, who was held in police custody.
The decision to excuse the officers, with pay, came hours before a Fullerton City Council meeting, where over 100 residents expressed outrage regarding the death of Kelly Thomas. The incident, which was caught on surveillance video, seemingly adds to the controversial history of LAPD-area police.
During the council meeting, Thomas’ father, Ron, offered a heartbreaking synopsis of the events: “I just want to know where my son’s rights were as a citizen. Where were his rights? Listen to my son beg those officers, ‘Please, please, God, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’ And the last words of his life, ‘Dad! Dad! I want you to hear that for the rest of your life like I will.”
Thomas, who sustained critical injuries during the July 5th arrest, was taken into police custody at roughly 8:30 p.m., after officers responded to reports that a man was attempting to steal parked cars near the city’s bus depot.
Authorities have yet to establish an official cause of death and are currently awaiting autopsy and toxicology reports. Meanwhile, the Fullerton police have classified the incident as an “in-custody death” and the FBI is investigating whether Kelly Thomas’ civil rights were infringed during the altercation.