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Orange County Policemen Face Murder Trial for Killing on Duty
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This is the first time in the history of Orange County, California, that a police officer would be facing trial on murder charges for actions committed while he was on duty. However, the graphic 33-minute video of the police cornering, beating up and killing a mentally sick and homeless man, Kelly Thomas, caused Superior Court Judge Walter Schwarm to hold that a jury trial was in order.

Officer Manuel Ramos has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault or battery by a public officer. Both had pleaded not guilty, but the video produced before the court during the three-day preliminary hearing spoke a different story.

Thomas’s father told the media, “This is another victory; on another battle … We’re going to start a new one with the trial.”


While the attorney of the accused said “We’re disappointed that they were held to answer but we will seek review in an appropriate manner,” the prosecutors did not buy such arguments. The District Attorney submitted that the attitude, unlawful conduct, and bullying of the homeless Thomas turned a routine encounter into a deadly beating. Multiple police officers wrestled the homeless and schizophrenic victim to the ground and pounded him to death.

The attorney of the accused argued that the homeless schizophrenic Kelley mistook Officer Ramos’s intentions when Ramos put on rubber gloves and told him “See these fists? They are getting ready to f**k you up.” The attorney on behalf of the police said that Officer Ramos had every right to issue a threat when after being asked the mentally sick person failed to say his name.

A third officer rushed to the scene to aid the other two police officers who by then had put Kelly Thomas on ground and had started beating him. Cicinelli, the third officer said that he joined the struggle to help his fellow officers and used appropriate force.

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The attorney for the police said “We can all agree that any loss of life is a tragedy … But there was no crime here … there was none.”

According to the defendants Cicinelli had taken his taser out as a routine affair and Thomas, who was already being beaten up and schizophrenic, mistakenly thought Cicinnelli was going to use it and struggled to wrench it away from Cicinelli while the other two police were holding him and beating him.

The attorney for the police, Schwartz said that Cicinelli was trained as a police officer to never give up his weapon.

Naturally, Cicinelli used the Taser to first shock Thomas, then hit him in the face with the gun and then added his weight to that of the two officers already on Thomas’s chest.

It’s all routine, of course.



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