Police officers who beat homeless man to death are acquitted

January 14, 2014

Cathy Thomas (L) speaks next to her ex-husband Ron Thomas at a courthouse news conference after two former policemen were acquitted in the 2011 beating and stun-gun death of their son, in Santa Ana, California January 13, 2014. REUTERS/Alex Gallardo (UNITED STATES – Tags: CRIME LAW)

Two of the police officers who beat and killed Fullerton, California homeless man Kelly Thomas were acquitted on all charges yesterday. Thomas was unarmed. He also suffered from schizophrenia.

This was the first murder trial of a police officer in the history of Orange County. Prosecutors say they’ll now drop charges against a third officer.

Here’s a summary of the initial incident from Reason.tv (warning:the video contains graphic images of violence):

Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces."
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Radley Balko · January 14, 2014