Investigator of Thomas Beating Death Delivers Report

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The results of an internal affairs investigation of Fullerton police officers involved in the beating and suffocation death of transient Kelly Thomas have been delivered to Police Chief Dan Hughes, The Orange County Register reported Wednesday.

Findings of internal affairs investigations are not public documents, and it may never be known what, if any, disciplinary actions are taken against officers or their leaders.

The report is the second of three commissioned by the city from an outside special investigator, attorney Michael Gennaco of Los Angeles.

A preliminary hearing for two of the six officers involved in Thomas’ beating — Officer Manuel Ramos and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli — is scheduled May 7 in Superior Court. The beating occurred at the Fullerton bus station July 5.

Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter and Cicinelli with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force. Both officers have pleaded not guilty and are on unpaid leave.

According to the coroner’s report, Thomas, 37, died July 10 from suffocation and beating injuries.

Police were summoned to the bus station by a telephone caller, who said Thomas may have been trying to break into parked cars. In his initial report to the Fullerton City Council Feb. 22, Gennaco asserted there was no evidence Thomas possessed stolen property.

Hughes took over as police chief soon after the beating when the previous chief retired under pressure.

Sometime after the preliminary hearing, Gennaco is scheduled to release a third, comprehensive appraisal of the Fullerton Police Department.

— TRACY WOOD

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