Police Watchdog to Launch Inquiry on Kelly Thomas’ Death

It seems that some sense has returned to the Fullerton City Council, as they approved an independent review of Fullerton's Police Department by the Los Angeles County's Office of Independent Review.

Two contracts were given the go-ahead by the Council to Michael Gennaco, who oversees the LA Office of Independent Review, and will allow him to not just review the incidents surrounding Kelly Thomas' death, but also to conduct a separate, extensive review of the Fullerton Police Department's policies and procedures.Although Councilman Bruce Whitaker only supports the general review of the department and wants to hold off on the investigation into Thomas' death, Mayor F. Richard Jones seems to have his priorities in order, supporting both contracts.

It's about time, isn't it? The FBI and the Orange County district attorney's office are already in the process of investigating the deadly beating. Even with a history of mental illness, it's hard to see how the police force can defend needing six policemen to subdue one man.

More questions we have:

  • Why were the officers allowed to watch the video again before giving evidence? Very few police departments see this as good practice.
  • Why are the officers on paid leave? This is a criminal investigation into a wrongful death!
  • Why did the officers pick on this homeless man in the first place? He was well-known on the streets of Fullerton, and had no history of petty theft.
  • Who do you call when you see police beating a citizen? The police are supposed to be protecting and serving the citizens.

The one good thing to come out of this is that other cases are coming under review, like the case of Veth Mam, who was wrongfully arrested by the Fullerton Police Department earlier this year.

If you have been the victim of police harassment, unlawful search and seizure, or a wrongful arrest, call the Law Offices of Glew & Kim immediately on 866-416-2161, or use our online form for a Free Case Analysis. We believe in equal access to justice for all.