Petition circulates to charge all officers involved in Kelly Thomas incident

Joshua Sudock, Orange County Register, Pool photo

Fullerton police officer Manuel Ramos listens as Judge Walter Schwarm explains why he believes all charges should stand and why he believes Ramos and Fullerton police officer Jay Cicinelli should stand trial for the death of Kelly Thomas.

A petition campaign is underway to urge the Orange County District Attorney to charge other Fullerton police officers involved in the death of a homeless, schizophrenic man last July.

Two Fullerton policeman will be arraigned later this month on charges in connection with the death of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas. But, petitioners argue, in the security camera video of the incident, four other officers are also involved in the struggle.

After a preliminary hearing, officer Manuel Ramos was charged with second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, while corporal Jay Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault or battery by a public officer.

Both have pleaded not guilty... and both are the only officers charged in the case.

But a video of the incident, shown repeatedly during a preliminary hearing this week, shows four other officers involved in the struggle, including Joseph Wolfe. Defense attorneys identified Wolfe as the officer appearing to use his baton to strike Kelly Thomas.

The petition campaign asks Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to charge the other officers involved in the incident — including Wolfe.

After the preliminary hearing, Rackauckas said the door isn’t closed on the possibility.

“We’re not done with this case," Rackauckas stated. "We’re not done with the investigation, everything’s open and we’re still considering all of the evidence.”

Rackauckas had previously said that due to a lack of evidence, criminal charges were not filed against the other officers involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, a motion to dismiss the charges against Ramos and Cicinelli is expected to be filed by their defense attorneys.

The two officers face arraignment in Santa Ana Superior Court on May 22.

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