Recalled Fullerton councilman Don Bankhead running again

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via Justice for Kelly Thomas/Facebook

A memorial for Kelly Thomas, the 37-year-old homeless man who died in July after he was beaten by Fullerton police.

One of the Fullerton city councilmen recalled last June in the wake of the Kelly Thomas beating is running for office once again.

Don Bankhead told the Orange County Register he gave whether to run a lot of thought but, at the end of the day, he cares about Fullerton. Bankhead is now one of 12 candidates vying for three Fullerton City Council seats in November.

Bankhead, F. Richard Jones and Pat McKinley were recalled partly for the way they handled the outcry after Kelly Thomas, a mentally-ill homeless man, was beaten by Fullerton police in July 2011 and died days later.

Fullerton resident Loretta Van de Pol said the council members didn’t reach out to Ron Thomas or lead the city after the incident.

“There was this stone wall from the very beginning where there was just an absolute refusal to say anything," said Van de Pol, speaking about the three recalled councilmen. "There was no expression on their faces."

But this year, two of those councilmen reached out to Thomas’ father, Ron Thomas, to offer their sympathies.

Next Tuesday, the Fullerton City Council will get an update on the status of a lawsuit filed by Ron Thomas against the city in a closed session.

His ex-wife, and the mother of Kelly Thomas, settled her lawsuit against the city for $1 million earlier this year.

Three ex-Fullerton police officers face trial in connection with the death of Kelly Thomas, who died after the violent confrontation with Fullerton police officers in July 2011.

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