AirTalk for September 21, 2011

Charges in the Kelly Thomas case

Photo by Friends for Fullerton

Kelly Thomas in downtown Fullerton.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has announced charges against two of the six Fullerton police officers in conjunction with the death of homeless schizophrenic man Kelly Thomas in July.

Officer Manuel Ramos will be charged with felony counts for second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Corporal Jay Cicinelli has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

After the morning’s press conference, Larry Mantle spoke live with Ramos’ attorney John Barnett, who was critical of the charges.

“It’s going to negatively affect public safety, because peace officers who risk their lives daily in the streets will now have to worry about risking their lives in the court room,” he said.

Barnett said Ramos was “simply doing his job.”

In response to the charges, Kelly Thomas’ father Ron Thomas said, “I am elated. This is really what I wanted. At least two of them, and we have two of them.”

Follow full coverage on the homepage, or share your opinion here.

WEIGH IN:

Were the charges fair? How do you think the situation should have been handled?

Guests:

John Barnett, Attorney for Manuel Ramos, the officer being charged

Stephanie O’Neill, KPCC reporter


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