Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Cops in Kelly Thomas Beating to be Fired

Ramos, left, Cicinelli, right.

Two Fullerton, Calif., police officers set to stand trial for the beating death of a schizophrenic homeless man that was caught on camera received more bad news yesterday: they’re going to be fired.

Local TV stations reported that the Fullerton Police Department has sent letters of intent to terminate to Ofcs. Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli. Another officer, Joe Wolfe, who was involved in the beating, but not charged in connection with it was also informed that his employment will be terminated. Ramos and Cicinelli are on unpaid leave; Wolfe is still earning his salary until his administrative hearing. The officers have 10 days to submit an appeal to the department protesting the action.

A formal arraignment of Ofcs. Ramos and Cicinelli has been postponed until June 26. Judge Craig Robison agreed to the delay in order to allow defense attorneys more time to prepare motions to have the charges dismissed altogether.

Although the defense motions are routine and the delay not unexpected, Kelly Thomas’ father Ron stood up in court to ask the judge not to delay the arraignment. “Kelly is deceased, so I am here as a voice to my son. I ask you sir, not to grant a delay at this time, let’s move forward.” After the hearing, Ron Thomas told reporters that he had received communications from all over the world from people who disgusted by the graphic video of the deadly beating.

The defendants are free on bail. If convicted, Ramos faces up to 15 years behind bars; Cicinelli up to four years.

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