One of the two on-duty Fullerton police officers slated to stand trial for the killing of homeless schizophrenic Kelly Thomas has been officially kicked off the police force.
Manuel Ramos had been on unpaid leave since October and had been informed via letter that the department would seek his termination in May. Fullerton Police Capt. Dan Hughes announced this week that Ramos was off the city’s payroll: “His employment status ended with the city of Fullerton on July 3.”
Ramos still faces 2nd degree murder charges stemming from the beating death of Kelly Thomas, which was caught on surveillance camera. Another officer, Jay Cicinelli, faces involuntary manslaughter charges for the same incident.
Fathers on both sides of the case spoken out in recent weeks. Ron Thomas, father of Kelly, filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Fullerton and the six officers involved in the beating last week.
On Tuesday, Cicinelli’s stepfather John Huelsman spoke out for the first time, saying the charges against Cicinelli are unwarranted and are motivated by the DA’s political ambitions. Huelsman said his stepson stepped in to help officers in a struggle that began long before he got to the scene: “He sees what any reasonable officer would see. They’re not controlling him..that’s why they’re screaming on the radio “we can’t control him.’”
The next court appearance for Ramos and Cicinelli is an arraignment scheduled for this Friday. A trial date could be set at the hearing.