Filing of Charges in the Death of Kelly Thomas: Statement by Acting Chief of Police Kevin Hamilton
Today, the Orange County District Attorney, Tony Rackauckas, announced the filing of felony charges against two Fullerton Police Officers. The charged officers are Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli. The charges stem from the Orange County District Attorney’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Kelly Thomas who died on July 10, 2011, after an altercation with Fullerton Police Officers at the Fullerton transportation center on July 5, 2011. The Orange County District Attorney’s office has conducted the criminal investigation, and we respect the decision of District Attorney Rackauckas. The Fullerton Police Department will continue to cooperate with the Orange County District Attorney’s office in their investigation.
Inquiries or requests for information on the criminal case should be directed to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
The Fullerton Police Department remains in the midst of two other investigations and an overall departmental review as a result of this event. The two investigations are: the FBI’s civil rights investigation, and the independent internal investigation into the matter.
The internal investigation into the Thomas case and the overall review of our departmental operations are being conducted by an outside firm known as The Los Angeles Office of Independent Review. The Los Angeles Office of Independent Review is headed by Mr. Michael Gennaco.
The involved officers remain subject to the FBI’s investigation and the internal investigation by the Los Angeles Office of Independent Review. We cannot make a determination as to specifically how long it will take the FBI and the Los Angeles Office of Independent Review to complete their investigations. We do believe the FBI and the Los Angeles Office of Independent Review will be able to complete their respective investigations in a timely manner. Completion of the investigations will allow us to arrive at an appropriate and lawful determination as to the status of the involved officers with the Fullerton Police Department. We will also be able to take into consideration information obtained from the Orange County District Attorney’s office criminal investigation when coming to a disposition as to the status of the involved officers.
All of the officers involved in the Thomas case will remain on administrative leave.
This has been a tragic event for Kelly Thomas, the Thomas family, the community, the Police Department, and for all of those who are involved.
To those of you, who live in, work in, and visit the city of Fullerton, your police department remains fully operational, and we will continue to provide police service to our community.