Cops Acquitted In Death of Homeless Man

Kelly Thomas, 37, died after a scuffle with police

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Two former California police officers were acquitted Monday in the death of a homeless man who died five days after a 2011 altercation with officers.

Former Fullerton Officer Manuel Ramos was acquited of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, while former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force, reports the Associated Press. A third officer is still awaiting trial, while several others involved in the incident have not been charged.

Kelly Thomas, 37, died after a July 5, 2011 struggle that began after officers were called to check on reports of a man a witness said was tampering with cars in a parking lot. Thomas had a record of altercations with the police, but his father, Ron Thomas, later said his son had schizophrenia and was unable to comply with police directions on the day of the incident.

“He got away with murdering my son,” said Ron Thomas after the verdict was handed down. “It’s just not fair. So I guess it’s legal to go out and kill now. He was so innocent. It just isn’t fair at all.”

Thomas’ cause of death was listed as brain death due to asphyxiation.