Kelly Thomas' father, a retired Orange County police officer, did not recognize his own son when he went watch him die at the UC Irvine Medical Center after police beat him into a coma on July 5. The officers were responding to a call about vandalized cars when they found Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic, and attempted to search him. Thomas' father says his son may have been off his meds, which would explain why he resisted arrest. Nothing explains the gang-style murder committed by Fullerton cops.
The top photo was taken at the hospital before Thomas died. The bottom photo is what Kelly Thomas looked like before he was brutalized.
Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man with schizophrenia, kept calling for his father as police beat and tased him repeatedly.
But his father, a retired Orange County sheriff's deputy, was not around.
It wasn't until after Thomas slipped into a coma and was hospitalized with multiple injures that his father saw him.
And by then, it was too late. Thomas never recovered. The 135-pound man died five days after his run-in with Fullerton police.
Thomas' father, a retired Orange County sheriff's deputy, has asserted that officers used excessive force to subdue his son, who was unarmed, slight and of medium height.
After seeing his son's injuries and talking with witnesses, Thomas told the Register his son "was brutally beaten to death."
"When I first walked into the hospital, I looked at what his mother described as my son … I didn't recognize him," Thomas said. "This is cold-blooded, aggravated murder."
Thomas, citing witnesses, said officers hit his son with the butts of flashlights even after he stopped moving.
He said his son was probably off his medication and didn't understand officers' commands.
A spokesman for the Orange County Coroner's office declined to discuss the case but said an autopsy of Thomas had been completed and the results forwarded to investigators.
Witnesses are asked to call Stan Berry, an investigator with the Orange County district attorney's office, at (714) 347-8813.
Here's the video, which is mostly audio, but no less disgusting, nauseating, and heart-breaking for its lack of visuals: