Kelly Thomas

Kelly Thomas' Father Gets $4.9 Million in Settlement


Ron Thomas has agreed to a settlement of $4.9 million in the wrongful death civil suit brought on behalf of his late son, Kelly Thomas. Kelly Thomas was a 37-year-old schizophrenic drifter who was allegedly beaten to death by Fullerton, Calif., police officers in 2011 at a bus depot. From the Orange County Register:

Under the agreement, all parties will pay their own attorney fees. The court record will show that there is no prevailing party, which means no one has won or lost.

The lawsuit names former Fullerton police Officers Manuel Ramos, Jay Cicinelli and Joseph Wolfe, who were all fired from the department; Officers Kevin Craig and James Blatney, who remain with the department; ex-Chief Michael Sellers and his predecessor, Patrick McKinley, who sat on the City Council at the time of the incident and was later recalled.

"The act of having agreed to pay that large amount is a tacit admission, whether they admit it or not," said Garo Mardirossian, attorney representing Ron Thomas, to the Los Angeles Times. In January 2014, a jury in Orange County, Calif., acquitted Ramos and Jay Cicinelli of criminal charges, shocking supporters of the Thomas family.

Reason has been covering the story since 2011. For more read articles here and watch the playlist below:

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  1. I’m glad for Kelly Thomas’s father. Unfortunately, the people who perpetrated this murder are still free, on the street today and the financial toll those people suffered was exactly $0.

    1. Yes, but $4.9 million and some patience can buy the service of people that can make “problem’s” go away.

      1. I hope he hires someone who’s “creative.”

  2. ‘Kelly Thomas was a 37-year-old schizophrenic drifter who was allegedly beaten to death by Fullerton, Calif., police officers in 2011 at a bus depot’

    I know technically correct is the best kind of correct, so can we just say that Kelly Thomas died from lack of oxygen to the brain?

  3. Perps go free, and the taxpayers get soaked.


  4. I’m sure the father was exhausted with the legal process, but I wish he would have held firm to wanting an explicit admission of wrongdoing by the cops.

    Also, from the article:

    “I think both sides had much to gain and lose by trying this case,” (Judge) Nakamura said.

    I’d love to know what the judge thinks the father could lose that he hasn’t lost already.

    1. And why does the judge even feel the need to give his two cents worth?

      Just formalize the deal and STFU.

      1. i agree with C-W-W and wish the judge had refrained from comment, but I think what the father had to lose = a complete trashing of his son’s + family’s reputation, done to convince the jury (inside and outside the courtroom) that the cop conduct was “justified.” I bet the judge has already reviewed evidence that the cops’ lawyers possess — evidence the judge feels would have been very embarrassing to all the survivors and relatives. Just my guess/ not defending this tactic.

  5. RIP Kelly Thomas.

    It saddens me that his murders are still free, but I’ll take what I can get.

  6. When does the murder trial start?

  7. There is no “allegedly” here. They tortured and murdered a human being, who cried out for his dad in the last moments of his life. Not much unlike taking a tame bunny rabbit, who confused and abject, caught by a predator, and not understanding, cries and cries for help without recourse.

    All these men should be on death row, not hiding behind a judicial coverup, and a badge makes them even more the cowards. How long do they get? These has been going on for how many years. Too many.

    Wanna-be Lecters, indeed. Do you hear the lambs screaming?? I hope so, for every second of every minute of every day of your useless life.

    Scum. Vermin. Trash. I do hope karma catches up to you. How dare you? How dare you? Servants of the public, how dare you?

    And that they live with themselves, without apology, says all about each of them. How dare you?

    1. Wanna-be Lecters, indeed. Do you hear the lambs screaming?? I hope so, for every second of every minute of every day of your useless life.

      Would have to have a conscience for that.

    2. “How dare you? How dare you? Servants of the public, how dare you? […] How dare you?”

      Jane, I hope they read this; how dare they?

  8. Murder my son, then hand me a few million?

    Safest place for you is in prison.

    1. True… He could have the perps dispatched for far less than a couple million bucks.


    2. Politicians and Police advocates continue to be shocked that occasionally a Popo is ‘targeted’.

      I am constantly shocked that they are not targeted in proportion to their atrocities.

      I am with ThomasD above. I’m sure I could not restrain myself from pursuing vigilante justice if I were Ron Thomas. In fact, I don’t think I could live with myself if I let the murder of my son go unpunished.

  9. Well, for what it’s worth, after all that’s been said in this sad story, I can but agree it’s a shame the policemen involved in this murder walk free. Happy for the father though.

    This crime only cost taxpayers $5 million.

    1. It gets better:

      The $5million is to be paid by the city’s insurer. Future insurance premiums will jump drastically. Later, city shitheads can demagogue against greedy insurance companies as part of their election campaign.

      I really don’t see a loser in this scenario.

  10. Agreeing to a settlement and actually collecting any of it can sometimes be two different things. If I were the plaintive in this case, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the money. Some years ago there was a case in which someone sued the State of Texas and won, but it was a long time getting the legislature to appropriate the funds to pay him.

    1. Normally yes. But, in this case, the settlement comes from the Insurance Company.

      According to the article, Ron Thomas will receive the money within 30 days of the signing of the deal.

  11. Kelly Thomas was a 37-year-old schizophrenic drifter who was allegedly beaten to death by Fullerton, Calif., police officers–

    LOL at “allegedly”

    1. “Allegedly” is sometimes a synonym for “videotaped”.

  12. OT: Apologies if this has been posted already, but here’s another puppycide, this time in Delaware:

    1. Gosh, thanks so much.

      1. Hey, it’s what I’m here for.

        1. I thought you were here to fix the cable.

          … Hobbit

  13. Off-topic, but posted for contrast – family of “clock kid” seeks fifteen million:…..story.html

  14. Beyond the depravity of the murder of Kelly Thomas, it really says something about where we are as a people when officials don’t even feel compelled to apologize when one of their employees walks up to a little, mentally ill homeless guy and after bullying him needlessly for a while shakes his fist in his face and says “you see this? This is gonna fuck you up”… and then he and a group of his coworkers proceed to beat the poor guy to death, in public, on camera while he’s screaming for help and for his father. And then they casually step over his broken and slowly dieing body, eschewing medical attention as they seek to document the minor scrapes they got while dogpiling the defenseless victim.

    If you can’t get your head right to see that there’s something wrong with your team at that point, there is no hope for you as a person. In an earlier time, most folk would have felt compelled to apologise if their kid accidentally scratched your car.

    Everything has gone sideways. Even the bystanders who witnessed the murder… they watched the merciless beating and repeatedly commented that the police were killing him. Yet they knew full well that they were powerless to stop it and the only thing intervention would do is endanger their own life and liberty. Any time you’ve created a world where preventing the beating death of a helpless, mentally ill person is not only impossible, but a criminal act, you have failed. Pogo was correct, in so many ways.

    1. The king’s men have always been able to commit murder with impunity. We live in a feudal society. The methods of choosing our rulers have changed, as well as the costumes that they wear, but the hierarchy and double standards have not.

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