12-10-2017  4:13 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: Dec. 4

Environmental Services continues to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

'Santaland' on Display at Oregon Historical Society

New exhibit features Santa’s throne, Rudolph, and elves from original Meier and Frank’s Santaland ...

GFO Hosts Personal Papers & Archiving Talk

First Mondays and free GenTalks at the GFO research library ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

Top 10 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Dr. Jasmine Streeter explains why pampering pets with holiday treats can be dangerous (and pricey) ...

Why We Need More Black Men in Early Childhood Education

Royston Maxwell Lyttle discusses the importance of Black male teachers in early childhood education for the NNPA ESSA Media Campaign ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Amy Taxin and Greg Risling the Associated Press


Kelly Thomas
 

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- Two police officers were charged Wednesday in the death of a mentally ill homeless man in Southern California who was beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun during his arrest, authorities said.

Officer Manuel Ramos was charged with one count each of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas after a violent confrontation on July 5 with officers, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said at a news conference.

Police Cpl. Jay Cicinelli was charged with one count each of involuntary manslaughter and excessive force, he said.

Rackauckas said a review of the evidence showed Thomas was acting "in self-defense, in pain and in a state of panic."

"His numerous pleas of `I'm sorry,' `I can't breathe,' `Help Dad' (were) all to no avail. Screams, loud screams, didn't help," the prosecutor said.

The prosecutor said police officers have a right to use reasonable force in the performance of a lawful duty but citizens have a right to self-defense, even against the police.

Lorie Fridell, an associate professor of criminology at the University of South Florida, said it is highly unusual for a police officer to be charged with murder.

"It is quite appropriate in such cases to hold officers to account," Fridell said. "Often, however prosecutors will give officers the benefit of the doubt."

Ron Thomas, Kelly Thomas' father, said he was pleased with the charges but still suffers every day as a result of his son's death.

"That's exactly what I hoped for," Ron Thomas said of the charges.. "It makes me feel fantastic that this is happening, it's the justice we need."

Bill Hadden, an attorney representing Cincinelli, didn't immediately return a call for comment. A call to a home number for Ramos rang unanswered.

Arraignment was scheduled later Wednesday.

Six officers were placed on paid administrative leave after the incident that occurred while police were investigating reported vehicle break-ins at a transit hub.

Thomas suffered severe head and neck injuries and was taken off life support five days later.

Thomas suffered from schizophrenia and lived on the streets even though he received support from family and friends.

Police said Thomas ran when officers tried to search his bag. A struggle followed when they tried to arrest him for investigation of possession of stolen goods.

Video from a bystander's cell phone taken from a distance showed parts of the bloody encounter in which Thomas can be heard screaming for his father.

Surveillance video aboard a bus showed agitated passengers telling the driver that officers beat and repeatedly used a stun gun during the arrest.

After the incident, the police chief went on medical leave and the embattled City Council hired a law enforcement expert to investigate Police Department practices.

Incensed community members held demonstrations and started an effort to recall the mayor and two councilmembers over the incident.

Ron Thomas, the father of the dead man, filed a claim seeking damages from the city.

He has previously released his son's medical records showing Thomas suffered broken bones in his face, choked on his own blood and was repeatedly shocked with two stun guns.

News reports show Cincinelli left the Los Angeles Police Department after losing an eye in 1996 while working as a probationary officer.

Cincinelli, who was 25 at the time, was shot during an on-duty gunfight during a traffic stop less than three weeks after graduating from the Police Academy, according to news accounts.

-------

Associated Press Writers Gillian Flaccus in Orange County and Thomas Watkins in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Oregon Lottery
Calendar

MLK breakfast 2018 300x100

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Family Care Health