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Hundreds Protest Acquittal Of Calif. Police Officers

Police in Calif. arrested more than a dozen people protesting the acquittal of two former officers charged with beating a homeless man to death.
Posted at 9:02 AM, Jan 19, 2014

Police in Fullerton, Calif. arrested more than a dozen people Saturday protesting the acquittal of two former police officers charged with the beating death of a homeless man. 

KTTV reports more than 200 showed up to protest last Monday's acquittal. 

A woman at Saturday's protest was arrested for assaulting a TV news photographer after this altercation was caught on camera.

According to KABC, police started asking protestors to leave after the assault. Police said they did try to accommodate protestors.

The Los Angeles Times reports two fellow protestors were arrested for vandalism. Several others were later arrested for not leaving the protest site after officers asked them to.

Now let's get to some background. First — a warning — the video we're about to show you is disturbing.

Back in July 2011, security cameras captured the officers beating Kelly Thomas — a mentally ill, homeless man. He died in the hospital five days later and the video sparked nationwide outrage, especially after the officers were acquitted. (Via KNBC)

But his father told KCAL the violence and vandalism are not what the protests are all about.

​THOMAS: "Same thing happened in Anaheim, but it's not indicative of who Kelly's army is. ...We're not out here to cause problems but bring awareness for the travesty of this verdict from the jury in the murder of my son."

After the acquittal in a state court, Thomas' father also said he plans to file a civil suit. CBS adds the FBI is investigating the death to see if the police officers might have broken federal laws.

Now, we should add both officers were fired in 2012, but the department never said why or whether that was related to Kelly's beating death. And while the two former officers have had almost a week to let the verdict set in, one of them is looking to get his job back.

The Orange County Register notes former Corporal Jay Cicinelli could pursue legal action if that's what it takes to get back to work after more than a year after being let go.

As for Saturday's protest, KABC reports Fullerton police are looking at surveillance footage and say even more arrests could come in the near future.