Aftermath of the Kelly Thomas Beating

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Jim Arambula was sitting at the bus stop at the Fullerton Transportation Center when two men in suits came up to him.

The men identified themselves as officials from the Orange County District Attorney’s office. They proceeded to question him about Kelly Thomas.

Thomas was a 37-year-old schizophrenic homeless man who died in a hospital after a violent July 5 run-in with Fullerton police next to the Fullerton Transportation Center.

Police officers confronted Thomas after a call about an individual breaking into cars in downtown Fullerton. According to witness accounts, six officers used force against Thomas resulting in what appears to be a brutal beating at the hands of law enforcement.

Thomas was taken off life support five days after the encounter. According to his family, Thomas battled with schizophrenia and he voluntarily drifted the streets of Fullerton and nearby cities.

Arambula told the DA officials he was not present during the incident but would see Thomas nearly everyday near the bus depot.

“He was harmless,” said Arambula when asked about Thomas’ demeanor.

The men took down his contact information and walked away.

Arambula, who stopped to look at the makeshift memorial for Thomas before he took the bus home on Aug. 9, said the questioning happened a few weeks after the incident.

The Orange County District Attorney investigates all officer-involved deaths. Most investigations take anywhere for six to nine months. Interviews are typically conducted with the officers involved, as well as on-scene and character witnesses. Along with any physical evidence gathered, it is then determined if criminal charges are warranted.

According to a Aug. 7 article in the Los Angeles Times, the six officers involved had not spoken to the District Attorney’s office up to that point.

Read more at my blog The Other Side of the Tracks about Kelly Thomas and the hundreds of protesters who demonstrated in front of the Fullerton Police Department. View a timeline of events showing the aftermath of a local tragedy that has made news across the country. See video below of protests demanding justice for Kelly Thomas.

August 20th Protest and March

August 6th Protest

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