Monday, August 08, 2011

CA: Dad of fatally-beaten homeless man rejects 'insulting $900,000 compensation offer from city'

A man whose homeless and schizophrenic son died from injuries in police custody says he has rejected compensation of almost $1million. Ron Thomas says he will instead sue the city of Fullerton in California after Kelly Thomas, 37, died after he was allegedly beaten up by police. He slammed the city’s offer of $900,000 as ‘a huge insult’ after his son was allegedly shocked with a stun gun, beaten with flashlights and kicked.

Mr Thomas told CNN he had originally avoided hiring a lawyer because he wanted to be a ‘voice for my son’ but has since changed his mind. ‘I do need an attorney for this, and I've been talking to some,’ he said, following the death of his son almost a month ago on July 10.

Witnesses described a shocking attack on his son five days before, in which a person in distress can be heard calling out for their father.

Police attended a scene where a man was allegedly trying to break into cars near a bus station and found suspect Kelly Thomas there. There was an altercation which resulted in Kelly Thomas suffering serious injuries and being taken to hospital, police said.

Mr Thomas claimed the police were ‘rogue cops that were thinking they're above the law’ and ‘brutally beat my son to death’. He told CNN that fighting for his son’s justice has ‘taken a heavy toll on me’ but he has no plans to stop as he needs to ‘prevail’.

Mr Thomas said he has a printed document of the $900,000 offer although the city is now denying they came forward with the settlement. The city did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Six police officers have been put on administrative leave as the FBI and Orange County's district attorney investigate what happened. ‘Any sort of termination, suspension or exoneration for the matter will occur at the end of the investigation,’ a police spokesman told CNN.

The revelations of what happened have caused growing outrage in the quiet college town. More than 70 people spoke at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, and a city councilwoman called for the resignation of the police chief.

Kelly Thomas's father and others were planning a protest outside the police station this weekend, the second in as many weeks. ‘My son needs a voice,’ he said. ‘Now, the people have become Kelly's voice and, yeah, I'm leading the charge.’

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress. If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where posts appear as well as on the primary site. I have reposted the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts HERE or HERE or here

No comments: