Kelly Thomas Beating — Timeline of events
July 5, 2011 – Date of the Incident.
– 8:23 p.m.: Fullerton police receive a report of “homeless man” looking in car windows and pulling on the handles of parked cars at the Fullerton Transportation Center.
– 8:34: Officer Joseph Wolfe and another officer are dispatched. Officer Manuel Ramos contacts dispatch and says that he is in the area and will respond.
– 8:37: Ramos and Wolfe, who arrive in separate cars, contact Kelly Thomas, a shirtless, 37-year-old, mentally ill, homeless man at the north bus entrance near the intersection of East Santa Fe and Pomona avenues.
– 8:42: After Thomas is detained and asked to sit on the curb, Thomas gives his backpack to Wolfe, who begins a search. Ramos stays with Thomas.
– 8:52: Encounter becomes physical after Thomas stands up. Wolfe swings a baton at the back of Thomas’ legs. Ramos joins and Thomas is tackled; Wolfe calls in for all available officers.
– 8:54: Fullerton Cpl. Jay Cicinelli responds. He uses his stun gun to first jolt Thomas and then to strike him. Thomas is yelling “Dad, help me,” and “I can’t breathe,” and “I’m sorry Dude” as he continues to resist.
– 8:54 to 8:57: Three additional officers arrive, in order: Officer Hampton, Sergeant Craig, and Corporal Blatney.
– 9:00: Fullerton Fire Department paramedics arrive.
– 9:01: Thomas is in handcuffs and is no longer moving. Eventually, he is placed in an ambulance.
– 9:19: Ambulance arrives at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton. Arrangements are made to transfer Thomas to UCI Medical Center in Orange.
– 10:05: Ambulance carrying Thomas arrives at UCI Medical Center. Thomas is placed on life support and never regains consciousness.
July 7, 2011 – OCDA assumes investigation into the incident. According to OCDA Tony Rackauckas the investigation team included six full-time OCDA Investigators, a supervising investigator, approximately 12 additional OCDA Investigators, Senior Assistant D.A. Jim Tanizaki, Assistant D.A. Bruce Moore, and other personnel.
July 10, 2011 – (2:00 p.m.) Thomas dies at UCI after all life support is removed.
July 23, 2011: Cellphone video of the altercation is posted online.
July 30, 2011: Hundreds of protesters gather at the Fullerton Police Department, including Kelly’s father Ron Thomas who calls the incident an act by “a group of rogue officers.”
Aug. 1, 2011: Video from a bus camera shows passengers describing the altercation as they board. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYJi3lgXLBU
Aug. 2, 2011: Ron Thomas speaks at a Fullerton City Council meeting and encourages officials to review the evidence and file charges against the officers.
Aug. 2, 2011: The six officers involved in the case are placed on paid administrative leave.
Aug. 6, 2011: Hundreds of protesters gathered at a rally at the Fullerton Police Department, including Kelly’s father Ron Thomas.
Aug. 10, 2011: In a news release from the city, officials announce that Police Chief Sellers will take a medical leave. Capt. Kevin Hamilton is appointed interim chief.
Aug. 11, 2011: The parents of Kelly Thomas file a claim against the city as the first stage of a civil lawsuit.
Aug. 12, 2011: City council members meet to discuss an independent review of the case. The city attorney is directed to draft a contract for services.
Aug 12, 2011: An LA Times report reveals that Fullerton officers were allowed to view video of the altercation before writing their reports.
Aug. 16, 2011: Ron Thomas and Fullerton residents speak at a meeting at which the council approved a contract with an independent investigator.
Sept. 21, 2011: District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announces charges against Officer Ramos and Cpl. Cicinelli in connection with the beating death of Kelly Thomas.
Sept. 26, 2011: Bail hearing and arraignment for Manuel Ramos. Defendant pleads not guilty, and bail remains at $1,000,000.
Sept. 30, 2011: Ramos secured bond for $1,000,000 bail with the financial assistance of friends and family and the posting of family property, and he is released from jail.
Sept. 29, 2011: Ramos and Cicinelli placed on unpaid administrative leave, effective October 8.
Oct. 5, 2011: Medical leave extended for Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers.
Oct. 20, 2011: Fullerton Homeless Task Force is created as a result of the Kelly Thomas case.
Nov. 4, 2011: Ramos and Cicinelli plead not guilty.
Nov. 20, 2011: LA Times reports Fullerton officer Jay Cicinelli continues to receive his nearly $40,000 annual disability pension.
Dec. 16, 2011: Pre-trial hearing for Ramos and Cicinelli. A preliminary hearing date is set for March 28. Ramos’ defense attorney John Barnett tells the media there was no factual basis for his client’s arrest: “My client confronted a non-compliant suspect … [and] used only that force that was necessary to seek to restrain Kelly Thomas. That’s all he did. That cannot be a crime, much less murder.”
Dec. 21, 2011: Dan Hughes is named as the new chief of Fullerton Police Department.
Feb. 3, 2012: Former Chief Michael Sellers announces his retirement, effective February 18.
May 7, 2012: A preliminary hearing begins in the cases against Cicinelli and Ramos.
May 9, 2012: At the conclusion of a two day preliminary hearing, Judge Walter Schwarm finds that there is probable cause to support the charges and orders Ramos and Cicinelli to stand trial on all charges.
July 10, 2012: Fullerton police Sgt. Jeff Stuart confirms that Ramos no longer works for the city of Fullerton as of July 3.
July 13, 2012: Ramos and Cicinelli plead not guilty to all charges against them. Article
July 17, 2012: The Fullerton Police Department, through a statement by Cpl. Tim Kandler, announces Joe Wolfe is no longer employed by the city.
July 20, 2012: Fullerton police Sgt. Jeff Stuart confirms that Jay Cicinelli is no longer employed by the City of Fullerton, effective July 20.
July 26, 2012: The city of Fullerton releases audio of the call to a police dispatcher that started the chain of events.
Sept. 24, 2012 – Grand Jury indicts Officer Joseph Wolfe after hearing testimony from 10 witnesses and examining 113 exhibits of evidence, according to prosecutors.
Sept. 27, 2012 – Officer Wolfe is arraigned in Orange County on one felony count of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of use of excessive force. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and surrendered on $25,000 bail.
Jan. 4, 2013 – Judge issue tentative ruling denying a defense motion to dismiss the murder and manslaughter charges against Ramos and Cicinelli.
Jan.18, 2013 – Hearing held for PC995 motion to dismiss. Court states that it’s tentative ruling signed and mailed to counsel on Jan. 4, 2013, stands.
Aug. 2, 2013 – Judge refuses to separate trials of Ramos and Cicinelli, sets October 18 trial date.
Aug. 2, 2013 – Orange County judge refuses to dismiss manslaughter case against former Fullerton Police Officer Joseph Wolfe.
Nov. 18, 2013 – Jury selection begins for the trial against Ramos and Cicinelli.
Nov. 19, 2013 – A jury of eight women and four men is impanelled.
Dec. 2, 2013 – Trial expected to begin with opening statements.
Dec. 11, 2013 – Prosecution rests its case.
Dec. 12, 2013 – Attorneys for Ramos and Cicinelli begin their defense.
Sources: Fullerton Police Department; Orange County District Attorney’s Office, NBC Los Angeles, OC Register, Associated Press