May 8th, 2012
12:26 AM ET

'Help me,' homeless man begs as cops fatally beat him in videotaped incident

A graphic video played at a hearing Monday to determine whether two California police officers should stand trial in the beating death of a homeless man showed them kicking and punching the mentally ill man as he lay on the ground - screaming in pain and begging for help.

The victim, Kelly Thomas, died five days after the beating on July 5.

Manuel Ramos, a 10-year veteran of the Fullerton, California, police department, is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, while Cpl. Jay Patrick Cicinelli faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and felony use of excessive force in the same case.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

The black-and-white video was played during a preliminary hearing for the two officers.

It begins with Thomas - a 37-year-old homeless man with schizophrenia - sitting and being told by Ramos to put his feet out and hands on his knees.

The officers were responding to a call about a homeless man looking into car windows and pulling on handles of parked cars.

In the video, Thomas is slow to cooperate.

Ramos then tells him: "You see my fists? They're getting ready to f- you up."

Thomas, who is unarmed and shirtless, stands and another officer walks over. They hit him with their batons and hold him on the ground as he begs for help.

"Ok, I'm sorry, dude. I'm sorry!" he screams. At one point, Thomas says he can't breathe. The officers tell him to lie on his stomach, put his hands behind his back and relax.

"Ok, here, here, dude, please!" he says.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Hobo

    Thank you sir may I have another.

    May 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lucy Salgado

    As I was looking at the video this afternoo of the beating cops were given to homeless man a (HUMAN BEEN) by the name of Mr. Kelly Thomas I could believe what I was seen those policemans still abuse power at this time and age how many policemans takes to control ONE homeless man with no weapons.
    This is unbelievable, unacceptable and I believe those police officer should be punish with all the weight of the law to say the least.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hamsta

    @banasy dont they call that extortion?

    May 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. budjeter

    This is whay the safest places for citizens to live also have the least amount of law enforcement per capita.

    May 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dr. Bombay

    Jackpot babies think a badge is a license to harrass and murder americans

    May 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Billy Jack

    Nice to know "mr" "ramos" will be shuffling inside in slippers for the next 10 years. GET THE HELL IN THERE!

    May 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. PoppaPete

    These two cops need to be somebody's girlfriend for many years behind bars. Maybe they could be shared amongst the slammer population. Their activities in beating Kelly Thomas is inexcusable and disgusting. How men who are trained to uphold the law can be so out of control is amazing. Throw them behind bars....they love cops in prison and maybe they would cry for Daddy....the same way Kelly Thomas did. The loss of this life was shameful and justice needs to be done.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Superman

    Is this a new thing??????,,,,,justifiable law enforcement,,,,with intent to create terrorism amongst the masses,,,,,not all cops are bad,,,,,its just the bad ones that can be your best friends believe me i know from past experience and the good ones they are hard to find my bro in law is lapd and he is a good one not because of the inlaw status just because he is!

    May 9, 2012 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. Superman

    @@@hamsta ,,,i work with a gutter punk from sth corolina and he still needs to get a job its kind a sad when you have a job and still have to beg for money to survive,,,,i told him to get a second job,,,he just laughs,,

    May 9, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kimberly

    I am beyond sickened and disturbed after watching the entire video. If these "law enforcement" officers don't get the maximum punishment I will be sickened yet again. That poor, poor man. Calling out to his Father time and time again, repeatedly apologising, desperately hoping his pleas were falling on the ears of decent humans, his voice changing sickeningly as his breath escapes him and his throat is damaged, then his last words before tragically going silent to his Daddy. OMG. How can civilized society permit this??? I am devastated for him and his family.

    May 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
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