Dad describes son who died after violent arrest
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) -- The father of a mentally ill homeless man who died after a violent confrontation with Fullerton, Calif., police says his son had been a normal teen who aspired to be a wildland firefighter until he began to exhibit symptoms of schizophrenia in his early 20s.
The death of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas has outraged some citizens of the Orange County college town, bringing calls for the ouster of the police chief.
On Wednesday, a small group of protesters marched outside the police station with posters depicting Thomas' bloodied and swollen face after the altercation.
Officers confronted Thomas on July 5 while investigating car burglaries near a bus station.
Thomas suffered severe head and neck injuries and was taken off life support on July 10. Five officers have been put on leave.