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Kelly Thomas' mother gets $1M settlement

May 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Fullerton City Council on Tuesday announced a major settlement with the mother of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man who died after a confrontation with police officers.

City Council members voted 5-0 to approve a deal that would pay $1 million to Cathy Thomas.

"In exchange for the payment of $1 million by the city to Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Thomas has chosen to forgo pursuing her potential claims against the city and its police officers arising from the death of her son," Fullerton City Attorney Richard Jones announced.

Cathy Thomas wasn't at the meeting, but her attorney addressed the council.

"The settlement today helps her to continue the healing process that she and the citizens of this county are going through, including the many honorable members of Orange County's law enforcement community," said attorney Brian Gurwitz.

But it's a settlement Kelly Thomas's father wants no part of. Ron and Cathy Thomas are divorced. After the meeting, Ron Thomas told reporters he turned down a $900,000 settlement offer from the city and instead is focusing on the criminal case.

"Maybe it is all about money for her, I don't know. But I know she's hurting very, very bad," said Ron Thomas. "I'm not in the money game. Whatever money I'm getting, will get, if I get, is going to the foundation."

Meantime, dozens of people outraged by the case stepped up to the dais and blasted council members and the police chief, demanding the firing of all the police officers involved in Kelly Thomas' beating. The fury has grown since the video of his beating was made public last week.

"It broke my heart to see a human being being beaten so severely," said protester Jean Thaxton.

Ron Thomas said he's planning another protest at City Hall on Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Meantime, the city attorney's office in Fullerton has completed its own internal investigation into the incident, but it's unclear if the findings will be made public.

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