Kelly Thomas beating death: report recommends changes for Fullerton Police Department


Thomas, a schizophrenic homeless man, died July 2011 after a confrontation with six Fullerton police officers. Thomas was placed on life support and died five days after the beating.

After several protests and demands for change, the city hired independent consultant Michael Gennaco to look into the confrontation.

Gennaco recommended 59 changes in the training and procedures of Fullerton police. He said his report focused, in part, on how officers are trained to handle the homeless and in the use of force.

"More needs to be done to insure that the department does all it can do. All it can do is provide the training, all it can do is provide the modeling, all it can do is require its officers to ride along with its homeless liaison officers on a regular basis," said Gennaco.

A spokesman for Ron Thomas, Kelly's father, said he was pleased with the proposals. Gennaco praised Fullerton's police chief and said the department had already started to enact some of his proposals.

Gennaco's first report, which was released eariler, showed that there was no intent by police to deceive the public. But it said that the city needed to do a better job at clearing up some misinformation. At the time, there were reports that the police officers had suffered broken bones during the confrontation. Those reports ended up not being true.

Two officers have since been charged in Thomas' death and three officers have quit. Three city council members have been recalled.

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