Join Times reporters Adolfo Flores and Paloma Esquivel at 9 a.m. Tuesday for a discussion about the verdict in the Kelly Thomas case.
The three-week trial ended quickly and decisively Monday with jurors rejecting second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges against Manuel Ramos and involuntary manslaughter and excessive force charges against Jay Cicinelli.
Both former officers lowered their heads, and Cicinelli's attorney, Mark Schwartz, pounded his fist on the table before hugging his client. Thomas' family wept softly.
Despite the not-guilty verdicts, Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said: "I would do the same thing again. I think it's a matter that a jury had to see."
Rackauckas, who tried the case himself, said he respected the jury's decision and moved immediately to dismiss charges against a third officer who was indicted in the case but had yet to be tried.
But Thomas' parents, who pushed for charging the officers and sat through the three-week trial, said they were left stunned by the verdict.
"They got away with murdering my son," Cathy Thomas said. "He was so innocent. It just isn't fair at all."
Kelly Thomas' father echoed the sentiment.
"I've never seen such a miscarriage of justice," he said. "It's so blatant. It means none of us are safe."
After the verdict, the FBI said it would examine evidence and testimony "to determine if further investigation is warranted."
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