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Kelly Thomas death acquittals protested near Pershing Square

Law EnforcementCrime, Law and Justice

About a dozen people held signs near Pershing Square in Los Angeles on Tuesday evening during a protest over the acquittal of two former Fullerton police officers in the beating death of homeless man Kelly Thomas.

The Answer L.A. civil rights group called for the emergency protest a day after former officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli were found not guilty of multiple charges filed in Orange County. 

"When one of us kills, we spend the rest of our lives in prison," protester Doug Kauffman said. "When a cop kills, they walk free."

A few cars on Hill Street downtown honked as they passed by a six-foot-wide banner reading: "Justice for Kelly Thomas."

Several pedestrians snapped pictures as they waited for public transit. More than 150 people during the span of an hour also stopped to sign a petition demanding justice for "all victims of police violence."

The verdict sparked larger protests in Fullerton on Monday night and earlier Tuesday. 

"Anyone watching the video can tell that crushing a man's face is excessive force," Kauffman said, referring to the 32-minute video of Thomas' arrest and beating near the Fullerton Transportation Center in 2011.

He and other protesters said they want federal prosecutors to charge the two officers with civil rights violations. 

"Justice for Kelly. Jail killer cops," the demonstrators chanted. 

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paresh.dave@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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