Archive for December 27th, 2015

During his opening statements in the People v. Ramos and Cicinelli trial, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas wields a police baton, demonstrating how he believes Fullerton police officer Manuel Ramos threatened Kelly Thomas. ////ADDITIONAL INFO: kelly.thomas.120213 - Day: Monday - Date: 12/2/13 - Time: 10:17:38 AM - Original file name DSC_0409.NEF PHOTO BY, BRUCE CHAMBERS, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - SANTA ANA - A history-making trial starts Monday for two ex-Fullerton police officers accused in the beating death of a mentally ill, homeless man. At stake will be the freedom of former officers Manuel Ramos, 39, and Jay Cicinelli, 42, who are charged with fatally beating Kelly Thomas, 37, a schizophrenic transient, during an encounter captured by a surveillance camera at the Fullerton Transportation Center on July 5, 2011. Thomas died five later when he was removed from life support, Ramos, 39, is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter – the first time in Orange County history that a uniformed police officer has been charged with murder for an on-duty incident. Cicinelli, 41, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault and battery under color of authority. The trial before Superior Court Judge William Froeberg could take about six weeks.The prosecution is led by Tony Rackauckas, Orange County's district attorney since 1999, the first time in more than a dozen years that he's personally handled a trial in the courtroom. John Barnett, perhaps the county's best-known defense attorney, is representing Ramos. Michael Schwartz, who specializes in defending police officers, is representing Cicinelli.

During his opening statements in the People v. Ramos and Cicinelli, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas wielded a police baton to demonstrate how he believed Fullerton Officer Manuel Ramos threatened Kelly Thomas in 2011. (Bruce Chambers / File)

By David Ferrell and Tony Saavedra
December 27, 2015 – Updated 12:33 p.m.

Tough, street-smart Tony Rackauckas, who left gang-marred East Los Angeles to jump from the sky as a U.S. Army paratrooper, has spent the better part of his legal career in one battle or another.

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Joel Rubin
December 26, 2015

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department already was engulfed in a jail brutality scandal when a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office examined the beating of Gabriel Carrillo.

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