Interview with a Witness of the Kelly Thomas Police Killing

Watch this FFFF interview of Mark Turgeon, who says he witnessed the beating to death of Kelly Thomas by Fullerton police on July 5, 2011.

Here are the notable claims:

  • The police officers were shouting “stop resisting” while the homeless man lay still and cried out for his dad.
  • There was video taken by a local real estate agent, but the police wanted to look at it and now nobody knows where it went.
  • The beating was very bloody, went on for 10 or 15 minutes and stopped when man went silent.
  • The man was Tasered several times during the beating
  • Approximately 50 people witnessed the beating, but they were reluctant to give police a statement on what they saw.
Downtown Fullerton The Crime Beat

62 thoughts on “Interview with a Witness of the Kelly Thomas Police Killing

    1. Yes, it matters. Look how far away that security camera is from the scene. If there was a guy with a handheld camera it would capture the audio too.

      1. More importantly if it was in the possession of a citizen then the city couldn’t cover it up like they are doing with the city tape.

    1. Beat down American citizens and those who are mentally ill, but leave the borders open so the drug gangs, Illegal Aliens, our government giving 18,000 automatic weapons to mexican cartells, etc.. Wow, what a sad state this group of Anti-American, Anti-Isolationist, America Sell Out, Republocrats/ Democans, are doing to our nation.

      But we all can have faith in our Governor Brown, who despite spending $365 Billion a year on social programs for Illegal Aliens (while our Vets are homeless), he can still sign a bill for Illegals, allowing for more college money to go to them and away from American citizens.

  1. What time did the first officer call in to dispatch that he was making contact with Thomas? What time did the PD call paramedics? What time did paramedics arrive?

    Friends knows a pretty good PI I think we need to call.

  2. So the video by the real estate agent disappeared before or after the cops got it? Hopefully it’s the former, in which case there is still a chance it will come to light.

  3. I think this witness was sincere. I do not know how accurate he was. I am skeptical about the 15 consecutive minutes of beating, only because I can’t fathom that anybody could survive 15 minutes of beating. I’d like to reiterate that I am not anti-police or generally of the opinion that the Fullerton PD is corrupt. I am of the opinion that people are fallible including police and the purported facts here look VERY bad and that it is POSSIBLE that there is corruption within the PD. IF it is true that Kelly was sober and unarmed, I have a very difficult time even conceiving of a creative story which would justify these circumstances as reasonable.

    Tony and I spoke to Kelly’s father, former Orange County Deputy Sheriff Ron Thomas at length and interviewed him as well. He showed me a photo of Kelly in the hospital on from his iphone that was beyond all description. Ron told us, that the Fullerton PD Investigator told him, that the watch commander saw the entire thing from the very camera that Tony’s earlier video pointed out. In fairness to the Fullerton PD, Ron also said that this investigator told him that he was sickened by this event and that the Fullerton Chief of Police, Michael Sellers has been extremely responsive to him. But, as he also told me, he is taking EVERYTHING told to him by everybody involved with a huge grain of salt.

    Currently, my position is that this looks and smells like an extreme example of police brutality, but that all of the facts are not yet known. I think fullertonsfuture is providing an incredible service to the community by doing everything possible as civilians to learn and report the facts…especially since no for-profit news organization seems to be terribly concerned about this…which is amazing to me.

    If the police were justified, there should be no ramifications. If the police brutalized Kelly Thomas in the manner that is being described by this one witness, they should be prosecuted.

    1. Chris Thompson :
      If the police brutalized Kelly Thomas in the manner that is being described by this one witness, they should be prosecuted.

      They (the killers) should be removed from office IMMEDIATELY before someone else gets murdered!

      1. “Removed from office” is hardly sufficient, the officers involved should be taken into custody – jailed in another city.

  4. Chris, I, too doubt the 10-15 minute figure, however, your witness may be forgiven for losing track of time. Horrifying events have the effect of protracting people’s perception of time.

    The guy seems pretty credible. If so, we know that were probably dozens of witnesses, plus at least two video recordings. There will be no mystery about what happened.

    The DA is prone to whitewash these events. This one is going to be difficult to cover up.

  5. This needs to go to the State AG or the CHP to be investigated.

    In the meantime the media “should” be all over this. But, I doubt anyone but the family and FFFF will be dilligent in the pursuit of the truth.

    1. The Register reporter Denisse Salazar is referring to this a “tussle” and “scuffle.”

      When was the last time you left a tussle with your skull bashed in?

      1. It was a beating. I work in law enforcement and too often police officers will take cheap shots where they can and take punishment into their own hands. It makes me sick. It is not up to the police officers to decide people’s punishment, that is why we have court system. Everything gets covered up. EVERYTHING. When “DEBRIEF” after an incident that’s when they piece together a story. Officers should be questioned right then and there on the spot to get accurate accounts of the incident. Not sit down and semi-fabricate one. This hush hush way of policing with force, ex-militant style (police departments love to hire ex military personnel. Because of their brute mentality.) We don’t live in a war zone, we need educated, strong, anti bravado officers on the streets.
        Also officers use this technique to bend a person’s arm/leg back so badly that it hurts and causes a reaction of resisting. Not saying nobody resists but being around calls, I see it happen. I hope unlawful, corrupt, aggressive police officers get what they deserve. I love the police department but it’s incidents like this that gives “Police” a bad rapport.

          1. True, but given the issue of military abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan there seems to be a type of character that is attracted to the idea of wearing a uniform and beating the hell out of civilians.

        1. I was raised to trust the police, and I have always been on the right-side of the law, but things like this and even my own experiences have made me afraid of the police. Even if it was just the two policemen charged who killed this poor defenseless man, the policeman not charged were still right there and did nothing. They are currently suspended with pay, which makes no sense to me. The motto on every police car says “To Protect and Serve”, I guess that means to protect and serve themselves. And how often is this happening where it wasn’t caught on video? One of the men charged has been in law enforcement for years, so how many other people has he beaten and/or murdered that made him believe it was okay to do it to Kelly in front of 50 witnesses and 5 other officers???

  6. If the watch commander could see it live, does it necessarily follow that there is a recording from the camera?

  7. Sad that this man is the only witness with the balls to come out and tell the world what he saw.

    Just another confirmation of what we already know…. Fullerton is full of cowards.

  8. “.. no for-profit news organization seems to be terribly concerned about this…which is amazing to me.”

    He was the wrong color for news organizations to give a s**t about this.

  9. all the answers the police supervisors will give is “i do not recall” or “it is under investigation”
    so to all questions that are asked of them… i will bet one of these will be the answer. or they may give some long winded speech that boils down to one of the above…

  10. I hope there is humanity in those that protect us. Was it ever determined that the victim was breaking into cars or was just homeless? Maybe there wasn’t really a call that came in but was said afterwards?…..just makes ya fall down and just hope. The poor man was homeless and they kick em when he’s down….it may just curse us all.

  11. Has anyone heard or can someone offer an intelligent explanation as to how long it will take for the PD/DA to release any “reports” or defense for this type of incident. If this is just a cut and dry case of trained officers following standard protocol and simply doing their job, why the delay in releasing information?

  12. I agree with Thompson here. I have some real issues with this guys statement. Way too many questions right now to jump to conclusions. I will wait for the doctor who performs the autopsy to tell us how Kelly died. This photo of Kelly is really old is there a more recent one out there? Does anyone know if the family had a order protecting them from Kelly? I heard that and wonder if that is true.

  13. Anonymous :
    I will wait for the doctor who performs the autopsy to tell us how Kelly died.

    Um, is anyone still unsure about how he died? Maybe he caught malaria on the way to the hospital.

    1. I am in touch with the family through my own relatives and This man has no history of violence with his family or on the streets. I personally seen him at the train station everyday for through may – June when I was completing my community service at the train station. This man was extremely shy and soft spoken and kept to himself he would ask me for cigarettes everytime I was there and I always obliged. It was obvious to me he had a mental disorder which alienated him from the rest of the world. And what’s even worse to me is that these police officers had to know him! Almost everytime I was at the station the fpd did walk thrombus of the station where Kelly practically lived, they knew he was quiet and non-violent! Sidenote about a month before this incident I had just gotten off of my community service and went to go see a friend of mine I’ve known since elementary school who is homeless I can usually find him at the promenade liquor store begging for beer money and this day I found my friend there and was sitting there with him when a heavyset Hispanic fpd officer pulled up on us the fpd officer said he had a complaint and he proceeded to ask us where we lived I have lived in fullerton for 26 years but just happen to be living in Buena park right now and my friend being homeless told the officer he lived on the streets the officer then told ME who has probably been in fullerton many more years than him I had no reason to be there and to leave his town and then told my friend that “we don’t want the homeless is downtown fullerton anymore” and that la Palma park was just Down the road he threatened to violate my friends parole if he found he was still in fullerton and made us walk towards Anaheim as if we were leaving FULLERTON! these police officers have an obvious hate for the homeless in fullerton! Who better to pick on than someone with no means to defend themselves SHAME ON FPD and to the officers that beat this defenseless man to death they should be put in prison for life with the same people they arrest because they are no better!

  14. Rain :
    Fred Alcazar – what “military abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan” are you so ignorantly speaking of?

    Oh I don’t know, how about the murder of civilians and the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, etc.

    Are you one of those neo-con nitwits?

  15. hahahahaha

    Fred Alcazar :

    Rain :
    Fred Alcazar – what “military abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan” are you so ignorantly speaking of?

    Oh I don’t know, how about the murder of civilians and the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, etc.
    Are you one of those neo-con nitwits?

  16. Once they are done killing for Oil to line the pockets of corporate America, they become pigs. Wage war on the pig!

  17. @one voice, yep right there with u…..there are some bad apples that really make it difficult for the rest of us to do r job………[email protected] hater and others that want to be very negative… yes there r some bad apples, but there r some good ones, so don’t be so quick to hate them all……when one acts with so much hatered, it makes them just as mean as the bad apples…. can’t we all play nice together??????

  18. and yes, it uncalled for what was done to kelly thompson. we can not bring him back or make it better , but those who committed this act will have to live with it and karma WILL come around……as for the family, i have to wonder if they they were so concerned for him and his safety, why did they allow him to roan the streets as a homeless man? i would hav eto think that if that were my son, i would never have allowed it to get that far. it sounds like the dad is x law enforcement so we know he has a good retirement and means and knowledge to get his son the help he needed if indeed he was mentally ill…. i sure hope they do noy become greeady and wait for a payout……in all fairness, the pd has to explain this and come up with some solution for these officers. and it fpd has to pay, which ultimaly comes from the taxpaying citizens, i hope they will be ordered to use the money to help a cause that kelly thomas died for…..like a homeless shelter….

    1. Are you kidding me taxpayer?! Do you have any idea how impossible it is to get help for an adult who does not want it? How dare you accuse his family of “allowing” him to live on the streets? You have no knowledge of what they may have done to reach out and help him. But if an adult does not want help, they have every legal right to decline it, which is appears was the case here. I have read comments that the victim was homeless “by choice”, which is the case with many of those permanently on the streets. You compound the pain this family feels by implying that they could have pulled him off the streets! Get a clue before posting.

  19. @born free… war is not the answer….listen to a john lennon song….maybe it will bring some kindness out 4 u….and as it has been said about other countries justice system and how good they are…..if u hate america so bad, then leave..and don’t let the door hit on the butt on ur way out!… it may not be the best, but its better then most…

  20. I havent really heard what lead to the beating. I am not taking a side at this point on if it was justifiable or not, I am just wondering what started the beating, however insignificant that might be.

  21. Heavypetter, “Just looking for whatever facts might exist.” How about the fact that a person got beat to death by 6 cops.

    How about the fact that the dead man had no gun, no candy bar that looked like a gun, no knife, no rubber knife that looked like a knife.

    How about the fact that according to the witness kept shouting “dad” while being beaten and tasered.

  22. I agree WTF – that this homeless man was beaten to death is a fact. My question is, what transpired between sitting and minding his own business and being beaten to death.

  23. This is tragic, no matter how it’s looked at. Without actually being there, and not knowing what really happened, how can anyone place judgement on an entire police department? Please, I know how horrible all of this is, but let’s try not to contaminate the reputations of the “good cops” based on the behaviors of the ones that aren’t. The bad seeds will pay the price, one way or another, and will ultimately have to answer for their actions. Fullerton has had a bad run of late, but it seems they are weeding out the bad seeds as best they can. There are so many good and caring cops at that department, who are truly dedicated to the oath they took; let’s try to remember that as we pass our opinions around this site. Mr. Thomas was kicked out of his home when he was 15, and YES restraining orders have been in place since. He was 100% shunned by his entire family who absolutely refused to have anything to do with him. YES, he was severely mentally disturbed, but that was HIS story, and is backed by documentation. NO, he did not deserve to die the way he did, but for his family to suddenly come out of the woodwork and act as if they had “no idea it had gotten this bad” for him is utter crap. His family was well aware of his situation, and well aware of his almost daily contacts with police. If they had no idea, why the restraining orders? Why the complete lack of response when he needed a familiar face. This kid was completely mentally deranged, it was sad to see him eating whatever he could find in the trash, or smoking cigarette butts he would find in the gutter or an ashtray. He was absolutely unable to care for himself, but too mentally gone to know he needed help. Again, this is tragic for ALL involved, including the FPD cops involved, and even for those who were not. Let’s not take this out on the law enforcement officers who have been dedicated to to their oath, and there are plenty to speak of. And let’s not take a random interview with a “homeless gentleman” as absolute, unembellished truth. He may have been there, but so were 50 other people…where are those “live on the streets” interviews? And all of this talk about dissolving police unions is ridiculous a well. The police union has NOTHING to do with this tragic incident! And has NO say so in the DA’s investigation. Y’all are seriously misguided, but as subscribers to this site, I would expect nothing less.

  24. Thank goodness mortified you came off that high horse o’ yours- to enlighten us misguided subscribers with your thoughts on someone you never knew personally- and to attack his family-sheesh-talk about kicking someone when they are down………..you slammed his family for not helping him- what were you doing watching someone forage for food and you help them- not? and yet ye judge? What did you personally do to help him? I would make a safe bet and say nothing…I would expect nothing less…

  25. In my opinion, this is not a case of police brutality, it is a case of second degree murder. Just because someone is wearing a uniform doesn’t make them above the law. Police are allowed to do what they need to do to arrest a suspect, but if they go any further, they should be arrested and charged just like any other citizen. They are no longer a police officer, they are a criminal.

  26. I heard an interview with kelly’s father on the radio saying his son weighed only 135 lbs, so there was no need for 6 officers to beat him into submission. These men are cowards!!
    and a disgrace to the uniform. What is really scary is to think all six were in the same state of mind, not one came to the rescue of the citizen. Look at the before and after pics….disturbs my soul, God rest his.

    It was Kelly’s choice to live on the streets. He was not banned from the family.

  27. This is a downright murder! These 6 cops that were involved should ALL be locked up FOREVER! If I committed that crime I certainly would have been arrested on the spot! NO QUESTIONS ASKED! The only reason why the cops were so dead set on finding the abusers of the “Giants Fan” beating is to ONLY make themselves look good! Why is it so hard for them to get the real answers here?? Because they don’t want to look like the horrible criminals that they are!! JUSTICE NEEDS TO BE SERVED! And shame on all of you who say”blame the family”! BLAME THE STUPID CRIMINAL COPS THAT MURDERED AN INNOCENT MAN!!

  28. What they did was murder. No one deserves this. Cops think that their badges give them the right to do whatever they want; this cops are killers and should go to jail with the rest.

    I hope the community dose not just stay quite and Kelly’s death is not in vain.

    I want to know where the community activist are working to get justice for Kelly Thomas. Other than his parents i do not hear anyone standing up for him.

    I feel sick because to know that as minority if this happen to one of us you would have people working together to get justice.

    Were are the community organizer, protester’s, March’s with signs and bullhorns, were are the nightly vigils

    Is it because he is white or mentally ill; either way its wrong we all deserve the same freedom and justice; we all deserve to live in a community were we feel safe.

    R.I.P
    Kelly Thomas

    1. Kelly Thomas’ civil rights were violated and he was brutally beaten by a FPD officer or officers until he was unconscious. The criminality of this event will be reflected in the FBI report and I trust, the OCDA report.
      You are correct to focus on the opportunity for social activism. Now the community is aware and alert-now is the time to talk about change. Make Fullerton the city you want it to be. Recall council members who will not respond to the corruption in the FPD. Elect council member who are dynamic and transparent. Become informed voters. Attend council meetings and ask questions. Calling law enforcement “pigs” is not social activism.
      Civil and focused questions and debate are needed. Make demands for a transparent police force-ask for community outreach-build trust where trust has been broken. Continue to protest, but transform the protest into positive social activism. Justice, accountability and information-these are the words which will sustain the focus of what the community needs and hopefully wants.
      By making Fullerton the community you want it to be, you will be honoring the memory of Kelly Thomas.

  29. For the people who said they need to be jailed/fired, I personally dont think that is enough. They require more extreme punishment. This should not be taken so lightly.
    No person should be brutally beaten like this and these inhumane bastards will most likely still do these same atrocities after they serve their sentence.
    They wont really feel any regret and nothing can change that.
    Has the police force sink that low? To just let out their anger on a random homeless person who “matches the description”… its so sad.
    it is so heartbreaking and extremely infuriating to see how a shy and secluded man be beaten up like this.

  30. The Fullerton PD can be abusive and this may be the tip of the iceberg. Once I saw a girl selling something, maybe cookies, in front of a supermarket Fullerton. She was sitting on the ground back up against the wall, obviously intimidated, while a huge officer lorded himself over her barking something about why is she lying to him. I’m still angry for not saying something to someone. Once I was pulled over and for the next hour they searched me and my car. But my gripe is the nazi type attitude the officer gave me at the same time I was 100% cooperative. I’m genuinely surprised I wasn’t falsely accused of something. After they searched my engine my battery went dead forcing me to call a tow truck at a cost of $175 – that was no coincidence. I don’t look like trouble, I’m a 50 year old professional driving a white SUV. A single taser jolt to a 135 lb homeless man should take enough fight out of him to safely put the cuffs on. Mr. Thomas, don’t take the money until there is a full investigation, which won’t happen any time soon. And my condolences – I may have bought your son food a couple times. Friendly suggestion, give the money to the Orangewood Children’s Foundation Guardian Scholars program in a trust under your sons name.

  31. I know first hand of the mass corruption that has gone on at fpd. This is sickening that a man lost his life ( I know of other incidences of police neglect etc.. where arrestees have died because of how this dept. has cuffed them). I pray justice is served quick for these monsters and those who seem to have gotten away with it all these years. There is so much this dept. has done on at the taxpayer expense that would make you sick! Look at what happens to a man who is tased once, not to mention twice, etc… There is no medical way for him to “resist arrest” this is what cops say to “justify” their abuse. Stay strong Thomas family and fight this corrupt, cancer of a department till the end!

  32. This is so terrible. I hope this finally exposes the horrible corruption that is RAMPANT at almost EVERY police station in the country. There are – several – “secret” police organizations…the guys that take care of business…just like a street gang. These cops need to ALL be tried for murder and the Chief, conspiracy to commit murder…isn’t that what the State would charge citizens with?! Killing homeless people is not a way to “Protect and Serve”.

  33. The FBI will interview, view all video and conduct a thourough investigation of this tragic event. The witness interviewed on this tape should contact the FBI and request to be interviewed and all other people who witnessed this brutal beating should contact the FBI and ask to be interviewed.
    I say make Fullerton the city you want it to be.
    Engage in positive social activism-support the recall council members who are unwilling to investigate the FPD, support candidates who are transparent and dynamic. Be informed voters. Engage in positive public discussion and debate. Calling law enforcement “pigs” does not promote change. Create a city government and a law enforcement agency and an organization of civil servants who will be held accountable for their actions or lack of action. By making Fullerton the place you want it to be, you will be honoring the memory of Kelly Thomas. At some point, trust will be necessary. The FBI report will expose those who need to leave their leadership roles and public service appointment or employment. It will take time-use that time to organize and engage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.