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California police officers on trial in death of homeless man

  • 4912e51072deb128440f6a7067009a9d.jpg

    This undated photo provided by Ron Thomas shows his son, Kelly Thomas. It’s been more than two years since Thomas died in a violent confrontation with police. One of the officers, Manuel Ramos, has been charged with second-degree murder, marking the first murder trial of a uniformed police officer in conservative Orange County's history. Jay Cicinelli, 42, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force. Both are free on bail. (AP Photo/Courtesy Ron Thomas) (The Associated Press)

  • 1a35f5a772e7b128440f6a7067009882.jpg

    This undated photo provided by Ron Thomas shows his son, Kelly Thomas, while he was homeless. It’s been more than two years since Thomas died in a violent confrontation with police. One of the officers, Manuel Ramos, has been charged with second-degree murder, marking the first murder trial of a uniformed police officer in conservative Orange County's history. Jay Cicinelli, 42, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force. (AP Photo/Courtesy Ron Thomas) (The Associated Press)

  • 033946a172e4b128440f6a7067006873.jpg

    This undated photo provided by Ron Thomas shows Ron with his son, Kelly Thomas, left. It’s been more than two years since Thomas died in a violent confrontation with police. One of the officers, Manuel Ramos, has been charged with second-degree murder, marking the first murder trial of a uniformed police officer in conservative Orange County's history. Jay Cicinelli, 42, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force. Both are free on bail. (AP Photo/Courtesy Ron Thomas) (The Associated Press)

  • 21ba22e672e0b128440f6a706700b85a.jpg

    This undated photo provided by Ron Thomas shows his son, Kelly Thomas. It’s been more than two years since Thomas died in a violent confrontation with police. One of the officers, Manuel Ramos, has been charged with second-degree murder, marking the first murder trial of a uniformed police officer in conservative Orange County's history. Jay Cicinelli, 42, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force. Both are free on bail. (AP Photo/Courtesy Ron Thomas) (The Associated Press)

  • 1fec253972d8b128440f6a706700e4d6.jpg

    This photo provided by Ron Thomas shows his son, Kelly Thomas in 1997, when he was about 23 years old. It’s been more than two years since Thomas died in a violent confrontation with police. One of the officers, Manuel Ramos, has been charged with second-degree murder, marking the first murder trial of a uniformed police officer in conservative Orange County's history. Jay Cicinelli, 42, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force. Both are free on bail. (AP Photo/Courtesy Ron Thomas) (The Associated Press)

Opening statements are underway in the trial of two California police officers charged in the death of a homeless man whose family says was schizophrenic.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said Monday that Fullerton officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli are responsible for the death of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas in July 2011.

Ramos has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Cicinelli has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force.

Thomas died five days after a violent confrontation with six officers who responded to a call about a man jiggling car door handles in a transit center parking lot.

The case fueled months of protests that led to the resignation of the police chief and a recall election in Fullerton.

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