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SANTA ANA, Calif. – 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 (ruh-KAW'-kuhs) 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.