The FBI announced Monday that it will continue its investigation into the Kelly Thomas case, after two California police officers were acquitted this week of killing him in July 2011.
“With the conclusion of the state court trial, investigators will examine the evidence and testimony to determine if further investigation is warranted at the federal level,” Laura Eimiller said.
Former Fullerton Officer Manuel Ramos was acquitted of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter charges , and former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli was acquitted on charges of involuntary manslaughter and the use of excessive force.
The case made national headlines when footage of the July incident showed the mentally ill Thomas being restrained by six police officers while crying out for his father and begging for air.
Thomas died at a hospital five days later, and a coroner determined the cause was from chest compression during the struggle.
Mr. Thomas’ parents, Ron and Cathy Thomas, told reporters that the verdict effectively tells police officers that they can kill people and get away with it, the Associated Press reported.
Ron Thomas says the couple are “all torn up” by the verdict.
The case led to the recall of three Fullerton City Council members and the departure of the police chief, NBC 4 reported.
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