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Fullerton refuses to disclose officers' names to the L.A. Times

The city also denies a public records request for surveillance video of a struggle involving six officers and a homeless man who died after he was beaten and shot with a Taser.

August 17, 2011|By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times

The city of Fullerton has denied a public records request by the Los Angeles Times for information relating to the Kelly Thomas case, including surveillance video footage and the names of the officers involved.

The Fullerton Police Department has been at the center of a national controversy over the death of Thomas, a homeless man with schizophrenia, after a violent struggle involving six officers July 5.

Thomas, 37, died five days after he was beaten and shot with a Taser multiple times by Fullerton officers who confronted him at the downtown bus depot while investigating a report of an attempted car break-in, witnesses said.

Two videos of witnesses at the incident — one from a bystander's cellphone and one from a bus — have been posted on the Internet. One of the videos captured the sounds of a Taser and Thomas' screams of "Dad! Dad! Dad!"

The city and the Orange County district attorney's office have not publicly released another video taken by a surveillance camera at the bus station or any audio recordings that may have been taken by the officers.

The city also has not released the names of the officers involved.

Six officers have been placed on paid administrative leave while investigations by the district attorney, FBI and the Police Department's internal affairs division are ongoing.

The city denied requests by The Times for any video or audio recordings of the incident and of the 911 call that brought the officers to the scene on the grounds they are part of an ongoing investigation.

The request for the officers' names was denied on the grounds that it would "result in endangering the safety of the involved officers."

abby.sewell@latimes.com

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