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Family Of Homeless Man Beaten To Death By Police Reaches $4.9 Million Settlement

Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old man with schizophrenia, died after he was beaten by police officers in Fullerton, California, sparking widespread protests.

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A Southern California city has reached a $4.9-million settlement with the family of a homeless man who died after he was beaten by police officers during an arrest in 2011.

The death of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old man with schizophrenia, in Fullerton sparked protests when photos showed his bloodied, swollen face in his hospital bed.

Three Fullerton police officers were fired and later charged with murder and manslaughter for their actions, which were captured on surveillance video.

A jury, however, found two of the officers not guilty in 2014, and charges were dropped against a third. Their attorneys claimed Thomas' death was not caused directly by the force used by the officers, who also believed the mentally ill man posed a threat.

A civil wrongful death lawsuit filed by Ron Thomas, Kelly's father, remained in the court system, but on Monday, city officials announced they had reviewed a settlement, which was awaiting final approval by the city's insurance company.

Thomas told the Associated Press the settlement was $4.9 million.

The city previously reached a $1-million settlement with Cathy Thomas, Kelly's mother, who is divorced from Ron.


Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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