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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cops increasingly under siege after homeless death


FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) ? Until last month, the most pressing issues in this quiet Southern California suburb were whether to build homes on rolling hills north of the city, how best to preserve a historic movie theater and a downtown bar scene that got a little too popular for its own good.

Now, the historic city that's home to five colleges and a vibrant nightlife is the target of international outrage after a mentally ill homeless man died following a violent fight with six police officers that was captured on camera. In the video, 37-year-old Kelly Thomas, who suffered from schizophrenia, can be heard crying out for his father over the zapping sound of a stun gun.

The incident last month has ensnared Fullerton in an ever-widening array of state and federal investigations, resignations and rowdy protests ? and things promise to get worse for the city before they get better. The acting police chief last week ordered an internal investigation into an unrelated, but volatile confrontation last year after reviewing cell phone footage that appears to contradict sworn testimony given by police officers in court.

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