Fired Fullerton, California officer Manuel Ramos has filed a court motion requesting immunity in any possible federal criminal proceedings if he answers questions scheduled for an April civil deposition about the 2011 beating death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill, homeless man.

In January, a jury controversially found Ramos and other officers, not guilty in the deadly altercation with the unarmed Thomas.  Kelly Thomas’ father, Ron Thomas, filed a civil suit against the city, former Chief Michael Sellers, Ramos, and others connected with the police department, alleging use of excessive force.  Following the acquittals, Ron Thomas publicly called on the Department of Justice to file charges against Ramos and the other officers.  The FBI has said that its investigation remains open and it is still evaluating evidence from the state criminal trial.  The FBI has obtained records from the Orange Co. District Attorney’s Office and has requested transcripts from the trial.

According to Ramos’ motion, “Defendant Ramos is facing possible criminal prosecution involving the same facts as the civil action and therefore has no obligation to disclose to the plaintiffs information he reasonably believes might be used against him…”

Ramos wants immunity in exchange for:

  • Saying what he said during the incident that ended in Kelly Thomas’ death.
  • Saying what he did and what he heard other officers say during the incident.
  • Saying what he saw Kelly Thomas do and other observations during the incident.

If immunity is not granted, Ramos has requested a protective order limiting the scope of questioning.


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