Sharon Quirk-Silva Issues Statement on Pending Kelly Thomas Murder Trial

Sharon Quirk-Silva (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Fullerton Mayor and AD-65 candidate Sharon Quirk-Silva issued the following letter regarding the upcoming trial of two Fullerton Police Officers charged with the murder of Kelly Thomas:

Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva addresses the Kelly Thomas Hearing

May 9, 2012

As the Mayor of Fullerton, and a mother of four children, I feel compelled to reach out to my fellow citizens in response to the Kelly Thomas preliminary hearing in the case against Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli.

I continue to agonize that this could happen in Fullerton.  It should never have happened and we need to make certain that it never happens again.  I have expressed my regret and personal condolences to the Thomas family and understand this has been a traumatic experience for those who have viewed the recently released video.

Following this tragic event, I asked for the resignation of the former Police Chief for his lack of communication, and called for the officers involved to be removed from duty.  In addition, I asked for the video to be released in early August, but was informed by the District Attorney that it was evidence in the case and would not be released until this week.

Throughout the fall I worked closely with our City Manager and Acting Police Chief to put reforms in place to begin restoring trust in our Police Department.  These include hiring an independent investigator to examine every aspect of the Department, providing additional training for all our officers in handling individuals with mental illness, and use of force procedures.  I also established the City’s Homeless Task Force in order to better address homelessness and mental illness in our City.

I respect the District Attorney’s efforts in handling this case from the very beginning, and the decision of the Judge to move this case to trial.  Again, I am deeply saddened by this.  As this case moves to trial, I call on the people of Fullerton to allow the judicial process to move forward, and to help us begin the healing process.

Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva