Flanked by rows of buzzing television cameras in front of a packed house, Michael Gennaco, a former U.S. Attorney, told city representatives he does not believe the Fullerton police intentionally falsified facts given to the public after Thomas's death at the hands of six police officers.
It was a revelation that prompted audible guffaws as well as sobbing followed by angry public comments from members of Kelly's Army.
Gennaco's report, based on information collected from witness statements, audio and video recordings as well as city records revealed publicly unknown facts about the night Thomas was killed and sought to address concerns over a possible cover up by police.
statements by police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Goodrich who said two
officers had suffered broken bones as a result of the struggle with
Thomas. Though Goodrich backed off this statement in the days following
Thomas's death, Gennaco claimed it wasn't falsification.
examining medical records of the officers in question there was “some
documentation of possible fractures,” though eventually proven inaccurate. Gennaco added one officer needed surgery. And
while he said Goodrich's misstatements were honest mistakes, Gennaco
added it would have been advisable to delay releasing information to the
public about the issue or to have told the public the information was
Thomas's back pack, which held junk mail belonging to an unidentified
attorney. The attorney in question was contacted and notified Gennaco
the items hadn't been stolen.
told reporters he felt Gennaco had done a thorough job. When asked if
he was satisfied police didn't falsify information regarding his son's
death, Thomas said, “I do believe there was not an intent. However, I
believe they jumped at an opportunity to make Kelly look really bad.”
reports are expected. Gennaco said he will have access to more
information once the police department's internal investigation is
completed sometime next week.
The two Fullerton police officers charged in Thomas' killing face a preliminary hearing next month in Orange County Superior Court.