Now that he's been found not guilty in the death of a homeless schizophrenic man, former Fullerton, California police corporal Jay Cicinelli would like his job back.
Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter because he used the butt of his stun gun to smash Kelly Thomas' face in (you can see a video of the confrontation here, but know before you choose to click that it shows a man being beaten to death while crying for his father to help him). The resulting broken bones in Thomas' face contributed to his death, but a jury of their peers decided that Cicinelli and Officer Manuel Ramos were just doing their jobs.
The exact circumstances of the termination of Cincinelli's employment are not known, as confidentiality laws prevent the city from discussing whether he was fired or quit a year after Thomas, who was 37, was killed. But Cicinelli told the Orange County Register: "I was wrongfully terminated. How do you argue with a jury of 12 who all agree on the same thing? They sat through the whole trial and heard all the facts."
Cicinelli also told the Register that he "has not had an income" since he was terminated in July 2012, though that runs counter to the Los Angeles Times' report, which says he receives almost $40,000 a year in disability pension from the LAPD. In 1996, Cicinelli was shot by a suspect and put on desk duty, told his injuries were too severe for him to be a patrol officer. Apparently he wasn't so disabled that he couldn't work patrol for the city of Fullerton.
Fullerton's police chief Dan Hughes said today that he would fight Cicinelli's efforts to be reinstated.
"I stand behind the employment decisions I have made," Hughes said. "I intend to vigorously defend my decisions."
Cicinelli's attorney told KTLA that his client saved a man from choking on pizza, and that he "reacts appropriately" and is "Johnny-on-the-spot to help people."
As for Cicinelli, he bemoaned the impact the trial has had on his life to the Register, saying: "It's like starting over ... My whole life has been stopped."
Thomas' life was also stopped. He will not get to start over.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.