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California Police Face Trial in Death of Homeless Man

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A violent confrontation with Fullerton police that led to the death of a homeless man is heading to court.

Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of two of the six officers who were involved in the brawl with 37-year-old Kelly Thomas.

One of them, Manuel Ramos, is charged with second-degree murder, marking the first murder trial of a uniformed police officer in conservative Orange County’s history. Another officer, Jay Cicinelli, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force.

The 2011 case garnered national attention at the time and fueled months of protests that led to the resignation of the police chief and a recall election in the small college town.

The six-week trial promises to re-ignite those passions.

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