One of six Fullerton cops placed on paid leave following a confrontation that left a 37-year-old homeless man dead in the street is a former LAPD officer who lost use of one eye in a 1990s shooting that put him on that department's permanent disabled list.
Those facts — circulated by an anonymous caller to KFI AM 640's John & Ken — were confirmed according to a Tuesday night report by Fox 11 News' Chris Blatchford.
The former LAPD badge was ID's as …
… Jay Cicinelli. He was shot six times in an on-duty attack in South Los Angeles in 1996. The former Marine was said to have been only two weeks into his first job as a cop when that happened. The confrontation took his left eye, gave him a permanent stay-home pass, and put a disability check from the city in his mailbox.
But according to this account, then-77th Division Capt. Michael Hillmann stood by the rookie's side and, after the LAPD pushed him out, he kept him in mind.
Hillmann moved to the Orange County Sheriff's Department and Cicinelli said he believed it was the former LAPD captain's relationship with former Fullerton Chief Pat McKinley that got him back on the street, in Fullerton.
Now Cicinelli is one of the six officers taken off duty, with pay, during an investigation of the July 5 fatal beating and tasing of Kelly Thomas, who was suspected of possessing stolen goods.
Cops that night were called to the Fullerton Transportation Center, 123 S. Pomona Ave., to investigate reports of someone breaking into cars. The suspect allegedly spun away from the officers, prompting them to take action.
A witnesses on video taken from a nearby bus said Thomas, who is mentally ill, was pushed to the ground and beaten violently by the officers.
Thomas was hospitalized but was taken off life support by his family on July 10.
The FBI is investigating the incident as a possible civil rights violation.
And residents packed Fullerton City Hall Tuesday night to call for the department to release another video in its possession said to show the confrontation clearly.
One of those residents was Thomas' dad, Ron Thomas, a former Orange County Sheriff's Deputy clearly upset with his fellow lawmen.
Michael Schwartz, Cicinelli's attorney, told Fox 11 News that his client is “very well liked and thought of” and had a clean record “in the field” during his 13 years at that department.
The public never had the full picture and never takes into account what officers are experiencing at the time.
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