FULLERTON, Calif. (KTLA) — The Orange County district attorney’s office has released a list of at least 18 threats made against Fullerton police officers in the wake of the death of homeless man Kelly Thomas following a confrontation with six officers.
Some of the threats have included explicit mentions of violence.
In one instance, a call was made to the Fullerton police dispatch center threatening that “a bomb will go off in your place soon.”
A voicemail left at the district attorney’s office said, “One of these days, sooner than you think, we’re going to pull out the M16s, the AK47s and all the other little fancy weapons we’ve been storing away for years… and we’re going to turn them loose on you … cops.”
Another caller allegedly told the police department it should send “officers they don’t want” to his home. The caller also said he hoped there was a riot and that officers got beaten to death, the DA’s office said in its release.
Some of the other threats received were more vague.
One voicemail demanded that police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Goodrich release information about the case. The caller also threatened that “this is only the beginning and officers should prepare and get ready,” the DA’s office said.
Another voicemail threatened that, “if nothing gets done about the murderers that work at FPD, something will happen.”
Emails and blog posts have contained statements and threats like: “KILL FULLERTON COPS!” and “Too bad it wasn’t one of your sons. I hope it happens to all of your sons.”
A blog entry on the “Friends of Fullerton’s Future” website said, “Someone should make these officers [sic] contact information and addresses public.”
The OC district attorney’s office is now investigating the voicemail about the M16s and AK47s, as well as some of the other threats.
The six officers involved in the deadly beating have put on administrative leave with pay with pay for “their safety and the safety of the public.”
The DA’s office says that, in light of the threats, and “after weighing peace officer safety and effectiveness against the public interest served by disclosure,” it will not release the officers’ names until prosecutors decide whether to file criminal charges.
Police Chief Michael Sellers is currently on medical leave. He will continue to get his full salary — about $228,576 with benefits — and cannot be fired.
Witnesses say Kelly Thomas, 37, was kicked, beaten and shocked with a Taser several times on July 5 at the Fullerton Transportation Center. Thomas fit the description of someone who had broken into cars in a parking lot, officials said.