Petition to Recall Fullerton Council Members Qualifies for Ballot

Demonstrators hold a moment of silence at a makeshift memorial for Kelly Thomas, a homeless man who died after an altercation with several officers, during a rally and protest march on August 20, 2011 in Fullerton. | Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Three Fullerton officials will face a recall vote after residents collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Council Members Dr. F. Dick Jones, Don Bankhead and Pat McKinley "are accused of not speaking out about" the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man who died after a confrontation with city police last July.

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The date of the recall election will be set by the City Council. "The California Election Code allows the city to hold this special election in consolidation with the June 5 presidential primary," said Fullerton City Clerk Lucinda Williams. "If the council decides to hold a stand alone special election the cost will be between $269,000 and $301,000. If they choose to consolidate with the June primary then the cost will be between $129,000 and 160,000." Nearly $10,000 has already been spent validating signatures on the petition.

Thomas' death brought national attention to the Orange County city and led to criminal charges, including second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, against two officers. The police department's chief announced his retirement last week.

Reason.TV covered the incident in context of "the new media," which played a role in the incident:

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCETLink's Editor-in-Chief of Blogs, where he oversees website editorial and advises on projects. When he does write, he mostly covers local government, environment, and the outdoors.
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