SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The district attorney who charged two California police officers with the beating death of a homeless man relied on surveillance video of the struggle to show wrongdoing.
But legal experts said Tuesday that the dramatic footage may have helped defense lawyers win the acquittal of both former officers.
The 33-minute video was the central piece of evidence for prosecutors, but defense attorneys also used it to argue that Kelly Thomas resisted arrest and grabbed for one officer's stun gun.
Manuel Ramos was acquitted on Monday on charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Jay Cicinelli was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force.
The FBI is reviewing the case to see if federal charges are justified.
Prosecutors intend to drop charges against another officer.