Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Homeless Advocates Plan Kelly Thomas Protest On Hollywood And Vine Next Week

Snapshot from security camera footage that shows Fullerton police officers beating Kelly Thomas on May 7, 2011 (Photo by Joshua Sudock-Pool/Getty Images)
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

A local homeless advocacy group is planning a massive protest in Hollywood on Feb. 8 against police brutality involving the homeless in Los Angeles, using the Kelly Thomas case as a reminder of what needs to be done.

Monday Night Mission, who have been feeding and championing for the homeless for years, are planning to gather 5,000 Angelenos for their protest. Monday Night Mission head Mel Tillekeratne told LAist that the goal of the protest is to highlight the need for the LAPD to properly work with Los Angeles' homeless population.

"Downtown LA is developing rapidly. This means more and more people are moving into downtown and a lot more people venturing closer to skid row," Tillekeratne said. "This will bring about more confrontations with the mentally ill and a lot more interaction between them and the LAPD. Therefore we need to send a message as well as give the LAPD the necessary training to deal with those situations than end up having a thousand more Kelly Thomas incidents."

Kelly Thomas was a mentally-ill homeless man in Fullerton who was beaten to death by two police officers, Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli. Earlier this month, Ramos and Cicinelli were acquitted of second-degree murder and excessive force charges after a lengthy trial. Since then, there have been protests in the streets of Fullerton and Los Angeles highlighting what many believe was justice not being served.

Support for LAist comes from

Monday Night Mission's planned protest will be right on the corner of Hollywood and Vine. Tillekeratne said that Kelly Thomas' legacy is important, especially in Los Angeles.

"It might have been [in] Fullerton but Kelly was homeless and Kelly was mentally ill. The exact demographic we feed and care for at Monday Night Mission," Tillekeratne said. "If we are silent on things that matter, especially as close to us as Fullerton, then we might as well be deaf and blind morally."

The Hollywood and Vine intersection is the same spot wherehundreds of Monday Night Mission supporters turned out to protest City Councilman Tom LaBonge's proposal to ban feeding the homeless outdoors.

A flyer for the event can be found here.