The recent police-related deaths of 43-year-old Allen Kephart in Lake Arrowhead, California and 37-year-old Kelly Thomas in Fullerton, California have sent shockwaves through the their respective communities. Indeed, both are being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The death of Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic beaten into a coma by Fullerton police, is also being investigated by the Orange County District Attorney's Office. His case is not the first time Orange County law enforcement has been accused of applying excessive force to a mentally ill homeless man.
In October 2007, 28-year-old Michael Patrick Lass was living on the streets of Santa Ana when police stopped him for having an open container of alcohol. At the time of his arrest he was alcohol-dependent, schizophrenic, bipolar, and had a history of seizures.
The altercation that led to Lass's death took place
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