|Sign held at Thomas' vigil in Smyrna, Ga. last week|
Huey Thomas, father of Nicholas Thomas who was killed by police, has sent the following letter to President Obama:
My son Nicholas Thomas was executed by Smyrna Police on March 24th in Smyrna, GA, as a result of an outstanding traffic warrant for probation violation. There are many stories in the media concerning my son's criminal history. However, all information is not true.
Nicholas was working at Bob McDonald Goodyear in Unincorporated Cobb County when Smyrna Police visited his job to serve a warrant from what I know to be from another jurisdiction (Clayton County). There was also another police department, Cobb County Police, who Smyrna called to assist them, involved in the incident. No Sheriff's personnel from Clayton County were on the scene. SWAT officers later joined for a total of 30 or more police officers on the scene. This is extremely excessive for a traffic violation.
My concern is that my son was unarmed when he saw police. He was in a vehicle at work doing his job. Upon driving the vehicle to service it as requested by his boss, slightly before police arrived, he saw police before they saw him and he panicked. At that point there were at least seven police officers who pulled up to his job, including a K-9 unit with a dog that they had on a leash to turn loose on him if he attempted to run on foot.
Nicholas attempted to flee because he was afraid. I truly believe this in my soul. There are witnesses to the fact that police shot my son when he drove into a slight embankment in which the vehicle that he was to work on could not move any further due to being bogged down in the earth after jumping a curb.
Smyrna Police shot my unarmed son dead when the car he was driving was stopped and could not move any further. Several witnesses have attested to this fact. Police claim that he was driving directly at them when in fact all bullets fired were on the side and rear of the vehicle that my son was in. They shot fatal shots on the right side of the vehicle, then fired bean bags on the left side of the vehicle to confirm that he was dead. There were no bullets fired anywhere at the front of the vehicle, in which Smyrna Police claim that my son was attempting to run them over in the parking lot of his workplace when they shot at him taking his life.
This is exactly opposite of what they should have done to an unarmed man. Smyrna Police are investigating themselves in his killing and I believe this to be the most offensive thing that can be allowed when police are investigating themselves in crimes that they commit against citizens.
I am respectfully asking that something be done in America to attempt to prevent the militarization of police departments and the shear disrespect that they continue to have against the Black community, specifically when it comes to young black men. My son was a father of a 4 1/2 month old daughter, our first grandchild. He was a loving son, 23 years old, who aspired to be an automotive service owner.
In recent weeks a naked black man with known mental health issues was shot, while unarmed, and no police are being held accountable for this tragedy, as once again – they are "investigating" themselves and not being held accountable for their actions. It is also a shame that my son was gunned down at this job for being fearful of the many officers trained down upon him under the circumstances of an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation.
Sir, I would like to know if you can attend my son's funeral to assist my family with the plight of preventing this from happening again and to assist with beginning a movement of changing the way police officers around the nation view and react to young Black American men. Please contact me at your convenience at -----, or you may contact my family attorney's Davis and Bozeman at -----. I sincerely appreciate your time and consideration. I am also within hopes that this letter reaches your desk. You have been the best President in my lifetime and I am extremely proud of you, your family, and the things that you have done for this world.