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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nicholas Thomas shot in back by police, according to autopsy

On March 24, 2015, Nicholas Thomas was shot and killed by police serving a warrant for a $175 traffic violation.
A Press Conference will be held on Wednesday, July 8th, 10 a.m. in front of the Cobb District Attorney’s Building/Cobb Superior Court,  70 Haynes St, Marietta, Ga. The following was released by a group spokesman, Rich Pellegrino:

July 8, 2015, Marietta, Ga... Police said officers feared for their lives when Nicholas Thomas jumped into a white Maserati, and drove straight at them. The autopsy showed Nicholas Thomas was shot in the back, facing away from police officers.  This is not the first lie.

After being confronted about the Cone of Silence by law enforcement, on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 43 days after the murder, Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds said, “I see the posture needed from this office is leadership and transparency.” Today is more than 90 days since the murder yet there is still no transparency, and the leadership is obviously stonewalling.

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Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds
Despite numerous requests for release of the video surveillance footage showing events surrounding the shooting, the District Attorney continues to refuse to release any of the tapes.

Nicholas Thomas’ murder is, in some ways, similar to other nationally reported events:
  • Anthony Hill, Chamblee, GA
  • Ariston Waiters, Union City, GA
  • Zikarious Flint, Columbus, GA
  • Michael Brown, Ferguson, MO
  • Tamar Rice, Cleveland, OH
  • Eric Garner, Staten Island, NY
  • Freddie Gray, Baltimore, MD
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    Sign at Nicholas Thomas vigil in Smyrna, Ga.

    In other ways, the Thomas murder is decidedly different:

  • The other police killings were random and unplanned acts of violence.
    The paramilitary action resulting in the fatal shooting of Nick Thomas
    by Smyrna Police Officer Kenneth Owens, was scheduled and completely within the control of law enforcement.

The investigations in the other incidents were performed either by an independent grand jury, or were immediate and public.  Cobb has created a unique Cone of Silence.

What we know is Nicholas Thomas was a mechanic. He was working on the Maserati. Police observed him prior to descending upon his place of work. Police Sergeant Owens, who has returned to work at Smyrna Police Department, shot Nicholas Thomas in the back as he faced away from police officers. Cobb District Attorney Reynolds has steadfastly refused to release information. 

The deployment of an armed, unauthorized squad with no leader, and composed of officers from two independent law enforcement agencies to the site of a business full of employees and unsuspecting customers to serve a misdemeanor warrant was a reckless endangerment of the public at a minimum. Apparently there was not even a thought of EMS support.

Nick Thomas was gunned downed after law enforcement executed a planned operation to serve a misdemeanor arrest warrant for the following:

  • Failure to report
  • Failure to report an address change
  • Failure to pay a $175.00 fine
  • Failure to complete community service
  • Failure to complete risk reduction

Who authorized this paramilitary operation?  When did a misdemeanor warrant justify such an excessive show of force?  How is the murder of an unarmed citizen the remedy?

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Military-style maneuvers have been seen in U.S., as in Baltimore after Freddie Gray incident.
What other remedies are available under the law to address the abandonment of responsibility for this operation by the Chairman of the Cobb County Commission, the District Attorney, and the Mayor and Police Chief of Smyrna?

There is nothing under our current body of laws that authorizes elected official to so callously ignore the danger into which an unsuspecting group of citizens was placed.  They killed an unarmed citizen.  Law enforcement has done nothing at all, post mortem, to learn from this incident or to prevent future occurrences. This “Code of Silence” must be broken.


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