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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Nicholas Thomas organization to file “civil rights action” against City of Smyrna

Photo by Tomi Johnson taken at one Justice for Nicholas Thomas rally in Smyrna, Ga.
The Labor of Love Campaign, a group seeking justice surrounding the shooting of unarmed Nicholas Thomas by police on March 24, 2015 in metro Atlanta, is seeking donations to pay legal fees.

Nicholas Thomas, 23, was shot in the back at his job at Bob McDonald's Goodyear while police were serving a warrant for his arrest for a $175 violation. According to a police statement, Smyrna Police Sgt. Kenneth Owens fired three times into a customer's Maserati being serviced by Thomas because he was placed "at risk to receive serious bodily injury or death." 

Thomas had an infant daughter when he died.
According to an email from Rich Pellegrino, members of their group were distributing leaflets about the "ongoing cover-up associated with the killing of Nicholas Thomas" at the Jonquil Festival in October last year near the Smyrna City Hall when they were stopped by city policemen. 

"Peaceful leafleting is a constitutionally-protected form of free speech, and, in order to protect our rights to continue to do this in the future, we are proceeding to file a 'civil rights action' against the City of Smyrna, demanding that they pay us damages, including legal fees for their interference, and a court order to prevent such future acts," Pellegrino's email stated.

"Before any government can be sued in Georgia, they must be given notice of the intent to sue, so that the matter can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties at minimum costs to all concerned."

Pellegrino estimates the group needs $1,500 to cover fees for the preparation, filing, and service of the lawsuit. "Recovering these costs of the litigation will certainly be a part of our demand for damages and we’ll maintain careful records to repay all our contributors, when, as we expect, a favorable decision is reached," Pellegrino said. 

Donations will be deposited into a Chase bank account. For more information on how to make donations, contact Pellegrino at 404-573-1199 or


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