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The parents of Nicholas Thomas at the podium inside the law offices of Davis Bozeman.

The parents of Nicholas Thomas at the podium inside the law offices of Davis Bozeman.

SMYRNA, Ga. — The Smyrna police officer had every right to discharge his firearm that killed Nicholas Thomas, the unarmed black man who died at his job at a Goodyear store, the grand jury decided.

Thomas was at work and in a Maserati at a Goodyear Tire when multiple officers from both the Cobb County and Smyrna police departments approached him to serve an arrest warrant for a probation violation.

Thomas, who had an outstanding warrant in Clayton County, tried to flee by jumping into a luxury car that was being serviced.

Police official story is Smyrna police Sgt. Kenneth Owens shot Thomas because the officer feared for his life. Police have said Thomas was driving toward officers as they tried to serve him with a warrant for a parole violation, though his family says other witnesses dispute that.

The medical examiner’s report says Thomas died from a gunshot wound after a bullet entered his upper back on the right side. The bullet hit his lungs and aorta before coming to rest in his upper chest on the left side.

“The loss of life is unfortunate, and I sincerely sympathize with Mr. Thomas’s survivors. But when he drove the vehicle toward officers in the manner he did, the officer who fired the shots was justified under the law to use lethal force,” Cobb County District Attorney said. “Police officers in Georgia are authorized to fire their weapons to protect themselves or others from immediate bodily harm. That is what happened in this case.”

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Cobb County investigations concluded the shooting was justified under the facts and the law.

The family of Nicholas Thomas will respond to the decision On Friday, July 10, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. Community activists, private investigator T.J. Ward and family attorneys, will also respond to the Cobb County Grand Jury decision to not indict the officer that killed Thomas at a press conference located at 4153 Flat Shoals Pkwy Trinity Office Park Building C, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Decatur, Georgia 30034.

 

Police were correct to shoot unarmed Nicholas Thomas to death, grand jury says was originally published on atlantadailyworld.com

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