A U.S. District Court Judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the family of Nicholas Thomas, who was shot and killed by a Smyrna police officer.
A federal judge for the Northern District of Georgia has dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Nicholas Thomas.
Thomas was shot and killed by a Smyrna police officer in 2015 who was serving him a warrant at his place of employment.
“This court concludes that Owens’ use of deadly force under the circumstances presented on March 24, 2015, was objectively reasonable as a matter of law."
Thomas, 25, had allegedly attempted to flee when Police approached him to serve him with a felony warrant at Goodyear Tire where he worked.
According to the police, Thomas jumped into a client's Maserati and attempted to flee the scene, whereupon Smyrna police officer Kenneth Owens opened fire and killed him.
The police officers at the scene affirm that Thomas drove towards them at high speed, placing their lives in danger, and that was why Officer Owens shot him.
Nicholas Thomas' arrest warrant referred to $170 in unpaid traffic tickets
Security footage from the scene corroborated the officer's version, and the District Attorney and the Grand Jury concurred.
Angered that the officers responsible for their son's death were not charged, Thomas' parents filed a lawsuit against Officer Owens and the City of Smyrna seeking redress for the wrongful death of their son.
Felicia and Huey Thomas have vowed to continue to fight for justice for their son and have filed an appeal against the judge's decision.
“Every reasonable officer in Owens’ position would have understood that his use of deadly force would violate Nicholas Thomas’ constitutional or other federal rights.”
Nicholas Thomas' arrest warrant referred to $170 in unpaid traffic tickets, his momentary panic was met with deadly force.
The family hopes that the conflicting statements by Smyrna police Sgt. Ed Cason and eyewitnesses at the scene will sway the Court.
Jason Erik Washington, 45, was killed by Portland State University officers after breaking up a bar fight.
The officers arrived on the scene and saw a gun on the floor. The gun belonged to Washington, a veteran who was licensed to carry it and had inadvertently dropped it on the floor during the altercation. Seeing the veteran pick up the gun, the officers opened fire and killed him.
The incident was recorded on video by Keyaira Smith, who said the veteran was being a Good Samaritan, and that the gun had dropped from his holster during the scuffle.
The death of Jason Washington has sparked a fresh wave of debate concerning the use of firearms by campus security officers.