Smyrna, Georgia: Cop Murders Nicholas Thomas... and Gets Promoted

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Nicholas Thomas
Nicholas Thomas

Nicholas Thomas was murdered at his job by Smyrna/Cobb County Police (Smyrna is a suburb right outside of Atlanta) in March of 2015. A SWAT-style task force that included police from both Cobb and Smyrna showed up to the Goodyear tire shop where Nick Thomas was working to serve a six-month-old misdemeanor warrant. Police claimed that Nicholas Thomas drove the Maserati that he was working on at the shop toward them at a “high rate of speed” forcing Sgt. Kenneth Owens to fire into the vehicle, killing Nick Thomas. Even though the bullet holes in the car and forensic evidence proved that the cop shot into the driver’s side of the vehicle, contradicting the claim that Thomas was driving toward the officers, the grand jury refused to indict Sgt. Kenneth Owens—deciding that this cop was justified in murdering Nicholas Thomas.

Nicholas Thomas’s family has been brave and outspoken ever since the murder of their son, speaking at and organizing protests demanding justice. Nick’s family and the community were shocked when it was announced this month that Sgt. Kenneth Owens, the cop who killed their son, was being promoted to lieutenant. Owens has a rap sheet of piggery that dates back before murdering Nicholas Thomas. He was slated for firing from the Cobb County Police Department several years earlier due to charges of domestic abuse. However, he was allowed to resign and was quickly hired by the neighboring Smyrna Police Department.

On Monday, February 15, a protest was held at the Smyrna City Hall where the mayor and city council were slated to honor Kenneth Owens’s promotion to lieutenant. The Thomas family along with activists from Black Lives Matter, SCLC, Nation of Islam, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Revolution Club, and others participated in the protest. After speaking outside, protestors gathered inside of city hall chanting and speaking bitterness at the cops guarding the chamber doors. Eventually, the doors were opened and after passing through security, protestors packed nearly every seat inside the council meeting. Right away the mayor announced that there would be no discussion about the promotion of any individuals at that meeting and told people they could sign up on the public comment list.

Everyone was outraged that the agenda had been hastily changed in order to prevent any public discussion about Owens’ promotion. The meeting began with the pledge of allegiance and a prayer which was repeatedly interrupted. The council tried to continue and brought up an official to announce the city’s recognition of Arbor Day. People shouted from the crowd, “What? You want to plant more trees to hang us on? This is bullshit! Let’s talk about justice for Nick Thomas!” Then the city brought in three women dressed in African garb to announce the city’s recognition of Black History Month. The three women ignored calls from the crowd to stand with the Thomas family and not play into the charade, however they continued to do what was expected of them and began to sing and dance, “stand together...” in front of the all-white city council as the crowd jeered at them. Shortly after that, everything erupted. People couldn’t stand to watch the bullshit continue. A few started chanting, “Shut it Down!” And “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!” Protestors rushed the front of the city council, crossing over the barrier between the crowd and the council members. The cops attempted to hold people back, but were forced to give way to the crowd and quickly escorted the mayor and council members out of the room. Speakers then took over the microphone, read demands, and spoke to the outrage of Nicholas’s murder and the callousness of his killer’s promotion.



Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.

REVOLUTION AND RELIGION The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian
BA Speaks: Revolution Nothing Less! Bob Avakian Live
BAsics from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian
Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)
WHAT HUMANITY NEEDS Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism
You Don't Know What You Think You 'Know' About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation Its History and Our Future Interview with Raymond Lotta
The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need