• Activists protest promotion of officer involved in controversial shooting

    By: Kailyn Thomas

    Updated:

    Community activists gathered outside Smyrna City Hall to protest the promotion of a police officer involved in a controversial shooting.

    Nicholas Thomas, 23, was shot and killed by Smyrna police Sgt. Kenneth Owens last year when police went to serve an arrest warrant. 

    Thomas was working at the Cumberland Goodyear and took off in a customer's Maserati. 

    Owens said he opened fire on Thomas because he feared for the life of another officer.

    Protestors say Owens’ promotion to lieutenant sends the wrong message.

    “It’s basically a reward. I’m not understanding why he’s being rewarded when someone’s life was lost that day,” Nicole Borden said.

    Cobb County and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigated the case, and a Cobb Grand Jury ultimately cleared Owens.

    Thomas' mother said her anger over the death of her son is bubbling back up after learning of Owens' promotion. 

    "This is ridiculous. Kenneth Owens is a murderer," Felicia Thomas said.

    Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt said police told him Owens was next in line for a promotion and passed the necessary tests.

    The Smyrna City Council was meeting at the time of the gathering at City Hall, but had no comment.

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