August 12, 2016 4:30 pm

“He Wasn’t Dressed in Saggy Pants “: Says Mother of Black Man Shot Dead by White Neighborhood Watchman

My son wasn’t a “hoodlum”, said Simone Butler-Thomas, the mother of 20-year-old Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, who was gunned down by a man claiming to be on neighborhood watch.

Butler-Thomas says her son asked that she take a picture of him before he left for a party on Sunday. She didn’t know that would be the last time she’d see him alive.

“He wasn’t dressed when he left in sagging pants or a do-rag or anything that people think that hoodlums would wear,” Butler-Thomas told reporters as she wept. ” …He had a blue T-shirt, blue jeans, with a belt. There was nothing ‘hood’ about him. He was a good kid.”

Friends and family say Thomas was walking to his car after leaving a party when Chad Copley shot him dead.


Speaking to a 911 dispatcher, Copley seemed set on protecting his family from what he perceived as “hoodlums”, even if it meant taking the law into his own hands.

Chad Cameron Copley

Chad Cameron Copley

“I’m on neighborhood watch. I am going to have the neighborhood meet these hoodlums out here racing up and down the street. It’s 1 in the morning,” said CopleyThe Washington Post reported “There’s some devil in them. They have firearms, and we’re going to secure our neighborhood. If I was you, I would send PD out here as quickly as possible.”

Copley also told dispatchers he was “locked and loaded” before he fired a “warning shot” from his garage that hit Thomas. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

“If there was a group of Caucasian kids skateboarding up and down the street, would he have done that to them?” asked Butler-Thomas.

Copley was arrested and charged with first degree murder.

This reminded Butler-Thomas of how George Zimmerman got away with killing unarmed teen Trayvon Martin. She calls the death of her son George Zimmerman 2.0


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