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.
“He Wasn’t Dressed in Saggy Pants “: Says Mother of Black Man Shot Dead by White Neighborhood WatchmanClick to tweet
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.
“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 Copley, The 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