In the bond order, the judge imposed standard restrictions on Thompson, including that he stay away from guns, drugs and alcohol, as well as maintain employment. It isn’t clear if Thompson has a job secured. The state patrol terminated him after the shooting. The judge said four police officers had testified that Thompson wasn’t likely to flee prosecution.
Lewis family attorneys Francys Johnson and Mawuli Davis opposed the bond and said it lines up with what is common in the rare cases where police officers face charges of killing Black people. Lewis was Black, Thompson white.
”Before he could ask him his name, he had already decided he should die,” Johnson said during the news conference.
Johnson pointed out that the bond decision had nothing to do with the strength or weakness of the case against Thompson, as Georgia law bars judges from considering that when weighing whether a defendant should stay in jail before trial.
Last week, the family announced their intention to sue the state for $13 million, arguing that Thompson behaved recklessly while attempting to pull over Lewis for an alleged tail light violation. When Lewis continued driving, Thompson used his cruiser to push the car off the road and shot him about a second later, authorities have said.
An attorney for Thompson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.