Smyrna’s top cop rejects call for GBI probe of Maserati shooting

Smyrna Police Chief David Lee on Friday confirmed Cobb County police will handle the investigation into Tuesday’s shooting of an unarmed black man.

Nicholas Thomas, 25, was at work Tuesday afternoon at the Goodyear on Cumberland Parkway when officers converged to serve an arrest warrant for a probation violation. Smyrna police said officers shot Thomas in self defense because he was speeding toward them in a customer’s Maserati, attempting to flee the scene.

Attorney Mawuli Davis, hired by Thomas’ parents, on Thursday questioned the official account by Smyrna police, noting that the shots appeared to be fired as the Maserati was passing the officers.

“The investigation is in the wrong hands,” Davis said. “How can you have Cobb do the investigation when they were a part of it?”

Cobb officers provided back-up for the Smyrna police but did not fire their weapons.

The unidentified officer who fatally shot Thomas was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the probe.

Lee said he had “confidence in the Cobb County Police Department’s objectivity and integrity,” adding that the Cobb District Attorney’s Office will review “every step of the investigation.”

“Senior prosecutors responded to the scene of the shooting and will confer with investigators throughout the investigation,” Lee said in a statement. Also, the results of the investigation will be presented to a grand jury, as is standard in Cobb whenever a law enforcement officer is involved in shooting.

And while the GBI will not be involved, it will review Cobb police’s findings, Lee said.

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