The family of a man shot to death by Dothan police say they'll press forward with a crusade to have the officer who fired the shots charged with a crime. Relatives and friend of Chris Thomas gathered Thursday outside the Houston County Courthouse where a grand jury is hearing evidence in the case.
"Justice for my son," is what Chris' mother, Katherine, said she wants. "I haven't had a good night's sleep since my baby was killed."
Thomas, 22, was shot in June, after leading police on a short car chase. Dothan investigators say Thomas stopped his car in the parking lot of shopping center on Montgomery Highway. When the officer got out Thomas accelerated the vehicle, attempting to strike the officer. Several shots were fired into Thomas' car which then traveled across the busy roadway and rammed a sign manufacturing business. One person inside the business was hurt.
The probe into the shooting was conducted by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. The findings were turned over District Attorney Doug Valeska who, in turn, presented evidence to the grand jury. Those proceedings are not open to the public. Valeska was not immediately available for comment but generally does not discuss specifics regarding such proceedings.
If there is no indictment, Catherine Thomas said she will not give up her pursuit of criminal charges against the officer. "There is no stopping," she said. "My son had no weapon so why did the officer kill him?" She contends the officer, who is not identified publicly, didn't have to shoot Chris but, instead could have tased him.
The grand jury will release its findings in a few days.