Michael Thomas, an unarmed Black Man, was shot and killed in his home on Thursday morning. Police said he was reaching for their firearm. The man's fiancee says otherwise.
As protests across the country demand for police to be held accountable for their actions, law enforcement officials are still abusing their power without repercussions. According to the Los Angeles Times, LA County Sheriffs deputies fatally show Michael Thomas, a 62-year-old unarmed Black man who was inside of his home when he was killed, though many believe the police's account of what happened is dubious.
Police responded to domestic violence report at Thomas' home on Thursday morning after they said his fiancee called 911. Deputy James Nagao said that she doesn't actually speak to the operator, though the phone line was left open for the operator to hear what was going on in the background. "For several minutes, arguing and fighting between the caller and the suspect can be heard in the background," Nagao said. Police claim that Thomas failed to comply with orders and attempted to grab one of the deputy's firearm which is when he was shot dead.
However, the man's fiancee refutes what the police are saying. “I heard Michael say, ‘I have a right to not let you in my house,'” Thomas' fiancee Kimberly said. She added that Thomas was only trying to turn him away while practicing his fourth amendment right which is meant to protect citizens from unreasonable searches in their home.
Bradley Gage, a lawyer for Thomas' family member, said he's in possession of "good evidence that the claim that Mr. Thomas was going for a gun is completely false."
He added, "If he wasn’t going for a gun, and the officers are lying about that, why would they be lying?... There’s only one logical explanation: They’re trying to cover it up.”
Gage said the death could've been prevented especially since they entered the home "without any evidence of any injuries or harm to the fiancee." Thomas' family said it was only a verbal dispute, though police claimed that his fiancee later told police she had been assaulted.
“That’s exactly why we have a fourth amendment,” Gage said. “It’s to avoid the kinds of illegal searches and seizures where the police come into people’s homes and harm them or, here, kill them.”
Unfortunately, this happened within the same 24 hours that Robert Fuller's body was found hanging in front of City Hall in Palmdale, California which is within the same proximity as Lancaster.