Police Brutality with Timothy Thomas

timothyPolice brutality happens all around the world, causing riots, peaceful and violent protests, and even more police brutality. Police brutality has caused a lack of public trust for police enforcement. Many cases of police brutality have happened in the past of the United States including one with Timothy Thomas in 2001. The police officer that shot and beat up Timothy Thomas, Stephen Roach, was not charged with anything except a fine of $500. The court had bias towards Stephen Roach because they did not charge the officer with punishment when he killed Timothy Thomas for no good reason. Timothy Thomas was harassed by the police because of racism, he did not deserve to be killed and the officer should have faced consequences.


Timothy Thomas was shot without a real cause and yet the officer who shot him was not charged with a crime which shows that the court had positive bias towards Stephen Roach. John Larson, an investigator in crime, explained, “Legally, police must have a justifiable reason to pull someone over. The officer who tried to stop Thomas the night he was shot said he recognized him after ticketing the young man a year earlier. Dateline NBC asked Roger Webster, who was then the head of the Cincinnati Police Union, why he thought Thomas had been pulled over and given so many non-moving violations. There was really no reason for the officer to shoot Timothy Thomas. He had no explainable reason for the murder. During the trial Roger Webster was taking the side of the officers saying that it is their job. Roger Webster, the judge during the trial said, “We can’t charge a police officer with murder if that’s what they are paid to do. Timothy Thomas had more than twenty warrants on him and he did not seem to care so Stephen Roach is not guilty of a crime. I charge him with a fine of five-hundred dollars and nothing more. Case closed.” The judge made it clear that it is their job to do what Stephen Roach did to Timothy Thomas. To explain further, the judge of the trial was interviewed during dateline NBC. Webster said,  “Ever. You know, it’s suspicious behavior to say that a guy is stopped because he’s one color or another color. I don’t think so, I don’t believe so, I don’t believe we’ve done it. And I don’t know of anybody that’s out there that’s doing it. Look at the total picture of what’s going on, before we go out and accuse the cops of racial profiling.”The judge made clear that he believed that what Stephen Roach was doing had nothing to do with racial profiling, but Stephen Roach’s actions proved otherwise. The court never charged Stephen Roach with anything which shows that the court had preferences towards the officer.  


There was a pattern of harassment towards Timothy Thomas by the Cincinnati Police Department which suggests that the department was racist towards him. Timothy Thomas was being pulled over many times a day and it was for the same thing. His family, including his mother, began getting tired of all of the harassment of the policemen saying that the next time he gets a ticket they would take his driver’s license away when they never did it.Mrs Thomas said, “One day Tim came in the house, and he was like, ‘Mom, I got two tickets… it’s like two tickets, Mom, for the same thing.’ Later on that same day he got two more tickets for the same things, in the same area, from different police officers.”The policemen never had an exact reason for the times that Timothy Thomas was being pulled over for. He was pulled over many times by the same officer that killed him and many other police officers. Whenever Timothy Thomas was being pulled over it was for not wearing his seat belt. John Larson also said, “ Cincinnati police began pulling him over, and ticketing him at an astounding rate. On March 10, Thomas is ticketed for not wearing a seat belt.  Later that same day, Thomas is pulled over again and again by many different officers and ticketed for not wearing a seat belt when he was.” Timothy Thomas would always argue with the police officers that he was wearing his seat belt and when he did the officers would say that they were charging him with threat towards the police officer. Many other Black people in Ohio at the time were also being pulled over constantly for not wearing their seat belt when most of them actually were. John Larson and his team said, “Look at the total picture? Fair enough. Dateline began one of the most ambitious statistical projects of this kind ever undertaken. Before our investigation was over we would gather, sort, and analyze more than 100,000 traffic tickets in Cincinnati and more than four million tickets in major cities across the country. We were looking for new, conclusive answers to the question: Are black drivers routinely being racially profiled, pulled over because they’re black?” It was not illegal to drive without wearing your seat belt in Ohio at the time and it still isn’t but yet officers were still pulling over the people. The officers in Ohio at the time that were pulling Timothy Thomas over were doing it because they were racial profiling him because he was Black.

Timothy Thomas was not a threat to the community and was still shot by Stephen Roach, who should have faced consequences for his actions. To begin, A 27-year-old Cincinnati police officer spots Timothy Thomas as he runs into a dark alley. A police car follows him at  the other side, videotaping the entire situation. The sound of a shot is heard and the policeman denies. John Larson, an investigator of crime, says, “As a police car approaches, its camera rolling, the officer runs towards the alley and almost immediately a shot rings out. A single bullet fired from the officer’s gun pierces the suspect’s heart. He’s pronounced dead at 3:02 am.” This proves that Timothy Thomas was shot by a policeman with an innocent plead. Timothy Thomas was shot without reason. Stephen Roach was a 28 year old officer that had no reason to kill Timothy Thomas. he made an excuse which was not true but yet people still believed him. John Larson exemplified, “The officer later tells investigators he thought the suspect was reaching for a gun – but no gun was ever found. By dawn, the identity of the suspect comes to light. The man was 19-years-old, a young father with an infant son. The man’s name was Timothy Thomas.” Timothy was a father and he was with some friends at the time. He had no gun and he had no permit to carry a gun. He was unarmed and yet Stephen roach made the excuse anyways. Stephen Roach made an excuse that Timothy Thomas was doing drugs at the time. That was also not true. Thomas’s brother said, “They figure they out there selling drugs, and this and that. I mean yeah, there’s a few drug dealers but you can’t just point them out and say, yeah, he’s a drug dealer. If you ‘ain’t seen it or know he doin’ it, you can’t just point him out. But that’s what they was doing. They was just picking you out the crowd, like. And Tim got picked out a lot of times. But they didn’t have no reason to pick him out.” Roach Made many excuses so that he wouldn’t have to be caught for killing Timothy Thomas without a good reason and every excuse he made were all false and he should have faced consequences for what he did to Timothy Thomas. Stephen roach should have payed consequences for his actions against Timothy Thomas.
Timothy Thomas was shot and died as a hero. The court had preferred to take Stephen Roach’s side than Timothy Thomas’s side, yet many officers were racially profiling him because he was black and they gave him tickets for that, and Stephen Roach should have been punished for his actions. How much more police brutality can the United States take anymore?


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