Lawyer Likens NC Shooting to Zimmerman Case

Chad Copley 'killed my son for nothing,' says victim's mom
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2016 11:53 AM CDT
Lawyer Likens NC Shooting to Zimmerman Case
Chad Copley is led out of a courtroom in Raleigh, NC, on Monday.   (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)

(Newser) – Chad Copley is a neighborhood watch volunteer who police say fatally shot a black man. Sound familiar? He's "George Zimmerman 2.0," says Justin Bamberg, a lawyer representing the family of Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, 20, whom Copley allegedly shot and killed early Sunday. Bamberg says Thomas was at a party down the street from Copley's house in Raleigh, NC, where guests had spilled out onto the street, but no one was in Copley's yard. Police say Copley initially called 911 claiming armed "hoodlums" were outside and that he was "locked and loaded" and "going outside to secure my neighborhood," reports the Washington Post. He later called back to say he'd fired "a warning shot"—police say it came from his garage window before 1am—and that somebody "got hit," reports CNN.

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"There are frigging black males outside my frigging house with firearms," Copley added. "Please send PD." Bamberg says Thomas—who was headed to his car, according to witnesses—was not armed and Copley, 39, "was not in danger. I don"t believe that anybody can find that his fear—if there was any—was reasonable, given the facts. He fired from his garage into the street and then killed an innocent person." He adds Copley's 911 calls suggest the shooting was linked to race. "If there was a group of Caucasian kids skateboarding up and down the street, would he have done that to them?" Thomas' mother says. "They weren't bothering him," she adds. "He killed my son for nothing." On Tuesday, Copley's lawyer urged "folks not rush to judgment." (Read more North Carolina stories.)

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