J.B.C. Thomas's Statement to the Town Forum.
J.B.C. 'Tommy' Thomas
made the following statement addressing the
January 20th town forum,
following a Woman's statement that
she had heard testimony that Woody was shot about 5 times when
laying on the floor in a foetal position, and a subsequent statement
by Chief Martin that the police did not shoot him while down.
The passage relating to the shooting are highlighted in red.
To see Thomas's statements within the context of the forum, see the
Town Forum Partial Transcript
First of all I want to thank the people up there for being willing
to attend this meeting, to participate in the meeting
I think it was a very courageous thing to do,
and I want to thank the people here for being civil,
as we thought we would be when the
plans were made to have this meeting.
But the other two points I want to make:
One was the question of the basis for making the decision
on the fitness of the officers to back on the beat,
and the decision was made based on the information which you had.
I would submit that the assessment tools that you had at your disposal
were not completely adequate.
And I have made the suggestion that there are other police
departments in other states who use other more adequate assessment tools
as to suitability of officers to be carrying weapons,
and I hope that the Brattleboro Police Department at least,
and eventually the Vermont state police department,
will choose to spend the money to get more adequate assessment tools
of policemen before they do carry deadly weapons.
But that's a minor point.
The major point I want to make
is that there are two processes going on here which are in conflict.
One is the legal process which requires that information be withheld.
And John Martin just indicated that he has information
that the rest of us ... that seems to be contradictory to
what the rest of us think we saw,
and that is that there would have been no bullets entering Woody's
body when he was lying on the floor,
and if that is true that's news to what we thought we saw.
And uh ..
[expressions of thanks from attendees]
So to use that type of thing and then to say you can't say anything more
leaves the rest of us very puzzled.
[interruption by woman having cell phone conversation]
And the main point I want to make is that there is the legal process
which we are in the grips of right now,
but there is a more important process which is the political process,
what you're dealing with is a group of people who is generally
very reasonable, and willing to listen to reason,
and as a political thing it's the appearance of what's occurring
that disturbs us the most,
and we would probably want to go to a higher political authority,
the legislature or the goverenor,
to see if some of these questions can be answered.
This was not the only public statement Tommy made before his death
that he witnessed Woody being shot after he had fallen,
nor is it the only evidence that happened.
In fact there is
body of evidence
corroborating his testimony.