Timothy Thomas was a 19-year old African-American man who was fatally shot by a Cincinnati police officer in 2001. Thomas was the fifteenth African-American man killed by the Cincinnati Police Department in five years, and his death led to outrage in the black community that culminated with the 2001 Cincinnati Riots.
On April 8, 2001, Thomas was seen by Cincinnati police officers and recognized as being wanted on 14 outstanding warrants. When Thomas realized he knew one of the officers, he fled. In a subsequent chase involving a dozen additional officers, Thomas was eventually confronted by Officer Steven Roach, in a dark alley. Roach was running with his gun out (standard procedure) but with his finger on the trigger, something in direct opposition to the most basic gun handling procedure taught to police. Immediately after the incident, Roach said the gun had "just gone off" in his hand. Later, Roach claimed to have seen a gun, and later revised his story to claim that he only saw Thomas reaching for something at his waist, and Roach fired his gun once at Thomas. It was later revealed Thomas was unarmed, but may have been attempting to pull up his pants. After Thomas fell, Officer Roach called for an ambulance, and when Thomas arrived at University Hospital, he was declared dead.
Thomas was the father of one child and he was the son of Angela Leisure.