Virginia mother and local NAACP want police to explain why they weren't told about son's death

The family of Tori Thompson, alongside the Arlington chapter of the NAACP, is calling for transparency regarding the Arlington Police Department's apparent failure to notify Thompson's loved ones of his passing.

On Wednesday, they held a joint news conference along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail on Langston Boulevard, to celebrate Tori's life and demand police reform.  

"They didn’t notify me that he passed away, and they lied about it. And I don’t think that’s fair," said Angela Thompson, Tori’s mother. "My son passed away, he had his birth certificate on him, a letter from me that said ‘love mommy,’ and me and my family have lived in the same houses for over 20 years. There was no reason a notification wasn’t made."

"His daughters didn’t get to have a funeral," she added. "They got this. Thank you for coming. Tori matters."

Thompson’s family says his death on July 5, 2023, has left a void in their hearts. They emphasized that he was more than a statistic and expressed frustration over being denied notification. 

They also say Tori was cremated against their beliefs.

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Family members report that Thompson’s death occurred in a hotel parking lot.

Arlington Police declined to be interviewed on camera or via Zoom but did email FOX 5, stating, "They are committed to conducting thorough and complete death investigations while treating all individuals with dignity and respect." 

They added that in February, members of the department met with the Thompson family to discuss the death investigation and hear their concerns. They mentioned that further training was provided to all Homicide/Robbery Unit detectives by the County Attorney’s Office on the procedures for unclaimed bodies. 

Plus, the department says additional procedures have been implemented, including requiring the homicide/robbery unit supervisor to review each case and ensure all steps have been taken before the process of unclaimed bodies can begin.