Corey Jones (1984?-2015), a drummer and city housing inspector, was shot dead by a plainclothes police officer in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on October 18th 2015. Jones did have a gun, but it is unclear whether he used it. The police officer was not injured. The shooting has led to protests. His family has hired Benjamin Crump, who was the lawyer for Trayvon Martin’s family, also in Florida.
Jones was coming back late at night after playing drums with the Future Prezidents at a bar in Jupiter. His car broke down. He called a bandmate. They could not get his car started.
At 2.30am, the bandmate leaves and Jones waits for the tow truck.
His gun: Because Jones travels late at night with expensive band equipment, he bought a gun a year and a half ago for protection. He bought a new gun on October 15th. He had a permit for it.
At 2.50am, he calls his older brother.
At 3.15am, a white van pulls up in front of his car. A man gets out. According to family lawyers, Jones at some point ran. He never fired his gun. The man fired his gun six times, hitting Jones three times. One bullet broke his arm. Another entered the side of his body and went through the aorta near his heart, killing him. By this point Jones was pretty far from his car, 80 to 100 feet (24 to 30 metres). His gun was in the grass between him and his car.
That man was Nouman Raja, a Palm Beach Gardens police officer. He was not in uniform. His car was unmarked. He was at a stake-out at a nearby hotel where cars had been stolen. He left his post without permission to check out Jones’s car, which he thought was abandoned. Proper procedure would have been to send police in uniform in a marked police car. This was right off I-95, the main road that goes up the US east coast.
Raja says he got out of his car and was “suddenly confronted by an armed subject.”
Raja has been on the police force since April. Before that, he was with the police department in Atlantis for eight years. He left in good standing, but had been written up three times: once for not following proper procedure during a pursuit, twice for mishandling evidence. Translation: Raja could have easily moved Jones’s gun.
Camera footage: The Palm Beach Gardens police do not use body cameras or dashcams. There is a surveillance camera near the scene. Its footage has not (yet) been made public.
Raja’s statement has not been made public, although the police were quick to out him. He is on paid leave while the county’s state attorney and sheriff look into the matter in an “independent” investigation.
Jones had no police record. He grew up in the church and was not the sort to get into fights. Those who knew him said he was “not violent”, “not confrontational”, “meek”, “humble” and “God-fearing”.
– Abagond, 2015.
- Twitter: #JusticeForCorey
- Trayvon Martin
- Alan Blueford
- Black Brute stereotype
- The list of unarmed Black people killed by police in 2015 – Jones would not make this list.