Ex-Cop Convicted In Fatal Shooting Of Black motorist

Ex-Cop Convicted In Fatal Shooting Of Black motorist

Ex-Cop Convicted In Fatal Shooting Of Black motorist

A Florida jury on Thursday convicted a former police officer for manslaughter and attempted first-degree murder in the fatal 2015 shooting of a black motorist who was waiting for his auto to be towed off the highway.

Nouman Raja has been convicted in the October 2015 shooting death of stranded motorist Corey Jones in South Florida.

The four-man, two-woman jury had deliberated for about four hours before delivering the verdict of manslaughter with a firearm and attempted first-degree murder, according to The Associated Press.

Jones had a gun, and a confrontation ensued, with Raja shooting Jones, Stepp said. About 25 relatives and supporters of Jones looked on, some weeping.

Then they held a prayer circle outside the courtroom, shouting praise to God and Jesus for the verdict as many broke down in sobs. A housing inspector and part-time drummer, Jones came from a family of Christian ministers and was scheduled to perform at church the morning he was killed. "He walked us through this".

Defense attorneys argued that Raja, 41, shot Jones in self-defense. His wife said an obscenity when asked for comment.

Corey Jones' death in 2015 was one in a series of confrontations that resulted in the deaths of black men at the hands of police officers. They found the 41-year-old Raja guilty Thursday of manslaughter and attempted murder for the 2015 death of Corey Jones.

Raja shot him repeatedly. He had purchased the.38-caliber handgun days earlier to protect his $10,000 drum set, which was in the SUV.

Raja was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked white van when he drove the wrong way up a darkened off ramp to Jones' stalled SUV. Prosecutors said Raja, who was sacked from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department after the shooting, did not identify himself as a police officer.

Prosecutors say an audio recording shows Raja never identified himself, making Jones believe he was being robbed. Raja's supervisor testified the officer had been told to don a police vest if he approached a civilian. He didn't. Prosecutors also questioned why Raja didn't pull his badge from his pocket.

What police didn't know at first was that Jones had been talking to a tow-truck dispatcher on a recorded line. In the recording, the door to Jones' SUV is heard being opened, and he tells Raja, "I'm good".

Ex-Cop Convicted In Fatal Shooting Of Black motorist

Raja replied: "You good?" and Jones says that he is. Jones says he is.

The Rev. Al Sharpton was among those who spoke at the memorial service, where pallbearers wore hats and jerseys of the National Football League's Oakland Raiders, Jones' favorite team.

Raja: "Get your (expletive) hands up!" Raja fired three shots; Jones ran down an embankment.

Local 10 reports Raja told investigators Jones threw a gun in the grass, which was found more than 100 feet away from his body. A medical examiner testified that Jones was killed by a shot through his heart. He also was shot once in each arm.

"If that dude would have said he was a police officer right off the bat, this would have never happened", he said.

In court, Raja's defence lawyers argued that Jones' "huh" from the tape proves that earlier words were exchanged that were not picked up by the iPhone's mouthpiece.

Prosecutors said Raja, not knowing of the tow-truck dispatcher recording, tried to deceive investigators. He told them in a video-recorded interview hours after the shooting he said "Police, can I help you?" as Jones jumped from the SUV. As Jones tried to run away, Raja continued firing at him, ultimately hitting Jones three times.

Jones, who was black, possessed his gun legally and had a concealed carry permit, Crump said.

Palm Beach Gardens police fired Raja days after the shooting. Outside the courthouse on Thursday, State Attorney Dave Aronberg thanked Jones' family and the community for its patience while prosecutors pursued the case. He said prosecutors can not discuss specifics of the case until after sentencing, which Judge Joseph Marx scheduled for April 26.

"We see what can happen when prosecutors have the dedication to charge an on-duty law enforcement officer in the murder of an innocent black man and what can happen when a thoughtful judge rejects a shameless ploy to use Florida's questionable "Stand Your Ground" law as a shield against wrongdoing", Jones' family attorneys said in their statement.

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