We may have another Ferguson on our hands…
At 3 am on the morning of October 18, Corey Jones pulled over with car trouble on the side of the highway after playing a gig in Jupiter, Florida with his band Future Prezidents. A friend stopped to help him, and was on his way to buy oil for the car while Jones waited on the exit ramp of I-95.
According to Rever B Press, Jones was then approached by an unmarked squad car. Details of what happened next are sketchy, but whatever happened resulted in Jones being shot by the off-duty cop.
“I tried to help him the best I could, but I’m not a mechanic or anything,” said Mathew Huntsberger, the friend who was with Jones less than an hour before the shooting, told The Washington Post. “When I left him, he was sitting in his car calling roadside assistance. I never would have thought that someone was going to come kill him.”
The cop has been identified as Palm Beach Gardens Officer Nouman Raja, who claims he stopped to inspect Jones’ vehicle, believing it was abandoned. Somehow, a deadly altercation ensued.
“As the officer exited his vehicle, he was suddenly confronted by an armed subject,” police said in a statement.
Raja, who began working for the police department earlier this year, was not wearing a body camera at the time of the altercation.
Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University, believe that Jones may have mistook Raja for a thief, since he was in plain-clothes and in an unmarked police car.
“Jones may not have known “if someone was approaching to rob or mug him,” Jarvis said, adding that in encounters like this, it could be that “the person doesn’t realize that they’re being approached by a cop.”
“If Raja did do everything right, it’s terrible for him,” Jarvis added. “There were only two people and one of them is dead.”
Florida police are now terrified that they will be hit with “another Ferguson.”
“You don’t want another Ferguson where they sat on information for, for days and it seems like this is what Gardens is doing. You need to get out there and address the public,” said Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association President John Kazanjian.
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