Corey Jones’ Final Phone Calls May Detail Moments Before Fatal Shooting By …

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Carl Hiaasen: So many facts that we’ll never know.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Phone records show that a man was on the phone with AT&T’s roadside assistance when he was fatally shot by a Palm Beach Gardens police officer along an Interstate 95 off-ramp. For several songs, Nate Largent had been sitting in behind the kit for Future Prezidents, one of the bands long scheduled to play Lake Worth’s Bamboo Room for a Saturday reggae night.

Stranded on a highway off-ramp at 3 a.m., waiting for a tow truck, Corey Jones was armed with a brand-new pistol and a state-issued concealed-carry permit that entitled him to take the gun wherever he pleased.LAKE WORTH (CBSMiami) – The FBI joined investigators from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Saturday, looking into the death of Corey Jones at the hands of a police officer. But now, another man leaned over the microphone, trying to explain the occasion, to make some sense of the reason that the scheduled drummer wasn’t there keeping the beat.

A recording would be critical piece of evidence, as no video recordings exist; Raja’s van didn’t have a dashboard camera and the department’s officers do not wear body cameras. Part of the proceeds go toward helping the Jones family. “Corey was a nice kid and he played the drums and he would play them at different churches,” Marquez told CBS4 reporter Donna Rapado. “This was a no brainer. Someone told us about it so my husband and I came.” Good friend and bandmate Boris Simeonov told Rapado he waved goodbye to Jones after their last gig in Jupiter shortly before he was killed. But under Florida’s expansive gun laws, Jones may have been entirely within his rights to brandish his weapon, legal experts say — especially if reports that Raja never displayed his badge are true.

Corey Jones had five wounds — some of them exit wounds — and one shot broke his arm and another entered through Jones’ side and lodged in his upper body, his lawyers said after meeting with the state attorney who is investigating the fatal shooting. A benefit concert is being held for Corey Jones Saturday night at the Bamboo Room at 25 South J Street in Lake Worth, including a performance by the band Jones played with, Future Prezidents. He was shot after Raja, who stopped his unmarked van to check on what he thought was an abandoned vehicle and was “suddenly confronted by an armed subject,” police chief Stephen Stepp has said.

And those rules could get even trickier, experts say, if Florida lawmakers approve a pending measure to permit people with concealed-carry permits to openly display their weapons. “The police are nervous as it is,” said Roy Black, a prominent Florida attorney who has represented more than 100 police officers in use-of-force cases. “Everyone walking around with guns? A national spotlight has been cast on the shooting because Jones, a 31-year-old black man, had no criminal record and was committing no crime at the time the officer stopped. Those calls were probably fruitless, however, since he called #HELP again, at 2:45 a.m., a call that the log says lasted 32 minutes, even though he dialed three other numbers after that call began. They have hired a stable of attorneys, including Benjamin Crump, the Florida lawyer who represents the family of slain Ferguson, Mo., teen Michael Brown and slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

Jones, a graduate of the University of Akron with degrees in business administration and music, was passionate about drumming and organized monthly jam sessions where dozens of musicians from all over South Florida would come to the Bible Church of God and play gospel music – and sometimes a little R&B – well into the night. By day, he worked as a public housing inspector and also mentored at My Brother’s Keeper, an organization for black youth, according to his LinkedIn page. According to the FBI, there was only one homicide last year in the city, where 89 percent of residents are white and have a median income far above the Florida average, according to the U.S. Put yourself in the cop’s position and it could be just as scary — you pull up to a stopped car and suddenly a guy’s standing there with a handgun. Playing with the band, Crump said, meant Jones often drove around with cash and “thousands of dollars worth of equipment.” More than two years ago, he began carrying a gun for protection.

If security cameras on nearby buildings were working in the wee hours of Oct 18., the videos might reveal the grim choreography of the fatal confrontation — but there would be no audio of what the two men said to each other, if anything. And a federal judge recently excoriated the PBSO for losing a cell phone andother key evidence in the case of Seth Adams, an unarmed white man shot dead by a deputy in a strange case three years ago. This time the whole country will be watching, so everything needs to be done properly — ballistics, forensics, toxicology, and especially the questioning of Officer Raja.

He had been hit three times, Crump said, once in each arm and, fatally, in the chest. “We believe Corey went to his grave not knowing if this was a real cop,” Crump said. “Why didn’t he identify himself? Even if Raja did show a badge, “from 15 feet away, that could be something you bought in the dime store.” The problem could be compounded by Florida’s permissive gun laws.

He doesn’t have to wait for him to shoot first.” Wrongful-death attorney Andrew Hall said the case appears to fall “within that terrible gap in the law which may be that two men confront each other, each feels threatened by the other, and one dies.

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