A Florida State Attorney’s Office report released Tuesday said the former Palm Beach Gardens police officer who fatally shot Corey Jones “lied,” the Palm Beach Post reports.
The 60-page report is part of a trove of evidence, including audio recordings, that The Post and several other media organizations obtained on the high-profile shooting.
The Post said, “The report was unsparing, and it paints a picture of an officer who made egregious mistakes and wasn’t truthful to investigators who interviewed him at the scene, with his lawyer present, four hours after the shooting.”
Officer Nouman Raja, who was fired from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, was on plainclothes duty while conducting a vehicle theft patrol in October 2015. He told investigators that Jones jumped out an SUV as he approached it on an Interstate 95 off-ramp.
“And the second I said ‘police,’ he jumped back and I clearly remember him drawing and … pointing a gun at me. I saw that silver muzzle, and he had, I can swear on this, he had a Laser Max laser and the guide rod on the gun, and I saw that red light, with that Laser Max flashing at me,” Raja told investigators in the newly released audio recording, according to the Miami Herald.
Raja said he ordered Jones twice to drop his gun before firing at Jones, who the officer claims tried to run away.
However, prosecutors have serious doubts about Raja’s story.
The Post said Raja was unaware that the investigators had an audio recording of the incident. Authorities released the AT&T audio of a roadside assistance call that captured the encounter. Jones’ vehicle was disabled, and he was waiting for a tow truck to arrive at about 3:15 a.m.
Raja swore in his statement that he thought the SUV was empty when he approached it in his unmarked police van. The officer also said he identified himself as a police officer and asked Jones if he could help.
The Herald said the AT&T recording suggested that Jones was waiting outside his SUV when Raja walked up to him.
He asked Jones, “You good?”
Jones relied, “I’m good.”
In a sarcastic tone, Raja asked, “Really?”
He then, using an expletive, ordered Jones twice to put his hands up.
The prosecutor said Raja, who never identified himself as an officer, was immediately confrontational toward Jones.
Raja fired a first round of shots at Jones, who ran from the car. The AT&T audio also recorded a second round of gunshots, which prompted an “oh my gosh” from AT&T operator who was still on the line. Ten seconds later, the audio recorded three more shots.
According to the prosecutor, Raja called 911 after Jones was likely dead and acted out a false scene for the dispatcher that supported his version of the encounter.
Jones, 31, was a Boynton Beach musician who worked as a building manager for the Delray Beach Housing Authority. He had been driving after a performance when his SUV broke down.
Raja is charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm.
31 Black Women Who Died In Police Custody
1. Kathryn Johnston, 92Source:Getty 1 of 26
2. Tarika Wilson, 26Source:Getty 2 of 26
3. Shereese Francis, 30Source:Getty 3 of 26
4. Shantel Davis, 23Source:Getty 4 of 26
5. Alesia Thomas, 35Source:Getty 5 of 26
6. Malissa Williams, 30Source:Getty 6 of 26
7. Darnesha Harris, 17Source:Getty 7 of 26
8. Shelly Frey, 27Source:Getty 8 of 26
9. Miriam Carey, 34Source:Getty 9 of 26
10. Yvette Smith, 47Source:Getty 10 of 26
11. Michelle Cusseaux, 50Source:Getty 11 of 26
12. Aura Rosser, 40Source:Getty 12 of 26
13. Tanisha Anderson, 37Source:Getty 13 of 26
14. Eleanor Bumpurs, 66Source:Getty 14 of 26
15. Natasha McKenna, 37Source:Getty 15 of 26
16. Janisha Fonville, 20Source:Getty 16 of 26
17. Meagan Hockaday, 26Source:Getty 17 of 26
18. Alexia Christian, 25Source:Getty 18 of 26
19. Sandra Bland, 28Source:Getty 19 of 26
20. Gynnya McMillen, 16Source:Getty 20 of 26
21. Symone Marshall, 22Source:Getty 21 of 26
22. Korryn Gaines, 23Source:Getty 22 of 26
23. Deborah Danner, 66Source:Getty 23 of 26
24. Alteria Woods, 21Source:Getty 24 of 26
25. Charleena Lyles, 30Source:Getty 25 of 26
26. Cariann Denise Hithon, 22Source:Getty 26 of 26
Florida Officer Who Fatally Shot Corey Jones Lied To Investigators was originally published on newsone.com