Usually when I visit a police station it’s to get a report or evidence in a case or client matter I’m working on. But yesterday was much different.
Yesterday I went to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department to show my support for the family of Corey Jones, and to demand accountability and justice from local law enforcement officials for yet another senseless, unjustified murder by a police officer.
For those that do not know me, or Corey, we went to high school together, what seems like eons ago. He was a friend to me…and to pretty much everybody else who knew him. It was hard not to like the kid. He was a funny, talented and easy going young man.
At an overcrowded school that felt more like a prison, where it wasn’t easy to walk tall without using your hands, I can’t recall Corey ever getting into a fight, let alone an argument or quarrel. And while many of the young rebels from our class openly showed scorn or disrespect to law enforcement and authority figures, Corey certainly did not. Ask anyone that knew Corey at any point in his life and you will hear the same thing.
That’s why when I learned about what happened to Corey earlier this week, and saw the way that the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office were secretly conducting the investigation following the shooting, I knew that Corey Jones had been killed without justification, and that police investigators and officials were covering it up.
Anyone who knows me, or my family, knows that we are no strangers to cover ups by police. I wish I could say my experience comes from working as a prosecutor and later as a criminal defense attorney, but for me it hits much closer to home… and below the belt.
Several years ago, my mother was attacked and framed by a sheriff’s deputy. I witnessed first hand not only part of the attack, but afterward how law enforcement authorities and investigators ignored eyewitnesses, tainted and manufactured evidence — attempting to bolster their deputy’s fabricated story.
I witnessed how the state attorney’s office, despite the overwhelming evidence of excessive police force and abuse in the case, nonetheless dragged an innocent first grade teacher through the criminal injustice system and put her on trial…tried to send her to prison for six years for something she never did.
Thankfully, she was acquitted of the false charges by a jury of her peers within 15 minutes of deliberating.
Knowing what I know today, I am beyond thankful that my mother survived her encounter with an officer who had no business wearing a badge, let alone carrying a deadly weapon.
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what would have happened had I not walked out of the airport terminal when I had, and intervened by shouting at the crazed deputy before he reached her window?
Or what would have happened if I didn’t put my hands up as he turned toward me aggressively and went for his gun?
But lately I can’t help but just think I wish I, or someone like me could have been there to help Corey after his car broke down…
But what’s done is done.
We can’t reverse the sun, at least as far as I know.
But we can fix a broken system that protects criminal authority figures, that keeps secret investigations into matters of public importance, and that prosecutes, persecutes or even kills innocent people.
We can together forge a better system where everyone is treated equal in the eyes of the law, and held to the same standards. A system where senseless, unjustifiable killings by police can’t and won’t happen.
But first we must seek and demand the truth, the whole truth and nothing but… only then can we realize justice.
At this time, here are the facts we know about the Corey Jones shooting.
1. Nouman Raja is the only source of information at this time. All accounts shared with the news are derived from bits and pieces of a statement he gave to the responding officers. At this time, there is no video footage to corroborate or disprove his statements.
2. Raja was on a burglary detail in the area. His undercover attire was to make him look like a normal civilian, so he could radio in burglaries as he saw them happening. He was never to engage the burglars, but to radio local police to make the arrest.
3. Corey’s car broke down near the PGA Blvd off ramp around 2:30am. He was coming from a band performance in Jupiter, Florida. He called a band mate to help him, but when the vehicle wouldn’t start, he told the band mate he could leave. He then spoke with his older brother, CJ, at 2:52am. CJ offered to pick him up, but Corey did not want to leave his car and expensive band equipment unattended on the highway. Corey told CJ that he will call a tow company.
4. Per Raja, he thought Corey’s car was abandoned and was startled when he realized someone was in the car. He left his police badge, department issued gun, and police radio in the vehicle as he stepped out of an unmarked van with tinted windows in undercover plain clothes.
5. Raja states that he identified himself as police and Corey responded, “I’m ok. I’m waiting on a tow truck.” At that point, Raja states that Corey steps out of the vehicle with a gun in his hand and points it at Raja. Raja immediately shoots twice at Corey. We do not know if any of those first two shots hit Corey. Corey immediately turns and runs away from Raja. Raja chases Corey.
6. As Raja looks for Corey, he states that he sees a silver flicker near Corey and assumes that Corey is going to shoot him. This time he shoots 4 more rounds, some definitely hitting Corey. He then calls in the shooting. Corey is announced dead at the scene. CJ calls his brother at 3:19am, but receives no answer.
7. We now know that Corey was shot three times. Once in the left arm, which went through, but fractured his arm. Once in the right arm/lower shoulder, which also went through. Once in the right lower side, which did not go through, and was the fatal shot as the bullet ended up lodged in his heart.
8. Corey’s gun was never fired. His gun was found in the grass between the distance of his car and his body. His body was found 80-100 feet away from his car.
We are combing through every detail with the help of the State Attorney and our own private investigation. We are asking any potential witnesses to come forward.
Since we won’t get much truth, objective analysis or meaningful reporting from the mainly steam corporate media machine and its hoard of presstitutes… we must not only seek the truth, but we must be the media and share it. Far and wide, both on and offline.
In the spirit of the aforementioned, this post, dedicated to my fallen brother, will track the Corey Jones investigation, expose the truth and provide a stream of social media consciousness and awareness for those who seek the truth about the senseless and unjustified killing of Corey Jones.
Posts with Corey’s hashtags on Twitter and Instagram will automatically populate into the feed at the bottom of the page, so if you’re reading this and you have information about the case that can help shed light on what really happened the night he was murdered, please share it online using some or all of the following hashtags:
#CoreyJones #JusticeForCorey #JusticeForCoreyJones #RallyForAnswers #KeepTheBeatAlive
You can also send anonymously any information or content to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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