The family of a black man shot and killed by a Florida police officer on Sunday have, according to the New York Times, reportedly been told by prosecutors that Corey Jones, whose gun was found on the ground near where he was shot, never fired his weapon before his death.
Around 3:15 am Sunday morning, Jones, 31, was waiting for a tow truck when Officer Nouman Raja, in plain clothes and an unmarked van, approached him. Palm Beach Gardens said the men “confronted” each other, and Raja fired his gun at Jones, killing him.
Police said Jones had bought a gun three days prior, which they found on the ground. They also say that Jones was holding gun as Raja approached him.
However, according to a lawyer for Jones’ family, Benjamin Crump, Jones never fired his weapon. “We have confirmed that Corey never fired his gun,” Crump said, claiming to have been given this information by the state attorney. “It really makes you wonder why the officer fired his.”
Meanwhile, records released Wednesday reveal that Raja, who had only begun working for the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department earlier this year, had failed to disclose in his job application that he’d received a reprimand at his last post, in Atlantis, Florida, after he neglected to turn over morphine recovered from a suspect into evidence.
“Officer Raja said he never did the report and he never secured the evidence. As a result of officer Raja’s actions there was a break in the chain of custody on the evidence seized and due to same no charges are to be filed on the case,” the disciplinary report reads.
Raja later said that he had failed to place the drugs into evidence because of “work-related issues,” the Times reports. It’s not clear whether he disclosed this or another written reprimand in his application for the position in Palm Beach Gardens.
“I think that certainly, credibility is a huge issue at this point,” the Jones family lawyer, Crump, said.