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Ex-Police Officer In Florida Convinced By 2015 Shot Death: NPR

Nouman Raja (center) is standing by his defense team in West Palm Beach, Fla. Raja, a former police officer in Palm Beach Gardens, was sentenced to shoot and kill beach effects Corey Jones in 201 5. Lannis Waters / AP hide caption change caption Lannis Waters / AP Nouman Raja (center) is standing with his defense team at his trial in West Palm Beach, Fla. Raja, a former police officer in Palm Beach Gardens, was sentenced to shoot and kill beach effects Corey Jones 2015. Lannis Water / AP A jury in West Palm Beach, Fla., Has sentenced a former police officer to a black driver's shooting death. It's the first time in 30 years that a Florida police officer has been sentenced in a shot. Corey Jones, a resident inspector and part-time musician, was on his way home from a nightclub in October 2015 when his van broke down on Interstate 95 in Palm Beach Gardens. He was on the side of the road in his SUV when he demanded road work. Jones was on the phone with a trailer vendor when Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja dressed in clothes, rolled his unmarked van road down an exit ramp, just stopping feet from Jones & # 39; van. Raja was part of a team that investigated automatic theft and wore jeans, a T-shirt and a baseball cap. When recording the phone call with the transmitter introduced as evidence at the trial, Raja is never heard to identify…

Nouman Raja (center) is standing by his defense team in West Palm Beach, Fla. Raja, a former police officer in Palm Beach Gardens, was sentenced to shoot and kill beach effects Corey Jones in 201

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Nouman Raja (center) is standing with his defense team at his trial in West Palm Beach, Fla. Raja, a former police officer in Palm Beach Gardens, was sentenced to shoot and kill beach effects Corey Jones 2015.

Lannis Water / AP

A jury in West Palm Beach, Fla., Has sentenced a former police officer to a black driver’s shooting death. It’s the first time in 30 years that a Florida police officer has been sentenced in a shot.

Corey Jones, a resident inspector and part-time musician, was on his way home from a nightclub in October 2015 when his van broke down on Interstate 95 in Palm Beach Gardens. He was on the side of the road in his SUV when he demanded road work.

Jones was on the phone with a trailer vendor when Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja dressed in clothes, rolled his unmarked van road down an exit ramp, just stopping feet from Jones & # 39; van. Raja was part of a team that investigated automatic theft and wore jeans, a T-shirt and a baseball cap.

When recording the phone call with the transmitter introduced as evidence at the trial, Raja is never heard to identify himself as a police officer. In the recording, the door to the Jones SUV is heard, and he tells Raja: “I’m good.” With the help of an exploration, Raja tells him he is going up and starts shooting two seconds later. Prosecutor says Jones left his vehicle and started running. On the recording, 10 seconds goes and Raja hears shooting another three shots at Jones and kills him.

Jones had permission to carry a hidden weapon. After being killed, the investigators found it more than 100 meters from their body. It had not been fired.

The city of Palm Beach Gardens fired Raja from his job as a police officer. At the trial, prosecutor Raja said aggressive behavior and that he did not identify as police led Jones to believe that he would be robbed or carjacked. The defense claimed that Raja had identified himself as an officer and that as he approached the SUV he saw Jones holding a weapon and acting in self-defense.

After five hours of deliberation, the jury ruled Raja on two points: deaths and attempted murder. Outside the courtroom, Corey Jones’s father, Clinton Jones, told reporters: “It was a long process, but we endured. Today we have justice.”

Corey Jones dead in 2015 was one in a series of confrontations that resulted in black men being killed in police hands. It came a year after Michael Brown’s shot in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner’s death in New York.

After Jones’s death, there were marches and protests in Palm Beach County. Outside the courthouse in Thursday, attorney Dave Aronberg Jones thanked the family and the community for their patience while prosecutors prosecuted the case. “Nothing can turn around the tragedy that happened three and a half years ago,” Aronberg said. “But hopefully we can today give a measure of justice and closure … It has been an open wound in our society, and hopefully it can begin to heal.”

Aronberg called Raja’s actions “an aberration” that would not lose the contributions of officers who “work day and night to keep our society safe”.

Raja will be sentenced next month. He faces a mandatory minimum allowance of 25 years in prison with the possibility of life.

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