Video shows strug­gle, then shooting that par­a­lyzed Iowa man

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa:

An un­armed black driver strug­gled with an Iowa of­fi­cer and a po­lice dog be­fore the of­fi­cer shot the mo­torist as he tried to get away in his pickup truck, par­a­lyz­ing him, dash­cam video re­leased Thurs­day shows. Driver Jer­ime Mitchell man­aged to get back in­side the ve­hi­cle with of­fi­cer Lu­cas Jones cling­ing to his body by the open driver’s side door. The video shows Jones shooting Mitchell at close range af­ter the truck starts to roll.

The video seems un­likely to re­solve a de­bate over whether the Cedar Rapids po­lice­man acted ap­pro­pri­ately dur­ing the Nov. 1 shooting of the 37-year-old Mitchell. A Linn County grand jury de­cided Mon­day not to in­dict Jones. County At­tor­ney Jerry Van­der San­den said the video shows that Mitchell re­sisted Jones and the of­fi­cer fired in self-de­fense.

Mitchell dis­putes that ac­count, ar­gu­ing that the of­fi­cer was the ag­gres­sor. His sup­port­ers have blasted the pros­e­cu­tor for end­ing the se­cret grand jury in­quiry with­out ob­tain­ing any state­ment or tes­ti­mony from Mitchell, who is hos­pi­tal­ized with a bullet lodged in his neck and un­able to move most his body. “I was un­armed. I never struck the of­fi­cer, or the dog. This has changed my life for­ever,” Mitchell said in a state­ment re­leased Wed­nes­day. “No one should ever be treated the way I was that night.”

Af­ter keeping the dash­cam video from the pub­lic dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Cedar Rapids Po­lice Depart­ment re­leased it to news me­dia Thurs­day. The con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Jones and Mitchell can’t be heard. Po­lice said Jones’ body mi­cro­phone wasn’t work­ing.

The video shows Jones pulling Mitchell over at 1:17 a.m. In­ves­ti­ga­tors say Jones ini­ti­ated the stop be­cause the light bulbs that il­lu­mi­nate the li­cense plate on Mitchell’s truck were burned out - an $87 in­frac­tion. Po­lice have said that Jones asked Mitchell to get out of the ve­hi­cle af­ter smelling mar­i­juana. Af­ter Mitchell gets out, Jones stands be­hind him and be­gins to hand­cuff him. The two ex­change words and Mitchell ap­pears to re­sist be­ing cuffed. Jones pushes Mitchell against the truck, then takes him to the ground. With the of­fi­cer cling­ing to his back, Mitchell gets up from the ground. The bark­ing dog runs to­ward Mitchell, but it’s not clear if the an­i­mal bites him.

Mitchell climbs back in­side the ve­hi­cle with Jones hold­ing on to him. Jones reaches for his gun, then the truck be­gins to roll. Jones fires three times be­fore fall­ing to the street as the truck speeds off. —AP

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