Trial for cop who killed man

The Sunday Independent - - World -

FORT LAUD­ERDALE: A judge has ruled a Florida po­lice­man must stand trial for the fa­tal shoot­ing of a stranded black mo­torist, say­ing his retelling of what hap­pened on the dark­ened high­way off-ramp was “un­re­li­able and not cred­i­ble”.

Judge Sa­man­tha Schos­berg Feuer re­jected fired po­lice of­fi­cer Nouman Raja’s at­tempt to use Florida’s “stand your ground” law, say­ing his state­ments af­ter the 2015 shoot­ing of Corey Jones were not sup­ported by an au­dio­tape of the shoot­ing and other phys­i­cal ev­i­dence, such as the lo­ca­tion of the bul­let cas­ings.

She said the ev­i­dence showed Raja, who was work­ing in plain clothes and driv­ing an un­marked van, was not truth­ful when he told in­ves­ti­ga­tors he had iden­ti­fied him­self as a po­lice of­fi­cer when he ap­proached Jones’s bro­ken-down SUV or when he said he pulled his gun only af­ter Jones, who had a con­cealed weapons per­mit, pulled his own hand­gun.

In­stead, Feuer agreed with pros­e­cu­tors Raja never iden­ti­fied him­self and ap­proached Jones ag­gres­sively with his gun drawn, mak­ing Jones be­lieve he was about to be at­tacked by a stranger.

“It was then, and only then, that Jones pulled out his gun in re­sponse,” Feuer wrote. She also be­lieved Raja opened fire as Jones ran away, with the two of the three bul­lets that struck Jones hit­ting him in the back. She found Raja’s use of force “was not rea­son­able”.

Raja’s at­tor­ney, Richard Lu­bin, said he planned to file an ap­peal.

Ear­lier, Lu­bin ar­gued Raja should be pro­tected un­der “stand your ground” be­cause he feared for his life when Jones pulled his gun. The law says any­one can use deadly force if they be­lieve it nec­es­sary to pre­vent death or great bod­ily harm. – AP/African News Agency/ANA

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