Trial for cop who killed man
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