Family holds funeral for Florida man killed by plainclothes officer
MIAMI The Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to deliver the eulogy on Saturday at the funeral of Florida musician Corey Jones, who was gunned down by a plainclothes police officer earlier this month.Jones’ death, the latest in a string of fatal incidents in the United States involving police and black men, has sparked calls for greater transparency after the local sheriff's office released few details following the shooting.Plans to have the eulogy delivered by Sharpton, a prominent activist, media and civil rights figure, were announced by lawyers for Jones' family.The state attorney’s office, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and FBI are investigating the Oct. 18 shooting.Jones was waiting for a tow truck beside a highway exit ramp when Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja, 38, pulled up in an unmarked van, authorities said.
A confrontation ensued and Raja, who is of South Asian descent, fired six shots hitting the 31-year-old Jones three times, according to the state attorney’s office. Jones was in possession of a legally purchased handgun when the shooting occurred but he also had a concealed weapons permit, according to Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg.
Raja never displayed his police badge, according to Jones family attorney Benjamin Crump."Isn’t the burden on the cop to make sure that the citizen knows that he is a real cop?" Crump said during a press conference.Telephone records obtained by the Palm Beach Post show Jones at the time of the shooting had been on a 53-minute phone call with an AT&T roadside assistance representative.
Raja, who had been hired by the police department in April, had been previously investigating robberies in the area. He has since been placed on administrative leave with pay."We take this investigation very seriously and as such, we cannot afford to rush, cut corners or appear to be partial," Aronberg said in an emailed statement. (Editing by David Adams and Tom Brown)