In 2015, Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer Nouman Raja fatally shot African-American musician Corey Jones while he was reportedly waiting by his disabled car.
At the time, the plainclothes officer claimed the victim was running away from him as he called for backup.
However, the recent release of Jones’ last call to a roadside assistance service reveals another side of the story that contradicts the cop’s initial statement.
According to prosecutors, the audio evidence proves that Raja fired Jones six times as opposed to his claims of firing three shorts while he was calling 911.
“The audio recording from the call reveals Raja lied when he said he made his 911 call before he fired his second volley of shots,” read the documents obtained by The Palm Beach Post.
The 31-year-old musician was in his broken down car on the exit ramp of PGA Boulevard and Interstate 95 on Oct. 18, 2015 after a band performance. The drummer had called AT&T assistance six times earlier for help and was finally on call with one of them when the cop, who was not in the uniform at the time, approached him.
The tragic incident took place while Jones was giving his basic information to the operator. He can be heard saying “Huh,” as a loud noise from a door was opened in the background.
“You good?” asked Raja, to which Jones replied, "I'm good. Yeah, I'm good.”
"Really?" Raja questioned.
"Yeah," responded a frightened Jones.
At that point, the cop began screaming, "Get your f****** hands up! Get your f***** hands up!"
"Hold on! Hold on!" pleaded Jones as the officer continued to shout expletives.
Within seconds, the sounds of gunshots can be heard.
“Oh my gosh,“ said the road side operator.
After shooting Jones repeatedly, Raja made a call to 911 pretending he was in an attempt to get hold of a suspect, according to the court record.
“I just got one down. I just shot one person...Send me some units.”
“And the second I said ‘police,’ he jumped back and I clearly remember him drawing and … pointing a gun at me. I saw that silver muzzle, and he had, I can swear on this, he had a Laser Max laser and the guide rod on the gun, and I saw that red light, with that Laser Max flashing at me,” the officer told the investigators, adding that he told the victim to drop the gun. “And he, and he didn’t, he was right there. And I remember pulling the trigger, I think two to three times, and he started running.”
However, the evidence state otherwise. Raja’s claim of asking Jones to drop the gun cannot be heard anywhere. According to prosecutors, the 38-year-old cop fired six shots from his personal .40-caliber Glock, hitting Jones three times.
This is certainly not the first case of police brutality or the first time evidence directly contradicts a police officer's claims about a fatal shooting.
Citizens — particularly minorities — being shot or treated inhumanly at the hands of some negligent cops is giving a bad name to the entire police community.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Handout via Reuters