Corey Jones: State Rep Calls for Investigation Over Shooting

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Rep. Shevrin D. Jones, a member of the Florida House of Representatives who represents the 101st District, has called on the state to open an investigation into the shooting death of Corey Jones. 

Corey Jones, a well-known black local musician, was shot and killed by Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer Nouman Raja last weekend. 

Citing a body-camera law that requires officers to wear body cameras, Jones on Tuesday called on his fellow lawmakers to open an inquiry into the shooting.

"I said this before, and I’ll say it again: HB 93 is not about right and wrong — it’s about justice and safety,” Jones said via a news release.

According to the police department, Raja was on duty late Sunday night, around 3:15 a.m., when he stopped to investigate what looked to him like an abandoned car on the southbound exit ramp of I-95 and PGA Boulevard. Police say when Raja exited his unmarked vehicle, he was "suddenly confronted by an armed subject."

The subject, they say, was Corey Jones. Raja opened fire during the confrontation, killing Jones, according to police.

"Per department policy, the officer is currently on paid administrative leave, and an independent investigation is being conducted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office," Palm Beach Gardens Police said, regarding more information on the incident. "No additional information at this time."

Meanwhile, there are more questions than answers regarding the shooting. Friends and family have begun a #Justice4Corey hashtag to raise awareness of the shooting death of a man they call "gentle," "humble," and "professional."

"I did not personally know Mr. Corey Jones, but, I am calling on my colleagues in the Legislature, and particularly those from South Florida, to join me in seeking a full investigation of yet another incident of a police-involved shooting and a law enforcement agency releasing little information in the face of legitimate questions from citizens," Rep. Jones said.

“We need an agency that’s completely independent and without any connections to the department,” he added. “I only wish we required body cameras for all law enforcement officers, to protect the officers and citizens alike.”

"He was my fellow drummer friend. I've known him for years," Brandon Ciggs, a Palm Beach-based musician who was close with Jones, told New Times on Monday. "He would be the first person I would call to fill in for me if I couldn't make a gig. He was always humble and responsible. He was very professional with showing up on time, learning the music, things of that sort. He was just a cool, humble person. He'd give you his last shirt off his back if he could do it. He was that type of person."

"I am calling on the FDLE to do an independent investigation of the shooting of Corey Jones," Rep. Jones said. He also called out the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department over Twitter saying, "@PBGPD we want answers!" 

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