WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., (AP): A former Florida police officer was sentenced to 25 years in prison April 25 for the fatal shooting of a stranded black motorist in 2015.
This was the first time in 30 years that an on-duty police officer has been sentenced to prison for a shooting.
Judge Joseph Marx sentenced fired Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja, who is Pakistani American, in the killing of 31-year-old Corey Jones.
Raja was convicted last month of manslaughter and attempted murder in Jones’ death. Marx imposed a sentence of 25 years on each count, to be served concurrently.
The 41-year-old officer was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked van when he confronted Jones, a black drummer whose SUV had broken down as he returned from a late-night performance.
Prosecutors persuaded jurors that Raja never identified himself as a police officer and acted aggressively, causing Jones to pull his legal handgun thinking he was being robbed. The altercation was audio recorded by a tow-truck dispatcher Jones had been talking with.
Raja appeared in shackles and a dark blue jail jumpsuit. The courtroom was packed with supporters of both men and guarded by about 20 sheriff’s deputies.
The victim’s father, Clinton Jones Sr., asked the judge for a life sentence, saying that wasn’t out of hatred but because of the pain caused to Jones’ family.
(In this handout photo provided by the Palm Beach Post, A family member raises her hands as a worship song is performed during the funeral for Corey Jones at Payne Chapel AME Church October 31, 2015 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Jones was shot and killed by a plainclothes police officer, Nouman Raja, on Interstate 95 on October 18th. Photo: Damon Higgins-Pool-Getty Images)
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