South Florida

‘I Hate What He Did': Family of Man Killed By Plainclothes Palm Beach Gardens Cop

Authorities in South Florida have launched an investigation after an officer in plainclothes this week shot and killed a local musician, who was reportedly armed.

The family of Corey Jones, 31, is asking for answers from the Palm Beach Gardens police chief.

Jones, a well-known drummer in the Palm beaches, had just finished playing with his band in Jupiter when he had car trouble exiting I-95 at PGA Boulevard on Sunday.

Officer Nouman Raja, on the force since April, pulled up behind Jones. According to police, Raja was not in uniform and in an unmarked vehicle, and was confronted by Jones, who was armed.

Officer Raja shot and killed Jones. The family believes Raja never identified himself.

"You're already broke down and someone pulls up behind you and don't acknowledge who you are and you see no uniform. Come on," said Sylvester Banks Jr., Jones' uncle.

Banks said his nephew was all about his music, offering to play for other churches and in a band all over South Florida. It would be impossible to find someone who didn't like Jones.

"Sweet guy, awesome character. And I think that was the result of his mom, the way she raised him. Always look out for others," Banks said.

Jones was also a part of the Banks family that has run the Bible Church of God for more than 30 years. They're ingrained in the community, and always had an outstanding relationship with police.

"We like the police, they protect us. We don't have anything against them, but we know there's always a bad, some bad somewhere," Banks said. "I don't hate him, but I hate what he did."

Others are doing the hate for them. Palm Beach Gardens Police shutdown their Facebook page, due to threats and obscene language from posters.

The Palm Beach County Police Union president said some of his members in the Gardens received death threats and it's a direct reflection of a police chief who needs to be transparent.

"Chief, get out there and address the public on some issues," said John Kizanjian, PBC Police Union President. "You don't want another Ferguson where they sat on information for days and it seems like that's what Gardens is doing and you need to get out there and address the public."

Raja has been put on paid administrative leave per department policy, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is conducting an independent investigation.

Jones' family said he did have a permit for the gun, which police said he bought just three days prior to the incident.

A rally is planned for Thursday at the police department. The family has hired well-known civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump and they are reaching out to Al Sharpton, in hopes he'll come on Thursday.

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