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Family of Corey Jones, Killed by Cop, Calls For Regulation of Police Body Cameras

| February 3, 2016

corey jones killed cops body cameras

Corey Jones in an image released by his family.

The family of a Boynton Beach man killed by an undercover officer called Wednesday for lawmakers to approve a bill that would regulate the use of police body cameras.

The parents and sister of the late Corey Jones visited the Capitol, on what would have been his 32nd birthday, to ask state leaders to support the measure (HB 93), filed by Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park.

A musician, Corey Jones was fatally shot by a plainclothes Palm Beach Gardens officer when his car broke down on Interstate 95 in the early morning after a gig. The officer, who was driving an unmarked van, has since been fired.

“If there were body cameras, they would have answers,” said Ben Crump, a prominent civil-rights attorney who represents the family. “We all would have answers as to why a church drummer who was broke down at 3 in the morning, on October 18th last year, was confronted by an un-uniformed officer and is dead.”

The bill would only apply to police agencies that decide to use body cameras. Under it, those agencies would be required to establish policies and procedures addressing the proper use, maintenance and storage of body cameras and recorded data. State law currently doesn’t require such policies.

The measure faces a hearing Thursday in the House Judiciary Committee and would be ready to go to the House floor if approved. A Senate version (SB 418), filed by Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, passed its first committee Monday and faces two more.

Corey Jones’ family spoke to reporters before heading to Gov. Rick Scott’s office to ask him to support the bill.

“My brother avoided confrontation,” said Corey Jones’ sister, Melissa. “My brother wasn’t this criminal guy who looked for trouble. … My brother would never have raised a gun to an officer.”

Clinton Jones, Corey’s father, described his son as a good man, devoted to his church and family. “It may be your son, or it may be your daughter,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting this. I wasn’t looking for this, but it happened to my family.”

Scott, asked about the family’s request that he support the bill, deferred to lawmakers.

“They get to pass legislation, and I’ll look at legislation as it makes it to my desk,” he said. “But we have a very good House and very good Senate, and they are focused on what is the right thing for our citizens.”

This is the second year Shevrin Jones has sponsored a proposal to regulate police body cameras. The original bill would have made the cameras mandatory, he said, “but there was a lot of pushback on it.”

Daryl Parks, Crump’s law partner in a host of high-profile cases, said most police departments — “although they resist at first, once they get (the cameras) implemented, they realize that it protects the officers. It also protects the citizens.”

–Margie Menzel, News Service of Florida

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16 Responses for “Family of Corey Jones, Killed by Cop, Calls For Regulation of Police Body Cameras”

  1. confidential says:

    The plain cloths officer that shot Mr. Corey to death, should not only been fired but first of all jailed and prosecuted for murder. How Mr. Corey would have known that a plain cloths man was a cop, while threatening him and not some criminal bigot harassing and endangering his life..?

  2. Sherry says:

    Of course ALL police officers should be required to wear body cameras! Of course there should be rules for using them!

    Of course there will be those who will say the body cameras are not necessary at all, and that ALL cops are doing the “right” thing always. . . by protecting US from the feared and hated “THEM”.

  3. confidential says:

    I resent these killings each other when should be avoided…what about in an emergency using the taser or aim at an arm or leg instead? I even resent the killing of LaVoy Finicum….why shoot to kill other that shoot to stop in a non vital body part? Now there left 11 children without a father and grand kids without a young granpa.
    I know they were looking for trouble and probably had it coming..but don’t shoot to kill so eagerly, there should always aim and try to preserve a life. Cameras help the evidence and I am all for them but under strict guidelines. I believe that generally help both the citizen and also law enforcement officer.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I agree with confidential that the use of body cameras will be good for citizens and the police. I disagree on them shooting for the arms or legs. If a officer has the need to shoot they should aim at the center mass of the body. One to stop the threat second its much less likely for a stray bullet harming others.

  5. yankee says:

    its amazing how police officers around the world are able to take down criminals without having to shoot them. It makes zero sense not to have officers wear body cams, but even then they have been pretty much free to shoot to kill for a long time and even cameras arent enough to see them wind up in any real trouble.

    its also time to have physical requirements for officers so that they do not feel so threatened by unarmed people and feel they need to rely on their guns instead of being able to physically restrain a perp. Itsan embarassment to any police dept to see meek officers or officers so overweight they cant run 45 yards.

  6. confidential says:

    I am not a gun person so I don’t know about stray bullets if aiming at non vital body parts…but I am always for preserving life…after all aren’t we all Americans? Why killing each other? Don’t we have enough foreign serious threats to use deadly force against?

  7. Sherry says:

    Confidential. . . you are so “Right”! What ever happened to the idea of using the “least” lethal force. . . even when faced with someone who has a different skin color? Every single officer should first be armed with and consider using a taser BEFORE a gun. . . and then to “shoot to kill” only when faced with no other option.

    And for those who say there is NO time for a thought process. . . consider the possibility that thorough, high quality training makes these kinds of responses completely automatic. . . no pondering required. Our police should return to “protecting and serving” ALL humans. . . and move away from the fear and destroy focus.

  8. Shrimpley Pipples says:

    I see the center of mass/stray bullet argument come up quite a bit as an excuse to not do disabling shots. Many other countries have no issues with warning shots or shots intended to disable, but many other countries have police with far better firearms training. I can’t remember a case in recent history where a german police officer magdumped into a person but there are many, many, many examples of it here in the states, and in some of those stray bullets hit bystanders and killed them.

  9. Heading North says:

    I only have one comment to make. I neither agree with cameras nor disagree . As for the other comments here, my response is this:
    If you have never been in law enforcement, or been threatened with your life and had to make that split second decision as some officers have, then until you’ve tried to do their job every day for years ( I did it for 38) then shut the hell up and quit criticizing !!!! End of comment.

  10. Mothers Worry says:

    Police are trained and practice to shoot at center mass, not leg are hand and so on. They are not trick shot trained. With adrenalin pumping, running and other motion by them or the person they are shooting at they are fortunate if they hit center mass.

  11. Heading North says:

    In addition to my last comment, I should add this – I was not there when this man was shot, nor do I know any of the particulars leading up to his death, therefore, I am intelligent enough NOT to interject any conclusions, nor would I attempt to judge either party involved.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Heading North, then perhaps you should refrain from using the English language, since you weren’t there at its inception. As for telling others to shut the hell up in the same breath as referring to 38 years in law enforcement–well, I shudder to think what sort of cop you were on the beat with that brutish attitude. Good thing for us all it’s past tense.

  12. Sherry says:

    Thanks Pierre! My thoughts exactly. . . when it comes to not being subjected to the arrogant, brutish attitude of some cops.

  13. Heading North says:

    Please accept my sincere apologies if I inadvertently offended you. It was not my intent by any means.
    I spent 38 years as a law enforcement officer, and never received a complaint during my career. I like to think I was professional in my dealings with the public, other agencies and officers, and the press. I do sometimes, however get a bit carried away with persons who seem to think all police officers are quick to resort to lethal means. Have I pulled my weapon, yes. Have I ever shot it at anyone, no. My comments were not intended to offend you or anyone else.
    Again, my apologies.

  14. Shrimpley Pibbles says:

    Actually, I’m glad that Heading North posted the comments that he did. If he is in fact a retired LEO, his comments illustrate one of the biggest issues that law enforcement in america needs to overcome – the belief that only law enforcement officers can question the actions of law enforcement officers. That attitude manifests every time a LEO gets caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar, and if anything it is exactly why policing agencies need an unbiased external agency with the ability to prosecute when necessary to handle what normally would be called internal investigations. So please, keep commenting. Everyone needs to see this attitude.

  15. yankee says:

    every time an officer fires his weapon, a civillian review board should be given access to everything as soon as it is possible. our police shoot way to many people, there is no question.

    law enforcement officers have had record years of safety on the job and all the while the number of dead as a result of police shootings is assumed to be sky rocketing. Why do I say assumed? Because no official number is maintained anywhere at any level of our govt.

    No where else in the civilized world are as many people killed by police. It isnt even close. Why cant our police officers police without shooting people at the drop of a hat? Its a fair question.

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