Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family of Corey Jones, said on Thursday that evidence showed that the church musician died without knowing he had been shot by a police officer.
At a press conference with Jones' family, Crump explained that Jones had legally purchased a firearm because he was a drummer and was often paid in cash after late night gigs.
"He went a couple of years ago to make sure he got his proper paperwork to have protection, as any American has a right to do under the Second Amendment," Crump said.
"The one thing that remains unanswered is why this plain clothes cop in an unmarked van would have this encounter with Corey, who was waiting on the tow truck," the attorney noted. "And he ended up dead with three bullets in his body."
Crump wondered how people were supposed to act when they were approached on the side of the road by an officer who was not in uniform and refused to identify himself.
"If you are ever approached by an un-uniformed cop, how do we really know he's a cop?" he asked. "Isn't the burden on the cop to make sure that the citizen knows that he is a real cop. So, Corey won't feel like he's about to be mugged or he's about to be robbed or he's about to be killed on the side of the road at 3 in the morning?"
According to information the authorities provided to the family, the officer "never displayed a badge" to Jones, Crump said.
"We believe Corey went to his grave not knowing whether this was a real cop or not," Crump added. "We don't know what Corey would have known other than what the person that shot him tells us."
"And so, the family refuses to accept the person that shot their Corey [on the officer's] word alone," he insisted. "They want answers and if [the officer] did improper things, if he used excessive force, we want him to be held accountable to the full measure of the law."
"Because they know Corey did not deserve to be killed on the side of the road by somebody who was supposed to protect and serve him while he waited on a tow truck."
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