A South Florida town has reached a $2 million settlement with the family of a black motorist who was fatally shot by a police officer after his vehicle broke down on an interstate off-ramp more than seven years ago. Was given
The city of Palm Beach Gardens released a statement saying it had reached an agreement Thursday through mediation with the family of Corey Jones. The settlement is for the full amount covered by the city’s insurance policy, which the insurance carrier has offered to pay since 2016, according to a city statement.
Fired Palm Beach Gardens officer Nauman Raja was convicted of murder and attempted murder in 2019 and sentenced to 25 years in prison for Jones’ murder in October 2015. King was the first Florida law enforcement agent in nearly 30 years to be convicted and sentenced for on-duty murder.
Prosecutors argued that King escalated what should have been a routine conversation with Jones, a 31-year-old housing inspector and part-time drummer, into a fatal confrontation.
King, of Asian descent, was in plain clothes for the Palm Beach Gardens Auto Theft Investigations Squad when they spotted Jones’ SUV at 3:15 a.m. on October 18, 2015. Jones was on his way home from a nightclub performance by his reggae band when his vehicle stalled on a dark Interstate 95 off-ramp. He had a concealed weapons permit and carried handcuffs, purchased to protect his $10,000 drum set, which was in the SUV.
King, dressed in jeans, a T-shirt and baseball cap, errantly drove up to an unidentified van within feet of the SUV. Prosecutors said that King never identified himself as an officer and acted in such an aggressive manner that Jones must have thought he was about to be taken from the car or killed. King’s supervisor testified that he was told to wear a police vest if the officer approached a civilian. He neither drew nor drew his badge.
King had told investigators that he had fired after Jones pointed a gun at him, but an audiotape of their encounter led prosecutors and jurors to believe that King instigated their brawl.