Ex-cop Raja segregated from jail inmates, charged in death of Corey Jones
WEST PALM BEACH (CBS12) —
A spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office tells CBS12 that former Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer Nouman Raja spent Wednesday night in a solitary jail cell, with the comforts of a bed, a toilet and air-conditioning.
The spokeswoman, Teri Barbera, said Raja is also segregated from other inmates for his own safety because of his law enforcement background, and as a professional courtesy, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office won't make the ex-officer sit for a mug shot either.
Regardless of Raja's circumstances in jail, what mattered most to local church leaders and black activists is that Raja is actually there. At McCray's BBQ on 45th street in Mangonia Park, a dozen individuals gathered on Wednesday night.
Since the shooting death of Corey Jones by Raja, the group had met monthly with Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg (who handed over Raja's case to the grand jury) and were comprised of members of Black Vote Matters, the Boynton Beach Coalition of Clergy and the Palm Beach County Clergy Alliance.
They applauded the grand jury's decision. Owner of the roadside BBQ Derrick McCray said, "It's a moral victory today, and it also sets a blueprint for the rest of America to follow."
Ray White of Black Vote Matters said, "We love Cory. We celebrate for the family this wave of justice for them."
The group said that at times they doubted the judicial process and that the jury's decision has restored their faith in it and, also, in law enforcement.
The group believes the decision is a step toward improving race relations in Palm Beach County.
McCray said, "The decision helps us to talk about how we identify and how we treat each other as American citizens, not black versus white. Now, when we look at each other we have to understand that when we bleed blood, it's all red."
Raja remains at the Palm Beach County Jail without bond. He is scheduled to appear before a judge on Thursday morning for a bond hearing.