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Grand Jury will decide if charges warranted in fatal police shooting of Corey Jones

CoreyJones (family hand out)
CoreyJones (family hand out)
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Palm Beach County's State Attorney says he's taking the police shooting of musician Corey Jones before a Grand Jury.

State Attorney Dave Aronberg made the announcement at a regularly-scheduled media availability.

Corey Jones was killed this past October by Palm Beach Gardens Officer Nouman Raja.

Jones, a musician returning from a gig, had his car break down on an I-95 exit ramp at PGA Boulevard.

Officer Raja, working undercover, approached Jones. Raja claimed Jones confronted and threatened him, and shot Jones three times.

Raja, a probationary employee, was fired after the incident.

In most police shootings, the State Attorney decides whether the use of deadly force is justified, or if charges will be filed against the officer.

If ruled a justified shooting, the Office issues a "closeout memorandum," and no charges are pursued.

But Aronberg said since he took office three and a half years ago, he had presented two other police shootings to a Grand Jury.

"If unresolved issues exist, and a closeout memorandum cannot be issued, then our protocol is to take the matter to a grand jury," Aronberg explained.

"We want to assure the people of Palm Beach County that our only motivation is to do justice," said Aronberg.

"It's better than a no-file (decision)," said community activist Derrick McCray, who said he believe Aronberg had enough evidence to Raja now.

Retired Palm Beach County Chief Judge Edward Rodgers, who also worked as a prosecutor, had harsher words.

"This is the most ridiculous hijacking of justice I have ever seen or heard of," said Rodgers.

Asked about the retired judge's comments, State Attorney's Office spokesman Mike Edmondson said, "This is not something we would respond to."

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Aronberg said the case would be presented the Grand Jury currently seated. This panel's term ends June 30.

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