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Panel: Iowa officer who shot man in 2016 won't get job back

Last Updated Nov 24, 2020 at 8:14 am MST

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A white Iowa police officer who shot and paralyzed a Black man during a 2016 traffic stop will not get his job back, a panel has determined.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that the city’s Civil Service Commission on Monday voted unanimously not to reinstate Officer Lucas Jones. His attorney, Skylar Limkemann, said an appeal is planned.

Jones was fired in June, but not for the 2016 incident in which critics say he unfairly pulled over and needlessly shot a fleeing Jerime Mitchell. The city continues to defend the shooting in a lawsuit filed by Mitchell.

A grand jury declined to charge Jones, who said he fired in self-defence after Mitchell resisted and began driving away as they struggled.

Instead, Jones was fired over his handling of a traffic stop two days before he shot Mitchell in which he gave a young Black mother a major break.

According to a termination letter, Jones should have arrested the woman — the daughter of a tow truck driver who was a professional acquaintance of Jones — for driving with a suspended license and had her car impounded under department policy.

But he let her go, had her father come pick up the vehicle, turned off his body microphone to conceal his actions and later gave untruthful statements about doing that during a 2017 internal investigation, the city alleged.

Jones testified in September during a termination hearing that the woman had no outstanding arrest warrants or significant criminal history and he didn’t see her as a threat to the community.

The Associated Press