Members of the congressional delegation in Palm Beach, Florida have introduced a bill in memory of Corey Jones that will deny funding to police departments that employ plainclothes cops to make routine traffic stops in unmarked cars, The Palm Beach Post reports.
Jones’ death made national headlines last year after he was fatally shot by Officer Nouman Raja in October. The musician – whose car had broken down – was stranded on the side of the road when he was approached by Raja, who wore plainclothes and drove an unmarked car.
Raja then claimed he fired his weapon because Jones was in possession of a gun.
Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, and Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, are all in support of the Corey Jones Act of 2016. The act would prevent federal Community Oriented Policing Services grants to police departments that use the plainclothes tactic.
The Palm Beach Post reports:
“Any confusion as to the nature of the law enforcement officer’s interaction with Mr. Jones could likely have been avoided had a uniformed officer in a marked vehicle been called to the scene,” the preamble to Hastings’ bill says. “Tragic incidents like the death of Mr. Jones can easily be avoided by prohibiting law enforcement officers in plainclothes or law enforcement officers in plainclothes and unmarked vehicles from engaging in routine traffic stops.”
Hastings called the bill “common-sense legislation will help keep both law enforcement and the citizens they police safe. “Tragic incidents like the death of Corey Jones can easily be avoided by prohibiting plainclothes law enforcement officials driving unmarked vehicles from making traffic stops. These situations lead to confusion and even confrontation…I believe that imposing this requirement on COPS grant recipients will make our communities safer.”
The 38-year-old officer was fired in November after being placed on paid administrative leave. No charges have been brought against Raja as of yet, and the city hasn’t determined whether he violated department protocol.
SOURCE: Palm Beach Post | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform