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Nouman Raja, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida Police Officer, Arrested for Manslaughter and Attempted First-Degree Murder

Nouman RajaNouman Raja, a former Palm Beach Gardens police officer, was arrested for attempted first-degree murder with a firearm and manslaughter by culpable negligence. Raja, 38, allegedly used excessive force when he shot and killed Corey Jones, a musician and property manager from Delray Beach on October 18, 2015. Raja is currently on house arrest with a GPS ankle monitor after posting $250,000 bond.

According to court records, the incident occurred last year in the early hours of October 18. Jones, 31, was driving home after playing with his reggae band when his vehicle broke down on the I-95 highway. Jones was waiting for roadside assistance when Raja encountered him. Raja allegedly stopped his unmarked vehicle and approached Jones out of uniform without identifying himself as a law enforcement agent. Jones was on the phone with AT&T roadside assistance at the time, sources say.

Raja’s confrontation with Jones was recorded by AT&T. The transcript reveals that the former officer fired six rounds at Jones with his personal firearm and hit Jones three times. Court records state that Jones’ licensed .380-caliber handgun was found 120 feet away from his body, implying that he had taken out the firearm in an attempt to defend himself. The gun was loaded but unused.

The transcript further reveals that Raja fired three rounds, waited 10 seconds, and then fired three more shots. Evidence shows that the ex-cop continued shooting even after Jones had tossed his firearm away and started to run. The State Attorney’s Office report on the case states that Raja’s intent seems to have been to kill Jones.

Raja called 911 less than a minute after he fired the final shot and purportedly told the operator that he saw Jones’ take out a handgun and that he gave the other man commands to stand down while he identified himself, but that he was forced to shoot when Jones allegedly didn’t lower his weapon. The transcript from roadside assistance call allegedly conflicts with Raja’s account, and that piece of evidence is key to the prosecutors’ case.

Raja was fired from the force a few weeks after the incident as investigations by the FBI, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and the State Attorney’s Office continue. If convicted of both charges, Raja could get up to life imprisonment.

Source: 6.9.16 Raja Manslaughter.pdf