White Iowa cop who shot and paralyzed an unarmed black man in 2016 is fired for letting black woman go after he pulled her over for driving with a suspended license

Nearly four years after a white Iowa police officer shot and paralyzed an unarmed black driver during a traffic stop, he was fired from the Cedar Rapids police force, but not for the shooting. 
It has emerged that Sgt Lucas Jones had been fired for violating department policy by giving a black female driver a break and letting her go without arresting her during another traffic stop
Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman announced Jones' firing on June 18 without elaborating on the reasons.
Activists had long been clamoring for Jones' firing, arguing that in 2016 he unfairly pulled over, struggled with and needlessly shot a fleeing Jerime Mitchell, who was left paralyzed and has attended some recent protests in his wheelchair.
Sgt Lucas Jones, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, officer who has faced protests for shooting Jerime Mitchell, an unarmed black man in 2016 says he's being unfairly terminated for giving a break to a driver
Jerime Mitchell speaks to the crowd as his wife Bracken holds the microphone during a protest against police brutality at Greene Square in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sgt Lucas Jones, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, officer (left) who has faced protests for shooting Jerime Mitchell (right), an unarmed black man in 2016 says he's being unfairly terminated for giving a break to a driver. Mitchell, who was paralyzed by Jones, is seen at a police protest in June  
Jones pulled Mitchell over on November 1, 2016, for driving without a license plate light
Jones pulled Mitchell over on November 1, 2016, for driving without a license plate light
Police dash cam footage shows moment Jerime Mitchell is shot
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The city continues to defend the shooting in court, acknowledging that it has spent $280,000 on an outside law firm to represent Jones in a lawsuit filed by Mitchell, now 41.
A grand jury long ago declined to charge Jones, who claims he sped up to pull over Mitchell for not having a license plate light. He says he fired in self-defense after Mitchell resisted and began driving away as they struggled.
It was the second time in a year that Jones had shot a suspect, having killed an armed white drug suspect who fled from officers in a 2015 case in which authorities also cleared Jones and defended his actions.
Instead, a termination letter released this week shows that 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.
The letter says that 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.
Instead, 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 alleges.
The city re-examined the October 30, 2016, stop after Jones discussed it during a January legal deposition taken by lawyers for Mitchell in the ongoing lawsuit. The city investigated the stop in 2017 and didn't discipline Jones, who was later promoted to sergeant.
In the deposition and an interview with The Associated Press, Jones said the break he gave the woman is the kind of policing that would improve relations between white officers and black citizens they serve.
Jones said he believed he had the discretion to let her off, and that the decision saved her up to $2,400 in fines and towing fees and prevented the loss of her license for another six months.
A struggle ensued after Mitchell allegedly cursed at Jones and resisted
A struggle ensued after Mitchell allegedly cursed at Jones and resisted 
Jones later said he fired on the unarmed man in self-defense because Mitchell attempted to drive away during the scuffle
Jones later said he fired on the unarmed man in self-defense because Mitchell attempted to drive away during the scuffle 
Jones said he pulled over the woman because her SUV had no license plates. He said she was crying and saying she needed the vehicle so she could work and support her children. She was not intoxicated, her license had been suspended only for a failure to pay traffic fines and she had no arrest record.
'I told her I was willing to cut her a break because I think the biggest piece of this job is having humanity and having compassion,' Jones said, adding that arresting her would not have promoted public safety.
In the deposition, Jones testified that he 'would continuously violate this policy in order to create a positive impact on someone's life.' Based partly on that admission, the city opened a disciplinary investigation after prodding from Mitchell's lawyer.
The city's termination letter claims Jones said in the deposition that he would 'knowingly violate department policy as he sees fit' - a statement that he called a mischaracterization.
Through his attorney, Jones accused the police department of treating him unfairly and denying him the chance to defend himself by withholding information from him. 
'They've kept all of the information, essentially, and all the cards to themselves, and they've presented this one-sided case all the way through the chain of command,' Jones' attorney Skylar Limkemann told KCRG
'It's only now, after Lucas is fired, that he's given the materials, including the recommendations and the reasoning for the decision that they opposed, and then implemented, to be able to respond to.' 
Jones said he would appeal his firing in the coming days, accusing the chief of caving in to political and legal pressure and making him a 'scapegoat.' He said he believes the protests over George Floyd's death under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer were just but that the focus unfairly shifted to him.
Jones has launched a public fundraising campaign to pay for his appeal, which the police union won't cover since Jones is now a supervisor.
'I would go broke and live under a bridge if I have to in order to clear my name,' he said. The former Marine, who worked for the department for a decade, said that being called a liar 'kills me to my core' and that he has passed a polygraph test.
Mitchell was struck in the neck and paralyzed. A grand jury in December 2016 refused to charge Jones with any crime
Mitchell was struck in the neck and paralyzed. A grand jury in December 2016 refused to charge Jones with any crime 
But Mitchell's attorney, Larry Rogers, said the woman's traffic stop shows that Jones was an officer who selectively enforced the law and turned off his audio when convenient.
'He is utilizing an unlawful favor that he did for the daughter of a friend who happened to be black to suggest he does not act in discriminatory practices,' Rogers said.
Rogers contends that Jones also turned off his audio during the Mitchell stop, which was captured on dashcam video without sound. Jones has denied that and said he's not sure why his equipment didn't work.
Jones pulled over Mitchell, then aged 37, near Coe College on November 1, 2016, because both lightbulbs on his license plate were burned out. 
The dashcam footage shows Jones on patrol when he comes across Mitchell's truck.
Jones pulled Mitchell over and asked him to step out of the car before attempting to put him in handcuffs.
Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden previously said that Jones smelled a strong odor of marijuana. 
Mitchell was angry about being stopped and cursed at Jones, then eventually heeded orders to get out of the truck after locking himself in it, the prosecutor said. 
Jones told Mitchell he intended to detain him and reached for his handcuffs before the two began to scuffle, Vander Sanden said.
The two men fell to the ground before Jones called his K-9, which attacked Mitchell, out of the vehicle.
Mitchell tried to get back into his truck, with Jones clinging to his body and yelling at him not to drive.
As the vehicle began to move, Jones grabbed his service weapon and fired three close-range shots. One bullet struck Mitchell in the neck and paralyzed him, causing him to lose consciousness. 
The county prosecutor defended that decision, saying Jones fired in self-defense during a scuffle in which Mitchell was trying to drive away.
A backpack in Mitchell's truck contained a pound of marijuana and text messages suggested he was on his way to deliver it when stopped, Vander Sanden said at the time. 
Leslie Neely, a 31-year-old mother who helped organize protests against police brutality in Cedar Rapids, said Jones' firing was 'a great start' but the city has more work to do to reform the police and compensate Mitchell for his injuries.
'There was a lot of damage done and a person's life was impacted forever,' she said. 'I think the city has a long way to go.'
In October 2015, Jones and another officer shot and killed 21-year-old Jonathan Gossman, who allegedly pointed a loaded gun at them during a foot chase. 
Vander Sanden ruled that the officers 'were clearly reasonable in their belief that lethal force was necessary.' Jones shot 16 times at Gossman, who was white.
White Iowa cop who shot and paralyzed an unarmed black man in 2016 is fired for letting black woman go after he pulled her over for driving with a suspended license White Iowa cop who shot and paralyzed an unarmed black man in 2016 is fired for letting black woman go after he pulled her over for driving with a suspended license Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:40 Rating: 5

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