After being shot three times by an Iowa cop during a traffic stop on November 1, Jerime Mitchell is now paralyzed from the neck down.
Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden announced this week that no charges will be filed against the shooting officer after a grand jury declined to return an indictment against Cedar Rapids police officer Lucas Jones.
However, the grand jury arrived at that decision without obtaining statements from Mitchell, even though his lawyer insists she tried for several weeks to set up an interview with investigators and her client.
The grand jury also arrived at that decision without hearing a recorded conversation between Jones and Mitchell during the traffic stop because the officer’s body-worn microphone was not recording.
Vander Sanden said it is likely the microphone’s rechargeable battery had died because the charge only lasts four hours and the officer was four hours and 15 minutes into his shift, according to The Gazette.
So the grand jury had only a dash cam video to base its decision on.
However, Vander Sanden said he will not file charges against Mitchell even though police found a pound of marijuana, digital scales and $1,500 in cash in his truck because it would not “serve any purpose of justice” considering he is already paralyzed.
The video shows Jones pulling over Mitchell on November 1 at 1 a.m. because Mitchell’s license plate lights were not working. Jones exits his K-9 patrol vehicle and approaches Mitchell’s vehicle.
Words are exchanged but the dash cam video does not capture them and the officers’ s microphone was not working.
Jones then gestures for Mitchell to exit the vehicle. As Mitchell exits, Jones attempts to place his hands behind his back, but Mitchell resists and an all-out brawl ensues.
During the struggle, Jones remotely opens his doors to allow his police dog to attack Mitchell. The police dog bites Mitchell’s legs several times and eventually backs off as the officer and civilian continue to fight.
Mitchell eventually overpowers Jones enough to jump back in his truck with Jones still hanging on to him hanging halfway out of the truck.
As Mitchell accelerates, Jones pulls out his service weapon and shoots three times, striking Mitchell once in the neck.
Jones falls out of the truck as it continues driving down the street.
Subsequent blood tests show that there was THC in Mitchell’s system, which is a positive for marijuana.
In Mitchell’s truck along with one pound of marijuana, $1,500 in cash and scales; police found Mitchell’s cell phone that contained text messages indicating that Mitchell was selling marijuana.
It is the second time in one year that the district attorney’s office has declined to charge Jones in use-of-force cases.
In October 2015, Jones and another officer shot and killed 21-year-old Jonathan Gossman after Gossman pointed a loaded gun at them during a foot chase.
Iowa grand juries are made up of seven randomly chosen Iowa residents. Out of the seven, there has to be a minimum of five that agree on a charge in order to return an indictment.