Scores of people gathered Saturday at Payne Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., to say their final farewells to Corey Jones. He was laid to rest, with his drumsticks inside his casket, during a nearly four-hour funeral, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Police Officer Nouman Raja killed Jones in the predawn hours of Oct. 18. The plainclothes policeman approached Jones on the side of a highway, where Jones was waiting for a tow truck to pick up his broken-down car.
Raja, who was in an unmarked vehicle and, according to officials, not wearing a badge, told investigators that he shot Jones after a confrontation near Jones’ vehicle. Jones, 31, was armed. He had a concealed-carry permit and had legally bought his gun three days before the shooting. But prosecutors said that Jones did not fire his weapon. His family believes that Raja never identified himself as a police officer.
Mourners at Saturday’s funeral shared their memories of Jones, who was an assistant manager for the Delray Beach Housing Authority and a drummer at his Boynton Beach church.
Speaking at the funeral, the Rev. Al Sharpton recalled the cases of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown while denouncing the wave of police violence toward black men, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Sharpton said that Jones didn’t commit a crime and did everything right. The activist minister added that Jones had the right, given the circumstances, to stand his ground, under Florida law, when Raja approached him.
Read more at the Sun-Sentinel.