A fired West Palm Beach, Florida police officer faces 25 years to life in prison after an all-white jury convicted him of murdering a stranded African-American motorist whose SUV had broken down on the exit ramp of the I-95 Expressway.
The jury found Nouman Raja, 41, guilty of manslaughter and attempted murder Thursday in the shooting death of Corey Jones, 31, which occurred October 18, 2015.
Jones, who worked part-time as a drummer and full-time as a housing inspector, called for a tow truck around 3 am when Nouman Raja drove the wrong way down the exit ramp and approached. He was driving an unmarked car, and he did not identify himself as a police officer. He also wasn’t wearing a police vest, ignoring his commander’s orders.
Jones, who was licensed to carry a gun, believed that Raja was planning to rob him because Raja acted aggressively, cursing and ordering Jones to put his hands in the air. Jones carried a gun to protect a $10,000 drum set a that was in his SUV.
Prosecutors believed Jones pulled his gun and ran away down an embankment. He threw down his weapon, which still had the safety on. Raja fired six shots. The shot that killed him went through his heart. He also was shot once in both arms.
Raja lied to police because he didn’t know the tow truck company was recording what he said Jones before killing him.
Raja claimed Jones pointed his gun at him, forcing him to shoot again. Palm Beach Gardens fired Raja following the shooting, and he has been under house arrest since 2016.
An all-white jury deliberated four hours before convicting Raja, who is Pakistani. His father is a police chief in Pakistan.
British newspapers frequently publish articles about Pakistanis involved in unprovoked attacks on blacks.