For years, Nouman Raja’s personal and policing lives have been filled with contradictions.
He told Atlantis police the mentally ill need to be approached with compassion but resorted to fists and Tasers when confronted with psychiatric patients at JFK Medical Center. He never finished a four-year college degree but speaks six languages and until this week, taught courses at Palm Beach State College.
He had a defunct company, IRS liens and a pending foreclosure in 2007, but came back financially by this year, having paid off the back tax bills by 2010 and closed on a $400,000, 2,600-square-foot home this spring. He got high marks for professionalism by supervisors while on the Atlantis police force, but botched two criminal cases.
He expressed concern about using deadly force in the line of duty, but went to work with large knives strapped to his uniform, according to a person who knows him but asked not to be identified.
And he was praised for teaching others in law enforcement how to safely handle risky traffic stops, but in October shot and killed Corey Jones as the 31-year old waited on a highway ramp for a tow truck.
Jones’ vehicle broke down Oct. 18 on the southbound off ramp of PGA Boulevard and Interstate 95. Raja pulled up in an unmarked white van with tinted windows at about 3:15 a.m., Jones’ family attorney, Benjamin Crump, said.
— Palm Beach Post staff writer Pat Beall