Corey Jones’ family weighs in on recent police shootings

Clinton Jones Sr. speaks about his son, Corey Jones, during a press conference outside the Palm Beach County Courthouse on Thursday, October 22, 2015.

Clinton Jones Sr. speaks about his son, Corey Jones, during a press conference outside the Palm Beach County Courthouse on Thursday, October 22, 2015.

The shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in separate encounters with police on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively came just as Palm Beach Gardens police on Wednesday released 911 calls in former officer Nouman Raja’s October shooting of motorist Corey Jones.

Jones’ family on Wednesday also filed a wrongful death suit against both the city and Raja, who prosecutors last month charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence and attempted murder in Jones’ death.

Jones father, Clinton Jones, Sr. and his stepmother, Katie Jones, released the following letter Thursday to Castile’s mother Valerie, through their attorneys:

Valerie:
It is with broken hearts that we must reach out to you regarding the tragic shooting death of your dear son, Philando Castile. As we watched the news coverage today, we noticed an all too familiar resemblance to the October police shooting that took the life of our dear son, Corey Jones.

 

Philando Castile, killed Wednesday during a traffic stop with a police officer.

Philando Castile, killed Wednesday during a traffic stop with a police officer.

We believe it is our duty to reach out to you to let you know that we stand with and are praying for you during this most difficult time. While we are certain that all of us would have chosen a different path, God recognized our strength and chose us for this path. We want you to know that you do not have to walk this path alone. Although we may live several states away, and may only share the common thread of having lost a son due to the senseless killing by a police officer, we want to lend our support to you in whatever way you may see fit.
As we await the criminal trial of the officer who killed our son, we have gathered strength from the love and support of those who support our mission to hold law enforcement officials accountable for their actions. However, I am compelled to tell you that the road to justice is not easy. The pain you feel now is unimaginable and at times will feel intolerable, but through it all we must not, and we cannot lose hope.
Your son’s life mattered. Our son’s life mattered. We must demand that something change! We must demand justice!
Clinton Jones, Sr. and Kattie Jones
The Parents of Corey Lamar Jones

Clinton "C.J." Jones, Jr., walks into his brother Corey Jones' funeral at Payne A.M.E. Chapel on October 31, 2015.

Clinton “C.J.” Jones, Jr., walks into his brother Corey Jones’ funeral at Payne A.M.E. Chapel on October 31, 2015.

The parents’ letter comes hours after Clinton “C.J.” Jones, Jr., brother of Corey Jones took to social media and posted the message below to Sterling’s family:

TO THE FAMILY OF ‪#‎ALTONSTERLING‬

CJ Jones: THE BROTHER OF COREY JONES.

My family and I are extremely saddened to see another abuse-of-power murder by overly aggressive police officers who lack compassion and patience for those whose job it is to protect and serve: the community.

Sunlight, as they say, is the best sanitation; and the light should shine brightest from the top down. Nothing confuses and angers a community more than to be unable to distinguish the police from those the police are tasked to protect us from.

Our family knows the heartache the Sterling Family is experiencing and we will pray for their healing to start. However, we do not demand the diminishing of any anger you may feel for this crime – that too is justified.

Alton Sterling, killed in a confrontation with police in Baton Rouge, La., on Tuesday July 5, 2016.

Alton Sterling, killed in a confrontation with police in Baton Rouge, La., on Tuesday July 5, 2016.

We do ask that as the justifiable anger grows in our communities across the country and more specifically in Baton Rouge, that people think rationally before acting. Though we have suffered far too long from these SENSELESS acts of terror from American law enforcement, our actions will determine future acts of aggression towards us. So please be sensible.

Honest officers and honest people in influential positions can stop this if they’d only show the same degree of courage and commitment for those in their communities as they do for those in ours. They must simply value our lives as much as they do their own.

We cannot deny that the racial fractures in our society are mostly to blame for this police phenomenon. And though we as a nation have had 150 years to change these ways, it’s not people of color who are stagnant in this evolution. Police are behaving the same way they always have.

The video speaks for itself. The people speak for themselves. These officers’ actions speak for themselves.

At some point law enforcement and the justice system will listen. CHANGE WILL COME!

CJ Jones (R.I.H COREY JONES 10-18-2015)