Florida officer goes on trial for killing black motorist

Associated Press • Feb 20, 2019 at 11:56 AM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — For the first time in 26 years, a Florida police officer is standing trial for an on-duty killing — and one of his defenses will be the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law.

Fired Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja’s trial begins with jury selection Thursday. He is charged with manslaughter for the 2015 shooting of Corey Jones, a 31-year-old black musician.

Jones’ SUV had broken down when he was confronted by Raja, who was in plainclothes. Prosecutors say Raja never identified himself as a police officer, making Jones believe he was being robbed. Jones had a concealed-weapons permit and pulled a handgun. Raja shot him.

Raja’s attorneys say he identified himself and fired after Jones threatened him.

Florida last tried an officer for an on-duty killing in 1993.