From [ThinkProgress] Police in Mesquite, Texas have dropped a charge against an unarmed man who was arrested and shot by police after officers believed he was burglarizing his own car.
Lyndo Jones, 31, was sitting inside his truck in a parking lot on the evening of November 8, struggling with a malfunctioning car alarm, when police arrived and instructed him to exit the vehicle. Officials said they were responding to reports of a possible car burglary after someone nearby reported hearing the alarm.
After “ma[king] contact” with Jones, Jones exited his vehicle voluntarily. Officers said a scuffle ensued.
“An altercation, a scuffle began and the individual ended up being shot,” Mesquite Police Department spokesman Lt. Brian Parrish told reporters afterward. Parrish claimed it had taken three officers to “subdue” Jones and that he had allegedly tried to “run.”
“He was actively trying to stand up and get out of the area,” Parrish said, noting that the officers had held Jones down until paramedics arrived. Justifying the actions of the officer who shot Jones — 10-year police veteran Derick Wiley — he added, “The situation was that Mr. Jones didn’t give the officer ample opportunity to start an investigation.”
Police charged him with evading arrest. The charge was later dropped on Tuesday, six days after Jones was shot by police. Parrish told ThinkProgress that the decision to dismiss the charge was made to “hopefully assist in his medical recovery” and that the charge “may be revisited at a later time.”
“It’s not getting pushed aside,” he said. “Right now, it’s more important for [Jones] to heal.”
Jones’ attorneys have disputed the official police account.
“Within 10 seconds of their arrival, he had been shot it the stomach. While on the street suffering from his wound, officers attempted to perform a cavity search and he reacted to that, and he was shot a second time in this back,” Jones’ lawyer, Lee Merritt, told Dallas–Fort Worth ABC affiliate WFAA8. Merritt claimed that police had also conveniently left out the fact that the truck Jones had been sitting in was his own in their initial public reports.
“That was not a mistake. That was an intentional misrepresentation to the public,” he added. “…That truck was his. How can you burglarize your own car?”
According to reports, Jones was treated for his wounds at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas and was handcuffed to the bed. Jones’ other lawyer, Justin Moore, said he was also forcibly removed by hospital security after arriving and demanding to sit in on an interview police were conducting with Jones, without attorneys present, a violation of his constitutional right to counsel.
Police say they did nothing wrong in speaking to Jones without his lawyers. “He’s a potential complainant in a shooting,” Parrish told ThinkProgress, adding that officers had not spoken to Jones about the charge against him. “There’s no requirement his lawyers be present for that.” The only legal question here is whether cops asked him any incriminating questions and if they did whether they advised him of his right to counsel orally and in writing and whether he understand and if so whether he waived his right to counsel during the questioning orally or by signing a consent - BW.