CEDAR RAPIDS — Jerime Mitchell said late Wednesday what the DCI and the Linn County attorney “believe about me is untrue” and he claims Officer Lucas Jones was aggressive to him and attacked him “without provocation.”
Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said on Tuesday the grand jury made the decision not to indict Jones on Monday for shooting Mitchell during a traffic stop on Nov. 1. The grand jury didn’t hear Mitchell’s version of the incident.
Jones told investigators that Mitchell was combative with him when he pulled over Mitchell for his license plate lights not working on his truck. Jones said Mitchell started cursing him when he approached the truck and smelled a “strong odor” of marijuana.
Mitchell, in his statement sent to The Gazette through his attorney, said Jones changed his story about why he pulled him over after Mitchell stepped out of his truck and Jones “became combative toward me.” Mitchell said he would never curse like Jones claimed at anyone, “let alone a police officer.”
“I was frightened, and decided it was in my best interest to get back in my truck,” Mitchell said. “At that point, Officer Jones got even more aggressive towards me and slammed me against the truck, then without provocation from me, he tackled me to the ground and released his dog who started attacking me.”
Mitchell said he was scared and knew he had to get back in his truck to get away from the dog and this is when Jones “jumped on me and shot me while I was in my truck.”
“I realized I was shot and needed to get to the hospital immediately and that is when I accelerated,” Mitchell said. “Immediately after, I lost control because his bullet paralyzed me. I was unarmed. I never struck the officer, or the dog. This has changed my life forever...he shot to kill me. No one should ever be treated the way I was that night.”
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Vander Sanden on Tuesday said Jones and Mitchell got in a scuffle outside the truck when Jones tried to cuff Mitchell. Then, Jones got caught in between the driver’s side door and the body of the truck as Mitchell got back inside and tried to take off while Jones was trying to pull him out. Jones then fired three times at Mitchell’s head with “intent to kill” because he feared he would be pulled underneath the truck when Mitchell accelerated.
Police searched Mitchell’s truck after the shooting and found 1 pound of marijuana in a backpack, $1,500 in cash, and scales. They also found his cell phone, which contained text messages indicating that he was selling marijuana, Vander Sanden said Tuesday.
The dash camera footage of the shooting will be released to the press on Thursday afternoon.