CEDAR RAPIDS — Dash camera footage of the officer-involved shooting of Jerime Mitchell has been made public.
The release of the footage comes after weeks of calls for its disclosure by family, friends and supporters of Mitchell. Cedar Rapids officials have maintained they would release the video at the conclusion of the investigation into the shooting. On Tuesday, Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden announced a grand jury found Officer Lucas Jones was justified in his use of deadly force and said video of the incident would be released after Mitchell’s family had a chance to review it.
The Iowa-Nebraska NAACP and its Cedar Rapids branch, along with Mitchell’s family and concerned citizens, plan to host a news conference “to address numerous concerns raised after the viewing of the video,” according to a news release. The news conference is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the African-American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids.
Jones shot Mitchell in the early morning hours of Nov. 1 following a traffic stop on the lower part of Coe Road NE. While the grand jury proceedings are not public, Vander Sanden did share some details of the investigation on Tuesday:
— Jones pulled Mitchell over due to his license plate lights being out. When Jones approached Mitchell’s truck, he smelled marijuana.
— A conversation between Jones and Mitchell took place, the details of which Mitchell has disputed. No audio of their interaction exists. Eventually, Mitchell got out of his truck.
— An altercation between the two men ensued when Jones tried to place Mitchell in handcuffs.
— Mitchell tried to get into his truck and leave, but Jones held on and somehow became caught between the open door and truck. Jones told Mitchell to stop, but he accelerated instead.
— Fearing for his life, Jones pulled his service weapon with his free arm and fired three shots at Mitchell’s head. One hit Mitchell in the neck, paralyzing him. Jones then broke free and fell backward.
— Mitchell, now incapacitated, continued on Coe Road before striking a police SUV and parked cars. Officers and paramedics administered aid to Mitchell.
— A pound of marijuana, scales and cash were later found in the truck. Mitchell’s phone also contained text messages that indicated he was ready to make a drug deal before he was stopped.
In a statement released Wednesday, Mitchell said the version of events presented Tuesday were untrue and that he was attacked without provocation.
While numerous attempts were made to interview Mitchell, his statements were not presented to the grand jury. He is scheduled to be interviewed by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation — which investigates officer-involved shootings — on Dec. 13.
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