Public Safety

Watch: Iowa Supreme Court hears arguments in the Jerime Mitchell officer-involved shooting lawsuit

Jerime Mitchell (center) looks on between his wife, Bracken Mitchell (left), and his mother, Louise Johnson (right), during an event to support Jerime Mitchell hosted by Iowa-Nebraska NAACP at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Jerime Mitchell (center) looks on between his wife, Bracken Mitchell (left), and his mother, Louise Johnson (right), during an event to support Jerime Mitchell hosted by Iowa-Nebraska NAACP at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

The Iowa Supreme Court chose to hear a key dispute in a 2016 Cedar Rapids officer-involved shooting in a special evening session where the public can watch justices in action.

Jerime Mitchell was paralyzed after being shot by Officer Lucas Jones during a traffic stop Nov. 1, 2016, near Coe College.

Mitchell filed suit against the city and Jones in February 2017 in Linn County District Court. But the trial date has been bumped to Aug. 11, 2020 — nearly four years after the shooting — and depositions haven’t been taken.

The holdup involves the appeal that the Iowa Supreme Court heard at 7 p.m. Tuesday night.

The defendants — the city and Jones — asked the justices to review a ruling by 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Grady.

In November 2017, Grady ruled the city must turn over to Mitchell’s attorneys any requested law enforcement investigative reports, including electronic recordings and phone communications and interviews or conversations with law enforcement at the scene that are related to the shooting. But he stopped short of requiring the city to turn over any reports or memos used solely for a police internal review.

Mitchell’s attorneys also asked to access documents from the city and the police department over Jones’ involvement in another incident — a 2015 fatal shooting that is the subject of a separate lawsuit in federal court.

The city’s attorney argues that some of the documents related to Mitchell’s shooting and the 2015 shooting shouldn’t be available to the public. The documents involve Jones’ employment, the 2015 shooting, internal reviews and Mitchell’s medical records.

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