Mom says Oakland cops shot unarmed son in back

February 22, 2012 4:33:07 PM PST
It turns out a suspect Oakland police shot over the weekend is a cousin of Oscar Grant, the young man shot and killed by BART police three years ago.

24-year-old Tony Jones was shot on Sunday. Police say he had a gun which was recovered at the scene, but Jones' family disputes that. The Oakland Police Department announced Wednesday afternoon that Jones has been placed under arrest at the hospital and faces for felony counts related to Sunday's incident including armed robbery, resisting arrest, and being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm.

"I just believe what my client is telling me and he said he did not have a gun," attorney Waukeen McCoy says. The attorney representing insists his client was not armed when an Oakland police officer shot him in the lower back Sunday night. Jones was being pursued as a possible armed robbery suspect near 62nd Avenue in East Oakland. "He did nothing wrong but get out of the car, the vehicle that they stopped, and he started walking away from them. They then pulled up behind him. He ran across the street and that's when he was shot, in the back," McCoy said.

"The only thing I can tell you is that it is under investigation," said Officer Johnna Watson. While Oakland police will not say much about the incident, a police source told ABC7 Jones was running with a gun in his hand when the veteran officer opened fire.

"My son said, 'Mom, the officers is lying,'" said Jones' mom Bertrina Works-Grant. She also maintains her son, who she says was recently released from prison, was not armed. However, police say they did recover a handgun near where Jones was shot.

As of Wednesday evening, Jones was at Highland Hospital in stable condition. Jones is Oscar Grant's first cousin. The unarmed Grant was shot in the back by a BART police officer on the platform of the Fruitvale BART station on New Year's Day 2009. The 22-year-old Hayward man died a few hours later.

"This is wrong. I think that the police officers should know when to use force, and they can't raise the level of force when there's no threat against them," said McCoy who has already started the process of filing a civil lawsuit against the city of Oakland for the shooting.


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