BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) – A tribute was held Tuesday to remember the life of Corey Jones, who was killed in a police-involved shooting.
It has been one year since his tragic death, and now family and friends are joining together in Boynton Beach for his memorial.
Attendees released Jones’s favorite colored balloons, black and silver, into the air. They gathered where Jones was laid to rest on the one year anniversary of the drummer’s death.
“My heart breaks at the thought of the phone call, one year later,” said Jones’ father, Reverend Clinton Jones Sr. “There is always an empty seat at the table. Nothing is the same without Corey.”
Jones was killed by former Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja, on Oct. 18, 2015. On that night, Raja was in plain clothes and in an unmarked van when he shot Jones, who had pulled over due to car trouble and was waiting for a tow truck.
“Broke down, police officer didn’t identify himself,” said one family friend at the tribute. “He should have been there to help him, but he took his life.”
During the tribute, everyone held hands in a circle as they prayed. “Father God, we thank You. We ask that Your power, Your spirit, Your might and Your force of justice be with us now,” said a pastor.
The family is asking for peace and strength on this day that brings back saddening memories. “Our hearts are heavy, the community’s heart is heavy,” said one family member. “My family is having a very difficult time.”
Raja was fired and charged with Jones’s death. He is currently awaiting trial and is expected to go before a judge on Wednesday for a status hearing.
The Jones family has been working with Palm Beach Gardens police to change policy. They now have implemented the Corey Jones Rule, where no officer who is wearing plain clothes and is also driving in an unmarked vehicle should engage with the public. Officers now also will wear body cameras.
The family will also award two scholarships in honor of Corey Jones to high school seniors in Palm Beach County. “That’s my goal, is to fulfill his dreams,” said Jones Sr. “They were cut short, but we are still here, so we can continue to keep the beat alive.”
The family also told 7News that they do not want a speedy trial. They want a just trial.
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