By Jorel Robinson – For the second time in 365 days, a Cedar Rapids Police officer is the main subject of an investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation regarding another officer-involved shooting. We know that unlike in the last case, there is dash cam footage that has allegedly been handed over to investigators. Officer Lucas Jones, (who has now fired 19-20 shots into local neighborhoods with a stray bullet shooting into a residence) also opened fire between a school and a hospital. He has in total shot two people, leaving one dead (ruled justified) and one paralyzed. Officer Jones has finally been interviewed for his most recent incident. Shooting Jermie “Danky” Mitchell 37,
in the throat during a routine traffic stop. As reported by KCRG: “The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation interviewed officer Lucas Jones. He is the officer who shot and seriously wounded 37-year-old Jerime Mitchell on November first. DCI is handling the investigation of the incident and Jones is on paid leave until that investigation is complete”
It has been 11 days since initial news of the shooting broke and nothing has been released with much of the discussion is regarding the initial stop. Did Jerime ever leave his truck? The main reason for the outcry of emotion can be laid at the feet of the city of Cedar Rapids front door. Instead of serving the community in times as trying as these to bring us together, or instead of keeping all of the information confidential purely out of respect for both families, as well as for the investigation of truth, the city officials decided to make vague statements to the public and media outlets. Those vague statements then changed multiple times. With the lack of information, and the man who was shot in the video asking for its release you can only imagine the feeling building in this city.
Officer Lucas Jones believed to be 28-29, has been a police officer since 2011, although we have not yet confirmed if his entire career has been served with CRPD. Officer Lucas Jones and Officer Bryson Garringer were cleared in the killing of 21-year-old Jonathan Gossman. Officer Jones and Officer Garringer responded to a stopped vehicle that escalated to a foot chase. The officer’s dog, Bane, bit the suspect on the left arm and started to pull Gossman to the ground and to his left. At this time Officer Garringer saw a black handgun and immediately yelled “Jesus Gun”, according to the DCI report which is posted online here. Keep in mind as all of this is happening they are only four to five feet away from Gossman.
Officer Garringer reported that he noticed a gun in the Gossman’s hand as his dog was taking him down, he then reported seeing a flash and hearing a clap which he believed was Gossman firing at him. Officer Lucas Jones who claims to be three to four feet away, sees his fellow officer fall to the ground after he yells “Jesus gun” and thinks his partner has been shot then takes out his .40 caliber Glock and shoots 16 times at Gossman while Officer Garringer shot his weapon nine times. I must point out that the DCI Report states on page 4 paragraph 6, “Even though Officer Garringer reported seeing a flash and hearing a loud clap there was no physical evidence discovered by investigators that Gossman had fired his weapon”. An Autopsy had been completed on Gossman the next day by the Iowa State Medical Examiner in Ankeny, Iowa. The Medical Examiner concluded that Gossman died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head, neck, and upper thorax. The Cedar Rapids police department recognized Jones with a Class B Commendation for Heroism or lifesaving, according to a Facebook post.
Regardless of how you choose to view the situation, the man was on foot trying to get away from the officers. If he wanted to shoot he could have stayed with his vehicle where many weapons had been recovered. He was chased down and shot, either in cold blood or by accident but it wasn’t portrayed as either just a justified shooting. These reports are available for public viewing and I urge all to read and educate themselves on this and similar matters.
Now, taking 25 shots at a man that is being bitten by a dog, taken to the ground, pants falling down, and is only three to four feet in front of both of the officers, is very telling to me. The gun that was coincidentally found underneath his body was not only damaged from being shot but also had no evidence of ever being fired. There was also no mention of any stray bullets from Gossman only from a shot fired by the officers. No mention of gun residue on the hands of Johnathan Gossman. The final deciding factor for the Linn County Attorney was not the evidence but the officer’s statements. It is a shame that Johnathan wasn’t just wounded enough to live and be able to report his version of the events.
Linn County Attorney Jerry Van Sanden cited section 704.1 of the Iowa code in regards to self-defense and deadly force. A story that includes a possible flash and clap, a man running from the cops who has a gun in one hand and being bitten on the other arm decides to now flash his gun but never shoot it?? Reading the report on this case will give you an idea of the potential characters in question and what can happen when they are left to take care of these situations without any pressure from the public. The DCI is to review the police use of force in this investigation and will present the findings to the Linn County Attorney’s Office. The Linn County Attorney is then to decide whether the shooting was justified. The Linn County Attorney is an elected official, he was sworn in unopposed in 2011. Once done reading the report you’ll notice it’s signed “Respectfully submitted, Jerry Vander Sanden”. I would believe evidence should and will decide the case for Mr. Mitchell if there is one, not an officer’s statement alone. In January of just this year, Vander Sanden deemed this officer justified in shooting his weapon 16 times at a man who did not shoot back, instead he took the word of the officers.
I have found no updates regarding the officer that was extracted from the police vehicle and wish him a speedy recovery but would also like to know his name and reason for being at the scene? I am hoping Officer Lucas Jones was able to fully recall what happened that night as I can’t tell you what I was doing 3 days ago and certainly not with great detail. Mitchell suffered serious injuries and is still in the hospital, recovering we’d like to wish him a Happy Birthday Nov.10th. According to family members, he woke up for the first time since the incident Wednesday the 2nd and has been fighting to improve ever since. We will do our best to keep you updated with posts and video. We are also working on a way to show actual video footage of Office Lucas pulling over a young black male late at night regarding a mismatch in registration. When Officer Jones returned to the vehicle and noticed he is being recorded, the registration then suddenly matches and he is free to go.
The latest reports have now referred to the initial stop as a routine traffic stop. A call came in at 1:15 a.m. first reports stating 1st ave and Coe Rd also being reported as Center Pt Rd. and E Ave.
The current story reports that after being pulled over Officer Jones went to speak with Mitchell who did pull over in his vehicle and comply. Officer Jones’ dog Bane, is said to not have gotten out of the vehicle. Officer Jones, the police, and the City, are claiming Mitchell got out of his vehicle at the officer’s request or by force, which led to an “altercation” or “attack”. We have been told that the city will not define either term being used in this vague situation. We are then told that Mitchell then Jumps back in his vehicle and that is when he is shot in the neck and more than likely paralyzed at that time. There is also no evidence of blood anywhere on the ground or around the three shots fired at the bottom of the street.
He then drives to the top of the hill and is either paralyzed or passing out when he crashes through an unmarked police SUV which is coincidentally parked horizontally in the middle of the street. The SUV was initially reported to be responding to another traffic stop.
After Mitchell drives off is where the crucial questions lie and need to be answered. Why did officer Jones, who had just taken 3 shots at the man, never get back in his vehicle to follow in pursuit? His car never moved after the shots had been fired. If he ran to the top of the hill and had seen that Mitchell had hit the unmarked SUV, was Officer Jones also the one that took a shot at Mitchell from the top of the hill? Will ballistics show more than one officer shot at Mitchell that night? Or did Jones not hop in his vehicle because he knew he fatally shot Mitchell and chased him up the street on foot and took another shot to try and finish the job?
Thank you for reading, posting, discussing! #StayIntheFight #JusticeForDanky
For Peace and Justice,