A grand jury has reportedly cleared Cedar Rapids, Iowa police officer Lucas Jones of any indictment charges for the November shooting that left 37-year-old Jerime Mitchell paralyzed, according to reports. Linn County officials also decided that no charges will be brought against Mitchell, although small bags of marijuana were found in his truck at the time of the incident.
Following Tuesday's decision, Mitchell's attorney Paula Roby heavily criticized Linn County attorney Jerry Vander Sanden and his office for coming to a conclusion so quickly reportedly without seeking a statement from her client, who had only recently regained the ability to talk. Roby claimed that Mitchell was more than willing to give his account of the situation and she had arranged for an investigator to take his statement next week, Fox News reports. "The family is shocked and disappointed," Roby said of the decision.
The violent incident reportedly stemmed from a traffic stop during which Officer Jones and Mitchell got into an altercation. The routine stop soon turned violent when Jones shot him in the neck, causing Mitchell to collide with two other vehicles before stopping his truck. Mitchell was reportedly transported to the hospital where he was treated with severe injuries. Medical attendants soon determined that the 37-year-old was paralyzed from the neck down due to Jones' bullet entering the left side of his neck and lodging into his spine below his voice box, according to KCRG.
This is reportedly the second time in one year that Vander Sanden's Sheriff's Office has declined to file charges against Officer Jones for his use of deadly force, according to Fox. In October of 2015, Jones was being investigated for shooting and killing a 21-year-old white man who allegedly pointed a loaded gun at him and another officer on duty. The male was reportedly shot 16 times. Vander Sanden ruled in that case that Jones and the other officer acted within reasonable belief that lethal force was necessary in order to defend themselves.
While the police union has reportedly backed the grand jury's decision to dismiss a case against Jones, the decision has sparked much outrage among Cedar Rapids residents and other supporters. Following the shooting, Mitchell's family and friends initiated the "Justice for Danky" movement, using a nickname to protest his wrongful slaying. The group of protesters initially organized a council meeting in November to put pressure on the city for answers in his incident. Mitchell is reportedly still in the University of Iowa Hospital, where he is in critical condition.