Nouman K. Raja, a Florida police officer, who shot dead a black musician over the weekend, had received a suspension threat at his previous police department for keeping prescription drugs he seized from a suspect, according to his disciplinary report. Raja, who was in plainclothes in an unmarked car, shot Corey Jones, a popular drummer, on Interstate 95 early Sunday.
Raja joined the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department in April from the Atlantis Police Department. Commanders at Atlantis police warned Raja for being “derelict in the performance of his duties” by consistently mistreating evidence and paperwork, the file showed. Atlantis police chief Robert Mangold released the file Tuesday.
In January 2013, while with the Atlantis Police Deparment, Raja seized drugs from a woman who bought them without a prescription . The drugs were discovered in Raja’s patrol car over a week later.
“Officer Raja said he never did the report and he never secured the evidence. As a result of officer Raja’s actions there was a break in the chain of custody on the evidence seized and due to same no charges are to be filed on the case,” the file stated.
On Sunday, Raja stopped to investigate what he thought was an abandoned vehicle on Interstate 95. He reportedly had a confrontation with Jones, following which the officer shot the 31-year-old musician. According to the Palm Beach police, Raja was “suddenly confronted by an armed subject.”
Jones was also known as the talented church drummer at Bible Church of God, where his grandfather is the longtime pastor. "For him just to be gunned down like that...it really hurts," said Frederick Banks, Jones’ uncle. “My nephew was just broken down on the side of the road."