During a routine traffic stop in the neighborhood of Shilly-Shalley, 36-year-old Shaun Jones was shot twice by police officers. Jones was attempting to reach for a DNA test from his center console when police opened fire, Jones himself was unarmed.
Police have stated that the official reason for stopping Jones was they considered Jones to be a black man, and therefore assumed he was a suspect in a crime.
A lawyer for one of the officers involved in the shooting stated that “had Jones not appeared to be so black, police never would have pulled him over in the first place.”
The DNA test that Jones was reaching for clearly demonstrates that Jones is primarily of European descent.
Jones, who is in now in stable condition, claims that he did, in fact, say to the officers that he was white and that he was reaching for the DNA test in the center console to prove it.
“I just got the test back a week ago, and it shows that I’m 52% European,” Jones said from his hospital bed. The test was done by an online service.
Jones further said “I’m 24% French-German, 22% British & Irish, and 6% Iberian, which means I’m a white man, and that the police shouldn’t shoot me or take me to jail!”
The officers involved are saying that Jones never did inform them that he was white.
“The officers on the scene honestly thought he was black, otherwise they wouldn’t have shot him,” A spokesman for the police department stated.
During a press conference following the incident, the Chief of Police said that “we are investigating this matter fully, however at the moment we are considering this a justified shooting because both police officers truly believed that Jones was a black male.”
Other officers who arrived at the scene after the shooting echoed the sentiments of the police department.
“I also thought he was black,” said one officer, “and the woman that was with him was definitely black, and usually black people travel together.”
Another officer stated that “it was an old beat up car, which is usually indicative of black people, so it’s not surprising that the officers on the scene believed that they needed to use force.”
Initially taken to a minority hospital located in the black neighborhood of Shilly-Shalley, Jones was quickly moved to a white hospital to have the bullets removed from his right shoulder.
After his surgery, Jones said that he does understand the actions of the police, but believed that they needed to give him more time to show that he was white.
“Look, I understand that I look black, but I’m as white as a banker, and I should have been entitled to the safety and privileges thereof.” Jones further stated that “Bottom line, I told the officers that I was white and that I was reaching for my DNA test, but clearly, they didn’t believe me.”
The passenger that was in the vehicle with Jones has corroborated Jones statement and said to reporters that she did, in fact, hear Jones say to officers that he was white.
The passenger went on to say that she will now break up with Jones since she doesn’t date white people.
Leader of the White Preservation Group (WPG), Bill Duke, stated to reporters that “while there are many instances where it’s safe to shoot before asking questions because it’s so obvious that someone is black, in the case of Mr. Jones, police should have waited to see the DNA test.”
Duke, who has been leading an initiative to make it illegal for police to accidentally shoot white people, questioned why the officers didn’t fire more shots if they truly believed that Jones was black.
“I have to wonder if the officers had doubt as to the racial status of Mr. Jones,” Ross said, “only being shot twice in the shoulder seems like granted white privilege me, not something that they would normally do for a black male.”
Jones is scheduled to be released from the hospital before the end of the week, at which point he has stated that he will file a lawsuit against the police department for failing to recognize that he was white.