Cedar Rapids police officer involved in two shootings fired from department

Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 1:31 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Cedar Rapids Police Officer Lucas Jones, who was involved in two separate police shootings, has been fired for “violating rules and policies of the department”.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department announced Jones’ termination Thursday, stemming from an administrative investigation that started in February 2020. Police declined to say the specific incident or action that prompted that investigation that ultimately led to Jones’ termination.

Officer Jones was involved in two separate shootings of suspects while on duty. The first happened in October 2015, when Jones and another officer shot and killed Jonathan Gossman. According to an investigation, Gossman ran from officers after a traffic stop and turned and pointed a gun at police. Officer Jones and the other officer shot Gossman, killing him. Prosecutors found both officers actions in that case were justified.

(KCRG)

A year later, in November 2016, Officer Jones shot Jerime Mitchell after a traffic stop. Dash camera video in that incident showed Jones pulling over Mitchell’s vehicle for a burned-out license plate light. Officer Jones said he smelled marijuana and tried to arrest Mitchell and then a fight ensued. Police later said they found marijuana in the car and in Mitchell’s system. The video shows Mitchell get back in his vehicle and try to drive away with Officer Jones caught in the door. Officer Jones shot Mitchell before falling to the side. Mitchell was paralyzed from the bullet and crashed into parked vehicles up the road. A grand jury cleared Officer Jones of wrongdoing even though Linn County Attorney Jerry Vandersanden presented the case without interviewing Mitchell about what happened, claiming Mitchell and his attorneys were uncooperative with attempts to question him.

Mitchell is currently suing the City of Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Police and Officer Jones. That case has faced several delays and isn’t scheduled for trial until next year.

Mitchell spoke during a Black Lives Matter protest in Cedar Rapids last month. Firing Officer Jones was one of the demands of protest organizers.

Editor’s Note: An initial version of this article incorrectly stated Jones was involved in the shootings of two Black men. That has been removed to reflect that Jonathan Gossman was White. We apologize for the error.

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