WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.-- Judge Joseph Marx started out with some concerns on Day 3 of Nouman Raja’s trial.
Raja is the former Palm Beach Gardens police officer being tried for manslaughter and attempted murder in the shooting death of Corey Jones.
Judge Marx shared concerns that jurors could be exposed to a demonstration planned outside of the courthouse.
A few members of Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward and Families Against Police Brutality did show up to show solidarity with Corey Jones's family.
The judge said if jurors were exposed he would be forced to ask them out they felt and it could result in a mistrial.
The jurors were kept inside the jury room during the lunch hour.
Demonstrators did put their signs away when they learned of the judge's concern but said they would continue to gather.
“They should advise the jury we cannot take a responsibility from who happens to see us. This is a public space. We are being peaceful. There's people of faith, we're gonna have some spiritual songs. This is like the most wholesome expression of democratic rights and constitutional rights,” said Carlos Naranjo with Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward.
Demonstrators gathering in a circle of solidarity, they say that should not have any impact on the trial. They did say they won’t chat and if any jurors see what they are doing it’s because they inserted themselves into the circle. Judge kept jurors upstairs for lunch. @wptv pic.twitter.com/kdo8Vh496P— Michelle Quesada (@M_Quesada) February 28, 2019
Judge Marx has previously ordered that no one inside the courtroom could wear shirts with symbols or messages in support of either Corey Jones or Nouman Raja. The judge also asked the defense team to not ask officers in uniform to come sit in the courtroom in support of the defendant because it could intimidate jurors.