PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — On the four year anniversary of Corey Jones's death, his family and friends say this is the first year they have thought less about the former officer who took his life and more about Corey's legacy.
In the kitchen at his Delray Beach restaurant, The New Vegan, Rahein Jones remembers when his cousin Corey created a new dish, "Corey's rice." He can only imagine what other memories they would have created together if Corey was still alive.
"Today is definitely a day that I look back to see how many different things could have been different if Corey was here," said Jones.
In Palm Beach Gardens, Corey's brother C.J. reflects at the PGA Boulevard off ramp where his brother was shot and killed by former police officer Nouman Raja four years ago.
"Getting into people's souls, rhythm, that's what he was about," said C.J. Jones, Corey's brother. "Smiling all the time, making jokes, happiness, always trying to help somebody."
Corey was 31-years-old when he died. He was a church drummer, a housing authority inspector, a cook, a son, a brother, friend, and mentor for so many touched by his kindness. This year Corey's family says it gets to embrace that fully now that Raja was convicted by a jury.
"We know that their fight is not over, but for this year, it's a little less of Raja being in the forefront of our thoughts," said Rahein Jones, Corey's cousin.
At the site where Jones's car was broken down overnight, where he and Raja had that fatal encounter, Corey's family thinks about his legacy.
"I think about him every day," said Breante Allen, Corey's cousin.
They talk about how Corey's story helped push for police body camera legislation, how regular people started buying more dash and body cameras for security, and how Corey's life has inspired others.
"I played in the NFL and I told him this way, before this even happened, you're going to be famous, you're going to be way more popular than me," said C.J. "I'm honored that my little brother is basically creating change for the world."
Raja and his attorneys have started an appeals process to overturn his conviction. C.J. and Corey's cousins say they will continue fighting to keep the justice they pushed for, but said today is about Corey and remembering his life.