Corey Jones, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Nouman Raja
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - As they gaze at the area he would make beautiful music every Sunday, Corey Jones aunt and uncle reflect on the anniversary they never wanted.
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“My heart hurts. It’s been a journey,” said Corey's aunt Sheila Banks.
Two years ago today, Jones was shot and killed by former Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja after his car broke down off of Interstate 95.
Raja is on house arrest still awaiting trial next year.
The shooting brought the conversation over police body cameras to the forefront.
“Putting a little pressure on them,” says Corey’s uncle Terry Banks. “Because we felt at that time that if they would’ve had body cameras, we would’ve had more information.”
That pressure from the family, local leaders and community activists kept the issue in the spotlight.
Two years later, a number of departments in Palm Beach County have body cameras, including Palm Beach Gardens and most recently, Jupiter.
“We’re able to celebrate because now we see the progress,” Sheila Banks said. “We’re able to turn that pain into progress.”
That progress continues with the Anita Banks foundation, named after Jones’ mother.
“We want to be that foundation that continues to help bridge that gap between police officers and citizens,” Sheila Banks said.
Terry Banks says it’s a legacy they say Jones would be proud of.
“He would probably be crying right now to know that his family loved him this much, and his community loved him this much.”