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Franklin County Grand Jury Declines To Indict Officers Who Killed Kareem Jones

Columbus Police

The Franklin County Grand Jury declined to file an indictment against the Columbus Police officers who killed Kareem Ali Nadir Jones.

Testimony or evidence before a grand jury is secret by law. A press release from the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office says the grand jury reviewed the case on Friday, March 23, and concluded on the same day.

Columbus officers Samuel James and Marc Johnson shot Jones on July 7, 2017 in Franklinton. He died three days later. Police say Kareem Ali Nadir Jones, 30, was spotted that day “walking between cars with erratic behavior” behind a home on Schultz Avenue.

According to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, James had personal knowledge that Jones was under disability and thus not legally allowed to have a gun.

“Jones put his hands up but continued to move away from the officers and refused to stop," the release said. "Jones then reached for the gun in his waistband and began to raise it. At that time officers fired their weapons. Jones was transported to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries several days later."

According to the release, police found the Glock 9mm handgun possessed by Jones at the scene.

"DNA testing confirmed that the DNA of Jones was on the weapon," the release said.

It was the first Columbus Police officer-involved shooting to be captured by police body cameras. More than 850 officers in the department are currently equipped with body cams, and the rest should be outfitted by the early summer.

All police-involved shooting cases are referred to grand juries in Franklin County. In the over 20 years Ron O'Brien has served as county prosecutor, no police officer has been indicted for shooting a civilian.

The family of Jones filed a federal lawsuit against Columbus Police, claiming that the department has practices and policies that allow for unreasonable force.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.