Fla. Officer who shot Corey Jones was still on probation

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Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer Nouman Raja, who shot and killed Corey Jones as he waited for roadside assistance, had been with the department for only six months at the time.  He was therefore still on probationary status when he was assigned to undercover surveillance work– something only tactical officers or detectives are allowed to do by departmental policy, reported Yahoo News.On October 18, 2015, at about 3:15 a.m., Jones, a 31-year-old musician, was headed home from a gig when his car broke down. He had just called roadside assistance for help when Raja, 38,  pulled up alongside him in an unmarked van wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and a baseball cap. He had been conducting surveillance on suspected burglaries.  Why he confronted Jones is a question still in demand of an answer.

Via Yahoo News:

[quote]But the department’s written procedures, obtained by Yahoo News through the Florida open records law, require that surveillance operations be carried out by tactical officers or detectives. As a new hire, Raja was still on probationary status and assigned to patrol. Nothing in his personnel file indicates other duties…

It looks like they assigned an untrained officer to conduct surveillance,” said police practices consultant Chuck Drago, who read the department’s surveillance policy at Yahoo News’ request. “Surveillance is an art and it takes training and practice. I think the PD will have to explain the use of an untrained officer in such a position.[/quote]

Palm Beach Gardens police chief Stephen Stepp, did not respond to a Yahoo News email asking why Raja had been assigned to do surveillance work.