Archived: Family Gets $1 Million for Shooting Death of Unarmed Philly Man

David Jones, 30, was fleeing a police traffic stop when he was gunned down by former Philadelphia officer Ryan Pownhall. The city of Philadelphia has agreed to pay his family $1 million to avoid a lawsuit. However, this does not equate to an admission of guilt.


“The shooting death of David Jones was a tragic incident, and I hope this resolution will begin to assist his family in moving forward after what they have been through. My administration remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring all people in our City receive fair and equal treatment at the hands of law enforcement officials,” said Mayor Jim Kenney in a press release.

According to the investigation report, Pownall stopped Jones for illegally riding his dirt bike in the Juniata section of North Philadelphia. Pownall proceeded to frisk Jones, and a physical scuffle ensued during which Pownall tried to shoot Jones, but his gun jammed. Jones was able to break free, and as he ran away, unarmed, Pownall shot him twice in the back.

The grand jury report stated: “Jones was no danger to anyone in his flight. His death was not necessary to secure his apprehension – an apprehension that would never have been necessary if Pownall had not incited the confrontation.”

The Jones family attorneys, John M. Dodig, Robert J. Levant and Philip Steinberg, issued the following statement in response to the settlement: “The death of Mr. Jones was a tragic and senseless loss of life. David Jones was loved by countless family members and friends and will always be remembered as a hard-working citizen who was dedicated to his family and friends. The death of David Jones was completely preventable and his family hopes that lessons are learned from this tragedy.”

Pownall has been fired from the department, is now facing charges, and is being held in jail without bond, pending his preliminary hearing.

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