The police officer who shot and critically injured a Black man believed to be breaking into his own truck will face a grand jury on Tuesday, according to an exclusive from The Root.
Derick Wiley, 35, is currently on paid administrative leave pending investigations by the police department and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office for the shooting of Lyndo Jones.
Wiley, who has been with the Mesquite Police Department for a decade, shot Jones, 31, in the back and abdomen on the evening of Nov. 8. Jones was admitted to Baylor Medical Plaza’s Intensive Care Unit after the shooting and was eventually released.
Over the weekend, Jones returned to the hospital to be treated for an infection and possible pneumonia as a result of his wounds.
A charge for evading arrest may be revisited, according to police.
Jones, who was unarmed, was attempting to disarm the alarm on his truck when police approached him. After Jones was shot officers conducted an anal cavity search. After the shooting Jones was admitted to Baylor Medical Plaza’s Intensive Care Unit, where he was handcuffed to his bed and denied family visitation.
Jones was charged with evading arrest or detention, a charge that was dropped but that police noted could be revisited at a later date.
According to a YouCaring fundraiser established by Jones’ family, Jones lost his job as a result of the shooting.
“[Jones] was told by his supervisor told him he has ‘no place of employment’, to return. Therefore, no financial means of handling the care he received in the hospital for his injuries nor the caring of his children,” the page states.
“He was let go because they have a no-show, no-call policy,” Justin Moore, one of Jones’ attorneys, told Central Track. “He was in the hospital hidden for a week, unable to contact his supervisor to let them know what was going on.”
The Mesquite Police Department has defended its use of excessive force on Jones, saying he exhibited a great deal of strength the night of the shooting.
Police Lt. Brian Parrish said to CBS DFW, “I think that, I’m not an expert on human strength, but I think if someone has been shot and handcuffed and on the ground, and it still takes four large men to hold him down, that might indicate there are other factors in place.”
According to The Root, S. Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney representing Jones, “unapologetically admits that his client was high on marijuana and cocaine while sitting in his parked vehicle.” But these factors do not justify an officer shooting Jones, who, according to his legal team, was compliant with officers.
“The romanticized search for the perfect victim is futile and dangerous,” Merritt said to The Root. “My client was doing absolutely nothing that warranted this police officer opening fire.”
“We’ve seen this pre-emptive, transparent vilification of innocent people play out time and time again,” Merritt continued. “Lyndo Jones is a hardworking father of two young daughters who was profiled by a stranger and shot by Officer Wiley for no reason at all. Wiley is the violent perpetrator here, not my client.”
The police and Jones told different details of what happened on the night of Nov. 8. According to authorities, Jones attempted to flee when he got out of the truck. After being shot Jones continued to struggle with officers until he was eventually handcuffed.
However, Jones told Fox 4 that when officers approached him in the truck “with flashlights in his eyes and guns drawn,” he at first argued about why they were confronting him. But when he did exit the vehicle — reportedly with his hands up — an officer shot him “seemingly seconds later,” according to Fox 4.
At some point officers conducted an anal cavity search.
According to Merritt, there is bodycam footage from the night of the shooting that corroborates Jones’ account of what happened. Merritt told The Root he is calling on the MPD “to be transparent and release it immediately,” calling the video “highly incriminating against [Wiley].”
“Only 1 percent of law-enforcement misconduct is prosecuted in the state of Texas,” Merritt said to The Root. “That is by design.”