A 31-year-old man is currently in the ICU at a Texas hospital after being shot in the back by the Mesquite Police Department. His lawyers say that the shooting was unjustified, their client was unarmed, and he was merely shutting off his own car alarm. Meanwhile, police are naming him a car burgarly suspect.
Lyndo Jones, 31, was shot by police on November 8 in the 1300 block of South Town East Boulevard, according from to an interview with the Mesquite Police Department. Police have named Jones a “car burglary suspect.” However, Jones’ lawyers Lee Merritt and Justin Moore, said on Tuesday that their client was shot in the back while attempting to shut off his very own car alarm. They have called this shooting “unjustified” and say that Jones was unconstitutionally arrested without committing a crime immediately following the shooting.
Merritt wrote on Twitter, “Another unarmed BM (black male) shot by cops, in stable but critical condition.”
Merritt also took to Facebook, writing that Jones was “shot twice attempting to shut off his car alarm,” and then placed “under arrest with no criminal charges.” Merritt then writes that his client chained to the bed, denied phone calls to family, a visit from an attorney, and “unconstitutionally questioned by department that shot him.”
The names of the officers who shot Jones were not released to the public. The Mesquite Police Department has not responded to the statement’s from Jones’ attorney (Merritt).
“I’ve not seen any clearer case of constitutional violations,” Merritt said. “Not only do you have the excessive force where the client was shot, unarmed in his own car, accused of being a burglary suspect and the media misled that this man was shot during a burglary, he was then detained in the hospital, his family was denied access to him, they were not given, as he was fighting for his life, any updates on his medical condition. His doctors said they were not allowed to give updates. And now he is being denied counsel and literally hidden. I couldn’t imagine anything be more blatantly violative of the constitution.”
What Happened To Lyndo Jones?
On November 8, 2017, at 9:00 P.M. (CT), Lyndo Jones was sitting in his pick-up with his alarm blaring through the night. At that time, he was approached by officers from the Mesquite Police Department. According to police, officers had just received a 911 call regarding a car burglary suspect. As a result of that 911 call, the responding officer believed that Jones was the burglary suspect.
Mesquite Police said in a statement, that “While officers were responding, the caller said the suspect had broken into a pick-up truck and was setting off the vehicle’s alarm.”
According to KTVT-TV, police said that the responding officer “confronted” Jones and “things escalated quickly.” A “scuffle” ensued and the unarmed man was shot at least once. Other officers responded to the scene of the shooting, and it reportedly took multiple officers to handcuff Jones before paramedics arrived to examine his injures. Jones was then taken to a local hospital and placed in the intensive care unit.
However, a statement from Jones’ attorney paints an entirely different picture. According to Attorney Justin Moore, Jones “was dealing with a minor car issue after accidentally triggering his alarm and being unable to disable the security system” when police arrived. The lawyer said that Jones was then “commanded to step out of his vehicle.”
Moore said that Jones exited the car and attempted to “explain the issue,” but was “shot once in the stomach” by an unnamed Mesquite Police officer.
“Several officers then attacked Mr. Jones and attempted to perform an anal cavity search on the streets. Mr. Jones reacted to the unlawful sodomy and was consequently shot a second time in the back,” according to Moore. “Mr. Jones was then placed under arrest and transported to Baylor Medical Plaza where he was immediately admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. He has remained handcuffed to his bed and denied family visitation although he has yet to be charged with crime.”
Police say that Jones demonstrated ‘Such Physical Strength’
According to police, Jones demonstrated “such physical strength” that it required three officers to restrain him, as they claim he tried fighting them off even after being shot.
“The suspect demonstrated such physical strength; it took all three officers to hold him on the ground until paramedics arrived,” police said in a written statement, according to the Dallas Morning News.
However, no officers were injured during the encounter. Police suggested that Jones’ strength had been amplified, but didn’t provide any reason why or any evidence to back up those claims.
Lieutenant Brian Parrish spoke with KTVT-TV the day after the shooting, and told them, “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.”
At a press conference on November 14, Parrish said, “The issue was keeping him from moving around, from either running off or fighting, that’s why the officers were holding him down. I can’t say definitely that he was under the influence of anything.”
However, Parrish does maintain the opinion that Jones was under the influence of drugs, despite no drug test being made available as of this writing.
Jones’ Attorney was removed from the hospital and given a criminal trespassing warning…
Justin Moore, the attorney representing Lyndo Jones, took to Facebook, claiming that he was forcefully removed from the Baylor University Medical Center after he attempted to end an “unlawful” interview between Jones and police.
At approximately 9:30 A.M. Tuesday morning, Moore said “our office obtained the proper credentials necessary to gain access to Mr. Jones’ room. However, upon arrival Mr. Jones was being unlawfully questioned by Mesquite PD detectives who disregarded his constitutional right to have counsel present,” Moore’s office said in a press release. “When attorney Justin Moore attempted to end the interview he was denied access by the Dallas Sheriff and forcibly removed from the hospital with a criminal trespass warning by Baylor PD.”
Moore claims that Jones was “sodomized” by officers after he was shot, and when Jones reacted to the “unlawful sodomy” he was shot once again in the back.
The attorney wrote on Facebook that he, “Was denied access to visit my client this morning at Baylor hospital. He was shot while being unarmed by Mesquite PD and in the process they tried to sodomize him after he was shot. Now Mesquite PD and the Dallas County Sheriff’s department are violating my clients due process rights by coercing testimony from him and not allowing me to end the interview. In the process, I attempted to end the interview and go speak with my client, and I was subsequently escorted off Baylor’s premises with a criminal trespass warning.”
Attorney Lee Merritt posted a video to Facebook, claiming that his client is “being hidden” from them.
“He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, he’s been in the ICU and he’s been held for six days,” Merritt said in the video. “His family has been denied access to him. They contacted my office two days after he was shot, when they just learned about him being shot, I contacted Mr. Moore who is a criminal attorney here in Dallas to discover what was the criminal nature of his charges and he discovered that there have been no criminal charges against him. So of course we demanded his immediate release from custody, that the chains be removed and his family be granted access to him.”
Merritt claims that the other attorney representing Jones, Moore, was “unlawfully interrogated” by the Mesquite PD, “under the authority of the Dallas Sheriff’s Department.”
According to Merritt, upon returning to the hospital to visit their client, the lawyers became aware that “they have moved him out of his bed,” and they are “now trying to figure out” where he was moved to. They had prepared a writ of habeas corpus, but couldn’t locate their client.
“They’re playing hide the citizen,” Merritt said.
Moore said that his client had been previously moved to a different room when his family found out about the shooting. His mother found out which room her son Lyndo Jones was staying. However, his room has been moved again, and his lawyers can’t find him.
“We don’t know where he is,” Moore said.
Who is Lyndo Jones?
Lyndo Jones is a father of three young girls. Jones and his children live in Arlington, Texas. However, Jones is originally from Atlanta, Texas, according to his Facebook page, which features several photos of himself and his kids. His page also lists him as single, indicating that he’s a single father.
“It’s not breaking in if it’s his truck,” his sister, Crystal, wrote on Facebook. She noted that her brother appears to be recovering and predicted that he will come out of the hospital “fine.”
A red pick-up truck is seen some of the photos. However, it isn’t known whether he was in that truck when a responding officer confronted him on November 8, 2017 at about 9 P.M.
Attorney Lee Merritt said that “to this date, the man has not been charged with a crime.”
Merritt said they expect that police will “backtrack and attempt to make up charges, but we’ve been clear, every law enforcement officer that we’ve spoken with and there justification for questioning him was that he was a witness, not a suspect. So we expect this to be handled the right way. I want the identity of the officer, I want (Jones) to be immediately released from custody.”
Who is investigating the shooting?
The internal affairs division of the Mesquite Police Department are tasked with the responsibility to investigate the shooting of Lyndo Jones. They are looking into the criminal side of the case and any potential internal policy violations. At this moment, there is no outside agency investigating the incident.
Police sources spoke with WFAA-TV and told them that they have been “questions” regarding the legality of the shooting ever since it happened, specifically whether the shooting was justified or not.
The Mesquite Police Department noted that the shooting was possibly captured on body and dashboard cameras. Authorities informed told KTVT-TV that investigators are already reviewing these devices. The department also noted that they’re looking for surveillance footage in the area to assist in their investigation.
Lyndo Jones’ attorney Lee Merritt said that he was wants the body camera footage released to his office, so that he can prepare a civil suit and their habeas corpus petition granted.
During a press conference, Lt. Brian Parrish said that the footage will be released a later date. “We don’t have all the facts,” Parrish said. “Again, it was just today that we got a chance to speak to the person that was shot. Now that we have, we have additional information and in fact we’ve got further interviews coming up with the officer involved and of course there are others involved.”
Regarding the body camera video, he said, “I haven’t seen all the footage and I don’t know exactly what’s in all the footage and until I do I’m not going to relay that information. I’m not going to try this case in the public media. I’m just simply not going to do that. Right now there are pieces of this investigation that are still under investigation and when we have all the information that’s when I will be releasing it.”
Meanwhile, Officer Derick Wiley, a patrol officer for the MPD, has been placed on administrative leave. Details regarding the officer hasn’t been released, and it isn’t known whether or not he was involved in the shooting of Lyndo Jones. It isn’t known whether or not this officer has been the target of complaints. It also isn’t known whether or not this officer was disciplined in the past.