By Justin King, The Fifth Column
Salt Lake City, Utah (TFC) – In an almost unbelievable turn of events, an account purporting to be that of the cop that killed Joey Tucker almost six years ago mocked the victim’s family on Facebook this week. He commented about how little their son’s life was worth in the settlement, and antagonized the victim’s family through the memorial page that had been set up for their child. However, the most shocking part of this event is the fact that in the process of mocking the family, the officer restates the story that let him walk free. The videos of the shooting are publicly available today. You can decide for yourself if it matches.
Joey Tucker was shot multiple times by Salt Lake City Officer Louis “Law” Abner Jones after he failed to pull over on Interstate 80. The drama began earlier in the day when Tucker failed to take his insulin, entered diabetic shock, and began making irrational decisions. The cop says he was under the impression Tucker was suicidal. Either way, it was a mental distress call or health distress call. This was not a murder suspect, armed robbery suspect, or anything along those lines. In a storyline that is now familiar to Americans, the cops were called to help someone and they killed the person instead.
In whatever disoriented state he was in, he was cornered in a parking lot and the police allowed him to leave at one point during the day. During his drive throughout the day, he was involved in two low speed accidents that were described as “fender benders” in court documents. After the cops rammed him and executed him on the side of the road, these hit and run accidents became the reasoning behind his murder.
The officer claimed that after he was rammed, Tucker turned his wheels toward officers and was going to run them over. The videos below show quite clearly that not only did Tucker not turn his wheels in the direction of the officers, he was backing away from them. The vehicle was reportedly still in reverse when Joey’s corpse was removed. A fellow officer allegedly said “Oh no! Oh shit!” after Jones opened fire. Even with all of this, the District Attorney cleared Jones of charges at the time. That should come as no surprise to those who know that Utah cops kill more citizens than drug dealers or gang bangers in the state.
The family filed a lawsuit for which they apparently received $100,000 dollars. Officer “Law” Jones mocks this fact by stating:
“your sons life was only worth $100k.”
The very fact that this officer is still tormenting this family after 6 years is inexcusable. The Fifth Column spoke with Tucker’s sister, Melinda. She said:
“It’s sick. It’s like the way a serial killer taunts his victims.”
While the cop was tormenting his victim’s family, he reiterated his statement that he opened fire because he “was well aware that Joe was trying to go forward in direct line of the other 2 officers.” He wasn’t. That’s clear from the videos and the court documents. More importantly, he indicates that the other officers would have fired if the “background” had been clear. The officers were clearly not in fear of being run over. They made no attempt to move out of the way. In fact, it doesn’t appear that either officer was in front of the vehicle. In “Video 2,” you can hear the gun shots and see that one officer was safely off to the side of the vehicle. The other officer moved in front of the vehicle only after Jones executes the distraught man. They were not preparing to fire. They were not in fear for their lives. If the other officers were preparing to fire, it’s because the decision to kill Joey was made before they exited their vehicles.
One of opening taunts from the shooter was asking the family a question:
“What ‘justice’ do you seek?”
In her conversation with The Fifth Column, Melinda indicated that she was primarily concerned with establishing protocols to make sure that someone else doesn’t lose their brother to a cop that was just too busy to deal with someone in crisis.
However, because of the taunts, others have a different plan. The DA that chose not to indict is no longer in office. There is no statute of limitations on murder. This incident has left many police accountability activists planning a campaign to force Salt Lake City Police to reopen the case. Obviously, Jones has the presumption of innocence. That’s a presumption of innocence it certainly appears that he denied to Joey Tucker when he put a bullet through his throat six years ago.
While researching this article, I found an article dated March 3, 1995. It describes a lawsuit brought by Jones against his boss at the department for slandering him and unjustly firing him. Apparently, Jones had an incident where he may have threatened a dispatcher and attempted suicide in her driveway after using his law enforcement powers for personal reasons by checking the license plate of a vehicle in her driveway. Jones sued his former boss for saying that he was a “crazy man” and that he was “dangerous.” His boss was also alleged to have said that Jones wasn’t fit to be a police officer among a lot of other nasty things. Jones eventually got his job back.
Running from the cops, especially while distraught (whether suicidal or due to diabetic shock), does not give an officer the right to act as judge, jury, and executioner. It doesn’t carry a death sentence in Utah, it’s not even a felony.
Now that police misconduct, brutality, and militarization are in the national news cycle every day, is it time to start taking a second look at cases from the past?
Personal Note: This is one of those stories that only a decentralized media can bring you. One of The Fifth Column’s early supporters witnessed the former cop’s statements and contacted us. He was then able to put us in contact with the family. If you’re reading this, you are just as much a part of this organization as I am.
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