Philadelphia reaches $1 million settlement with family of David Jones
“The death of David Jones was completely preventable and his family hopes that lessons are learned from this tragedy,” attorneys for the Jones family said.
The family of David Jones, a 30-year-old black man who was shot to death by a Philadelphia police officer in June, 2017, reached a $1 million settlement with the city, the government announced on Friday.
“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.
Ryan Pownall, the 36-year-old white police officer who shot Jones, was fired after the incident. Just last month, following the findings of a grand jury investigation, he was charged with criminal homicide and two related charges.
According to the investigation report, Pownall had 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.
“Jones was no danger to anyone in his flight,” the grand jury report stated. “His death was not necessary to secure his apprehension - an apprehension that would never have been necessary if Pownall had not incited the confrontation.”
Pownall is being held without bail as he awaits a preliminary hearing.
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.”
According to the Philadelphia Police Department, there were 13 incidents of a police officer shooting at an individual in 2017. From 2008 to 2012, there were an average of 51 such "officer involved shooting" incidents.
The city did not admit liability in the settlement.