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Mesa PD: Officers' actions were appropriate in bean bag shooting of Lorenzo Jones

Posted at 9:51 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-08 00:53:09-04

MESA, AZ — The Mesa Police Department says the officers' actions were appropriate when they pelted a man, who had his hands up, with a bean bag round, according to their use-of-force policy.

A neighbor captured video of the SWAT team’s confrontation with Lorenzo Jones from last month. In the video, you see Jones taking something out of his pocket and handing it to his fiancée before he turns and puts his hands up.

Jones and his supporters claim he was complying with Mesa's SWAT team, and the officer who fired non-lethal bean bag rounds acted inappropriately. Jones' young children were next to him as the officer fired the first round. A second round is fired at Jones when he is on the ground.

Mesa police arrived at Jones' apartment on July 16 with a search warrant for guns and an arrest warrant for failure to appear in court. But the officers found no gun, and Jones had attended court, as required, just hours earlier.

Jones was also arrested in early July for allegedly running from officers and hitting one officer after they were called to a domestic dispute at his apartment.

A Mesa Police Department spokesman said the bean-bagging underwent a use-of-force review, and the officers acted within policy. He did not elaborate on what led to the determination.

Mesa pastor Andre Miller, who is advocating for the Jones family, said the SWAT team's use of force against Jones was too "heavy-handed."