PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia police officer is “suspended with the intent to dismiss” after shooting and killing a suspect in June.
After several months, the end of an Internal Affairs investigation into the shooting death of 30-year-old David Jones is also marking the end of Officer Ryan Pownall’s 12-year career with the Philadelphia Police Department, Commissioner Richard Ross announced Thursday.
Pownall has been suspended with the intent to dismiss after 30 days.
“As a leader, it’s always difficult to take someone’s livelihood. In this case, there were serious policy violations committed on video,” Ross said. “I saw it, the shooting investigators saw it. That’s where it starts and stops.”
On June 8, Pownall stopped Jones for illegally riding a dirt bike near the 4200 block of Whitaker Avenue.
A struggle ensued as the officer felt a gun in Jones’ waistband, then Jones reportedly resisted and started running.
Pownall’s gun jammed during his first attempt to fire, a shot that was reasonable, police say.
But surveillance video shows the second round hit Jones from 10 feet away; the third hit him in the back from 35 feet away.
“Because Jones never looked back at Pownall and had nothing in his hands, he posed no imminent threat to Pownall,” Ross said, though acknowledging Pownall believed Jones was still armed. “Jones also used poor judgment as well when he carried a gun illegally, rode a motorcycle that is illegal to operate on a city street and refused to comply with Pownall’s orders.”
“What is our city coming to? We’re allowing officers that are supposed to protect us, hurt us,” said Doretha Crosby, the victim’s mother. “[It’s been] a living nightmare. I wake up every morning missing my child. I can’t get him back. He was a good, young man; all he tried to do was get his life right. He worked, just bought a house, just got married.”
Jones’ family, along with Black Lives Matter activists, are demanding that criminal charges be filed.
“We want the officer charged with murder and we want him convicted and thrown in jail. What you’re seeing is a cold-blooded murder and a man who should never have been on the force ever and someone who should’ve been fired the first time he shot a black man in the back,” said Asa Khalif of Black Lives Matter.
This is not the first time Pownall has shot a civilian. In 2010, he shot a man who was also running away at the time, according to the Department.
Those activists protested directly outside of Pownall’s home last week, a move Ross spoke out against.
“They crossed the line, with respect to boundaries. There’s a way to protest. Doing so in front of a person’s home with someone’s family – that’s out of bounds,” he said.
The Office of the Attorney General is continuing its investigation but had no comment on whether criminal charges are pending against the officer.