KQED correspondent Andrew Stelzer reports from Oakland that Police Chief Anthony Batts told a meeting of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee tonight that he has asked federal officials to open a civil rights investigation into last month’s fatal police shooting of East Oakland resident Derrick Jones.

Batts announced the request after members of Jones’ family and their supporters addressed the committee for 45 minutes and criticized law enforcement investigations into the incident.

Jones was shot Nov. 8 by officers responding to a report of an assault at a Bancroft Avenue laundromat. Police say Jones fled when officers tried to question him. Two officers reportedly told department investigators they opened fire after seeing Jones reach into his waistband and remove a metal object. The object turned out to be a small electronic scale. Jones, 37, ran a barbershop on Bancroft Avenue and was on parole for a past firearms offense.

The Oakland Tribune’s Sean Maher reports:

“Jones’ mother, Nelly Jones, wept as she spoke to the committee. She said the police are ‘hiding behind a badge and a gun’ and that she’s tired of the ‘broken record’ explanation police have so far offered for the shooting: that Jones ran from officers asking him about the domestic violence call and appeared to pull a metal object from his pants near his waist just before the two officers fired on him, possibly prompting the officers to fear he was drawing a gun.

“Nelly Jones said she believes police murdered her son, adding, ‘I wouldn’t want to be them on judgment day.’

“Several other speakers said they doubt the reliability of the separate investigations being conducted by the police department’s Internal Affairs and homicide sections, and some called into question a third investigation by the Alameda County District Attorney’s office, calling it too close to the problem to be trustworthy.”

Author

Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area's transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED's comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Email Dan at: dbrekke@kqed.org

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