DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A prosecutor says a Dallas-area man mistaken for a thief last year as he tried to unlock his own truck had his hands in the air and was begging not to be shot when a police officer shot him twice.
Dallas County prosecutor Bryan Mitchell told jurors Tuesday during opening statements in the trial of former Mesquite officer Derick Wiley that Lyndo Jones was struck in the back as Jones backed away.
Wiley, who was subsequently fired from the department, is charged with aggravated assault in the November 8 shooting. Jones sustained injuries that required repeated hospital stays.
Authorities have said Jones was shot after officers responded to a report of someone breaking into a vehicle, setting off its alarm.
Body cam video from the incident was played for jurors during the trial Tuesday.
It showed Wiley responding and ordering Jones to the ground after finding him in the truck.
Jones goes to the ground but eventually gets up and appears to start running before turning and pleading not to be shot.
Jones’ attorney said Wiley placed his foot on Jones’ neck, causing a pain that prompted Jones to get back to his feet.
A lawyer for Wiley said the officer was forced to make a split-second decision after being led to believe the suspect was burglarizing the truck. Video played for the jury showed Wiley telling investigators that he thought Jones was armed. “I thought he was going to kill me,” Wiley said.
Authorities determined Jones did not have a weapon.
The civil attorney for Jones said the body cam video shows a police officer committing a crime.
“Clearly, there was no need for this type of force,” said Daryl Washington. “You can hear Lyndo pleading with the officer, don’t harm him. So there was absolutely no reason to use deadly force at that time.”
The trial is expected to last through the week.
The aggravated assault charge carries a sentence of between five years and life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
District Attorney Faith Johnson previously said her office will “seek the maximum” sentence.
A federal civil lawsuit was filed in January against the City of Mesquite and former officer Wiley.
The lawsuit accuses Wiley of shooting Jones.
The lawsuit states that Wiley screamed expletives at Jones while grabbing him by the neck and pointing a gun at his head.