MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Those with the NAACP’s chapters in both Jefferson County and Berkeley County are calling on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his U.S. Justice Department to launch a federal investigation into last year’s shooting death of the Virginia man who died after law enforcement officers shot him 23 times in Martinsburg.

On Friday afternoon, during a press conference in Martinsburg, those with the group made the request for a federal grand jury to be convened to hear the case involving the death of Wayne Jones, 50, of Stephens City.

They also issued a call to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and other state leaders to take up legislation to establish, in state law, additional protocols for how any future allegations of excessive force involving police officers should be handled in West Virginia.

Jim Tolbert, a former president of the West Virginia NAACP, said there are still many questions that must be answered about the death of Jones.  “Why this happened, why the State Police — their so-called investigation — didn’t find any fault with the police doing what they did and, of course, the grand jury didn’t find any fault with what the policemen had done.”

A federal lawsuit, filed last month, claimed five officers with the Martinsburg Police Department used unreasonable and excessive force in the Jones’ shooting.  A jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 28 for the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Jones’ brothers, that seeks $200 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

The filing followed the court-ordered release of an autopsy report that showed Jones was shot 23 times total with 12 of those shots hitting his back and buttocks.  His death was ruled a homicide, but a Berkeley County grand jury did not indict the officers involved in the shooting last October.

“We just can’t imagine a grand jury hearing the story of a man being shot 23 times, on the ground, in his back and all over, and not returning a bill of indictment against those police officers,” Tolbert said on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“With five of them there, it shouldn’t have taken 23 shots to kill a man who didn’t have anything but what they said (was) a small pen knife.”

Martinsburg Police have said Jones was stopped on March 14, 2013 while walking in the middle of South Queen Street.  The officers said the man ran after a Taser was used on him and he was shot when he later stabbed an officer with the pocket knife.  The wound did not require medical treatment.

There have been no public comments from the Martinsburg Police Department on the ongoing legal action.

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Comments

  • gunman

    Stab a cop and get the wrath of all the cops around. I praise everyone of those officers for backing up a fellow officer.

  • BIM Job

    I agree. Quite excessive. Immediately upon him moving toward the officer with a knife in an attempt to stab the officer they should have put one bullet through his brain killing him instantly. What a waste of ammunition.

  • WV Hillbilly

    Of course we all know that everything you read or hear in the news or internet is all true. All the arm chair quarterbacking on both sides of this debate is ridiculous. Just maybe the Grand Jury happened to hear facts not reported or not reported accurately in all these sources some of you reference? Just maybe they had good reason to rule as they did?

  • No Excuse or Justification

    Ok, I have read everything written that is accessible to the public on this case. Conclusion: there is absolutely no reason or excuse why this man was shot 23 times with 8 rounds in the back and 4 in the buttocks. Websites needs to add this incident as a definition under Excessive Force. I and many others are shocked and disappointed in these officers response. It's a damn shame for all involved.

  • Poor Man

    While I do think this needs to be investigated and prosecuted outside the local courts, my question is How come us poor white people don't have a direct line to Obama? Is there a NAAWP?

    • commonsense

      stick to the story. I don't recall it being about you, poor people or Obama!

    • tracyo64

      The white American male is the most discriminated-against group in the U.S.
      Just try to get a business loan w/o a female or black partner.

  • Wondering

    This man was Tasered and ran. Then he took a stab at a cop with a small knife. All on a city street. 23 shots. Between 5 officers is 4 or 5 shots each. No one knew how many times the other was shooting. They didn't take turns shooting. I wonder what drugs were in his system to make him want to fight with everyone. And what was he doing to get the attention of law enforcement.

    • Rob

      He was probably walking down the middle of the damn street taking his sweet ole time, and daring anyone to challenge him.

    • Excessive Force for Sure

      You are obviously uniformed. There is a whole lot more to the story and you are not worth the time to explain. But here is the Short version:
      1. Man walking down sidewalk late at nite in a town where police target anyone out in the downtown area after dark.
      2. Two cops approach him and begin harassing him for I.D. For no reason.
      3. Man was semi mentally challenged.
      4. Three more cops arrive and one tasked him for not complying by giving his I.D. or purpose for being out so late.
      5. All five cops begin jumping on him to cuff him. One cop gets up and tases him again.
      6. Man pulls out a 2 inch pocket knife and swipes one cops hand (didn't require any medical attention).
      7. All five cops start shooting him as he lay on the ground. 8 shots in the back, 4 shots in the buttocks, multiple shots in the shoulders, arms, etc. 23 total shots.
      8. 3 shots hit the flower pot and doorway in front of a an apartment where the incident took place.
      9. The subject had no drugs and the autopsy revealed no drugs in his system.
      10. Subject was nit superman or Ironman.
      11. All five cops need to be prosecuted, sentenced and jailed. End of story.

      • What are you? like 5? :/

        um let me give y'all the REALLY short version:

        6. Man pulls out a 2 inch pocket knife and swipes one cops hand (didn't require any medical attention).

        whelp, it didnt require any medical attention for the cop lol - but I'm sorry, I don't care WHO YOU ARE - you pull a knife on 5 people , be it cops or not, who are hassling you , yr gonna get hurt.

        Good luck living in that fantasy land, thinking 23 shots from 5 different people after they all see a weapon isnt going to get the EXACT SAME RESULT no matter what the skin color is.

        • What are you? like 5? :/

          dont believe me? You go ahead and google the name "Adrian Montesano", and maybe THEN some of y'all will learn that sometimes it's more than just skin color

    • Poor Man

      You are obviously uniformed. There is a whole lot more to the story and you are not worth the time to explain. But here is the Short version:
      1. Man walking down sidewalk late at nite in a town where police target anyone out in the downtown area after dark.
      2. Two cops approach him and begin harassing him for I.D. For no reason.
      3. Man was semi mentally challenged.
      4. Three more cops arrive and one tasked him for not complying by giving his I.D. or purpose for being out so late.
      5. All five cops begin jumping on him to cuff him. One cop gets up and tases him again.
      6. Man pulls out a 2 inch pocket knife and swipes one cops hand (didn't require any medical attention).
      7. All five cops start shooting him as he lay on the ground. 8 shots in the back, 4 shots in the buttocks, multiple shots in the shoulders, arms, etc. 23 total shots.
      8. 3 shots hit the flower pot and doorway in front of a an apartment where the incident took place.
      9. The subject had no drugs and the autopsy revealed no drugs in his system.
      10. Subject was nit superman or Ironman.
      11. All five cops need to be prosecuted, sentenced and jailed. End of story.

      • me

        And you seen all this poor man? You should be called as a witness

      • Jonus Grumby

        Poor Man, you are uninformed and probably prejudiced. How many times have you been arrested? C'mon, be honest.

        The man was not walking down the sidewalk. He as in the middle of the street (not a legal act in the City of Martinsburg). Yes, police approached him to inquire why he was in the middle of the street. They requested he produce ID (perfectly legal under the law and not harassed as you spin it). Most of the rest of your rant is purely speculative on your part. YOU were not there.

        Now, that being said, I have a lot of questions on why the officers felt it necessary to shoot this man over 20 times. I am also disappointed the authorities were unwilling to be more forthcoming with records concerning this incident. As I see it, the police likely over-reacted and used excessive force. The man's family deserve compensation. And the Martinsburg taxpayers are on the hook for it.

        My advice is for the city to drag this out as long as they can and eventually settle out of court. The five officers need to be dismissed.

      • Wondering

        After reading your points and finding that they seem to tell a different picture from this article, I Googled news articles concerning Mr Jones. Your information does not agree on all points. Jones was walking down the middle of the street, late at night, wearing several layers if clothing. He had been recently arrested for attempted B&E. he would not give answers to police as to his identity. While attempting to cuff the suspect he fought LE and attempted escape after announcing that he had a weapon and would use it. He was Tasered by one of 3 additional LEOs called for backup. Jones pulled a knife and sliced into the shirt and bullet proof vest of one officer. Jones Tased a second time. While on ground he makes verbal threat to 5 officers and begging getting up with knife in hand. Officers shoot. No officer empties his weapon of all 9 rounds. Toxicology reports show marajuana and alcohol in Jones system. No mention of medications for mental disorder that Jones was diagnosed and treated for were mentioned. With the information from other news sources, I now understand why the first two investigations took no action against the 5 officers.

      • Shadow

        Who saw him pull his knife and stab the police? The police! Why did it not require medical attention? Is it because no one stabs himself badly unless they are deranged? It sounds like OJ's sock with the blood on it.

  • damnshame

    Since when is 5 against 1 ever been a fair fight?
    Answer...when your 5 are cops!

    • AppiKid

      I have always supported our law enforcement officers and still do 99% of the time, but I can't imagine 23 shots "Come on"! I can't find anything in my thinking about this that would let me see this was right! It deserves much more investigation and probably should be done from outside authorities. I just can't get past the shots in the back and buttocks! I have to agree with those calling for further investigation in this case! And maybe we should look at the excessive force thing a little!