When Mesquite, Texas police thought they saw Lyndo Jones breaking into a truck, they decided that the best way to handle the situation was to shoot him. But before they did that, they should have stopped to check who the vehicle belonged to—which, it turns out, is Jones.
“What did I do to deserve to get shot?” Jones told CBSDFW last night before leaving Baylor Medical Center. “Nothing. I didn’t do nothing. That’s my vehicle. I work hard just like the next man — calluses on my hands from working.”
According to a statement from Mesquite Police, officers got into an altercation with Jones when they arrived at the scene. 10-year police veteran Derick L. Wiley shot Jones and handcuffed him because he believed Jones displayed “such physical strength” that it took two other officers to hold him down. Jones is now on administrative leave, but isn’t currently under criminal investigation.
However, S. Lee Merritt, one of Jones’s attorneys, claims things happened much differently. “Within 10 seconds of their arrival, [Jones] had been shot it the stomach,” Merritt told WFAA. “While on the street suffering from his wound, officers attempted to perform a cavity search, and he reacted to that and he was shot a second time in this back.” Merritt also pointed out that in their first press release about the incident, Mesquite police left out one crucial detail—that the truck belonged to Jones.
“That was not a mistake,” Merritt told WFAA. “That was an intentional misrepresentation to the public.”
Mesquite Police Department’s public information officer, Lt. Brian Parrish, also had trouble keeping the story straight. First, he implied that Jones was on drugs when police approached him. Then he changed it from three to four officers who tried to subdue Jones. “I’m not an expert on human strength, but I think if someone has been shot and handcuffed and on the ground, and it still takes four large men to hold him down, that might indicate there are other factors in place,” Parrish said.
Merrit also criticized the manner in which Jones was detained—spending six days cuffed to an ICU hospital bed. This was especially troubling since there were no charges against Jones until Tuesday. However, those charges—evading arrest– were dropped the same day.
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) November 15, 2017
Then things just get more conspicuous. When Merritt and fellow attorney Justin Moore went to the hospital to see Jones the day he was released, they couldn’t find him because the hospital kept moving Jones around. Merritt also believes that police questioned Jones without any legal representation present.
Parrish, who wasn’t sure if it was three or four officers who were trying to tackle Jones, denied Merritt’s allegations. “At no point in time did Mr. Jones request an attorney or even implied that he wanted one,” Parrish said. “In that case, we would’ve stopped talking to him and waited for an attorney to arrive. He was more than willing and able to discuss that he had been shot.”
As for Jones, he’s happy to be going home. “I’m feeling good, thankful that I’m alive, living and breathing and [that I] get to go home to see my little girls,” he said.