Murder charge reduced for officer who shot black man in back

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A murder charge has been reduced against a white Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed a black man after a confrontation over a dirt bike last year.

A judge on Thursday reduced a first-degree murder charge against Ryan Pownall to a third-degree charge. He also granted bail, set at $500,000.

Police say Pownall confronted 30-year-old David Jones in June 2017 for riding a dirt bike on a city street, frisked him and felt a gun. After a scuffle, Pownall’s gun jammed when he tried to shoot Jones.

Jones fled, throwing his gun. Pownall fired again and fatally shot Jones in the back.

Pownall’s attorney says the judge made the right decision, and believes a jury will find the shooting was justified.

Pownall has since been fired.

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