Trial of officer accused of killing black man set to begin

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Opening statements are expected in the trial of a fired Florida police officer who is charged with the fatal 2015 shooting of a stranded black motorist.

Prosecutors are expected to tell jurors Tuesday that former Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja’s actions made 31-year-old Corey Jones confuse him for a robber and pull his legally possessed handgun, causing Raja to shoot him. Raja was working in plain clothes when he drove his unmarked white van the wrong way up a darkened Interstate 95 onramp. Prosecutors say an audiotape show the 41-year-old Raja never identified himself as a police officer.

Raja’s attorneys are expected to argue he did identify himself and that he shot Jones in self-defense.

Raja is of South Asian descent. He could get a life sentence if convicted of manslaughter and attempted murder.

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