Activists Demand Mesquite Officer Face Charges in Lyndo Jones Shooting

Attorneys and activists gathered outside Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson's office on Monday, demanding that a Mesquite police officer face charges for shooting and injuring a man mistaken for a burglary suspect.

The case goes to a grand jury on Tuesday, but the coalition says it has seen unreleased police body camera footage of the incident and argues that DA has enough evidence to charge the officer now.

Otherwise, the group says, Johnson sends a message that she does not believe any charges are warranted.

Lyndo Jones, 31, continues to recover after he was shot in the abdomen by Mesquite police on Nov. 8.

Police said officers had responded after someone reported a man breaking into a vehicle, setting off its alarm. The officers did not know Jones was trying to get into his own locked truck.

Police say Jones was shot twice after he tried to run away as the officer attempted to detain him.

Jones denies he tried to elude police.

"We are absolutely calling for an indictment of this police officer," said Danielle Ayers, minister of justice for Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas. "We stand here time and time again, and nothing changes, so for us it is about directly speaking to D.A. Faith Johnson."

If Johnson does not charge the officer involved in the shooting, those in the group say they are willing to hold protests and even campaign against Johnson in her bid for re-election in March.

"In situations like this where someone like Lyndo Jones, hands up, shot twice in the back, it doesn't take a rocket science [sic] to do the things we need you to do, and if you can't do that, then what we'll do is make sure you don't have to do that in March. We'll put someone else in," said Cory Hughes, a member of the Coalition for Justice for Lyndo Jones.

The "Coalition for Justice for Lyndo Jones" is made up of his attorneys as well as faith and community leaders.

They are asking for Johnson to file several charges against the police officer, chief among them, an attempted murder charge.

Jones' attorneys, Lee Merritt and Justin Moore, say they have viewed police body camera and dash camera video of the incident.

"Watching that video, it reaffirms that Lyndo did comply and he was shot for unjust reason," Moore said on Sunday. "We just want to hammer that point home, and I think the video will do that. So we do implore Faith Johnson to release the video to the public. This is something everyone needs to see. Don't hide it."

Jones was admitted back into the hospital on Saturday. His attorneys say he is being treated for infections to his wounds and possible pneumonia.

Johnson released a statement following the press conference held outside of her office Monday:

"I am committed to seeking what is right and fair, and that includes a thorough and thoughtful investigation of each case based on its individual facts and circumstances. The Dallas County District Attorney's Office has the responsibility to get it right. We must review all of the facts as a whole prior to determining how to properly proceed. Sometimes those facts are not immediately available. If the Grand Jury determines that criminal charges are merited, this office will vigorously prosecute those individuals responsible to the fullest extent of the law."

The coalition also submitted an online petition with more than 3,600 signatures into the district attorney's office on Monday.

The Mesquite police officer who shot Jones is a 10-year veteran on the force and is currently on standard paid leave as the case is investigated.

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