Prince C. Jones, Jr.

Prince C. Jones
Prince C. Jones
Photo by Unknown / The Atlantic /

Prince C. Jones Jr. was a 25-year-old student at Howard University, who lived and worked as a personal fitness trainer in Hyattsville, Maryland. Prince planned to join the Navy after graduation and hoped to contribute to society by becoming either a doctor or a diplomat. By all accounts he was an upstanding citizen. He had no police record. His friends described him as very religious person who "wouldn't even curse."

On September 1, 2000, Prince was on his way to see his fiancée who was the mother of his then 10-month-old daughter. An out of uniform African American police officer, driving an unmarked car followed Prince to Seven Corners, Virginia. Prince eventually got out of his Jeep and approached the unidentified officer. The man in the unmarked car identified himself as a police officer and flashed his gun, but no badge. At that point Prince returned to his Jeep. The Prince George’s County, Maryland, police officer fired sixteen rounds at Prince’s car.

Prince died later of eight gunshot wounds, five of which were in his back. No criminal charges were filed against the officer. A civil case in 2006 awarded Prince Jones Jr.’s six-year-old daughter Nina $2.5 million, $1 million to his mother Mabel, and $200,000 to his father.

As usual, the county indemnifies police officers for their actions in the line of duty, defends officers against civil lawsuits connected to their police actions and pays jury awards and settlements in such cases. The police officers pay nothing.