This is a developing story and may be updated at any time.
Ryan Pownall, a former Philadelphia police officer who in June 2017 shot and killed a fleeing black suspect after having shot and paralyzed another black suspect in similar circumstances in 2010, will be indicted on Tuesday on first-degree murder charges, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.
Pownall fatally shot David Jones, 30, in North Philadelphia on June 8, 2017, after having stopped Jones for riding a dirt bike on city streets. When confronted, Jones allegedly dropped a gun and ran, throwing his hands in the air, before he was shot in the back — a fatal wound that was captured on surveillance video.
Seven years earlier, Pownall had shot Carnell Williams-Carney in the back, leaving him paralyzed.
Supporters of criminal justice reform have been awaiting the results of an investigation by the office of District Attorney Larry Krasner into the deadly shooting of Jones. Krasner’s spokesperson, Ben Waxman, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday night.
Word of the indictment started spreading over the holiday weekend. Activist Asa Khalif tweeted about it on Saturday, making it an open secret. A press conference is expected to be held by the DA on Tuesday morning. Krasner, who ran on a progressive platform of alternative sanctions for nonviolent offenders, had sued city police himself, as a defense attorney, at least 75 times before becoming DA.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross fired Pownall last fall amid pressure from Black Lives Matter demonstrators, saying that officers can fire on fleeing suspects if there is an imminent threat of death or serious injury to the officer or another person. The video allegedly showed that Jones was running from Pownall with no weapon in his hands.
In the aftermath of the BLM protest, Fraternal Order of Police union president John McNesby called the protesters “a pack of rabid animals.”