Sixteen years after her son was shot dead by cops who chased him from East Haven to New Haven, Emma Jones’ quest for justice finally came to a halt Monday.
Jones’ (pictured) pursuit went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which on Monday denied a request to hear her case. It was her last chance to get a court to side with her in her lawsuit against the town of East Haven.
The case stems from a 1997 incident in which East Haven cops chased Jones’ 21-year-old son Malik into New Haven, boxed in his car, and then shot him several times at close range.
The officer who shot Malik, Robert Flodquist, had tried to pull Malik over in East Haven, and Malik had fled. After the shooting, Officer Flodquist said that he shot Malik because Malik gave him a “Go to Hell” look. Flodquist claimed he thought his life was at risk because Malik’s car may have been slowly rolling backwards at the time of the shooting.
The incident became a flashpoint for vigorous public debate about civil rights and racial profiling.
Emma Jones then embarked on a long journey to vindicate her son, filled with many twists and turns. First she sued the town of East Haven, claiming her son was the innocent victim of police brutality. She initially won the suit, but then her $2.5 million verdict was reversed on a technicality. In 2010, she won $900,000 from a second jury. East Haven appealed that decision and won. A panel of three judges ruled that the town is not liable for the shooting.
Earlier this year, Jones’ lawyer, David Rosen, filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, an official request to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear the case. The high court Monday denied the request.
Hugh Keefe, who represented East Haven in the case, released this statement: “After 16 years of litigation including two federal court jury verdicts, several appeals to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and a multitude of evidentiary hearings, the U.S. Supreme Court finally ended once and for all this litigation this morning by denying Emma Jones’ Petition for Certiorari—a decision which will save the taxpayers of the Town of East Haven millions upon millions of dollars.”
Jones was not immediately available for comment.
Rosen released this statement: “I congratulate the Town of East Haven and its brilliant attorney, Hugh Keefe. But more than that, I take my hat off to Emma Jones who fought against all odds for so many years and proved that her son was shot illegally. That decision by a unanimous jury has never been challenged and though it’s a shame that Emma was not able to get compensation for Malik’s daughter, her granddaughter, she has much to be proud of. I believe her efforts have contributed to making law enforcement more fair for everyone.”