Supreme Court Rejects Malik Jones Case

Thomas MacMillan PhotoSixteen 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.”

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posted by: steven ortiz on October 7, 2013  4:52pm

Funny , they give illegal immigrants hundreds of thousands of dollars for violating their civil rights, but when you shot an African America and the use of deadly force was questionable , well let’s just say Trayvon Martin shouldn’t have been such a surprise . I’m not saying that Malik didn’t play an important role in this sad incident , however , nothing in the legal system has shown me that we as a society have made any real strides in changing the racial inequality in the system,  as well as , improvements in less lethal force . The legal system is broken .

posted by: mm on October 7, 2013  6:28pm

Enough already…...........
Yes I feel for a mother’s pain, but this is a cause celebre that should have passed from the news years ago.

Instead of blaming the cops, mother Jones should realize that her late son’s action contributed greatly to his death.  Countless public dollars have been wasted defending against her legal actions. Money that could have been better spent (if not needed for this) to serve the needs of the community

posted by: ramonesfan on October 7, 2013  7:33pm

<< Officer Flodquist said that he shot Malik because Malik gave him a “Go to Hell” look >>

That’s enough justification for a cop to shoot someone?

<< 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 >>

This sounds like an alibi Flodquist made up after the fact to rationalize his actions.  I read there weren’t any other witnesses to the incident, which is convenient for Flodquist, because there aren’t many juries that won’t give the benefit of the doubt to a cop.

Between this case and the recent bullying of Latino immigrants, I’d say there’s something rotten going on in the East Haven P.D.  My sympathies are with Emma Jones.  Her son’s rights were violated, but it was a tough case to prove in court.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on October 7, 2013  8:07pm

Why is the response of the police, whether in the case of Malik Jones or the young mother with postpartum depression, shoot to kill?

We have lost too many people of color in dubious circumstances. A death should be a rare event. Shoot out the tires.

Mrs. Jones won her case in front of a jury, then lost on a technicality.

She again lost on appeal in a 2nd case.

And this is the state that celebrates the Amistad????