"We believe that Eric was murdered," said attorney Brian Claypool of Los Angeles, who has been hired by Jones' family.
also believes the shooting may have been racially motivated.
"Eric is black and there may have been some racial overtones in the shooting," Claypool
...County Attorney Mike Riese said Friday that Claypool has reached conclusions prematurely.
held a press conference Friday in Medford, Ore., near Jones' grave, and planned another event Saturday at the Jones residence in Brookings.
The attorney said he
will file a notice of a claim next week at the Del Norte County Courthouse, informing the county
law firm's intent to file a civil lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office.
officials reject that notice of claim, Claypool
will then file a suit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco claiming the Sheriff's Office violated Jones' civil rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
"The federal claim is based on unlawful search and seizure," Claypool
The claim would also allege state violations such as battery, assault and negligence on the part of the Sheriff's Office, he
...Within days of the shooting, Jones' family hired Claypool, who traveled to the North Coast and launched a private investigation of the shooting that he said included interviewing several witnesses and conducting a second autopsy.
"We've done some preliminary investigation and have more to do, but I'm convinced that Eric's shooting was a flagrant violation of the sheriff's department's standards," Claypool
"None of the information and comments we've collected so far, including the part about the dog attacking the officer, warrants the use of lethal force," he
said."It's rogue police behavior."Claypool
said the results of the second autopsy, conducted by a private medical examiner, match those done by the Del Norte County coroner: That Eric Jones was shot twice,in the abdomen and in the shoulder.The Jones family
will seek punitive damages in the civil claim, Claypool
"It's not about the money, but sometimes seeking a lot of money is the only way to get their attention and effect a change in the system," he
interviewed a Del Norte County woman who said she
was listening to a police scanner during the chase.He
would not divulge the woman's name, but said she
claimed to have heard an officer use a racially derogatory term over the scanner after the shooting.Claypool
has not heard the actual recording of the police radio communications, but is trying get a copy of the tape.
"I'm putting the sheriff on notice that there may be racial overtones on the tape, and he
better not touch it," Claypool