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  Howard Students Demand Justice

By Jennifer Andes
Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2000; 7:10 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON –– Hundreds of university students marched through the streets of the nation's capital Wednesday demanding justice for a black classmate killed by a police officer in a suburban county.

"There is no surplus of African-American males," said Sellano Simmons, 21, a senior and president of the student body at historically black Howard University.

In the midst of a campus rally to condemn the Sept. 1 shooting death of Prince Jones, 25, Simmons led students on an impromptu march with police escorts to the Justice Department. Security officials shut heavy metal doors to keep students out, but Simmons and five other students were ushered in to discuss the case with Bill Lann Lee, assistant attorney general for civil rights, and a deputy, Stuart Ishimaru.

The case involves a nighttime police operation that began in Maryland and ended in Virginia. Police said Carlton Jones, a corporal in the Prince George's County, Md., police force driving an unmarked vehicle, followed Prince Jones, 25, into Fairfax County, Va., because the officer believed Jones' Jeep was involved in two earlier incidents in which police cars allegedly were rammed by a Jeep similar to Jones'.

The man wanted in those incidents has since turned himself in, Prince George's police said.

Carlton Jones said Prince Jones stopped his SUV and backed more than once into the policeman's unmarked car. The officer fired 16 shots at him, and six struck Jones in the back, killing him. The two men, both black, were not related.

Virginia authorities investigated, and Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Horan Jr. announced Monday that Carlton Jones would not be charged. Horan said the shooting amounted to justifiable homicide because Prince Jones rammed the officer's car and the officer legitimately feared for his safety.

Lee, the assistant attorney general, told the Howard students the FBI monitored the Fairfax County inquiry and will review its findings while conducting its own investigation, Justice spokeswoman Kara Peterman said.

Prince Jones and Carlton Jones are black. Horan is white.

"We believe strongly if it was a white person who had been shot in that county, (the shooter) would have been prosecuted," said Ted Williams, a lawyer representing Prince Jones' family.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press

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