Officers cleared in death of Claymore Jones Jr.

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 9, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook today cleared two Salisbury Police detectives of any wrongdoing in the death of Claymore Jones Jr. in December
Cook said she reviewed the SBI investigation concerning the circumstances surrounding Jones’ death.
“I have concluded that the investigation supports that Detectives Rodney Mahaley and Mike Colvin acted appropriately and did not use excessive force during the arrest of Mr. Jones on December 30, 2011,” Cook said in a statement.
Officers stopped Jones, 22, on suspicion of impaired driving, but officers said Jones ran from the car toward a residence at West Bank Street, later identified as his grandmother’s home, and he was taken into custody.
Emergency responders were called after Jones told the officers he was going to have a seizure. His family said later he suffered from blood clots and was taking medication.
According to a medical examiner’s report, Jones died in Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte as a result of a blood clot in his brain, which cut off the blood supply and caused brain death.
Doctors could not extract the clot, the medical report said. Jones died after being on life support for several days.
The medical examiner noted that Jones’s medical condition at the hospital was “completely unrelated to any interaction with law enforcement,” Cook said in a statement.
Family members claimed Jones’ death was caused by his handling by Salisbury Police officers prior to being sent to hospital.
Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins had said in January his officers used minimal force in the arrest.
The Salisbury Police conducted an internal investigation and also asked the State Bureau of Investigation to also look into the matter.
See more in Tuesday’s Post.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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Full statement from Brandy Cook, Rowan County district attorney:
ROWAN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION

July 9, 2012
“On Friday, December 30, 2011, Detectives Mahaley and Colvin of the Salisbury Police Department observed a vehicle (later determined to be operated by Mr. Claymore Christopher Jones, Jr.) driving erratically.  The detectives attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle for suspicion of driving while impaired. 
Detective Mahaley activated his blue lights and siren, but the vehicle did not stop until it reached the residence of 628 West Bank Street in Salisbury.  Once the vehicle stopped at this location, Mr. Jones got out of the vehicle and ran.  Detectives pulled in behind the vehicle, and Detective Colvin gave pursuit as Mr. Jones ran to the back of the residence and into the woods.  Detective Colvin yelled commands for Mr. Jones to stop.  The area was wet and both Mr. Jones and Detective Colvin fell.  Mr. Jones slid down the hill; after getting back up, he ran back to the residence near the back door, at which time Detective Colvin was able to detain him.
Margaret Avery said she heard her grandson, Mr. Jones, at her back door.  When she opened the door she observed Mr. Jones on the ground, his hands cuffed behind him with two officers standing over him.  She then called Mr. Jones’ aunt, Phyllis Worth, who arrived at the scene.  Ms. Avery stated she did not see any injuries on Mr. Jones that night, but when she observed him at the hospital she noticed an injury on the top of his nose.  
As Detective Mahaley attempted to escort Mr. Jones to the front of the residence, both he and Mr. Jones fell because Mr. Jones stopped walking.  Mr. Jones told officers that he was going to have a seizure.  Ms. Avery and Ms. Worth informed officers that Mr. Jones had blood clots and seizures and that he was on medication.
Officers who previously had arrived on scene called EMS to assess Mr. Jones.  EMS arrived and noted that Mr. Jones stated that he was not hurt, but wanted to go to the hospital.  After completing their assessment, EMS did not determine a reason to transport Mr. Jones to the hospital.  EMS noted that Mr. Jones had a strong odor of alcohol and a small abrasion on his nose.  Officers then transported Mr. Jones to Rowan Regional Medical Center where he was admitted for further evaluation. 
The medical examiner concluded that Mr. Jones died of natural causes.  The medical examiner noted that when Mr. Jones arrived at Rowan Regional Medical Center he had an abrasion on his forehead area and that he was responsive, ambulatory, and had no apparent problems or difficulties.  While Mr. Jones was in the emergency room, the medical examiner noted that he progressively developed unusual behavior and became unresponsive.  
A CT angiogram was performed and Mr. Jones was found to have basilar artery thrombosis (blood clot) and he was subsequently transferred to Presbyterian Hospital for further medical care.  While at Presbyterian Hospital, attempts were made to remove the thrombus but the clot was found to be very firm and was unable to be extracted.  It appeared consistent with an old thrombus.  Mr. Jones was discovered to have a history of prior arterial thrombosis with an unspecified clotting disorder from April 2011.  It was noted that Mr. Jones had also been treated in September 2011 for a basilar tip thrombosis.  The medical examiner further noted that the condition Mr. Jones had at the hospital was “completely unrelated to any interaction with law enforcement.” 
I have reviewed the SBI investigation concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Claymore Christopher Jones, Jr.  I have concluded that the investigation supports that Detectives Mahaley and Colvin acted appropriately and did not use excessive force during the arrest of Mr. Jones on December 30, 2011.” 
Brandy Cook
Rowan County District Attorney

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