Man accuses West Point Police of lying - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Defendant: West Point Police lied about why they shot me

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WEST POINT, GA (WTVM) -

A man accused of intentionally hitting a police officer with his car is defending himself after being released from jail.

West Point Police claim they were forced to shoot Jaquezmon McCray Sunday morning because he was endangering their lives, and he hit one of them while trying to escape from a traffic stop.  On Friday, both of McCray's parents met him as he was released from jail and spoke in his defense.

McCray described step-by-step what took place in his account of the events.

"I got off at the checkpoint and they really just started hollering at me for no reason and then they got aggressive with me and it scared me, so I pulled off," said McCray.

West Point Police said that Jaquezmon McCray pulled up to a checkpoint off I85 early Sunday morning with drugs in plain view, and when officers told him to get out of the car, he hit the gas, knocking one of them to the ground. McCray said that's not how it went.

"I didn't strike an officer.  There wasn't an officer in my sight.  I know I didn't have a weapon and I know I didn't shoot back.  They've got so many stories on me, they say I had drugs, they say I was shooting.  They're saying everything.  They're just trying to cover their ---. But like I said, I didn't have a weapon or anything.  I was shot for no reason, I feel like," said McCray.

McCray and police both agree that after being shot, he drove a mile down the road to the West Point Housing Authority and crashed into a building at East 12th Street and Northview Drive, but McCray said he wasn't trying to hide.  

"I went to somebody's house who I knew, and I told them to call 911," said McCray. 

McCray also disputes having outstanding warrants as police originally reported. 

"I didn't break into anybody's house.  They say I've got burglary third degree, they're just really putting a lot of lies on me," said McCray. 

West Point Police Chief J.K. Cato is retracting the statement originally issued by his department, saying the Alabama warrants were a case of mistaken identity. However, he is not retracting any of his officers claims about what happened at that traffic stop.  McCray's parents said they know in their hearts their son did not deserve to be shot.

"I mean, I can't say anything in regard to that because I was not there at the incident. But I don't see that being in his character to hit anyone," said his mother, Regina McCray. 

"We're at a point where we're just tired, we're exhausted. We haven't been getting very much sleep worrying about him.  His mom has really been stressing herself out and we have the assurance and backing of people in the community and we're also in the process of orchestrating a protest," said father, Faheem Shabazz. 

McCray and his family are awaiting the next court date and trying to raise money for an expert attorney to represent their son.  

Shortly after these charges were filed against his son, Faheem Shabazz contacted News Leader 9 insisting that West Point Police officers changed their story after they first explained to him what happened on that interstate off ramp early Sunday morning.

Shabazz said he went to see his son in the hospital and an officer told him that police fired their guns at his son in response to someone shooting at them from inside the car. According to Shabazz, they switched to saying his son drove his car into an officer after they couldn't find a gun.

"These charges were concoctions, that they tailored to fit, or to be conducive to the law to get these charges to stick against him, and that really concerns me because we could have lost him," said Shabazz.

West Point Police Chief Cato responded to Shabazz's comments saying it's his feeling that people who were not at the scene when this incident occurred don't have anything to talk about. And the Chief was including himself in that statement, adding that he was also not there when the shooting took place, and therefore, he has nothing relevant to say regarding what did or did not happen. 

His office is not in charge of the investigation and he urges everyone to have faith in their judgment. He said they will determine what happened based on facts and forensic evidence.

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