The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Officer Moses Walker's Family Sues Parole Board

The family of a slain Philadelphia police officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, reports CBS Philly.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims that the parole board was negligent in allowing Rafael Jones to be paroled. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the survivors of the victim sue an individual or company for negligence or misconduct that caused the death of their loved one.

The lawsuit cites flaws in the system, pointing to the fact that Jones was supposed to be under house arrest at the time he shot and killed Philadelphia Police Officer Moses Walker.

The electronic monitoring system for Jones' house arrest was never set up. The monitoring system required that Jones be in a house with a landline. But Jones didn't have a landline at his home, which was the first of many fatal flaws with his parole.

Walker was shot and killed while walking home from an overnight shift at the 22nd Police District on August 18. He was in civilian clothes and off-duty at the time of the shooting. The shooting appeared to be the result of a botched robbery, cites The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jones had been out of prison for only ten days at the time of the murder. Yet, he remained free, due to practices and "unwritten policies" of the parole board.

Walker's survivors include his mother and five siblings. They allege that the probation board dropped the ball, not only on the terms of the parole, but on the fact that the board had let numerous parole violations slip through the cracks.

Walker's family lawyers point to the fact that Jones had failed a drug test subsequent to his parole; a fact that mandated his re-arrest. The family also points to a violation of Walker's civil rights, claiming that the parole board allowed a "systematic breakdown" which put Walker in harm's way, writes The Inquirer.

Rafael Jones had previously been incarcerated for weapons related offenses and had been a serial armed mugger, writes The Inquirer. The lawsuit seeks damages and a jury trial.

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