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On Friday, a New Orleans police officer resigned and was then arrested for a hit-and-run after confessing to it. The veteran officer was arrested by the agency’s internal affairs unit. Up until recently, Roger J. Jones Jr. was an officer in the 8th District. He was charged with being behind a hit-and-run in the Lower Garden District in September of 2011.
The 38 year old is reported to have also been charged with another hit-and-run that happened on the same day. Remi Braden, a police spokeswoman, confirmed the arrest and said more details would be released soon.
Donovan Livaccari, Jones’ lawyer, said that Jones had surrendered to the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau. The NOPD veteran had already been on desk duty after being accused of being involved in the first hit-and -run on Jefferson Parish.
Before he confessed, Jones’ lawyer has entered a plea of ‘not guilty’ on his behalf and he was awaiting trial.
Investigators revealed that last year, on September 19, Jones crashed his police car near Airline Drive and Central Avenue in Metairie. A Louisiana State Police trooper reported seeing the damaged police car at Jones’ home in Jefferson. The trooper also reported that Jones showed signs of having consumed alcohol.
Jones is reported to have made claims that he had had a curb run-in, struck a pole and ruined a garden but investigators reported that there were no signs to support his claims. Instead, officers received reports of a hit-and-run in which a NOPD cruiser allegedly hit a red vehicle at Magazine Street and did not bother to stop and see what happened. That report seemed to explain the red paint streaks and damages on Jones’ police car.
Jone’s attorney expressed concern that the police department had a double standard in its policy on issuing a summons whenever possible. He expressed that his client did not need to be arrested as opposed to being issued a summons. According to Livaccari, there had been 6,000 hit-and-runs in the city and only 200 of them resulted in a physical arrest.