Just two days before Jones’ death, his mother India Epps texted him saying “I just want to know you are okay everyday" and she told him she loved him. Jones texted her back saying “I love you more,” she said.
But, Epps didn’t know that was the last time they would exchange those words to each other.
Epps, 40, said her son graduated from the Achievement Academy at Harbor City High school and was gaining popularity as a local aspiring rapper. She said her son, who performed under the name “Lor Truiee," rapped about community issues hoping to inspire change in Baltimore.
“His voice was a vessel, a connection, to people who could relate to him. People who could relate to the issues he spoke about. When you look at his posts, it wasn’t just about music, it was about empowering yourself,” Epps said as tears were rolling down her face.
“He wanted the best for everybody and that is not normal, not in this city,” she added.
Epps acknowledged her son was injured in another shooting on Mother’s Day a few years ago.
“He’s been through some things. He may not have always have had the perfect ladder to climb. But even through some of his decision making, he was able to decipher what he wanted to be and what he wanted to accomplish and help others when he did not have it all figured out himself,” Epps said.
Epps said getting through Thanksgiving without her son will be one of the toughest moments of her life. Yet, she said she still looks at it as an “honor” to be his mother.
A wrongful arrest in 2016
Jones was 18 in 2016 when police arrested him as he stood in the doorway of his East Baltimore home, then about a block away from where he was killed on Barclay Street. In a video taken by a friend, Jones can be seen telling a police officer that his mother wasn’t home, and that police needed a warrant to enter.
Jones had done nothing wrong, prosecutors and police later acknowledged. Still, the video shows a second police officer arriving on the scene, grabbing Jones and shoving him to the ground. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, and prosecutors quickly dropped all charges and said he was wrongly arrested.
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In April, Jones filed a civil lawsuit against one of the officers who grabbed him. Court records show the case remained active, and just two weeks ago lawyers filed notices of expert witness testimony and shared discovery information, a routine part of civil litigation.
Baltimore police officers Cody Holliday and Joe McFadden were named in Jones’ lawsuit.
Police have provided no details about his shooting.
In the block where Jones was shot, police tape remained Monday evening, tied to a railing near an old boarded-up building. Fresh graffiti scrawled on the sidewalk calls it a “no shoot zone.”
Additionally, Baltimore police identified another man, Brian Moore, 36, who was shot and killed in the 1800 block of W. Pratt St. in the Carrollton Ridge neighborhood Tuesday afternoon. Officers arrived at the shooting scene at approximately 12:45 p.m. Moore was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Baltimore police.