Charges thrown out against former Philadelphia police officer accused of 2017 fatal shooting

A judge threw out murder charges Tuesday against a former Philadelphia police officer accused of fatally shooting a Black man in the back as he ran. 

Ryan Pownall, 40, was facing third-degree murder charges in the 2017 shooting of 30-year-old David Jones. Pownall is accused of shooting Jones in the back as he ran from a traffic stop. 

Court records show that the third-degree charge, as well as reckless endangerment and weapons counts, were ‘quashed’ Tuesday after a motions hearing before a common pleas court. 


FOP Lodge 5 President John McNesby responded to the dropped charges in a statement, reading in-part: 

"We promised a vigorous defense against all the charges and happy to see that all criminal charges were dismissed... and we now begin the work to get Ryan Pownall re-instated to his job, protecting our great city."

Pownall stopped Jones for riding a dirt bike on a city street, frisked him and felt a gun. After a scuffle, Pownall's gun jammed when he tried to shoot Jones.

Jones fled, throwing his gun. Pownall fired again and fatally shot Jones in the back.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said it "strongly disagrees on many levels" with the decision to throw out the charges. 

"The District Attorney’s Office strongly disagrees on many levels with the court’s decision today in this matter, and will be reviewing our options in the coming days," a short statement from the DA's Office said.