BY JAMES HARPER
The arrest of a Black Daytona Beach resident after she called 911 for help after her home was burglarized has garnered the attention of the local NAACP.
“We have spoken with Mrs. Jones, and will be following up with Chief (Mike) Chitwood regarding the arrest,” Daytona Beach NAACP President Cynthia Slater told the Daytona Times on Wednesday.
Slater was referring to Dedra Jones, who was arrested April 1 after she called the Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) for help but was arrested herself about an hour after her first 911 call.
Also on Wednesday, Jones’ daughter Natalie told the Times that the DBPD had informed the family that two people have been arrested in the burglary based on fingerprints lifted from the home.
Family to sue city
Natalie Jones said her family still plans to sue the city for the false arrest of their mom. However, they are having trouble getting a local lawyer to take the case.
Natalie said she was even told by a Black attorney the case would be hard to win and other attorneys would be biased against them.
Natalie said her family is looking for legal representation outside of Volusia County.
“We want my mom’s name to be cleared. They don’t understand it just wasn’t just my mom calling 911. The purpose of the lawsuit against the city is not for money but to clear my mom’s name,” Natalie said.
According to a police report on her arrest, a call was made from Jones’ cell phone at 4:33 p.m. for help. Another call was made a half-hour later when no one had showed up. The police report said eight calls were made from Jones’ cell phone.
“We have contacted Mayor (Derrick) Henry and other commissioners and they have not responded back to us. We have never had police called to our home and when we needed them it seems like they didn’t care,” Natalie added.
According to a police report involving Jones’ arrest, not the burglary report, 911 was dialed from Jones’ phone eight times.
Dedra Jones is not denying she called the emergency number multiple times. She told the Times last week that she was upset that her home had been broken into and couldn’t understand why officers hadn’t arrived within the first half-hour of her 911 call.
Officer arrives late
The Times has obtained the police report related to the burglary.
A different police officer was dispatched to Jones’ Berkshire address at 6:42 p.m., an hour after Jones’ arrest.
This police report, obtained by the Daytona Times Monday, and written by Officer Scott Houle, said that he was dispatched to the Berkshire address for a “burglary that had happened earlier today.”
“Upon my arrival, I contacted the homeowner and his daughter. She stated that her mother called earlier to report the burglary, but the officer arrested her.”
The daughter being referred to is Natalie Jones. She was on the scene with her father, Joby Jones.
The report stated upon entering the home around 4:30 p.m. they noticed a black karate duffle bag, 32” Panasonic TV, an X-Box, a 50” Panasonic TV, a Play Station, a Compaq laptop and miscellaneous jewelry was missing.
The Jones family estimated all their missing items totaled $7,000 in value.
Television found near fish mart
The police report also stated that prior to her mother being arrested they began walking toward Mason Avenue when an unidentified person told them that two Black juveniles wearing black and white T-shirts were carrying a TV behind TJ’S Fish mart on Lewis Drive.
When the juveniles were approached, they dropped the TV and went to 802 Lewis Drive. They were not apprehended at the time.
Natalie Jones and her father recognized the TV as one of theirs, picked it up off the ground and took it home.
In the police report, Natalie identified one of the juveniles as Samuel Williams.
Officer Houle said at the time of the report there were no serial or model numbers to identify stolen property.
Pictures were taken at the scene and four latent fingerprints were submitted as evidence.
Houle said he attempted to contact the residents at 802 Lewis Drive where the suspects allegedly went after the robbery, but he said there was no answer when he knocked at the door.