Sunday, November 08, 2015

Jeremy Mardis, six, was shot dead by state marshals on Tuesday night.  Why?

Lt. Derrick Stafford, 32, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, a reserve officer, were arrested Friday night by the Louisiana State Police after the shooting death of Jeremy Mardis and the wounding of his unarmed father, Chris Few, in the central Louisiana town of Marksville on Tuesday.

Jeremy Mardis, a first-grader from the town of Effie, was shot five times in the head and torso when deputy marshals opened fire on his father's fleeing car.

Coroner Dr L. J. Mayeux said it was likely that Jeremy was caught 'in the line of fire' as the marshals shot at the driver's side, with the boy on the passenger's side of the car.

It's still unclear what led police to pursue Few and what triggered the shooting.

Col. Mike Edmonson said that there was no weapon found in the SUV or any indication that shots were fired from that vehicle.

The parish coroner said earlier this week that the officers were serving a warrant on Few when he fled, but Edmonson later said he had no information about a warrant.

Records in both Marksville city court and the area district court show several traffic violations and a recent DWI conviction but no outstanding warrants or ongoing criminal cases, reports the The Advocate.

Edmonson said that Greenhouse and Stafford were booked on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

In the late night press conference he said: 'Let's make tonight about Jeremy Mardis.  'That little boy was buckled in the front seat of that vehicle and that is how he died. He didn't deserve to die like that.'

Speaking of the body camera footage that was recovered from the officers, he said: 'It is the most disturbing thing I've seen, and I will leave it at that.'

'The initial statement to my investigators was that the vehicle was backing up, they feared for their lives and they started firing,' Edmonson told CBS News.

'I think the longer it takes for these officers to come forward and give us information, it's more concerning,' Edmonson told CBS News Friday morning.

Two other officers, Lt. Jason Brouillette and Sgt. Kenneth Parnell, were involved in the incident.

When Edmonson was asked whether he anticipated any more arrests, he said: 'We'll see where it takes us.'

It has since emerged that in October, 2011, Lt. Derrick Stafford was indicted by a Rapides Parish grand jury on two counts of aggravated rape, reports KATC - the station says it is waiting for records to see exactly how it was resolved.

The station also reported he has five pending civil lawsuits involving him in Avoyelles Parish and Norris Greenhouse Jr. was also named in several of the suits.

One of the cases alleges that while arresting a woman involves Stafford Tasered her without warning while she was cuffed in the back of the car.

Another case claims while breaking up a fight between two girls, Stafford allegedly pulled a 15-year-old girls' arms behind her back and apparently broke her arm.

KATC reports the pair are named in a July lawsuit filed in federal court along with five other Marksville police officers regarding an arrest of a man at a festival which ended up with him being Tasered.

Few's 57-year-old stepfather, Morris German, has accused the marshals of indiscriminately opening fire on the vehicle.

German said Few was heavily sedated, unable to talk and has bullet fragments lodged in his brain and lung.

He described Few as a loving father and added the man's son 'was his whole life.'

German added that the 6-year-old had been diagnosed with autism, describing him as a delightful child who 'loved everything, everybody.' German said the boy had no siblings and the family had recently moved to Marksville from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

'I know a 6-year-old should not have been shot,' German said.

Original report here

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