Darnesha Harris

Darnesha HarrisYoung woman fleeing police shot and killed in Louisiana

from various sources – October 2017
submitted by – Halima Iqra Ghafoor

Updates on this case listed at the foot of this item

17 year-old Darnesha Harris of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, died on the 2 December 2012. She was shot dead by a police officer Travis Guillot who fired two shots into her vehicle after she had driven into a patrol car. State Police said officers were responding to a disturbance on Landry Street when a 2005 Toyota Corolla driven by Darnesha struck the front of a police car. They claimed that the driver then put the car in reverse and struck a parked car on the road before driving forward again through a ditch, striking a bystander and another parked car.

The officer that shot Darnesha had already been accused of misconduct while he had worked at three other law enforcements agencies. These had been one incident which included the shooting of a dog, allegedly fondling female inmates and improper treatment of an inmate who died of cocaine intoxication whilst in custody.  A grand jury decline to indict him in these cases.

It is not clear if she was shot while her car was moving. Witnesses say she was shot with her hands in the air. A witness who was at the scene of the shooting said that a fight had broken out and when police arrived at the scene Darnesha immediately entered her vehicle. In her panic, she tried to drive away but a police car was blocking her exit and she struck it.

Official statements had claimed that Darnesha struck the front of the officers unit with her car, then put the car in reverse and struck a parked car, then drove forward again through a ditch and struck a bystander and another car. He says one of the responding officers then exited his vehicle and fired his weapon.

Officials said that tensions have eased after a brief appearance by unidentified persons apparently attempting to rouse anger in a crowd. One man was seen with a bullhorn at the scene of the shooting and there were unconfirmed reports that persons associated with the Black Panther group held a brief rally at Judge Carl Williams Memorial Park.

Mayor Jack Dale Delhomme credited the city’s black leaders, Councilmen Albert Menard and Howard Alexander and Parish Councilman Craig Gregory with keeping the peace. “There’s no turmoil, nobody walking the streets,” one person said. “We’re just waiting to see what the investigation turns up.”

At a vigil held for Darnesha her brother spoke about the family’s emotions and that they wanted answers. The family and friends of Darnesha were extremely affected by the death.


Follow-up News:

L.A. State Police now investigating fatal Breaux Bridge shooting
(date unknown)

Breaux Bridge police officer shoots, kills girl
10 December 2012

Darnisha’s Obituary
10 December 2012

15 Unarmed Black Women Who Died at the Hands of Police
(date unknown)

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