6-year-old killed by ‘trigger happy’ police
from various sources – June 2016
submitted by – Kelly Averill
Updates will be listed at the foot of this item
Body camera footage shows that, Chris Few, the father of a six-year-old autistic boy, Jeremy Mardis, was attempting to surrender before police opened fire, killing his son, a lawyer has said.
The young boy was killed by police gunfire, whilst his father was left seriously injured. The incident occurred in Marksville, Louisiana on 3 November 2015. As the father and son were sitting in traffic it is not clear why the police Marshalls opened fire. The officers did not appear, from initial evidence, to have been under any kind of direct threat of violence.
Jeremy and his father were waiting in traffic when the city marshals opened fire on their car. The two marshals had pulled up behind Chris in traffic shouting demands and displaying their weapons. According to legal representative, Mark Jeansonne, his client had his hands up, was ready to comply with their demands and was not threatening police when gunfire began.
It has also been noted in a later investigation that the family car had was not actually carrying any weapons as the officers had first suggested.
Colonel Michael Edmonson of Louisiana state police said he was still “figuring out” why the father and son’s car was being pursued by the Marshalls. The shooting took place on Martin Luther King Drive around or just after 9:30pm when the Marshalls allegedly discharged as many as 18 shots into the car.
Jeremy, who was in first grade elementary school, died from wounds to both his head and chest. Five of the officers’ bullets pierced Jeremy’s body, with the two fatal shots hitting him in the head and chest. Due to the wounds that he suffered it was confirmed that Jeremy was certainly in the direct line of fire whilst sitting in the front passenger seat. If he had been sitting in the back, the outcome may have been a very different.
It was revealed that Lt Derrick Stafford and his colleague Norris Greenhouse Jr were attempting to serve Chris a warrant. However, on investigating this allegation there were was no evidence of them attempting to serve such a warrant.
Alexandria Marshal Terrence Grines told reporters that both Lt Derrick Stafford and his colleague Norris Greenhouse Jr had their contracts terminated. Both men will face charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the shooting case. Greenhouse Jr. also was a full-time Alexandria deputy marshal, while Stafford was a part-time Alexandria deputy marshal.
In December 2015, Jeremy’s grandmother wept as a judge read the indictments of the two deputy city marshals on second-degree murder charges for the fatal shooting of her 6-year-old autistic grandson. They were also charged with attempted second degree murder of his father, Chris. The officers were released on $1 million bond pending the start of their trials.
In March 2016 a vigil was held in remembrance of Jeremy. The anger of many in a community rocked by the death of the boy at the hands law enforcement officers was evident at the event held in Marksville. Just as evident was the ongoing heartbreak for an innocent life lost and the family that loved him. “He was special,” said Samantha Few, Jeremy’s grandmother. “If you were down, he always cheered you up. He would come up to you and say, ‘Gimme a hug.'”
Whilst there are not any official statistics released, it is believed Jeremy is the youngest person to die from a police shooting in Louisiana.
Jeremy was one of 17 children who had been shot and killed by police officers in 2015 — and is one of two of those cases in which the child killed was completely unarmed.
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