Two black cops killed a white kid and the system is making them pay for it
A Louisiana police officer who was convicted Friday of manslaughter wept as he was shown photographs of the 6-year-old autistic boy he shot dead.
The jury found Derrick Stafford, 33, guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Jeremy Mardis, 6, following a vehicle pursuit on Nov. 3, 2015.
Stafford and another deputy city marshal fired on a vehicle driven by the boy’s father after a two-mile chase. The boy was killed and his father, Christopher Few, was wounded.
The jury found Stafford guilty of manslaughter for Jeremy’s death and found him guilty of attempted manslaughter in the wounding of Few.
During the trial, Few said he heard no warnings from law enforcement before the officers fired.
Stafford testified he shot at the car because he feared Few was going to back up and hit the other deputy, Norris Greenhouse Jr.
“I felt I had no choice but to save Norris. That is the only reason I fired my weapon,” Stafford said.
Greenhouse, 25, faces a separate trial later this year. Both Stafford and Greenhouse were arrested on charges of second-degree murder.
Stafford faced charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the case.
Stafford said he didn’t know the boy was in the car when he fired and didn’t see his father’s hands in the air.
“Never in a million years would I have fired my weapon if I knew a child was in that car. I would have called off the pursuit myself,” Stafford said.
Two other officers at the scene – a third deputy city marshal and a Marksville police officer – didn’t fire their weapons that night.
Prosecutors said the officers weren’t in any danger and shot at the car from a safe distance, with none of their bullets hitting the front or back of Few’s vehicle.
Jurors heard testimony that Stafford fired 14 shots from his semi-automatic pistol.
Stafford said Greenhouse stumbled and fell to the ground as he tried to back away from Few’s car.
During cross examination, the prosecutor handed Stafford a stack of photos of Mardis.
“Do those photos show you what a .40 caliber Glock will do to a 6-year-old boy?” the prosecutor asked.
“Yes,” Stafford softly answered after pausing and crying. The 33-year-old officer said the pictures made him think of his own children.
Stafford and Greenhouse are Black. Few is white, and so was his son.
Defense attorneys accused investigators of rushing to judgment, arresting the officers less than a week after the shooting.
One of Stafford’s attorneys has questioned whether investigators would have acted more deliberately if the officers had been white. He also said he was shocked that other cops did not step forward to support his client.
Stafford’s sister, Earlita Stafford, told KLFY: “We come from a nice family, we’re well-mannered. Well, well-mannered. We believe in living right, doing the right thing.
“I felt that the whole trial was racist. I really do. And me, I get along with Black, white, green, orange, yellow, everybody, because I’m just that type of person. This is the way we were raised.”
In 2005, Stafford took a civil service exam and joined the Cheneyville PD, but said he didn’t like it because all he did was give tickets.
Source: Daily Mail