On Friday, a Louisiana cop was convicted of manslaughter charges for the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy with autism.
An Avoyelles Parish jury found Derrick Stafford, 33, a former Marksville police officer and part-time city marshal, guilty of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter charges. The Advocate reported Stafford was originally charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder for the November 3, 2015, shooting death of Jeremy Mardis.
The 6-year-old was shot at least four times during the 2-mile chase with the child’s father, Christopher Few, 26, who was also seriously injured, according to the New York Daily News.
Mardis was still strapped into the car’s front seat when he died. Police body camera footage captured Few with his hands up before Stafford and another officer, Norris Greenhouse Jr., 25, fired a total of 18 rounds at the vehicle, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
— CRIMEWATCHERS (@Kimster_CW) March 24, 2017
“Never in a million years would I have fired my weapon if I knew a child was in that car,” Stafford told jurors. “I would have called off the pursuit myself.”
Few testified that the officers never gave any verbal warning before unleashing a barrage of bullets. The 26-year-old didn’t know his son was dead until he woke up from a coma six days following the shooting.
Stafford claimed he shot at the car because he feared that Few was going to back up his car and run over Greenhouse. Experts determined the cars reached an average speed of 30 miles per hour during the two-mile pursuit.
Christopher LaCour, Stafford’s defense attorney, expressed disappointment that law officials didn’t support his client.
“I saw an officer on trial, and I saw fellow officers not support him, at all,” LaCour said, according to The Town Talk. “This whole thing about Blue Lives Matter makes me wanna laugh sometimes.”
— AG Jeff Landry (@AGJeffLandry) March 25, 2017
Greenhouse, who is also facing second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder charges, will go to trial in June.
“As we have said all along, our goal in this case was to get justice for Jeremy Mardis, his family, and the people of Louisiana,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement. “Today, that happened.”
[Feature Photo: Facebook/Louisiana State Police]