RT reports that:
A Louisiana community is asking questions nearly a month after police said that a young man fatally shot himself in the back in the back of a patrol car. As the state police continue their investigation, though, the man's family is anxious for an answer.
Victor White III, 22, was apprehended by police in Iberia Parish on the night of Sunday March 2 because of their suspicion that he was involved in a fight nearby. Trooper Stephen Hammons told the Baton Rouge Advocate that deputies who searched White claimed to find illegal drugs on his person, at which point they handcuffed him and drove to the police station for processing.
Exactly what happened next is unclear. Harmons told local media outlets that White was uncooperative when it came time to enter the police car, was able to produce a weapon with his hands cuffed behind his back, and fired a single shot into his own back. The young man was then taken by ambulance to a local hospital and pronounced dead.
“We’re investigating how he got the gun,” Harmons said earlier this month. “It’s too early in our investigation to comment further.”
Sheriff Louis Ackal called on state police to launch an investigation into the matter, meaning the authorities are not permitted to comment publicly until the investigation is completed.
Victor White Sr. told Vice’s Wilbert Cooper that, when he drove the two hours from his home to New Iberia, it was difficult to find an officer who would explain what had happened that Sunday night. He said the authorities initially refused to let him see Victor’s body and, when he refused to leave without an answer, they had conditions.
“They told me I couldn’t see his lower body. I could only see his face,” the elder White told Vice. “It wasn’t until I got back and looked on the state police’s Facebook page that I found out what had happened to my son.”
Here we go again. Another brother dies in police custody under suspicious circumstances. Trooper Hammons' account is completely implausible. The police thoroughly searched Mr. White before they put him in the car. It is highly unlikely that they would fail to uncover a gun during that search. Hammons' story is improbable. I doubt that Mr. White magically conjured up a gun and decided to shoot himself in the back.
Obviously, there is a real probability that the police killed that brother and tried to cover their tracks by fabricating this incredible, fantastical explanation. Too often, police plant guns and drugs on black people in order to justify police brutality and humiliating harassment. I hope that civil rights organizations remain vigilant and continue to demand a full and thorough investigation. The struggle continues.