Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

Lawyer: Body cam showed no threats as police killed boy

MARKSVILLE, La. — A police body camera recorded the father of a 6-year-old autistic boy with his hands up and posing no threat as police fired into his car, severely wounding the motorist and killing his son, the man's lawyer said Monday.

"This was not a threatening situation for the police," said Mark Jeansonne, an attorney for Chris Few, who remained hospitalized and could not attend Monday's funeral of his son, Jeremy Mardis.

Derrick Stafford, 32, of Mansura and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, of Marksville were ordered held on $1 million bail Monday on second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder charges, Jeansonne said.

The lawyer said he hasn't seen the video himself, but its contents were described during the hearing. Louisiana's state police chief, Col. Mike Edmonson, said Friday that "it's the most disturbing thing I've seen — and I will leave it at that."

Few's condition was improving Monday, but he had not been told as of midday that his son is dead, Jeansonne said. His stepfather, Morris German, said last week that Few had bullet fragments in his brain and lung.

Greenhouse is the son of a top assistant prosecutor for District Attorney Charles A. Riddle, who recused himself from the case Monday, calling it "not good for any of us."

Judge William Bennett set the officers' bail during a hearing he held inside the jail after refusing media requests to open the proceedings. No transcripts were made available, and the judge later issued a sweeping gag order prohibiting anyone involved in the case, including potential witnesses and victims, from providing any information to the media.

Investigators have been reviewing forensics evidence, 911 calls and body camera recordings but said little about them even before the gag order.

The official silence leaves many questions unanswered, including what prompted the fatal confrontation, and whether anyone else is being investigated for any crimes. At least two other officers were involved, authorities said, but their roles remain unclear.

Investigators have not suggested race is a factor in the shooting, which may not fit neatly into a national debate about race and policing. Booking records describe the officers as African-American; no available records describe the race of the father and son.

Few, a boat pilot on the Red River, was on probation at the time of the shooting after pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated in February, according to court records.

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