Two deputy city marshals who shot and killed a 6-year-old boy, and nearly killed his father, were indicted Thursday on second degree murder and second degree attempted murder charges by a grand jury in Louisiana.
Derrick Stafford, 32, and Norris Greenhouse, 23, were both moonlighting as police marshals in Marksville, Louisiana on November 3 when they shot and killed Jeremy Mardis, age six. The marshals chased after Jeremy’s father, Christopher Few, after seeing him get into an argument with his girlfriend outside of a bar. After chasing Few’s car and cornering it next to a public park, they unleashed 18 rounds of ammunition.
Jeremy was killed on the spot, shot multiple times in the head. His father was in critical condition but is now recovering. The marshals are both black and Jeremy and Few are white.
Evidence was released following the grand jury indictment announcement Thursday by the Louisiana state attorney general’s office. The evidence includes testimony by other police officers who were on the scene of the killing. One officer told investigators that he did not shoot because “he didn’t fear for his life.”
Few was entirely unarmed at the time of the killing. Both Few and Jeremy were in the front seat of the car.
There are descriptions of a police body camera that was active at the time of the shooting. The document states, “The body camera video is approximately 13 minutes and 47 seconds long. At approximately 26 seconds into the video, the driver, Christopher Few’s empty hands are raised and visible when gunfire becomes audible.”
Outside the courthouse after the announcement of the indictment Thursday, Jeremy’s grandmother, Cathy Mardis, told the press, “It’s been pure hell. I can’t explain what it’s like to bury your 6-year-old grandchild.”
Jeremy was on the autistic spectrum. Media reports have highlighted this fact. But there is no suggestion that this played a factor in the shooting.
Another police officer, Joel Jenkins, was indicted Thursday by a grand jury for killing two men in two separate incidents in Pike County, Ohio. Jenkins, who has since been dismissed from the police force, was charged with first degree murder and reckless homicide for killing a man after a high-speed chase on March 28 of this year. Added to that was involuntary manslaughter involving a gun, for the gunning down of Jason Brady, a 40-year-old man, just a week ago. Finally, Jenkins was charged with another count of reckless homicide and tampering with evidence.
The county sheriff told the press that evidence points to Jenkins’ drinking alcohol during last week’s shooting on December 3. Reportedly, Jenkins was handling a gun that was not his on-duty weapon when it accidently went off, mortally wounding Brady.
In Oklahoma Thursday, a former police officer was found guilty of serial rape. Daniel Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City police officer, sexually assaulted and abused multiple women in a lower-working class neighborhood that he was assigned to patrol.
The mother of the youngest victim, who was 17, told the Associated Press that she thought the case was not isolated but “a problem for the nation.” Holtzclaw was charged with 36 counts over a six-month period. Most of his victims never reported being raped because many of them had criminal records, addiction problems, and could have been set up by Holtzclaw or arrested by him for minor offenses.
There are 13 alleged victims in the case, including a woman who told the press that she was taken by Holtzclaw to a hospital, handcuffed to a hospital bed and raped. In another incident, one of his alleged victims reported that Holtzclaw promised to get rid of a drug charge against her if she submitted to him.
All of the alleged victims were black and poor. Holtzclaw, a former football captain, is 29 years old and half-Japanese, half-white.
Finally, on Wednesday, a 31-year-old black man, Travis Page, died while in police custody in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In a video of the event, taken by a woman on the scene of Page’s arrest, a police officer tells the taker of the video that they were responding to a discharged firearm report. According to news reports, the police chased Page, who resisted arrest. Before handcuffing him they pepper-sprayed him. Page became unresponsive and died in police custody.
The woman who made the video tells the police repeatedly that Page, who she recognized, would not do anything and had not done anything wrong. In tears she asks them, “What did you to him?”