Police brutality is not reserved for black victims, as extremist groups like Back Lives Matter would have you believe. Here’s a story that will make you think twice before calling 911:
Two policemen in Marksville, Louisiana have been charged with the murder of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis. The child was caught in the crossfire when Reserve Officer Norris Greenhouse Jr. and Marksville Police Lt. Derrick Stafford opened fire on the boy’s father, Chris Few.
Greenhouse and Stafford said they were pursuing a warrant on Chris Few, but the following investigation revealed that although Few had a few traffic violations and a DWI conviction, there was no warrant out for him.
Greenhouse and Stafford were moonlighting as city marshals for Avoyelles Parish Ward 2 when they located Few’s car and chased him as he drove onto Martin Luther King Drive. It was about 9:30 in the evening. According to witnesses, Few stepped out of the vehicle (unarmed) and put his hands up. That’s when the police opened fire. Few was shot multiple times and was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition. His 6-year-old autistic son was shot multiple times and died on site.
Greenhouse and Stafford were taken into custody on Friday night after investigators reviewed body camera footage. After watching the video, Louisiana State Police Colonel Michael Edmonson commented that it was “the most disturbing thing I’ve seen.”
“Nothing is more important than this badge that we wear on our uniform,” said Edmonson. “The integrity of why we wear it, because the public allows us to wear that. It’s not a right, it’s a privilege. And tonight that badge has been tarnished.”
Mark Jeansonne, Few’s attorney, told the Associated Press that “this was not a threatening situation for the police.” Few was unarmed and had his hands in the air before shots were fired. Few’s fiancée told the police that Chris was afraid of the marshals due to a prior conflict with one of them. The officers involved have not yet been interviewed.
Even more suspicious is the fact that Greenhouse and Stafford were behaving outside their normal role. According to the Associated Press, Ward 2 boss Marshal Floyd Voinche hired deputies and bought police cars a few months ago. The new cops began issuing citations in Marksville, which according to the city’s mayor is beyond a marshal’s normal role.
City officials in Marksville have yet to receive an explanation from Voinche. “You can’t get in touch with him; he’s never come before us,” said Marksville’s mayor John Lemoine. “There’s no communication.”
This isn’t the first time Greenhouse and Stafford have gotten into trouble. Both men were named in a federal lawsuit filed in July. The victim, Ian Fridge, claims the cops tackled him simply because he was exercising his right to openly carry a firearm. Fridge managed to take a video of the incident, but the two cops took his phone and deleted it immediately. Even worse, Stafford has been accused of raping two women, one in 2004 and another in 2011.
“Tonight is about the death of Jeremy Mardis. Jeremy Mardis, 6 years old,” said Edmonson at a press conference. “He didn’t deserve to die like that and that’s what’s unfortunate.”
Author’s Note: In my opinion the word “unfortunate” is an understatement. The focus here should be on why these two men were hired as policemen in the first place. This situation and others have convinced me that the process of becoming a police officer needs some serious readjusting. Men like Stafford and Greenhouse should never have been allowed to wear a badge.