WARNING: Viewers are advised that they may find the video below to be disturbing.
This week a Louisiana court ordered the release of police body-cam video that depicts the shooting death of a 6-year-old autistic boy, Jeremy Mardis. Young Jeremy was riding in an car with his father, Christopher Few, in November 2015 when police officers of Marksville, Louisiana, sought to pull him over. Officers Derrick Stafford (33) and Norris Greenhouse Jr. (24) later claimed that they were attempting to serve a warrant to Few, even while no warrants were ever issued to Few.
When Few allegedly refused to stop his vehicle, a chase began with officers in pursuit. The officers claimed that they fired on Few's vehicle when he allegedly rammed their car and trying to ram it again. However, the body-cam footage seems to indicate that Few’s vehicle was stopped and his hands were raised. It was then that officers began firing on his SUV.
Norris Greenhouse Jr. and Derrick Stafford
“I dare say it was not even close to being used as a deadly weapon at that time,” said U.S. District Court Judge William Bennett after releasing the video. Both Stafford and and Greenhouse were charged with murder in 2015.
The approximately 14-minute-long graphic video features about a minute of the shooting. It shows that the officers realize that a child was in the vehicle and also when they examine the boy's dead body. The officers were visibly grieved over the death of the boy. The boy's father was critically wounded in the shooting. Jeremy was struck reportedly five times with gunfire and died on the scene. According to media, there were 18 shots fired with little apparent accuracy.
The head of the Louisian State Police, Colonel Michael D. Edmunson, said that the shooting is the most disturbing he has ever seen. The Civil Rights division of the Justice Department and the FBI are participating in the investigation.
Approximately 14 spent cartridges were found on the scene. The three bullet fragments found in little Jeremy’ body came from Stafford’s gun. Both Jeremy and his father were white. The two officers are black Americans.
According to prosecutors, the video underlines their claim that both Stafford and Greenhouse of a history of excessive use of force. They said that both of the officers have used stun guns un-necessarily. In another case, Stafford is alleged to have broken the arm of a 16-year-old girl while intervening in a schoolyard fight, according to the New York Daily News.
Last year, Megan Dixon, Few’s fiancee, told local media that Few had an encounter with Greenhouse after the the officer had reportedly message Dixon on Facebook and visited her at home. Currently, both Stafford and Greenhouse are free on bond. Stafford faces the court this November, and Greenhouse goes to trial in March 2017.
In the above video, at approximately 3:14 minutes, a voice can be heard saying, "There's a juvenile."