A police body camera video showing two Louisiana deputy city marshals opening fire on a car, killing a young boy and critically wounding his father, has been released to the public. Prosecutors showed the tape in court Wednesday to support their claim that one of the deputies, Derrick Stafford, had a pattern of using excessive force, which included last November’s fatal shooting of a 6-year-old in Marksville.
The officers allegedly chased the boy’s father, Christopher Few, after he drove off from an argument with his girlfriend. The video captures the moment the SUV was cornered.
Defense attorneys argued the deputies acted in self-defense and claimed Few rammed into a deputy’s vehicle before they fired; however, state District Court Judge William Bennett said the video doesn’t show Few using his car as a “deadly weapon” at the time of the shooting.
“That car was not being used as a deadly weapon at that time,” District Court Judge William Bennett reportedly declared after viewing the body cam footage. “I daresay it was not even close to being used as a deadly weapon at that time.”
The shooting reportedly happened the night of Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. At the end of the newly released footage, Sgt. Parnell reported shots fired over the radio without ever firing his own weapon. Police Lt. Derrick Stafford and Officer Norris Greenhouse fired 18 shots into the vehicle, placing Few in critical condition and killing his 6-year-old autistic son, Jeremy Mardis.
“I never saw a kid in the car, man,” Stafford reportedly said in the unedited version. “I never saw a kid, bro.”
Roughly seven minutes after the shooting, Parnell checked Mardis’ body for a pulse before muttering, “Oh, my God.”
Charged with second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, Greenhouse and Stafford await separate trials for shooting a man with his hands in the air and killing his autistic son. Stafford’s trial is scheduled for November 28, while Greenhouse is expected to begin trial in March.