The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Department in Louisiana is investigating the shooting death of a 22-year-old man in police custody.
Police said Victor White III apparently shot and killed himself while handcuffed in an Iberia Parish sheriff’s vehicle on March 2.
White, who was picked up for reportedly fighting with others, was arrested and searched by police after they responded to a call in New Iberia.
According to CBS, Trooper Stephen Hammons says deputies who searched White said they found illegal drugs, cuffed his hands behind his back, and then placed him in a squad car for transport to the sheriff’s office for processing.
Once at the sheriff’s office, White became uncooperative and refused to exit the deputy’s patrol vehicle, reports CBS affiliate KLFY.
Hammons says White produced a handgun and fired one round, striking himself in the back.
White was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. State police are continuing their investigation, however, friends and family of the young man find it hard to believe White shot himself, citing the inconsistencies of the gun used in the fatal shooting.
During an initial search, a firearm was not found on White’s person. But somehow White was able to produce a gun and fire while handcuffed in the back of the patrol car.
That’s a detail many aren’t ready to push aside.
The Rev. Raymond Brown, president of National Action Now of New Orleans, said Monday night his organization also plans to look into the shooting death. The group also looked into an excessive force complaint against the Iberia Sheriff’s Office following a large street party in September.
“Something is seriously wrong with this picture,” Brown said of White’s shooting death.
White’s tragic death is hardly the first time a young person has died while in police custody. In 2012, 21-year-old Chavis Carter of Arkansas died while in the backseat of a patrol car. Officers claimed the young man shot himself in the head while handcuffed.
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We’ll keep you updated on any new developments in this tragic case.
SOURCE: CBS | PHOTO CREDIT: Handout