Louisiana Police Backtrack On Explanation For Shooting Death Of 6-Year-Old Jeremy Mardis
Earlier this week, I told you about the heartbreaking death of six-year-old Jeremy Mardis, who was shot to death in Marksville, LA, by city marshals after they opened fire on his father’s vehicle following a pursuit. Authorities initially said that police had tried to serve Chris Few, Mardis’s father, with a warrant and he took off in his car with Mardis in the front passenger seat. The marshals pursued, and when Few reached a dead end, he allegedly started to back his car into the officers, which is the “reason” they opened fire. (Mardis was shot multiple times in the head and chest, as was Few, who remains in critical condition.)
However, Colonel Michael Edmonson, head of the Louisiana state police, is now denying that Few backed up his vehicle towards the three police cruisers — probably because physical evidence doesn’t support the claim. All of the bullet holes “hit the driver’s side broadside,” suggesting Few’s car was perpendicular to the officers, not backing up into them.
On Thursday, Colonel Michael Edmonson, head of the Louisiana state police, denied earlier reports that Few had been reversing his car toward the officers, who then had to defend themselves. “No. I didn’t say that,” he told the Guardian. “That didn’t come from me.”
At a press conference, Edmonson initially described the shooting as “an exchange of gunfire”, but later clarified that only the officers had shot, and that investigators had found no gun in Few’s car. Officials had previously declined to confirm whether officer gunfire was responsible for Mardis’s death.
That’s not the only thing shady about this horrid case. According to the Guardian, Marksville Mayor John Lemoine said that city marshal Floyd Voinche and his officers have recently begun overstepping their authority. “I don’t know why he felt the need to start patrolling in city limits,” Lemoine said. “It makes no sense to me.” And unfortunately, the officers involved still aren’t talking.
Edmonson also said video footage of the incident does exist, but that investigators have not reviewed it. He added that the officers involved – there are four – had so far refused to speak with state police investigators. Police have not released the names of the involved officers.
Asked by the Guardian what reason they offered for their silence, Edmonson said: “You’d have to ask them. We are trying to talk with them.”
And then there’s the issue of why city marshals were after Few to begin with. While initial reports claimed that the marshals were trying to serve Few with a warrant, his fiancee Megan Dixon says she saw the police cruisers approach Few’s car with their lights flashing – and seemingly for no particular reason. According to the Guardian:
She looked into Few’s car as he pulled away, and he was pointing at his son’s head, indicating that he was in the car and he wasn’t sure what to do.
Few was afraid of the marshals, she said, because he and and one of the marshals on the scene had a prior personal conflict.
So what was it that led city marshals to pursue Few? A warrant? Or a grudge? And regardless, why on earth did they open fire into the driver’s side of his vehicle if he wasn’t posing a direct threat to their lives? A six-year-old child is dead and someone needs to explain WHY. [Guardian]