A few months ago, a 22-year-old black man suffered a gunshot wound in the back of a police car after being arrested by Louisiana State Police. He was pronounced dead shortly thereafter in a hospital. The police report claims he shot himself in the back, and his death was ruled a suicide. But an autopsy has found that not to be the case, catching the state police in quite the dilemma.
On March 2, New Iberia man Victor White III was arrested by State Police when deputies responded to a call regarding a fight. They claim White was in possession of narcotics. KATC reports:
Deputies handcuffed White and took him to the Sheriff's Office for processing, but said White refused to exit the car when they arrived. State Police also said in their initial report that while the deputy was requesting assistance, White produced a handgun and shot himself once in the back.
Where this handgun came from, and why it was not confiscated by the police officers at the time of the arrest remains a mystery. Adding to this mystery was the fact that police have stated there were no surveillance cameras in the part of the parking lot where the alteration occurred. But an autopsy performed by the Iberia Parish Coroner's Office has found that White was not shot in the back. He was shot in the chest:
According to the autopsy, the bullet entered White's chest, then perforated his left lung and heart before exiting his armpit area and lacerating his upper arm.
Given that the report still rules the death a suicide, how exactly does a man with his hands cuffed behind his back produce a gun and shoot himself in the chest?
State Police Master Trooper Brooks David said that the case was being investigated and that state troopers really did believe the gunshot entry wound was in the back. Classic mistake, right? Meanwhile, White's grieving family is not any closer to finding closure. Via KLFY:
"My son didn't shoot himself. I never believed it. I won't believe it," said Victor White, Sr., the father of 22-year-old Victor White, III
"My initial response was correct, that something was awry, and that something had gone wrong," said White, Sr.
"Here is a family that, we are still grieving," said White, Sr. "I'm angry the autopsy report took so long. I'm angry and frustrated with the fact that it's still not over."
Image via KLFY.