6-Yr-Old Child Writhed in Pain After Cops Shot Him, Died: Lawsuit

Sabrina Canfield | Courthouse News Service

(CN) — Two Louisiana police officers who shot a six-year-old autistic boy to death at the conclusion of a high speed car chase with his father were improperly trained, the child’s family claims in a lawsuit.

In a complaint filed in the federal court in Alexandria, Louisiana Oct. 26, the boy’s father, Chris Few, and other family members claim the two deputy city marshals who opened fire on the car in which the boy, Jeremy Mardis, was sitting, had long histories of violence on the job, where never trained not to shoot to kill, and were hired by a department with no standing hiring policies in place.

As recounted in the 96-page complaint, Few says he has no idea what precipitated the car chase or his being pursued by deputies Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr. on the evening of Nov. 3, 2015.

During the chase two other officers, Jason Brouillette and Kenneth Parnell III, were called in as backup.

To date, the complaint says, Greenhouse “has yet to provide a reason for having initiated the stop to any law enforcement personnel officially involved in the investigation of these events.”

Few says the chase ended when he unknowingly drove onto a dead-end street. The four officers stopped at the opening of dead-in.

Once stopped, “Stafford and Greenhouse immediately exited each of their vehicles and drew their duty weapons — .40-caliber semi-automatic pistols loaded with jacketed hollow-point bullets — and aimed them at Christopher Few,” the lawsuit said.

Few was told to put his hands up in the air — and he did.

“Despite [Few] putting his empty hands in the air, Stafford and Greenhouse almost immediately began firing their duty weapons at Christopher Few and Jeremy Mardis.”

Greenhouse fired four times and Stafford fired a total of 14 times into the car.

“There was no precipitating gunfire by Christopher and there was no return fire,” the lawsuit says.

Jeremy Mardis was later pronounced dead at the scene, but his family says he did not immediately die from his wounds, and suffered for a period of time before dying.

Body camera footage released since the boy’s death reveals the police officers made no effort to check his pulse for life or render first aid for several minutes after the shooting, the lawsuit says.

During a news conference last year, Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson said the video was the most disturbing thing he had seen, according to an account from the Associated Press.

The video shows Few collapsed and bleeding on the ground and his son’s lifeless body still strapped in the front seat.

“Any objectively reasonable officer would and should have concluded that deadly force was not necessary or justified as no imminent threat of death or great bodily harm existed when Stafford and Greenhouse began firing,” the lawsuit says.

The boy, though pronounced dead at the scene, writhed in pain for approximately ten minutes before finally dying, his family’s lawsuit said.

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  • Erica McClellan

    You guys need to at least read these over before putting them out. Horribly written. Love your site but you need to proofread.

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    Here is to hoping they are hung in front of the courthouse. The only thing that is going to stop this nationwide abuse of power is to publicly execute these scumbags for their crimes.