While in New Orleans for Essence Music Festival, #TeamBeautiful ran into activists seeking to continue shedding light on the mystery of 22-year-old Victor White III’s untimely death.
White’s 2014 death, which took place while he was in the custody of Louisiana police, was ruled a suicide, instead of a homicide.
The supporters handed us a flier, urging us to help support the family of White as they seek justice for their fallen family member. The authorities claimed that White shot himself in the chest, thus killing himself while he was in the back of the police car, even though he was handcuffed at the time.
According to the full coroner’s report, exclusively obtained by NBC News, White died from a single shot to his right chest, contradicting the initial police statement that White shot himself in the back.
White’s family has launched a Change.org petition to get the death ruling changed from suicide to homicide.
The petition states:
Victor White III was handcuffed, frisked twice, left-handed, and not Houdini.
According to the petition, White’s family did not know anything about their son’s death until after their visit to the morgue, when a family friend in New Iberia called to tell them the State Police had issued a press release on Facebook.
White’s family is also marching against police violence on October 17, 2015 in New Iberia, LA, during a week of resistance (Oct. 12-18).
As of September 2014, the investigation was “nearly done” and police Capt. Doug Cain claimed that they were only interested in “facts.” But that claim is difficult to believe when they push the idea that White was some type of magician, who could not only shoot himself in the back of a police car while in handcuffed custody, but could also get his hands on a gun in the first place.
According to the Louisiana State Police, deputies with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office were investigating a fight on the night of March 2, when they stopped White as he was walking down the street. After being frisked twice, deputies discovered he was in possession of illegal narcotics.
The report states, “White was taken into custody, handcuffed behind his back and transported to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office for processing. On March 3rd, in the early morning hours, White allegedly became uncooperative. The police press release continues, “As the deputy requested assistance from other deputies, White produced a handgun and fired one round, striking himself in the back.”
Striking himself in the back. How?
There are more stories just like this one, but it’s up to us to ensure that each of these victims has a name. The authorities tried this same BS with Freddie Gray (who died after sustaining injuries while in police custody) and Walter Scott. Had someone not recorded the run-in with Scott, the officer would have just gotten away with what looks like an undeniable murder, trying to call it self-defense.
It’s up to us to keep their names as news.