Aletho News


Coroner says man fatally shot himself in the chest while handcuffed behind his back

RT | August 26, 2014

​The release of an autopsy report in Louisiana is raising new questions about the unusual shooting death of a 22-year-old black male who died earlier this year in a police car while his hands were cuffed behind his back.

RT reported earlier this year that police in Iberia Parish, LA said Victor White III died in early March after he fatally shot himself while handcuffed in the back of a squad car. White had reportedly been apprehended for possession of drugs, and was searched no fewer than two times before being cuffed and placed in the backseat of a police vehicle. According to the police report from the time, White uncovered a gun while in the car and shot himself in the back.

According to a coroner’s report just recently obtained by NBC News, however, White died from a gunshot wound that entered his body in the chest. Nevertheless, Dr. Carl Ditch wrote in the report that White was capable of firing the shot while cuffed “due to his body habitus” and has agreed to rule the death a suicide.

Hannah Rappleye, a reporter for NBC, compared the coroner’s story with the official police report from March in an article published by the outlet this week.

“White was shot in the front, not the back. The bullet entered his right chest and exited under his left armpit. White was left-handed, according to family members. According to the report, the forensic pathologist found gunshot residue in the wound, but not the sort of stippling that a close-range shot can sometimes produce. He also found abrasions on White’s face,” she wrote. “And yet, despite the contradictions – and even though White’s hands were never tested for gunpowder residue – the Iberia Parish coroner still supported the central contention of the initial police statement issued back in March.”

“Although the decedent was handcuffed at the time with his hands to his back, due to his body habitus, the pathologist and investigators agree that he would have been able to manipulate the weapon to the point where the contact entrance wound was found,” Ditch wrote.

The deceased’s father, Rev. Victor White II, told NBC that he had his doubts about the coroner’s report.

“You can’t make me understand,” he said. “You can’t make me understand how my son took his left hand, when he was handcuffed behind the back, and shot himself. I don’t believe a thing they’re saying at this point.”

According to the coroner, however, White was indeed capable of causing his own death.

“As Coroner of lberia Parish it is my duty to rule on cause and manner of death in all such cases as Mr. White’s to the best of my ability and without bias. Based on the forensic evidence and information gained from the ongoing State Police investigation, I have determined the cause of death is a single contact gunshot wound to the right lateral chest, and the manner of death is suicide,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, though, the Louisiana State Police remain in the midst of an investigation launched nearly nine months ago into the shooting death. Writing for NBC, Rappleye wrote that that probe has so far failed to reveal any new information about the tragic death.

“Due to the pending investigation, records normally considered public are not available. The State Police will not yet release dash cam footage, or the number of or names of any officers present during White’s death. They will not give any timeframe as to when they expect the investigation to conclude,” she wrote.

“You always want to make sure in the end you did whatever you could do possible, that in whatever case you put forward, is the right case, and the outcome is the right outcome,” Trooper Brooks David, public information officer for the Louisiana State Police, told NBC. “So if it takes us eight months, or two months, you always want to make sure that you do the right thing.”

According to Rev. White, however, legal action might be the next step if the eventual release of the Louisiana State Police’s report raises more doubts about his son’s death.

“I don’t’ think anything is going to be different from what they already said,” he told NBC. “It’s difficult to see that anything else would bring us back what we need. The only thing we want back is our son.”

August 27, 2014 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. This sounds very coverupish. Hands cuffed behind his back in a patrol car. They patted him down and found loose pot etc.. but no gun. Then all the sudden he was houdini and magic happened and he materialized a gun (which they then found & not before they put him in the car?) which although his hands were cuffed behind hs back he was able to maneauver the gun out of its hiding place and then bring it in front of him and shoot himself in the chest. Why would such a happy well loved and optimistic guy kill himself over a misdemeanor drug bust. That isn’t something to kill yourself over unless you are a lifer fugitive! I smell a coverup. They act like they are way above the law and they are not. I think it is some kind of Cop Syndrome. They tend to lie and do devious things and then cover up for each other. For example in my own experience, Ah I remember, once I was falsely arrested in Ohio (I was a white hippie at the time, but hippies were not favored by the cops anywhere). I was tied to a chair in a room (my arms and legs tied with wire, and a Korean War veteran of the military police (I was told that) came in and started choking me with the hanger. I was told if I didn’t confess to taking LSD and possession of pot they would put me in a cell in the basement and throw away the key. Even if I didn’t confess they were going to frame me because it would be easy. Who was the judge going to believe, they asked, the Police or a hippie? He was pressing the end of the hanger against my arm, and he said they could make me look like an adict too by putting a bunch of holes in my arm. After about 3 hours, I finally warned them that my dad was very influential back in NYC, and he’d be able to hire better lawyer than the Ohio police department. It was a last ditch lie, but it worked. They put on a highway at 2AM in freezing weather and told me to hitchhike back to NYC and never come back (I thought I was giong to freeze to death because I only had a light sports jacket). It was about two hours before I got a ride. In short, the cops worked as a team, and everything virtually, they did to me was against the law. Do you think any of them would tell, or not try to cover for the other if something went wrong? I did not break the law. My crime was basically having long hair.


    Comment by jonathanlk | September 11, 2014 | Reply

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