State police investigate in-custody death. The LA Weekly, 3/10/14.
The family is in the process of raising funds to pay for an independent autopsy of Victor White’s remains. Anyone who is interested in making a donation is encouraged to send monies to MidSouth Bank (account number 3428427). The family is also using social media to raise awareness about the case and encouraged anyone with information about the incident to come forward. For more information about the social media campaign, go to #JusticeForVic.
A similar incident occurred in Arkansas in 2012 involving 21-year-old Chavis Carter, who authorities say shot himself in the back of the head while handcuffed on the back seat of a police car.
“This doesn’t add up,” the Rev. Raymond Brown, a New Orleans community activist whose protests in Jena several years ago raised national awareness about the plight of the Jena 6, told The Louisiana Weekly. “It just doesn’t make sense.
Man kills himself in backseat of Iberia Parish deputy’s car. The [Baton Rouge] Advocate, 3/10/14.
The Rev. Raymond Brown, president of National Action Now of New Orleans, said Monday night his organization also plans to look into the shooting death. The group also looked into an excessive force complaint against the Iberia Sheriff’s Office following a large street party in September.
“Something is seriously wrong with this picture,” Brown said Monday night of White’s shooting death.
Group wants Department of Justice to investigate suicide. The [Baton Rouge] Advocate, 3/14/14.
“It just doesn’t make any sense,” [Rev. Raymond] Brown [leader of the New Orleans branch of National Action Now] said. “How can you find the drugs and not the gun?”
Lt. Anthony Green, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said the agency would not release the name of the arresting deputy nor say whether the deputy had been placed on leave.
Brown said video surveillance equipment at the Sheriff’s Office could shed light on what happened.
“These videos should show what took place,” he said. “A video camera would solve the problem.”
Green said there are no cameras located in the area where White was shot.
Green then said the Sheriff’s Office would remain silent until State Police release its report.
Unanswered Questions Still Haunt Family Of Victor White III. KPEL965.com, 4/4/14.
Rev. [Victor] White disputes the allegation that his son was arrested for participating in a fight. According to Rev. White,
We seen the video (from 300 Lewis Street where the fight occurred) and my son was not in a fight. There was a fight but my son was not involved in the fight. Looked at the video and my son was actually inside the store when they say he was outside when the fight took place.
Reverend White has a number of answered questions concerning the death of his son that he thinks will best answered by an independent autopsy. He has set up a GoFund account called ‘#Justice for Vic’ to raise the needed $15,000. An account has also been set up at Mid-South bank for anyone who would like to help.
State Police say gun used in White shooting death is not one deputies use. KATC.com, 8/22/14.
State Police Master Trooper Brooks David told us that troopers did originally believe the gunshot’s entrance wound came from the back, however following the coroner’s investigation, it was determined the entrance wound was from the front.
David said State Police are still waiting on evidence in the case. He said he cannot comment further on the active investigation.
Lt. Anthony Green, the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman at the time of the shooting, said protocol calls for deputies to check suspects for weapons before they are placed into a police unit.
Who’s lying: the Iberia Parish Sheriff or Victor White III’s autopsy report? The IND, 8/22/14.
The autopsy by Christopher Tate, a forensic pathologist with the coroner’s office, reveals a number of glaring holes in the deputies’ account of White’s death, starting with a change in the cause of death from accidental shooting to suicide.
The report also shows that White was killed from a gunshot wound that entered the right side of his chest, tearing through his left lung and heart and exiting through his left armpit, leaving the upper arm with lacerations — a much different scenario than the handcuffed man who shot himself in the back as deputies claimed.
The autopsy further reveals that White suffered from some sort of blow to the face, listed on the report as two upper facial abrasions near his left eye.
In an article posted in the weeks after the shooting, Vice’s Cooper reports on a conversation with White’s father, Victor White Sr. From that conversation, which came way before the autopsy’s release, here’s what White says about his son and the deputies who arrested him: “I know they beat him before he arrived at the station, because those who were with him before he was arrested said he didn’t have a mark on him.”
White’s father also told Cooper that upon learning of Victor’s death, he immediately drove from Alexandria to New Iberia to see his son, but was initially refused by the sheriff’s office. And when he finally did get clearance, the body was covered from the neck down by a sheet, with sheriff’s officials refusing to disclose any details on what happened. It took a post on the sheriff’s Facebook page for White to learn how they were saying his son died, and for him, it didn’t add it up. And he certainly is not buying the coroner’s report that suicide caused his son’s death.
From the start, this case was shrouded in too many questions, but now, with the findings from White’s autopsy released, this situation has worsened for a sheriff’s department with a known history of unfair treatment of black residents in Iberia Parish.
Victor White autopsy findings released. KLFY.com, 8/23/14.