The Louisiana State Police are investigating the death of a 22-year-old New Iberia, La. man who apparently shot and killed himself while handcuffed in an Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office vehicle last Sunday night. According to a report from a local affiliate KATC, Victor White III, 22, managed to shoot himself in the back while seated and handcuffed behind his back while seated in the backseat.
It’s alleged that White was combative as officers attempted to take him into custody. There’s nothing unusual about a suspect resisting arrest or fighting police officers. However, a suspect shooting themself in the back while handcuffed and in custody is certainly something new to me.
A New Iberia man shot himself in the back and killed himself while in the custody of Iberia Parish sheriff’s deputies, according to state police. Trooper Stephen Hammons said Victor White III, 22, was arrested after deputies were called to investigate a fight in the 300 block of Lewis St. Sunday night around 11:22. “Deputies located White and discovered he was in possession of illegal narcotics. White was taken into custody, handcuffed behind his back, and transported to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office for processing,” Hammons said.
Once the deputy arrived at the sheriff’s office with White in custody, Hammons said White refused to get out of the vehicle. “As the deputy requested assistance from other deputies, White produced a handgun and fired one round striking himself in the back,” Hammons said. White was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lt. Anthony Green says basic police training says “if you put someone in your unit, you do check for weapons.” He said the suspect was checked, because the deputy found narcotics on White’s person. How thoroughly he was checked will be determined in the state police investigation.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of something as ridiculous as this. Back in the summer of 2012 I wrote about Chavis Carter. According to Jonesboro, Arkansas police, Carter managed to shoot himself in the head while handcuffed behind his back as he sat in the backseat of a police car after he was arrested for drug possession. The incident was investigated, and the police department was cleared of any wrongdoing. Never mind that Carter was searched before and after being placed in handcuffs and seated in the police cruiser. Yep, nothing wrong with failing to find a gun on a suspect in custody. But Carter was black, so quite naturally his race made him a magician.
That’s the first thing that came to mind after reading about Victor White III in Louisiana. I mean, black men are often shot and killed by police. So, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to hear that White was shot in the back while trying to avoid apprehension. But, how in the fuck does a young black man shoot himself in the back while handcuffed behind the back sounds like some Kriss Angel or David Blaine shit to me. It’s either that, or the same old racism we’ve seen before.
Yep, next week I’ll probably write about another black man who managed to saw himself in half while in police custody. Until then, White’s relatives are seeking an independent autopsy to confirm their suspicions. You can help the relatives of Victor White III in this attempt with a donation to MidSouth Bank (account number 3428427). Also, to help bring awareness to this case, you can follow and retweet the #JusticeForVic hashtag on social media — yes, everyone can help.