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View Full Version : A black youth, hands cuffed behind him commits suicide by shooting himself says police coroner


baja
08-25-2014, 04:04 PM
coroner’s report obtained exclusively by NBC News directly contradicts the police version of how a 22-year-old black man died in the back seat of a Louisiana police cruiser earlier this year -- but still says the man, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, shot himself.

In a press release issued March 3, the day he died, the Louisiana State Police said Victor White III apparently shot himself in an Iberia Parish police car. According to the police statement, White had his hands cuffed behind his back when he shot himself in the back.

But according to the full final report of the Iberia Parish coroner, which was released nearly six months later and obtained exclusively by NBC News, 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.

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. Dr. Carl Ditch ruled that White shot himself, and declared his death a suicide.

In a press release issued Monday, Dr. Ditch said that based on the findings of the pathologist and investigators, it was possible for White “due to his body habitus” to manipulate the gun to shoot himself in the chest.

White’s father doesn’t believe it. He doesn’t believe that a man with a new baby, a girlfriend and a job had the motive for suicide, and he doesn’t think any version of events in which White shot himself, whether in the front or back, is physically possible.

“You can’t make me understand,” said Rev. Victor White II, 53, a Baptist minister and former substance abuse counselor. “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.”


http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/handcuffed-black-youth-shot-himself-death-says-coroner-n185016