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A Settlement Agreement is Tentatively Reached in the Controversial Death of a Detainee in Iberia Parish, Louisiana

LA police
Louisiana patrol car (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

A federal lawsuit against a sheriff in Louisiana regarding the death of Victor White III ended with an undisclosed tentative settlement agreement in mid-March 2018. White died in the backseat of an Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office patrol car with his hands cuffed behind his back. According to the coroner in the case, White shot himself in the chest after his arrest. Questions were raised as to how it was possible for a self-inflicted wound to occur when the individual’s hands were behind his back in cuffs. In October 2017, a judge in a related civil case determined that the manner of death was not established conclusively. The question to be decided in the case was whether the custodial death was an accident at the hand of a deputy or a suicide.

In 2015, the mother of White’s daughter sued the Iberia sheriff and the deputy involved in his arrest. The claim was that White was patted down and a gun in his possession was not confiscated at that time but marijuana discovered in his pants pocket was confiscated.

A trial had been scheduled to start on February 5, 2016, but it was postponed when new allegations were made that the deputy allegedly involved made racial slurs and allegedly gave other deputies instructions on how to cover up illegal actions taken against suspects being arrested. Another new witness at that time claimed to know personally of a practice of beating individuals being detained and booked into jail. The deputy allegedly involved in White’s arrest faced federal civil rights charges basically accusing him of those activities, but he was acquitted of those charges in November 2016.

Before the possible settlement becomes final, several court filings must be completed.

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–Guest Contributor

Written By: author image smchugh
author image smchugh