Judge Refuses to Reduce Deputies Bond; Family Plays the Race Card

Central Louisiana Judge, William Bennett, refused to reduce the bail amount on Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr at a bond hearing on Thursday. Both officers stand accused of second degree murder and attempted second degree murder after opening fire on an SUV driven Chris Few. After they were done shooting Chris was left in critical condition and his  six year old son Jeremy Mardis, was dead.

Defense attorney Jonathan Goins argued that the bond was unreasonably more than Stafford’s family could afford and suggested the amount be lowered to $150,000. He also presented testimony from family and friends who expressed their support for Stafford, calling him a dedicated officer and loyal family man.

Groins said, “He’s not this monster that has been painted in the media.” Adding that he’s a big “teddy bear.”

Assistant Attorney General John Sinquefield countered by telling the judge that, “Even very good people sometimes commit murder.”

Stafford testified at the hearing but only in regards to not being able to afford the bond amount.

Subordinates described Stafford as “hard but fair.”

Marksville Police Sgt. Joseph Montgomery, one of Stafford’s subordinates, testified, “He’s going to treat you the way you treat him. He can be aggressive if you pose a threat to him, but he has a heart of gold.”

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Stafford does not have a criminal record but he was indicted for rape in 2011. Those charges were later dropped but they played a factor in the judge’s decision not to reduce his bond, regardless that those charges were dismissed.

Judge William Bennet said it was “totally unreasonable” to reduce the bond and ruled not to change the amount.

In an interview after the hearing the Stafford family played the race card claiming that if the officers involved were white there never would have been charges in the first place.

If (Stafford) was white, if his skin color was Caucasian, he would have not been charged, if Chris Few and his son would have been black, there would have been none of this.

She also believes Chris should bear some of the responsibility for his son’s death.

You have your child in the car, you shouldn’t have run from the police. You should have stopped.

Family and friends are often the hardest to convince when it comes to actions such as these. When confronted with the mass murders of 16 Afghan civilians, friends and family of Robert Bales also described him as caring, gregarious and self confident. A close friend said, “That’s not our Bobby. Something horrible, horrible had to happen to him.”

The race card is quite often played when it comes to police violence. Black communities think that cops are racist and target minorities at a disproportionate rate. At the same time black cops who act violently against white people often believe that if they themselves were white the incident would have been justified by their department.  

Regardless of her belief that race has anything to do with the charges, unreleased body camera footage shows Chris Few with his hands up before the officers open fire. A third deputy witnessed it and didn’t shoot because he wasn’t in fear his life. When discussing the footage, police colonel Mike Edmonson had this to say;

I’m not gonna talk about it, but I’m gonna tell you this,” Edmonson said. “It is the most disturbing thing I’ve seen and I will leave it at that.

Race has nothing to do with these charges. This is just what happens when you kill a six year old child and leave his father in critical condition for made up warrants. 

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Brian Sumner

is an Activist, Journalist and Photographer from the Fresno area who has taken a special interest in the "Police State". He facilitates a watchdog group called the Fresno Liberty Movement, advocates filming the police and alternatives to state controlled protection services. He also served in the U.S Army from Oct. 08' thru Mar. 12' with a tour in Iraq in 2010. Most recently he participated in the CopBlock Network's #MACtour Check out more of my writing at: The Fresno People's Media & BrianDavidSumner.com Follow me on Social media: Facebook YouTube