Two US police officers have been charged for the murder of a six-year-old boy in Louisiana. The incident is sure to bring up the issue of police brutality in the US following a string of incidents over the past year.
The two law enforcement officers were arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder in the fatal shooting of a six-year-old boy and wounding of his father.
Norris Greenhouse Jnr., 23, (pictured left) and Derrick Stafford, 32, were arrested on Friday following the shooting last Tuesday, in which they reportedly fired 18 rounds into the car carrying the boy and his father, Chris Few. Two other officers at the scene have been put on administrative leave.
The boy, Jeremy Mardis, was hit by five bullets in the head and chest as he remained fastened in his seatbelt.
"That little boy was buckled in the front seat of that vehicle and that is how he died. He didn't deserve to die like that," Colonel Mike Edmonson of Louisiana State Police said at a press conference announcing the arrests and an investigation.
Referring to the body-camera footage from the scene, Edmonson said, "It is the most disturbing thing I've seen, and I will leave it at that."
It is unclear why the police officers pulled Few over. The parish coroner had said the officers were attempting to arrest Few on a warrant, but Edmonson said that he had no information about a warrant and was not sure why the officers pursued Few.
Local reports said Few backed down a dead end street towards the police, who then opened fire. No gun was found in the car.
Edmonson said they would conduct a thorough investigation.
Mardis is the youngest person to be killed by police this year. According to a Washington Post, which keeps a running tally of fatal police shootings, 838 people have been killed by on-duty police officers this year.
The fatal shootings and police brutality have prompted calls for police reform and the widespread use of body-cameras.
cw/rc (AFP, AP)