Head over to Color Lines to read the mind-boggling account of Alexia Christian’s murder by two Atlanta police officers in the back of a police vehicle after she allegedly attempted to shoot them. How she managed to get ahold of a gun from one of the officers seated in the front seat while she was handcuffed and restrained in the back is anyone’s guess. This follows an array of supposed back-seat “suicides” in the back of police vehicles within the past 3 years in which detainees are alleged to have shot themselves using somehow undetected weapons while their hands are cuffed tightly behind their backs. In one such case, that of Victor White III of New Iberia, Louisiana, an autopsy proved he died from a gunshot to the chest. Yet somehow authorities continue insisting he committed suicide and the maintain that the cops who undoubtedly shot him are “innocent” in the eyes of the law.
Here are some excerpts from the excellent ColorLines.com article, Officer Friendly Encounters That Old Black Magic:
According to an Atlanta Police Department (APD) account, officers Jeffery Cook and Omar Thyme found Christian, a black 25-year-old mother of two, sitting in a truck that was reported stolen on April 30. The police, both black, arrested her. Then Christian—who was sitting in the back of their squad car wearing handcuffs behind her—somehow fired two shots at the officers up front. Cook and Thyme, who were not wounded, got out of the car and fatally shot Christian. […]
It is not hard to see why community members would be skeptical. Deaths at the hands of police officers have been receiving heightened levels of attention and scrutiny in recent years. In many of those deaths, police reports present fantastical tales of victims performing extraordinary feats that causing their own deaths. These reports seem to defy logic, but some media treat them as fact. Their stories in the become a part of the official narrative justifying police violence.
Take Christian. Allegedly, after being arrested, she not only managed to get a gun into the patrol car, but she got out of her handcuffs, retrieved the gun and thought it wise to shoot at the officers in the front seat. The APD’s response to skepticism was to tell media that she had a history of slipping out of handcuffs. Media sources then reported that Christian had been arrested multiple times for crimes such as peddling marijuana, shoplifting and driving without a valid driver’s license. […]
Last September Charles Smith was arrested for outstanding warrants and fatally shot while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car by police in Savannah, Georgia. Officers reported that Smith moved his hands to the front of his body, kicked out a window and displayed a gun.
Last March, in New Iberia, Louisiana, state police claimed that 22-year-old Victor White III shot himself while he was handcuffed behind his back in a patrol car. The police and Iberia Parish coroner maintain that this is what happened despite a final autopsy report that indicates that White was shot in the chest.
Chavis Carter’s 2012 death was ruled a suicide after Jonesboro, Arkansas, officials said he shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of patrol car. He’d been searched twice for weapons. Carter, who was with a couple of white friends, was the only one detained.
In 2013, 17-year-old Jesus Huerta was fatally shot in a police patrol car in Durham, North Carolina. Like White and Carter, police officials claimed that a handcuffed Huerta, who had already been searched, shot himself.
The extraordinary lengths to which black and brown people go to kill themselves in police custody are not limited to shooting themselves with magically appearing weapons while handcuffed. We know all to well how officers in Baltimore claimed that Freddie Gray, 25, severed his own spine by thrashing about in the back of a police van. […]
- Help Alexia Christian’s family raise funds to pay her funeral home expenses and help support her now motherless young sons here: Alexia Christian’s Homegoing Fund