In Brief: Victor White Deserves Your Marches, Too

You might vaguely remember, in the fog of all the cops-on-black-men brutality, the story of Victor White III, a young black man who was taken into custody in New Iberia, Louisiana in March and somehow, with his hands cuffed behind his back, managed to pull out a gun that wasn't found in a pat-down and shoot himself dead in the back of a police cruiser. Even at the time, there was a certain amount of "What the fuck?" to the story (Note: The Rude Pundit refuses to use "WTF" because fuck your abbreviations). Like "Did he pull the gun out of his asshole? What the fuck?" and "He killed himself after being arrested for possession of pot and a dab of coke? What the fuck?" and "They could find a little bit of coke on him but no gun? Are you fucking kidding me?"

The cops at the time said that White had refused to leave the cruiser, which makes one wonder, "You have a choice in that matter? What the fuck?" Oh, by the way, the cops also said that White shot himself in the back. About that...

Yeah, the coroner's report was obtained by White's father, a preacher, and by NBC News. It shows that White was shot in the chest with no wounds to his back. It shows that left-handed White somehow shot the right side of the chest with the bullet heading left. While handcuffed. Which is only possible if you shoot from the right. It shows that White's wound was not consistent with a close-range shot. Oh, and by the way, the coroner didn't test White's hands for gunpowder residue. And White had abrasions on his face which he did not have when arrested, according to someone who was with White at the time.

Of course, the coroner declared White's death a "suicide." Because it's fucking New Iberia in fucking Louisiana, where the biggest tourist attraction is former plantation house, where the slaves in general worked the sugar cane fields, which was some of the most brutal, backbreaking labor in pre-industrial agriculture.

The Rude Pundit knows New Iberia and its racist history (including beatings of NAACP organizers in the 1940s). He knows a city that is as starkly divided as any he's ever seen. Now, he's not saying that the cops shot Victor White and tried to cover it up. But you can believe that or believe in anatomical magic.

So on this day when people are mourning Michael Brown, take a moment for Victor White, a man who was working at a Waffle House, who lived with his girlfriend and new baby, who was thinking about going to community college or getting a better job to support his family. And then get fucking pissed off all over again.