Miss. Grand Jury clears officers who killed Baker infant during police pursuit on I-10
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A Mississippi Grand Jury ruled the officers involved in the shooting death of three-month-old La’Mello Parker will not face any charges.
That’s according to a Harrison County Grand Jury Report that was released Tuesday, April 19.
“After full and deliberate consideration of all the facts and circumstances leading up to the May 3, 2021, shooting of Eric Smith and La’Mello Parker, and the circumstances as they existed at the time of the shooting, the Grand Jury finds no criminal conduct on behalf of the law enforcement officers involved,” the report stated.
Parker was killed during a shootout between Mississippi officers and the infant’s father, Eric Smith, who also died after being shot by law enforcement.
According to police, Smith killed his ex-girlfriend Christin Parker and her nephew, Brandon Parker, inside their home in Baker, La., then kidnapped the infant. Christin is the mother of La’Mello.
“Every time I just wish I could rewind it back that it never happened,” said LaShunda Parker, Christin’s cousin.
Investigators say that’s when Smith led police on a high-speed chase on I-10 with the baby into Hancock County, Miss., where deputies laid spike strips, causing Smith’s vehicle to come to a stop in the middle of the interstate.
According to the grand jury report, Smith exited his vehicle with the baby clenched against his chest using one hand and held a gun in his other hand. Smith then raised the gun and shot in the direction of officers parked behind his vehicle.
Officers then fired back, killing both Smith and the baby.
Parker’s cousin does not agree with the Grand Jury choosing not to charge the officers involved.
“They didn’t do it the right way,” said Parker.
Parker questioned if the police took the best approach to the situation.
“They should’ve given the man time to get out the car or something like that, but they took it upon themselves to do what they wanted to do,” said Parker.
She believes the officers involved should be held accountable for the infant’s death.
“They should be charged for that,” said Parker.
Parker said she plans to meet with their lawyer to figure out their next option.
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