One year since three-month-old caught in crossfire in deadly I-10 standoff

On this day last year, three-month-old La’Mello Parker was killed in the crossfire of a police standoff between his father and local law enforcement.

His death rocked the nation and caught the attention of local Civil Rights organizations.

Video from last year shows a community calling for justice following the death of three-month-old La’Mello Park, who was killed a year ago by law enforcement in the crossfire of a shootout between police and the baby’s father, Eric Smith, who also died. ADOS Advocacy Foundation member Leo Carney said, “La’Mello was a hostage in that situation and there were no de-escalation procedures that took place to reserve this child’s life.”

Carney tells News 25 civil rights organizations across the state want justice and accountability for the death of the three-month-old. Biloxi NAACP President James W. Crowell said, “We felt that the child’s civil rights were violated and that’s something that we deal with as an association.”

On May 3rd, 2021, a police chase that started in Louisiana after Smith killed two people in Baton Rouge, ended in gunfire in the median of I-10 in Biloxi. “I was really shocked with the killing of that baby because that child had nothing to fight with and it was just at the mercy of the police and his dad and to end his life like that, I felt there could have been a better way that could have been handled.”

In efforts to provide support for La’Mello’s siblings and survived family, money was raised at the Biloxi Kroc Center. “We got to think about what that does to a family, not just what it does to that individual you shot, but there’s a family that’s suffering still and it’ll never leave their mind.”

Just last month, a Harrison County grand jury cleared the officers involved in the I-10 standoff, saying there was no criminal conduct on their behalf. “The grand jury’s decision recommended that agencies address the procedures in place and implement training related to communication and change of command in multi-jurisdictional cases, this tells me that there was negligence, total negligence that took place.”

Biloxi NAACP, Mississippi Rising Coalition, ADOS Mississippi, and Black Lives Matter Mississippi are some of the Civil Rights organizations who have requested the Freedom of Information Act to release police footage from that day that was submitted to the grand jury. “We will work to get justice for La’Mello Parker and his family.”

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