Cameron Tillman, 14-year-old boy shot, killed by Terrebonne deputy. HOUMA, LA (WVUE)
Every year, the FBI releases numbers of police killed and assaulted, but there are no official numbers of police shootings, let alone a Police Offenders Registry. Now in the aftermath of the killing of an unarmed African American teenager in Ferguson (Missouri), this might change at last.
Vincent Simmons was shot by a sheriff deputy when he refused to confess to a crime he had not committed. The officer has never been held accountable for his misconduct so far.
The 40-year old “War on Drugs” neither has been effective, nor is it really a war on the root of the problem. It is a war on the people. The chapter “Politics, Drugs, Dollars, Pleas and Snitches” in the book Louisiana v. Vincent Simmons – Frame-up in Avoyelles Parish very briefly explains why this policy has greatly failed and continues to fail. However, the new documentary The House I Live In goes into deep detail. It is a comprehensive review of the criminalization of drugs, the federal and state criminal justice systems, the mandatory minimum sentencing scheme and America’s prison industrial complex. This film won the Grand Jury Prize of 2012 for documentary at the Sundance Film Festival and has been in the theaters since October 5, 2012.
One of the alleged rape victims in Vincent Simmons’ criminal case and her 18-year old cousin admitted to police that marijuana was an issue that certain night in question back in 1977. It was one of the many facts the prosecutors withheld from the defense, the judge and the jury.
GULFPORT, MISSISSIPPI: Sonya Lynn Nelson (September 18, 1966 – July 13, 2009), formerly of Alexandria, Louisiana, was the younger step-sister of Vincent Simmons’ alleged rape victims. Nelson (42) suffered a fatal gunshot wound to her abdomen in her rented room while struggling over a gun with her landlord Larry Dean Slagle (then 71) two years ago. Two shots went off on that Monday night. One of them struck the tenant.
The media has not disclosed whose weapon it was. I personally think that, depending on whose pistol it was, the story looks different.
Slagle called police around 8:30 P.M. Nelson died at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi, on that same night. Justice Court Judge Gene Dedeaux ordered Slagle held without bond at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center, reported the Sun Herald on July 15, 2009.
Assistant District Attorney Chris Fisher told the Sun Herald that the altercation between Nelson and Slagle had been about the cost of electricity. The defendant’s version is that it was an accident. Fisher corroborates his theory of murder with the statement, “In the 911 tape, you could hear her dying declaration. She was screaming he was lying.”
The prosecutor charged Slagle with murder. Because the jury believed Slagle had not shot Nelson deliberately, Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois sentenced Larry Dean Slagle to 20 years for manslaughter and suspended half of the penalty on Thursday, May 19, 2011. Slagle has to serve ten years in prison.