Family wants murder charge filed against deputy who shot fleeing thief
CLINTON - Attorneys representing the family of a man shot and killed by an East Feliciana sheriff's deputy say they want him to face criminal charges.
The family of Christopher Whitfield gathered outside the East Feliciana Courthouse to call for the district attorney's office to charge deputy Glenn Sims Sr. with murder. They say Whitfield was stealing food when he was chased and shot by Sims.
Sheriff Jeff Travis said Sims fired a warning shot in Whitfield's direction before getting into a struggle with the suspect. The sheriff's office says the deputy's firearm was "accidentally discharged" during the confrontation and fatally struck Whitfield.
"We don't kill people in America for being hungry. We don't kill people in America for taking a bag of chicken," attorney Ben Crump said.
Officials say the bags Whitfield was carrying were filled with stolen items from the convenience store. He also had a knife on him at the time.
Sheriff Travis said that his department is still investigating the shooting as well as "issues" that involved Deputy Sims prior to his tenure as sheriff. Sims remains on administrative leave pending the findings of that investigation.