In March, Tiffany McGee rushed to the hospital after finding out her 14-year-old son, Tre’mall, had been shot. Upon her arrival, she was denied visitation and given little information on the incident. It was by accident that she discovered her baby boy was shot by a deputy with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“They wouldn’t allow me to see him,” McGee said. Her son was being treated as both a victim and a suspect. “They didn’t even try to explain to me what happened. They didn’t say what he was in custody for. They had me believing my child was shot in the street by someone, not an officer.”
There was silence for months. But, in June, during a news conference, Sheriff Joe Lopinto was asked about the incident. This being the first time Jefferson Parish authorities publicly addressed the incident. Still, little information was given.
McGee has been trying to get answers for months. She was calling the office, trying to file complaints, but “they gave me the runaround,” as she describes it. She still does not know who shot her son, whether the officer will be held accountable, and why her son was even shot.
According to NBC News, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office’s initial report stated that there was a car stolen days prior, and officers were out searching for the teens driving it. Yet, the report neglected to mention “a deputy-involved shooting, or that anyone was taken to the hospital.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Tre’mall, who is blessed to be alive, also has questions. In an interview, the boy asked, “Why’d you shoot me, sir? What’s the point?”
“I thought we had honesty,” Gaylor Spiller, the head of the parish’s NAACP chapter, said. “This 14-year-old boy that they kept hidden, it’s very telling.”
Hector Linares, a juvenile defense attorney, said, “To deny the existence or not confirm a deputy shot someone in an arrest is gaslight, pure and simple. If the facts were favorable to them, they’d be shouting out.”
Tre’mall’s mother noted that her son now suffers from tight pains and burning sensations that he will experience for the rest of his life.
“He was an average little boy. He loved football. He can’t play the sport now. Now he’s more of a hermit. He thinks the police are following him. He thinks they’re out to harass him. He doesn’t feel safe walking around.”
Let’s pray this family gets the answers they so badly deserve.