(Aljazeera) – New Orleans, Louisiana, United States – Every Mardi Gras, Sandra Harris would make ham and bell peppers for her 22-year-old son, Eric.
“He used to say, ‘Mama, make sure you cook enough … We should have some left over for tomorrow,'” Sandra recalls, a wistful smile settling on her face.
The family would host relatives and friends for the annual carnival at their home in Harmony Oaks, a predominantly African-American neighbourhood of New Orleans.
But this year, on the night of February 8, the day before Mardi Gras, Sandra started to worry. Eric had gone to the mall to buy clothes for his two-year-old son, Carter, and wasn’t returning her phone calls. “He always answered or called right back,” she says.
“I felt something. I just kept making calls. His phone just rung, rung, rung.”
She was afraid he’d been arrested. But when she received a frantic phone call from her daughter, what she heard was even worse. Between her 27-year-old daughter’s sobs and screams, she was able to piece together the news: Eric had been shot dead by Jefferson Parish police deputies after crashing his car during a high-speed chase.
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