Updated Saturday, July 8, 2017, 11:49 p.m. EDT: A new interview sheds light on the Mamou, La., death of DeJuan Guillory. The interview is with Joe Long, the attorney for DeQuince Brown, who witnessed an Evangeline Parish sheriff’s deputy shoot Guillory in the back on July 6, killing him.
Pen Point News investigative reporter Daniel Banguell’s interview with Long confirms many of the details reported earlier. Brown has been unable to tell her side of the story because she has been in jail with charges of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer since the incident.
In the recording, Long affirms that Guillory was on the ground with his hands behind his back, begging for his life, pleading, “Please don’t shoot me; I have three kids,” when Paul LaFleur first shot Guillory. Long states:
They were both on the ground. Guillory was on the ground, on his belly, his hands behind his back, and the officer had a gun trained at Guillory’s back, maybe a foot or two from Guillory’s body. They were still arguing back and forth but Guillory was on the ground as directed. His hands were behind his back. He was not resisting. All of a sudden, a shot rang out.
According to Long, Brown then jumped on the officer’s back to prevent him from killing her boyfriend and bit LaFleur (hence the reported injuries to the officer). LaFleur then fired three more shots at Guillory.
Long also states that two ambulances came to the scene, but “one ambulance loaded the deputy in and took him to the hospital. The other one left empty. When she left in a police car, Guillory’s body was still on the gravel road.” When asked if anyone treated Guillory, the attorney added, “As far as she knows, she never witnessed anybody attempt CPR for Guillory. It may have happened, but she didn’t see it.”
Listen to Pen Point News’ full recording below:
DeJuan Guillory was 27 years old. Everyone who knows him calls him sweet, hardworking and charming. Everyone who ever laid eyes on him objectively says that he was good-looking. He loved his children. He had a troubled past that he had put behind him, and he had a promising future as a concrete contractor.
So when a sheriff’s deputy stood over Guillory in an isolated road in the backwoods of Louisiana, fired multiple shots into his back and left him there to die, he didn’t kill Guillory, he transformed him. Before Guillory took his last breath on a dusty, Southern road just outside the tiny town of Mamou, La., he was a man with a future moving away from his past. He was a loving father, a smile and promise.
Now DeJuan Guillory is just dead.
As soon as he was served death through the barrel of an infallible police officer’s gun, Guillory was changed. First he became a “suspect.” Then they made him into a thug. Soon he will be a villain. Then a martyr. Then a hashtag. Then attorneys and a judge in a courtroom somewhere will refer to him as “the deceased” before he eventually disappears into the ether like the bullet-riddled dark-skinned bodies before him—just another dead, black thing.
But on the morning of July 6, DeJuan Guillory was alive. According to his family members, Guillory had just been paid for two concrete jobs and wanted to do something with his new girlfriend, DeQuince Erin Brown. Guillory decided that they would hop on his all-terrain vehicle and go recreational frog hunting, called “frogging” in Southwest Louisiana.
Brown says through the Guillory family’s attorney, Pride Doran, in an exclusive interview with The Root, that the couple were on the ATV on Chad Lane when they happened upon a parked vehicle. The car flashed its lights, stopping the couple, and out stepped Paul Holden LaFleur, a deputy with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department.
There are several questions as to why LaFleur was parked in the middle of nowhere at 4 a.m. The Police Department says that he was answering a burglary call. It is unclear whether LaFleur was on duty, in police uniform or even in a marked car, but both Guillory and his girlfriend recognized LaFleur as an officer. The officer allegedly asked both parties for identification, and when they objected, LaFleur ordered them off the four-wheeler. Doran says that Guillory and the officer got into a heated argument, and after a brief altercation, LaFleur told Brown and Guillory to get on the ground.
According to Doran, who represents Guillory’s family, both Brown and Guillory complied, but when Guillory was prostrate on the ground, LaFleur reportedly fired his weapon multiple times at Guillory, shooting Guillory three or four times.
But of course, LaFleur did as he was trained and immediately called for backup and medical care, right?
Doran told The Root that the deputy went back to his car and stayed there for an extended period of time. However, during their altercation, LaFleur happened to drop his police radio, and it was Brown who called for help, using LaFleur’s radio.
Then, like so many unarmed black men before him did during police encounters, DeJuan Guillory lay down and died.
Thus began the transformation of DeJuan Guillory.
It started immediately. LaFleur said he was attacked, so DeQuince Brown was arrested on attempted first-degree attempted murder of a police officer. Then the police announced that LaFleur (who was parked on a dirt road at 4:10 a.m. with his lights off) was in the area answering a burglary call (even though no one in the area knew of such a burglary).
You could see it happening. The Acadiana Advocate kicked it off by calling it an “officer-involved shooting.” DeQuince Brown was no longer a girlifrend out frogging with her boyfriend; she was now an attempted murderer. But that wasn’t enough, so the Daily Advertiser dug into Guillory’s past and reported it this way:
It’s unclear why Guillory wasn’t in jail since he was sentenced in December by 13th Judicial District Court Judge Gary Ortego to 10 years in jail, with all but five years suspended, according to documents with the Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Office.
Guillory was arrested in August 2015 after he allegedly stole an ATM from Citizen’s Bank using a backhoe, according to news reports at the time.
See how it works? Guillory was supposed to be in jail, according to them. But even now that they had successfully turned the corpse into a criminal, they were not yet done. They then made him into a suspect. Here is a sample of the headlines:
To be clear, DeJuan Guillory was never questioned about a burglary. DeQuince Brown’s charges do not include burglary charges. She has been in jail for 48 hours, and no law-enforcement official has asked her about a burglary.
Apparently they believe Brown hopped on an ATV before dawn and drove down a country road with the “specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm upon a fireman, peace officer, or civilian employee of the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory or any other forensic laboratory engaged in the performance of his lawful duties, or when the specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm is directly related to the victim’s status as a fireman, peace officer, or civilian employee.”
Brown and Guillory have now been mysteriously transformed before our eyes. This is the prestidigitation that magically metamorphosizes black boys into thugs, black women into miscreants and black bodies into cadavers.
That is what DeJuan Guillory has become: a lifeless afterthought in a small-town newspaper. A mythical, scoundrel supercriminal who can overpower armed cops while lying on the ground.
Or, as Paul LaFleur intended—just a dead, black thing.