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New Orleans-area mother of teen shot and killed by JPSO deputies demands to see body camera footage

By Shay O’Connor

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    NEW ORLEANS (WDSU) — The family of an 18-year-old shot by Jefferson Parish deputies nearly four months ago wants answers.

The Cains family has been pushing for the Sheriff’s office to release body camera footage of the police shooting that resulted in the death of Calvin Cains III.

A judge turned down that request Monday at a hearing at the Gretna Courthouse.

The lawyer for the family of Cains said they asked again this morning to have access to the video of the shooting and were denied. But Cains’ mom said she actually saw the shooting happen.

“It was the worst day of my life. I actually saw a lot. I saw my son walk out of the building on his phone,” Mallory Cains said.

On June 6, Cains said she was driving to her unit an apartment complex along West Esplanade when she was stopped by deputies and told she could not go any further. She said she could still see her son clearly.

“He was talking with his friend on FaceTime. He got in the car. Soon as he got in the car, he was jammed in. As soon as he was jammed in, the shots went off,” Cains said.

Officials said Cains was wanted for questioning for a road rage shooting in New Orleans just days before. JPSO also said Cains got inside of a stolen vehicle.

On the day of the shooting, Sheriff Joe Lopinto said Cains backed up and put the car in drive as deputies were approaching, which led to shots being fired. It’s something Cains’ mother and others who were there disagree with. They said the vehicle never moved.

“My emotion is I am angry. The reason I am angry is because a lie is nothing to tell the public. Especially when involving people’s lives,” Cains said.

Calvin ‘Trey’ Cains had recently graduated from Booker T. Washington High School.

DaShawn Hayes, an attorney for the family, said, “When trying to execute an arrest warrant, you should go with the mindset of they are innocent until proven guilty.”

On Monday, Cains and her attorney met with a judge in the Gretna Courthouse after filing records requests to see body camera footage of the incident. They were denied.

“The investigative file was transferred to the DA’s office on Sept. 18. That was clearly not enough time for us to vet the investigation done by the DA’s office, and we are now taking measures to make sure there is full accountability for the sheriff’s office in regards to the fatal shooting,” Hayes said.

Officials with both the DA’s office and JPSO said the matter is under investigation. Louisiana law states open criminal matters are among the exemptions to the public records law in Louisiana.

“We have made several requests that if they do not want to release it to the public to at least just make it available to Ms. Cains, the mother of the man who was fatally shot by your officers,” Hayes said.

Lawyers for Cains’ family said they will be filing a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against the Sheriff’s office within the next few weeks.

WDSU has reached out to JPSO on the matter and was told they have no comment due to the investigation.

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