By Helen Milne
Daisha Smalls announced on Wednesday that she is suing the Houston Police Department (HPD) after her one-year-old son, Legend, was shot in the head by an HPD officer, identified only as E Garza, on March 3. HPD opened fire on the vehicle that Legend was in while pursuing Broderick Woods, a robbery suspect.
Woods was fleeing from police when he attempted to steal Daisha Smalls’ car as she was pumping gas. She refused to give him the car, proclaiming loudly that her infant son was in the back seat. Police arrived and opened fire multiple times, killing Woods and critically injuring Legend.
Police have claimed that they did not know the baby was in the car and that the injuries he sustained were a ‘graze’ wound.However, Legend has spent the two weeks since the incident in the ICU. Doctors have had to remove a portion of his skull to remove the bullet and relieve swelling. Legend has had over ten seizures since he was admitted to the pediatric ICU two weeks ago.
Daisha Smalls has not left her son’s side for two weeks. “My son has been fighting every day for his life,” she told monopoly media affiliate ABC 13. “He’s struggling to breathe on his own. My baby didn’t deserve it. I miss my son. I want him to be back the way he used to be.”
Since Smalls has announced the suit, the officer who shot Legend has been put on paid administrative leave and has not been identified by his full name, only as E Garza. HPD chief Art Acevedo has tried to save face by releasing an opportunist public statement to express sympathy for the child, despite the fact that it was his officers wantonly shooting into the car Legend was in.
This case is the first large police scandal in HPD since Acevedo announced he is resigning as Houston police chief to take up the top police post in Miami. Acevedo, who was Austin’s chief of police prior to moving to Houston, gained national attention last year for kneeling and making a viral speech at protests after George Floyd’s murder. This hollow opportunism is exposed as his force have put a one-year-old child in the ICU and continue to brutalize the people of Houston.
The family has set up a fundraiser to aid the young Legend in his medical recovery. Tribune encourages its readers to donate and share, and to spread the word of yet another police crime against the people.