After rap videos released, father still defends son killed by deputies

After rap videos released, father still defends son killed by deputies

HARVEY, LA (WVUE) - After Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand released videos of Desmond Willis, 25, threatening to shoot cops, his father continued to defend his son's character.

"Anything, he ran for his life," William Willis said. "As far as I know, he had his cell phone on him. They don't want to give us his cell phone. He was pulling up his pants - that's when they shot him down like a dog."

On Wednesday, Normand said Desmond Willis shot at his deputies first and was outraged the family has hinted his deputies used improper tactics.

"I released the videos because...of information at the scene by family members, relatives and friends that Desmond Willis did not own guns and they were planted by police," Normand said.

During a press conference, Normand showed videos of Willis flashing drugs and guns and using explicit language toward authorities.

Investigators say Desmond Willis had a stolen Glock and Ruger handgun in his possession when he died. In all, 65 rounds were found on the scene and at least four of those shots were from Willis' gun, according to detectives.

"I'll be damned if this office is going to stand by and have it's reputation impugned by people when this video is out there," Normand said.

Investigators say Willis also had a half pound of marijuana and several boxes of bullets in his truck.

"I know one thing. None of us seen that when they say they took it out his truck," William Willis said.

William Willis believes his son's words were just lyrics and not reality.

"He's selling records. He's selling himself," Willis said. "These ain't no thugs."

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