ID’s new ‘Sugar Town’ doc sheds light on Victor White’s mysterious death and police misconduct in Louisiana

Sugar Town chronicles the White family’s search for justice for their son’s suspicious death while in police custody.

Victor White
Focusing on the mystery of what might have happened to Victor White III, Sugar Town chronicles the White family’s search for justice for their son’s suspicious death while in police custody. (Photo Courtesy of Investigation Discovery.)

The tragic and mysterious death of Victor White III is finally getting the second look it deserves thanks to a riveting and timely new documentary.

Monday evening, Investigation Discovery (popularly referred to as the I.D channel) will air, Sugar Town, an intimate look at 2014 shooting death of White who was a 22-year-old from New Iberia, Louisiana; a highly segregated town built around sugar cane production.

No network runs more true-crime stories than ID, and while the network usually features stories about authorities trying to catch “the bad guys,” this time the tables have turned and the authorities are the bad guys being called to task.

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In early March 2014, ‘Little Vic,’ as his family affectionately called him, walked into a convenience store with a friend for cigarillos. On the way home, the two men were stopped by police who claim they fit the description of two men who had been involved in a fight. Even though White and his friend were innocent of the crime, officers used the small amount of marijuana and cocaine on White as cause for arrest. While his friend was sent home, White was handcuffed and placed in a patrol car to be transported for booking.

Unfortunately, that was the last time anyone saw him alive.

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The documentary includes interviews with family members (including two of White’s eight siblings), attorneys, and the reporters who covered the White’s death. It calls into question the official police account that says White refused to get out of the patrol car, pulled out a pistol (that somehow hadn’t been discovered during the thorough drug search), then shouted “I can’t go back to jail!” before shooting himself in the right side of his chest.

White, who had a girlfriend and young child, seemingly had everything to live for when he died.  One thing that everyone can agree on is that after the bullet went through his left armpit, he was left dead before the arresting officers made it to the station. Everything else is up for debate, with the resounding question being, “How does a left-handed man in the back of a squad car, shoot himself with his right hand WHILE handcuffed?”

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The documentary shows Sheriff Louis M. Ackal, who continues to oversee the New Iberia police department, was accused of orchestrating a cover-up and allegedly has a history of beating prisoners. He was however acquitted of federal civil rights charges in 2016. You’ll also hear from White’s grieving father Rev. Victor White, Sr. who remains a passionate voice to reveal the truth behind his son’s death and shine a light on police brutality and racial injustice. He continues to organize  rallies and marches  in honor of his son and other victims.

The project is shot in reverse-procedural, and tracks the police investigation backward, while also chronicling White’s heartbroken family’s unwavering fight for justice against a police force with a long history of crooked and racially biased practices.

Sugar Town airs Monday August 6th at 8p.m EST