Monday, October 13, 2014

Unrest in St. Louis

It's been that type of summer....You know the kind they used to call the long hot ones....I'm not talking about temperature...I'm talking about emotional and racial climate...

We are still keeping a strong vigil on St. Louis suburb ,Ferguson,even if the national media has slacked off of it..We still want officer Darren Wilson, accused of shooting unarmed Michael Brown held accountable...And people in Ferguson are still holding mass protests daily....

But now in the neighboring big city of St. Louis..there is yet another situation in which a black teenager has been killed by a policeman...

An off-duty St. Louis police officer shot and killed a black teenager Wednesday evening, triggering protests in a metropolitan area that has been rattled by sometimes violent unrest after a high-profile police shooting in August.

The 32-year-old white officer was working as a private security guard when he shot and killed Vonderrit Myers Jr. , 18, following an alleged struggle and after the teen allegedly fired a pistol at the officer, according to Col. Sam Dotson, the chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

The officer wasn’t identified by the department. The officer, a six-year veteran of the department, was patrolling the city’s Shaw neighborhood when he saw three men acting suspiciously, Col. Dotson said at a news conference hours after the shooting.

St. Louis officers working these types of security jobs are authorized to wear their uniforms and carry their department-issued weapons.

When approached by the officer, the men fled and the officer chased them, first in his vehicle, then on foot. One of the men stopped and approached the officer in what Col. Dotson described as an “aggressive manner” while the officer yelled at the teenager, telling him to stop and that he was under arrest, Col. Dotson said. The two then began fighting and the officer pulled off the teenager’s gray hooded sweatshirt before the teen turned to run from the officer, he said.

As the teen ran, he turned and fired three shots from a Ruger 9mm pistol before the officer returned fire, the police chief said. Mr. Myers’s pistol jammed, yet he didn’t drop the weapon and kept attempting to fire, according to Col. Dotson. The officer eventually shot and killed the teen, firing 17 rounds. Col. Dotson said he didn’t know why the officer fired more than a dozen rounds at Mr. Myers.

At this point, does it even matter?

If this story is true...Then the officer may have been within his rights to return fire...This teen was armed and about to fire at him....Different from Mike Brown...who was unarmed...

The officer said that he saw Mr. Myers was armed with a handgun, but that the officer didn’t immediately shoot, only returning fire in defense, according to a police statement Thursday. Police recovered the Ruger pistol and spent casings at the scene, Col. Dotson said. The police statement noted that the pistol had been reported stolen nearly two weeks ago.

But....The teenager’s family said he was unarmed and was only holding a sandwich when shot, according to Maxine Franks, reached by phone, who said she was the teen’s aunt. His immediate family wasn’t available for comment. Big difference between a sandwich and a gun!

The teen was “no stranger to law enforcement,” according to Col. Dotson, who said that even in the short time the teen had been an adult, he had accumulated a police record.Again different from Mike Brown in Ferguson, who had no priors...

At the time of his death, Mr. Myers was awaiting trial for a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon, according to documents from the City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office. In June he had been a passenger in a vehicle chased by police.

When the vehicle stopped, Mr. Myers allegedly ran from the officer and, while being chased, allegedly threw a concealed .380-caliber pistol into a sewer. The pistol was later recovered, the report said.

At the time of Wednesday’s shooting, Mr. Myers had posted a $10,000 bond and was subject to house arrest and wearing a GPS monitoring system to track him, according to a spokeswoman for the attorney’s office. After the shooting, crowds gathered to protest in the neighborhood, vandalizing police cars and smashing cruiser windows, according to Col. Dotson. Protesters took to social media to invite people from nearby Ferguson, Mo., the site of August’s shooting, to join in, many chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” which has been the rallying cry of Ferguson protests.
 This may or may not be the same thing....If there is an injustice...I am all for due process...If this is just a case of a thug getting his...Then it's a whole different matter...I don't know all of the facts at this writing and I'm not going to take the knee jerk reaction that the police are in the wrong...IN THIS CASE...and with the facts I have so far!

But this kind of thing has happened so much that you can't blame people for being a little suspicious and angry regardless of the circumstances..

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