The fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager Saturday by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb came after a struggle for the officer’s gun, police officials said Sunday, in an explanation that met with outrage and skepticism in the largely African-American community.
The killing of the youth, Michael Brown, 18, ignited protests on Saturday and Sunday in Ferguson, Mo., a working-class suburb of about 20,000 residents. Hundreds of people gathered at the scene of the shooting to question the police and to light candles for Mr. Brown, who was planning to begin college classes on Monday.
Something depressingly familiar about this story, don’t you think?
Well let me put it this way — of you’re black you’ll see the connections. If you’re white you really won’t give a shit.
Mr. Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, held a cardboard sign that said, “Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son.”
At a news conference on Sunday morning, the St. Louis County police chief, Jon Belmar, said that a man had been shot and killed after he had assaulted a police officer and the two had struggled over the officer’s gun inside his patrol car. At least one shot was fired from inside the car, Chief Belmar said.
“The genesis of this was a physical confrontation,” Chief Belmar told reporters.
A ‘physical confrontation between a young man walking down a street and a police officer seated in his car.
The police on Sunday said they were still trying to sort out the exact details, but they released what they said was the fullest account of the shooting that they could provide. Just after noon on Saturday, the police said, an officer in a patrol car approached Mr. Brown and another man. As the officer began to leave his vehicle, one of the men pushed the officer back into the car and “physically assaulted” him, according to the police department’s account.
A struggle occurred “over the officer’s weapon,” and at least one shot was fired inside the car, Chief Belmar said. The two left the car, and the officer shot Mr. Brown about 35 feet away from the vehicle, the police reported. Several shots were fired from the officer’s weapon.
How many stories have you read about an unarmed individual stopped by the police who decide to make a grab for the policeman’s gun, thereby forcing the officer to use said gun to kill said unarmed individual?
SCORES OF THEM.
And in every single case the unarmed was black and the officer white.
The medical examiner for St. Louis County is investigating to determine how many times Mr. Brown was shot, the police said.
Chief Belmar said that the Ferguson police chief, Thomas Jackson, had called him personally and asked that his department to look into the shooting because Chief Jackson wanted an independent investigation. Chief Belmar said that the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney would determine whether the shooting was justified or charges should be filed.
NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.
The officer, now at his de rigeuer post shooting “desk job” will be cleared of all charges.
And the beat goes on.
As Chief Belmar spoke at a televised news conference, chants of “Don’t shoot!” and “We want answers!” could be heard from the protesters who had gathered outside the Ferguson police headquarters.
At a candlelight vigil on Sunday evening, the heightened tensions between the police and the African-American community were on display. A crowd estimated in the thousands flooded the streets near the scene of the shooting, some of them chanting “No justice, no peace.” They were met by hundreds of police officers in riot gear, carrying rifles and shields, as well as K-9 units.
The officer who shot Mr. Brown has been on the force about six years and will be interviewed extensively by detectives on Sunday, the police said. They did not identify the officer involved by either name or rank.
“Any other details, including the reason as to why the encounter occurred and the initial struggle ensued, are still a part of the continuing investigation,” the police said in a statement.
“Yadda, yadda, yadda, we’ll P.R. this away ASAP.”
Family members of Mr. Brown said that he had been walking to his grandmother’s house when the shooting occurred. His body remained in the street for some time, guarded by the police, while neighbors gathered in the area.
Cause there’s no way of knowing if he’s not a zombie, right?
Police officials, fearing civil disorder, dispatched officers with police dogs to control the crowds. In response, some Twitter users posted pictures of the dogs at the Ferguson gathering on Saturday next to photos of police dogs used to control African-American crowds during the Jim Crow era.
Mr. Brown had just graduated from high school and was planning to attend Vatterott College, his mother, Lesley McSpadden, told reporters. His family has retained Benjamin Crump, the lawyer who represented Trayvon Martin’s relatives.
“You took my son away from me,” she told the television news station KMOV. “Do you know how hard it was for me to get him to stay in school and graduate? You know how many black men graduate? Not many. Because you bring them down to this type of level, where they feel like they don’t got nothing to live for anyway. ‘They’re going to try to take me out anyway.’ ”
Cause they’re well rehearsed and they all know their lines — right Roxie?