#ShawShooting: New Protests After St. Louis Police Officer Kills Teenager in Shaw Neighborhood

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His name was Vonderitt Myers Jr and he was 18 years old. His body was shot into seventeen times by an off-duty St. Louis police officer.

On Wednesday October 8th, his name was added to the ever-growing list of young black victims of police gun violence. The police blotter claims the off-duty officer who pursued him was shot at first by the suspect, Myers. The friends and family of the deceased says he didn’t carry a gun, but in fact was holding a sandwich in the pocket of his hoodie. The victim’s mother calls the police department, “liars.”

According to a probable cause statement penned by the St. Louis Police Department, Myers was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a high-speed chase early in the morning of June 27. After the vehicle crashed in the 1100 block of South Grand Boulevard, Myers exited the vehicle and ran — ignoring a police officer’s command to stop. During the pursuit, Myers allegedly retrieved a Hi-Point 380 caliber semi-automatic pistol from his person and threw it in a sewage drain. Additional court documents indicate that Myers was released from jail after making a cash payment of $1,000 — 10 percent of his $10,000 bond. He was slated to go to trial on November 17.

The officer in question was patrolling the Shaw Neighborhood while working a shift in a secondary security firm, when he drove past three young black males in the 4100 block of Shaw Boulevard. Upon seeing the officer, the group began to run.

The suspect then ran up a hill and turned to fire three shots at the officer and kept pulling the trigger but his gun jammed, according to police. The officer in turn fired, killing the suspect. The officer was uninjured, and police say he fired repeatedly: a total of seventeen shots in return.

Since his death on October 8th, protests have erupted throughout St. Louis, with demonstrations in the hundreds, and becoming increasingly volatile. Protesters have been smashing in windows of cop cars, and confronting the force themselves, waving banners that bear the mantra, “Black Lives Matter”

Just days ago, an angry but well-staged mob descended upon the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra concert to perform a sort of flash-protest, standing up in their seats one by one, echoing the same chant. Their audience, shocked but responsive, applauded their support.

[via River Front]

Constance Lowe | News Cult