• Black community convinced it’s being targeted by racist white cops when in fact the root of the problem lies in the decay of black communities.
By Pete Papaherakles —
Another “white cop shoots innocent black 18-year-old” case in St. Louis, Missouri has resulted in violent riots by angry blacks crying racism. As with the Michael Brown case in August in nearby Ferguson, the young man was portrayed by the mainstream media as a victim of racism and not as a violent thug.
The shooting in St. Louis happened as activists and protesters from around the country were preparing for four days of new rallies, marches and protests over the Brown shooting.
Brown’s August 9 death spurred weeks of unrest in the St. Louis area. It was so bad that some locals called the looting and vandalism that occurred during the protests “domestic terrorism.” A state grand jury is deciding whether the officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson, will face charges.
In the case of the St. Louis shooting, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the officer, whose name is withheld, saw Vonderrit Deondre Myers and two other males around 7:30 p.m. on October 8. Dotson said the officer, who was off-duty but wearing his uniform, became suspicious when one of them started to run.
After hearing one of them say, “No, that’s just a security officer,” said Dotson, the officer made a U-turn, causing all three to run. The officer chased them, first in his car and then on foot. He followed one of the young men, identified as Myers, into a gangway. He was running and holding his waistband in a way that caused the officer to suspect he had a gun, according to police.
Myers turned and approached the officer in “an aggressive manner,” police said, and the officer told Myers to surrender. Myers continued to come at the officer and the two got into a physical altercation. Myers then ran from the officer, up an incline and the officer saw what he believed to be a gun. He did not immediately fire because he wanted to be sure it was a firearm, according to police. Myers then turned and pointed a gun toward the officer and fired at least three shots, police said.
As Myers fired, the officer returned fire. Myers continued to pull the trigger, but his gun apparently jammed. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Autopsy results show a shot to the head through the right cheek killed Myers, according to medical examiner Dr. Michael Graham.
Police recovered the 9mm Smith & Wesson gun that Myers used, which had been reported stolen on September 26. Ballistic evidence confirmed that Myers only fired three shots because his gun jammed. Myers had gunshot residue on his hands and clothing and the three bullets fired were also retrieved from the scene.
Dotson said Myers was “no stranger to law enforcement.” At 18 he already had a felony on his record for unlawful use of a weapon in June, 2014 and a misdemeanor for resisting arrest. Myers was also wearing an ankle bracelet at the time he died, a court-ordered monitoring system as a condition of bail in his gun case pending trial in November.
Yet even with all this hard evidence, relatives of Myers disputed the police version of events, saying Myers didn’t have a weapon.
“He was unarmed,” said Teyonna Myers, 23, a cousin. “He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It’s like Michael Brown all over again.”
However, Dotson insists, “We recovered a gun at the scene, not a sandwich.”
The shooting sparked protests by hundreds of angry locals that raged until dawn on October 9. Dotson said some in the St. Louis crowd shouted obscenities at officers and damaged three police cars, smashing windows and taillights.
Regardless of the facts, just like with the Brown case and the Trayvon Martin case two years ago in Florida, the shooting was perceived as white racism and police brutality against blacks.
“This here was racial profiling turned deadly,” said state Senator Jamilah Nasheed, a St. Louis Democrat, who is black.
Protests followed over Columbus Day weekend where National Association for the Advancement of Colored People president Cornell Brooks and black activist, “philosopher” and professor Cornel West were among the thousands of protesters in Ferguson and St. Louis who were now protesting both the Brown and Myers shootings.
West, whose philosophy is founded on the premise that the black community’s problems are attributed solely to white supremacist beliefs, was arrested by police along with 50 others.
Pete Papaherakles is a writer and political cartoonist for AFP and is also AFP’s outreach director. Pete is interested in getting AFP writers and editors on the podium at patriotic events. Call him at 202-544-5977 if you know of an event you think AFP should attend.