An off-duty St. Louis police officer fatally shot and killed an 18-year-old black teen yesterday, firing his gun 17 times, authorities said.
Angry residents damaged several police cars in response, even though police say the man fired first.
The death comes on the heels of the Michael Brown shooting two months ago in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, USA, and just ahead of a “Weekend of Resistance” in St. Louis, where activists will push for movement in the investigation into that case.
Like Brown, the teen who was killed in yesterday’s shooting was black. The officers in both incidents are white, police said.
The difference: Brown was unarmed. In yesterday’s incident, the teen had a gun which it’s alleged that he used to fire three times at the officer said St. Louis police Chief Sam Dotson.
Tensions are already high in the community, and it’s uncertain how the latest shooting will affect its mood.
“At the scene of yet another young man’s death,” tweeted St. Louis Alderman Antonio French. “This happens too often in our city. It’s a crisis that we should all be concerned about.”
An animated crowd quickly gathered late yesterday near the site close to the Missouri Botanical Garden, chanting slogans as St. Louis police officers stood by.
“Hey, hey, ho, ho, these killer cops have got to go,” the crowd chanted, along with, “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?”
The confrontations with police were intense and laced with profanity.
“That was somebody’s baby,” screamed one man, referring to the man who was killed.
“Think about your own child,” pleaded another person in the crowd.
Despite the tensions, Dotson said no businesses were looted and no windows were smashed. He praised officers for showing a “tremendous amount of restraint” as members of the crowd confronted them face-to-face and damaged police cruisers.