Protests Erupt In St. Louis After White Police Officer Shoots And Kills Black Teenager

shaw shooting

A large number of demonstrators descended on south St. Louis Wednesday evening after word spread that a black teenager was fatally shot by a white police officer. The shooting occurred around 7:30 PM local time and involved an off-duty police officer who was moonlighting as a neighborhood security watchman. The officer claims that the young man, identified by family and friends as Vonderrit Myers, Jr., was armed with a handgun and opened fire on the officer after the officer tried to pursue him and two others. St. Louis Metro Police confirmed that Myers was killed on the scene and the officer shot at Myers 17 times.

Shortly after the shooting, which occurred at the 4100 block of Shaw Avenue, a crowd started forming around the scene. The crowd first consisted of people from the surrounding neighborhoods but eventually included protesters from Ferguson. While there was a bit of tension and turmoil early on, with reports stating that at least one police vehicle had a taillight kicked out and reports of gunshots fired, the crowd formed into an organized protest march once activists from Ferguson arrived. With dozens of police officers on the scene, the crowd started to march up Grand Blvd., a large and busy street.

The march gathered steam the further it went along Grand, as patrons of neighborhood bars joined the protesters, causing the crowd to swell to over 300. The demonstrators marched for roughly two miles when they reached the busy intersection of Grand and Gravois. After stopping there momentarily, the crowd made its way back towards the scene of the shooting. Eventually, the crowd settled at Grand and Shaw and shut down Grand for a number of hours. The St. Louis Metro Police Department cordoned off areas around the protesters and allowed them to demonstrate into the early hours of the morning.

SLMPD Chief Sam Dotson came to the area around midnight while the crowd was marching towards Gravois. I was on hand when he gave reporters a breakdown of the incident per the facts made available to him at the time. Dotson stated that the officer was driving in a car when he saw three young males walking down the street. The officer noticed one of the males start to run off, but then stop. Once the officer turned his vehicle around, all three men started to run away. Dotson said that the officer then pursued the three males on foot.

At that point, the officer claims that Myers (Dotson did not identify him by name to reporters) jumped out from behind a bush and ambushed him. Dotson told us that Myers shot at the officer at least three time and the officer returned gunfire, eventually shooting at Myers 17 times. A 9 mm Ruger was recovered from the scene. Dotson would not name the officer but said that the officer is 32-year-old male who has been on the force for six years. (Witnesses stated that the officer’s race is white.) Dotson later gave a full press conference at city headquarters and dispensed much of the same information.

Despite the early tensions of the evening and the threat of large-scale violence, police did not arrest any protesters. Also, there was no property damage or looting of any businesses. The crowd that marched and then gathered at Shaw and Grand was mixed racially, as it was a combination of Ferguson activists, independent journalists and people from surrounding neighborhoods. As I was monitoring the crowd in the early morning hours, I was approached by two individuals,  a female grad student and a member of Lost Voices, an organization of mostly young men that has formed in the wake of the Michael Brown tragedy in Ferguson.

The grad student, Kate Breslin, brought over the young man, who goes by Scoolo, so he could let his voice be heard. Scoolo expressed frustration about the lengthy process and uncertainty surrounding any possible indictment of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson involving Brown’s death. He also called for St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch to step down. All three of us discussed the upcoming Ferguson October event, race relations in the St. Louis area and the recent events at Busch Stadium. The conversation also steered towards the need for civil disobedience in order to affect change within the community. (Video of the interview will follow.)

While the police claimed that Myers was armed and shot at the police officer, relatives of Myers told reporters that he only had a sandwich and was unarmed. Obviously, there will be direct comparisons between Myer’s death and that of Brown, due to the fact that they were both black teenagers shot multiple times by white police officers. The fact that this happened days before a large-scale event in Ferguson revolving around the subject of racial disparity and police brutality will only give the weekend of resistance greater meaning.

20 Replies to “Protests Erupt In St. Louis After White Police Officer Shoots And Kills Black Teenager”

  1. The officer had no business chasing citizens because they ‘ran.’ I’d run too, and I’m a white old woman.

    Probable cause, asshat.

    America has become a land of random human sacrifices.

  2. This is the first time we have heard he now “jumped” out of a bush. Really? 17 shots? No cop has ever planted a gun. Walking will get you killed in MO.

  3. If I was a black male and I saw the police scoping out the area I was in, I would certainly run as well. What do you expect? There is no rationale, only immediate presumed guilt, even if they don’t know what the guilt is for.

    This is out of control. The officer shot 17 times..overkill once again. Sickening..beyond belief.

  4. If it took 17 shots, then either this cop meant to KILL, or he is a lousy shot and should be off the force. You mean out of all of those shots, not 1 shot injured the victim? No, they wanted to kill him, injury was not good enough.

  5. I wondered the same thing. You would think after all that is happening that would have been the first test they did to verify the officers story. The longer they remain silent on this the more doubts will be raised

  6. ..and you know damn well they will remain silent. After they have enough time to collude to get their “stories” straight, then we will hear how it was self-defense on the cop’s part. It’s all bullshit.

  7. Don’t You get it? Kill and it’s your word against the perp, and he is dead. That’s what you call Police integrity.I’m white and am beginning to believe there is a free season on young black men. So far the cops have been doing much better then the ordinary citizen, especially young black men. Makes me dislike and not trust cops, more then I do now. Learned a long time ago, you can not really trust cops.
    I was at a county meeting to bring up a problem we as a township were having. Made my statement and a cop who was there also, He called me an activist. In a very demeaning manner. As if being an activist, I had no standing. I turned to him and asked as gruffly as possibly, And just what are you doing here?? He backed down rather quickly. Because the cops who were supposed to be called to help, were in actuality,in the corner of the trouble makers. He was one of them. Haven’t trusted cops since.

  8. The St. Louis teenager fatally shot by an off-duty officer Wednesday night was a high school student facing trial for a weapons charge, his lawyer told NBC News. Vonderrit D. Myers, 18, had been released on a $10,000 bond following a June 27 incident involving an unlawful use and possession of a gun and resisting arrest after fleeing the scene

  9. So he should be gunned down without due process? You are a sick twisted individual and whatever god you pray too have mercy on your soul

  10. Shiva, I read that too. That he fired first and then the police fired back. Then I also read that the kid was carrying a sandwich, so who really knows? The kid obviously can’t speak to tell us, so we have no choice but to go by what is put in the media..which I won’t believe.

  11. Maybe I didn’t explain myself properly. I am not saying anyone should be gunned down without due process. What I am saying is that I read that the kid had a gun, but then read he was only carrying sandwich. We will never know the truth, unless they have witnesses or video, or check for gun residue on the victim’s hands. Even if the kid did shoot, KILLING him is not the answer. I am sorry if I have offended anyone, I am sick to death of there only being 1 side to the story, and it is always the cop who is alive …nobody speaks for the victim, or if they do nobody listens. I hope that clarifies it. These shootings are just too convenient, and I don’t believe we ever get the truth.

  12. Stan, you are one of those who blame the victim. The issue is not the victim’s past, the issue is HE WAS MURDERED. I despise people who blame the victim.

    Your post is right up there with, “She was wearing provocative clothing, so of course she was raped”

  13. Ambush means that the kid would have the advantage. Anyone in any kind of service knows that. Why would he miss every shot, but the cop managed that many hits? Can you say drop weapon?

  14. Something is not right. The cop said he wasn’t sure the kid had a gun until he turned and pointed it and took 3 shots while running away. The police claim a gun was found and that three projectiles were recovered that were headed downhill towards the officer. The officer also said he got into an altercation with the kid before the shooting and that he was wearing a “grey hooded sweatshirt.”
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    He also said the victim was holding his waistband while running. Again in the picture his pants were sagging so wouldn’t logic dictate he would hold his pants up while running?

    And still no word yet if any gunpowder residue was found on the victims hands.

  15. Why was the cop chasing these three guys in the first place? They were black guys walking on the street? He had an itchy trigger finger? There was something “funny” about the pants one of the kids was wearing? The cop was looking for a confrontation? Why did he reverse his security company car and give chase to these three guys in the first place? What had they done?

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