A lawyer for the family of VonDerrit Myers Jr., who was killed by an off-duty police officer, publicly disclosed the patrolman’s name this week and said his comments on social media show political and racial biases that reflect upon the shooting.
The officer’s name is listed on an evidence envelope that was inadvertently included with Myers’ body when it was delivered to the funeral home, said Jermaine Wooten, one of the family’s lawyers.
Police have not released the name, pending a “threat assessment.” The department declined to comment on the disclosure.
Brian Millikan, the lawyer representing the officer involved in the shooting, would not confirm or deny the name provided by Wooten — Jason H. Flanery — but the Post-Dispatch verified it independently.
Police said Myers, 18, was killed after firing at the officer. The family said witnesses told their investigator that Myers, who was black, had no weapon and died begging the white officer for his life.
Wooten noted online posts attributed to Flanery that call President Barack Obama “Nobama” and say that in a speech by Michelle Obama, “She looks drunk, high, and dumb as hell.” The lawyer said repeated disparaging remarks about blacks in Flanery’s postings reflected a “strong negatively biased view of African-Americans.”
He also cited Flanery’s online criticism of liberals and homosexuality. The lawyer complained that “right-wing conservatives” have not traditionally been “the friendliest” to people such as Myers.
Wooten said that photos on an Instagram site, showing Flanery’s Marine, police and SWAT training, belie the claim that Myers pulled a gun and fired three shots before the officer could respond.