Reported by Ashley Naples
For the last couple of months, the state of Missouri has been headlining news stations across the country. Racial tension in St. Louis and surrounding areas is reaching nearly catastrophic levels. Thousands of people have been pouring into the streets protesting the shooting deaths of Michael Brown and other Black men in the area. Even world-renowned commentator and scholar Dr. Cornel West has joined the protest. An image surfaced online of Dr. West being arrested during the protest and was plastered across the front page of news websites throughout America. He was charged with assaulting the police, although there is no actual proof that he touched a police officer.
Some people fear the protests in Missouri are going to lead the country into a race war, although many of the protestors in support of justice for Brown and others are not Black. The latest outcry from protestors comes after an off-duty police officer shot and killed a young African American man named Vonderrit D. Myers, Jr.
Here’s more information about that tragic incident:
Gunshot residue tests and ballistics evidence indicate that Vonderrit D. Myers Jr. fired a gun at a police officer before being fatally shot, police and union officials said Tuesday.
The police department issued a statement saying that forensic scientists from the Missouri Highway Patrol crime lab found gunshot residue on Myers’ hands, shirt and inside the waistband and pockets of his jeans. Police said that although gunshot residue can be present on anyone near a shooting, the results show levels consistent with Myers being the shooter, because the police officer was standing too far away.
The residue also was found on Myers’ right hand only, police said.
Ballistics evidence also revealed three bullets that hit the ground where the officer was trying to take cover matched Myers’ gun. A round that pierced a car behind the officer was too badly damaged to be able to match it to Myers’ gun; however, it did not match the type of bullets the officer fired, police said.
Myers was shot to death by an off-duty police officer who was on patrol for a private residents’ association in the Shaw neighborhood Oct. 8. The officer saw Myers and two other young men run as soon as they saw him. The officer, who was driving a marked private security car and wearing his city police uniform, chased the young men.
Myers fired at least three shots at the officer before the officer returned fire, killing Myers.