Local Black Leaders Call For DOJ Probe Of St. Louis Police Shooting

Leaders of St. Louis’s black community want a Justice Department probe of Wednesday’s police shooting of a black teen, convinced that the shooting was not justified.

Protesters gathered Thursday outside the St. Louis Police Department’s headquarters and called for a Justice Department investigation, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. They said they believed that the shooting of 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers, Jr., had been a case of “racial profiling.”

“This was a case of racial profiling turned deadly,” Missouri state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed said, adding that she believed Myers had been shot in the back of the head.

Police have said that Myers fired at least three shots at the police officer, who remains unidentified. The officer fired 17 shots in return, though it is not known how many struck Myers. Myers’ family has insisted that he was unarmed, and protests have followed that invoked the August police shooting of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, Mo.

“There is no epidemic of black officers shooting white kids, but there is an epidemic of white officers shooting black kids,” Jerryl Christmas, a local lawyer who participated in the Ferguson protests, told the Post-Dispatch on Thursday.

Some news outlets have reported that the police who shot Myers was white, but others, including the Associated Press and Post-Dispatch, have not confirmed the officer’s race.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: