More racial protests in St. Louis after US police shot black man
Another African-American man has been fatally shot by white police officers in St. Louis, Missouri, sparking angry protests and recalling racial tensions fueled by the killing of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson a year ago.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the shooting took place on Wednesday as police were conducting a search warrant and two young African-American men ran out the back door of the targeted home.
Officers ordered the two men to stop in the alley behind the house. One suspect pointed a gun at officers who then fired four times, killing him, Dotson said.
The police obtained the search warrant because they believed the house contained several suspects.
“Detectives were looking for guns, looking for violent felons, looking for people that have been committing the crimes in the neighborhood,” Dotson said.
Police identified the slain suspect as Mansur Ball-Bey, 18. Both officers involved in the shooting were white.
The latest police killing drew angry demonstrations in St. Louis Wednesday.
Video showed dozens of protesters blocking a nearby intersection shortly after the shooting. At least nine people were arrested for blocking traffic, police said.
Protesters gathered again at the intersection and threw rocks at officers, who responded with tear gas.
“Another youth down by the hands of police,” Dex Dockett, 42, who lives nearby, told a reporter. “What could have been done different to de-escalate rather than escalate? They (police) come in with an us-against-them mentality. You’ve got to have the right kind of cops to engage in these types of neighborhoods.”
Another neighborhood resident, Fred Price, was skeptical about the police chief’s account that the suspect pointed a gun at police before being killed.
“They provoked the situation,” Price said. “Situations like this make us want to keep the police out of the neighborhood. They’re shooting first, then asking questions.”
The shooting came 10 days after the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson was flooded with protesters marking the first anniversary of the August 9 fatal shooting of 18-year-old Brown by a white police officer.
Brown’s death sparked months of violent protests across the United States and spurred a nationwide movement to confront police violence against minorities.