Tensions are mounting in St. Louis, MO as a grand jury decides whether to try Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown, and residents feel a fresh wave of outrage over the murder of yet another young black man by a police officer.
KTVI reports 18-year-old Vonderitt Myers was shot eight times by the still un-named police officer — six times in the back — on October 8th. Protesters then clashed with police for two days in a row in the southern part of the city.
The corner of Grand Avenue and Arsenal was the center for the latest round of protests Thursday night. The unrest began around 12:15 a.m. at the intersection near Tower Grove Park. The confrontations between police and protesters included a knife thrown at police, American flags burned, and police using pepper spray.
MSNBC points out that — unlike Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown — Myers does not quite come off as a sympathetic figure. Social media photos obtained by GotNews show him posing with guns, making gang signs, and generally looking like the “thug” St. Louis police want him to be. Furthermore, St. Louis Police claim Myers shot the off-duty police officer first, before the cop blasted him eight times in panicked self-defense. Furthermore, Myers had gotten in trouble with the law before:
Lab results found Myers had gun powder residue on his right hand at the time of his death. He was also facing trial on earlier gun charges and was wearing an ankle bracelet as a condition of his bond in that case.
Unfortunately, an awful lot of folks don’t care about technicalities: The black community is sick and tired of their boys getting harassed, brutalized, and murdered. Furthermore — thanks to the St. Louis Police Department’s ongoing record of lies, cover-ups, and manipulating media coverage — nobody believes anything they say anymore.
Since the grand jury’s decision is expected to spark another burst of protests, MoKaBe’s coffee shop posted announcements on Facebook and Twitter to let protesters know they’ll stay open 24 hours to offer a ‘safe haven.’
Instead of reaching out to the community in the days leading up to the grand jury’s decision, and quelling public outrage, St. Louis police and their supporters are fanning the flames. “Bucket Joe” from the pro-St. Louis police message board St. Louis Cop Talk responded with the following scary post, encouraging people to harass the folks at MoKaBe’s.
It only gets worse — and scarier — from here, with supporters of St. Louis’ finest gloating about how they hope the coffee shop will catch on fire and get no response when they call 911. Nice. Apparently, they don’t think our tax dollars should pay law enforcement and emergency responders to protect those of us who do not support police brutality.
A supporter of police brutality in St. Louis gleefully comments:
Yet, the folks at MoKaBe’s assure their Facebook followers that they’re not scared and they still plan on keeping their doors open when that grand jury decision is announced. Apparently, nobody on either side expects justice for Michael Brown.
Featured photo of Vonderitt Myers from surveillance camera footage (shown with his mother in a sandwich shop shortly before getting shot) via Hot 104.1 St. Louis.