Wednesday 18 July 2018

Fury as US police shoot another black man dead

Carey Gillam

Police fatally shot a black man they say pointed a gun at them in St Louis last night.

The shooting drew angry crowds and revived memories of the racial tensions sparked by the killing of an unarmed African-American teen in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, just over a year ago.

St Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the shooting took place as officers were executing a search warrant in a crime-ridden neighborhood, when two young black men ran out the back door of the targeted house.

Police officers ordered the men to stop in the alley behind the house and one suspect pointed a gun at officers who then fired approximately four times, killing him, Dotson said.

Despite the police explanation of events, dozens of people gathered near the scene protesting against the police use of deadly force, according to local media.

Police in SWAT gear and an armoured vehicle ordered the crowd to disperse and some people were taken into custody, according to a report by the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

Dotson told journalists that the gun the suspect pointed at them was stolen.

He said officers also recovered the drug crack cocaine at the scene.

"Detectives were looking for guns, looking for violent felons, looking for people that have been committing the crimes in the neighborhood," he said.

The shooting came 10 days after the St Louis area was inundated with protesters from around the country marking the first anniversary of the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer.

Brown's death last year helped spur a nationwide movement against what protesters say is a pattern of police violence against minorities.

Yesterday's shooting also came on the one-year anniversary of the police shooting of another black man in St Louis, Kajieme Powell. Activists were already in the area for a march protesting against his shooting.

Irish Independent

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