Antonio Martin, 18, was shot and killed by a white officer at a gas station in Berkeley, Mo., Tuesday night, after authorities say he pointed a gun at the cop, who was responding to a call of shoplifting, the St. Louis Dispatch reports.
According to reports, Martin did not shoot his weapon. The officer fired three shots and the one that hit Martin was fatal. The officer has been placed on investigative leave.
Berkeley's Mayor Theodore Hoskins said the city is conducting its own investigation into the incident separate from St. Louis County. The individual who was with Martin fled and police are calling him a "person of interest."
The St. Louis police department released a surveillance video obtained from the gas station Wednesday that shows Martin and another man leaving a convenience store. When the officer arrives and confronts the two men, the video shows Martin raising his arm.
The officer was wearing a body camera, but it was not switched on. The dash cam from his car was also not switched on. There are other surveillance cameras in the area that police believe captured footage of the incident.
"This can't be compared to Ferguson or what happened in New York City," Hoskins said Wednesday at a press conference. He continued that the city and its police department is majority Black. He added that white officers in Berkeley "are more sensitive" because they have more interactions with African-Americans.
At the press conference, an individual questioned how Berkeley could be different and expressed concern that white police officers feel they "now have the license to kill." Hoskins reiterated that the national uproar over racially motivated police misconduct does not apply to his city. "Everybody don't die the same. Some people die because they initiated," he continued.
The Post-Dispatch says that Martin had a running rap sheet with assaults, armed robbery and other criminal activity.
Following the shooting, about 50 police officers were dispatched to the scene. Three hundred protesters later arrived and there was a scuffle between police and some demonstrators. Four arrests were made.
This is the fourth African-American male to be killed by police in St. Louis County this year, including Michael Brown whose shooting death on Aug. 9, sparked protests worldwide.
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_.
BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson)
TRENDING IN NEWS