Police in St. Louis Suburb Shoot Unarmed Black Teenager Multiple Times

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 10 2014 1:26 PM

Police in St. Louis Suburb Shoot Unarmed Black Teenager Multiple Times

A local chapter of the NAACP is demanding the FBI get involved in the investigation into why an unarmed black teenager was killed Saturday by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb. After a night of protests in Ferguson following the shooting of Michael Brown, officials confirmed the 18-year-old was not armed and was running away when he was shot “more than just a couple” of times, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said. Still, Belmar said the teenager had tried to reach for an officer’s gun in a patrol car, where one shot was fired. Brown’s fatal gunshot wounds came outside the vehicle, reports St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It’s unclear what caused the altercation in the first place. The officer who shot Brown has not been identified but has been placed on administrative leave.

Belmar gave a brief news conference Sunday as some community members marched to the Ferguson police department with their hands up in the air, chanting “Don’t shoot.” They also carried signs that read “stop police terrorism” and “disarm the police,” reports the Associated Press.

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"My son just turned 18 and graduated from high school, and he don't bother nobody," Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, told local NBC affiliate KSDK. McSpadden says Brown, who was scheduled to begin classes at Vatterott College next week, was shot eight times. Police say they still have to investigate to determine how many times Brown was actually shot.

Brown’s shooting took place two weeks before a planned march to protest the death of 43-year-old Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who was killed by a police chokehold during an arrest on July 17.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.