A black teenager was fatally shot in the back by the police in St. Louis, Missouri, last week, and now the family of the teenager is saying that the police account of the incident is wrong. The lawyers who represent the family said that they interviewed many of the witnesses who were at or near the scene of the shooting, and that their eyewitness accounts of the incident are not matching what the police claim happened in the August 19 incident. This is just the latest stream of incidents involving a shooting of a black man at the hands of the police, and so far, the protests over the latest shooting has been peaceful.
The lawyers representing the family said at least 6 witnesses have come forward to provide detailed information about the shooting of 18-year-old Mansur Ball-Bey. The two lawyers for the family said that none of the witnesses said that the teenager was in the house that the police said he was in when the police claimed he ran out of the house just before they shot him. This came according to attorney Jerry Christmas, and his co-counsel Jermaine Wooten, who interviewed the teenager who was with Ball-Bey right before the shooting. The teenager who was with Ball-Bey right before the shooting said that it was not true that Ball-Bey was carrying a gun and then pointed it at the officers, and he claimed that account was just not at all true. Christmas said that by all accounts the teenager was not even in a house at the time of the shooting, and that nothing added up to the official account from the police.
According to Christmas, the family is going to be suing the St. Louis Police Department, and that petition could be coming within the next week. Naturally, the police department did not respond to a request for a comment about the latest developments from the lawyers and their claims of the witnesses. If you haven’t heard, Ball-Bey was shot dead when the St. Louis police were trying to execute a search warrant at a house in a very crime-ridden neighborhood. There were two plains-clothed officers who came upon Ball-Bey and another black teenager who supposedly were running out of the back door of the house while the search warrant was being executed. This is what the police say happened of course. Then the two white police officers claimed Ball-Bey pointed a gun at them, and that was when both officers decided to fire their weapons in response.
An autopsy was performed on Ball-Bey and found that he had died from one single gunshot wound, which entered his back, and then went to his heart. The police claim allegedly that they recovered a gun from the scene, and that this gun had been stolen. The police chief, Sam Dotson, said last week that the police had a witness that supported the theory and claim Ball-Bey had pointed a gun at the police officers. This killing once again triggered a response in St. Louis which is very close in proximity to Ferguson, which is where Michael Brown was shot and killed last year by a white officer. There has not been any word yet whether or not anyone will be facing charges in this latest killing of a civilian by the police, and it’s not known whether or not there will be any cops facing internal investigations as a result of this latest shooting. While the family might be suing the police department civilly for the death of Ball-Bey, which does not require much in terms of detailed and direct evidence to get a win in civil court, the civil case might be put on hold if any charges are brought forward on the cops involved in the incident. There has also not been any word on whether or not there is any dash cam footage available or body camera footage available of the shooting, and if so, whether or not that footage will be released as part of the investigation or whether that footage will remain private as the civil lawsuit proceeds.